Bike Trainer Routine Questions

I have a trike set up on a Kinetic trainer with silicone resistance. I gradually have worked my riding sessions up to 30 minute rides at a cadence between 80 and 90 in 5th gear (Sturmey Archer Internal 8). The first 20 minutes go by without great difficulty, but the last 10 minutes are quite challenging with the last 5 being grueling.

Here are my questions: 
  1. Is it better to ride one daily session of 30 minutes, or two sessions of 15-20 minutes each?
  2. Is more strength likely to result from pedaling as fast as I can, as long as I can, and as often as I can (on the trainer) each day, or is improved endurance more likely?
  3. What would you suggest for a training routine and why, for somone looking to improve endurance, strength, fitness, and speed when riding the trails?


  • edited February 2017
    I would suggest you go to the GCN channel on youtube they have almost 50 training videos many of them are POV while riding up big climbs and some are more traditional spin class type videos. All will give you a variety of efforts designed to increase your fitness and they are free!

    For me riding 3-4 days a week and then swimming 2-3 is the best for overall fitness but I always take at least 1 day off each week.

    I find riding on a trainer to be pretty boring so having videos to follow is a huge plus for me. You can do really good work in a small amount of time on the trainer and it is best to do a mix of efforts that may simulate actual road conditions. So for example you can add intervals of really hard efforts to your standard 30 minute workout say 5 min warmup gradually increasing to medium effort then a set of 5 3 minute hard efforts with a 10 second sprint at the end of each and one minute recovery moderate effort after each 3 minute rep and a five minute cool down.  Intervals are very taxing so you should only do that workout twice a week. 

    Your standard workout can also be modified by working different cadences. The target cadence you have of 80-90 is a great and efficient way to ride but in the real world you will also face situations where you need higher or lower cadences so working them on the trainer by adding higher resistance lower cadence reps say 60 rpm in 7th gear and lower resistance higher cadence reps of 100 at 4th or even 3rd gear will be of benefit. In cycling lower cadence higher resistance equals more power and higher cadence lower resistance is more taxing to your cardio system.    

    Of course any workout that results in severe pain or discomfort that does not resolve with a day of rest should be done very carefully. The gains you are after will come with time and variety just be sure you don't derail your efforts by riding through increasing pain that does not resolve with rest.
  • I usually try to replicate an outdoor ride by varying the resistance to simulate terrain changes and using a range of gears and riding for upwards of two hours. Usually do this watching a sporting event on TV and not needing to play close attention to the audio. 
  • Watch youtube videos of "SA Triker" and try to match what you are doing to what you are seeing.
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