Sub-1hr session: Welcome to hell

This advanced-level turbo trainer session is for the truly twisted triathlete

(Credit: Jonny Gawler)

Best done on the turbo, this true test of pacing and recovery from Nik Cook is for the truly twisted advanced athletes among you.


Like any turbo session, it’s a case of being organised. Have your kit ready to go, the turbo already set up and you can be riding within five minutes of getting home from work.

For this session you’ll need: a turbo trainer, race bike, a decent fan and some motivating tunes.

Welcome to hell


10mins building progressively through zones 1-2.

Main session

40mins holding Olympic-distance pace in race position. This will translate to 85-95% of FTP for power or mid-high Z4 for heart rate. Every 5mins perform a maximal 30sec sprint. Don’t let your effort drop after the sprints; get straight back onto race pace and don’t sneak in any sly recoveries.


10mins of easy spinning.

Main benefits

Performance benefits

Dialling in your race-pace intensity so that you know exactly what it feels like and – even if you have to put in some unexpected higher-end efforts – you’ll hit T2 as quickly as possible but still ready to run.

Mental benefits

If you can hold the pace with the sprints, you know that holding it consistently during the bike leg of a race will be comparatively easy. Plus, it’ll give you the confidence to attack lumps and bumps and sprint out of bends.

Physiological benefits

It’s a great workout for raising FTP and, by including the sprints, you’ll develop your ability to recover from hard efforts while still maintaining a relatively high overall pace.

Adapt for Ironman

Extend the race-pace effort to 90mins, but drop the pacing to your middle-distance intensity and only sprint every 10mins. You can also take the session out onto the road, up the effort to 2-3hrs at Ironman intensity and sprint every 15mins.


For lots more turbo trainer sessions head to our Training section