Saturday, 12 October 2013

Hints and Tips: Training With Rollers: Session Plans

Rollers are a superb training tool; a few weeks ago I reviewed the Tacx Antares Rollers, a set that have become famous for their great value and build quality. In this post I'm following up the review with some session ideas that you can use your rollers for.

Rollers are particularly useful for working on technique, high cadence training and recovery. The low resistance means they allow you to easily spin at a high RPM; working on elements of your cycling that can be hard to target out on the road or on a turbo trainer.


Recovery Spin Session (30 minutes)
This session is designed to be done post-race, or on a rest day. The objective is to get blood flowing to your muscles to flush out lactic acid that has built up during hard efforts. The “intervals” are very low intensity, but are added to bring variety and interest to what could otherwise be a monotonous spin session.
  •           5 mins – 100 RPM Gentle Spinning (100 Watts)
  •           1 mins – 120 RPM Fast Cadence (140 Watts)
  •           5 mins – 105 RPM Gentle Spinning (120 Watts)
  •           1 mins – 130 RPM Fast Cadence (140 Watts)
  •           2 mins – 90   RPM Right Leg Emphasis
  •           2 mins – 90   RPM Left Leg Emphasis
  •           4 mins – 100 RPM Gentle Spinning (100 Watts)

High Cadence Pyramid Session (45 minutes)
This session is designed to work both on low cadence stability and high cadence control.The focus is on building your cadence gradually but maintaining your pedalling technique. You shouldn't be bouncing around on the saddle, try and keep your upper body stable and work on powering those legs round at a higher RPM with each set.

  • 10 mins - 100RPM Gentle Spinning (Warm Up) (100 Watts)
  • 1 mins - 115 RPM Fast Spnining
  • 1 mins - 100 RPM Gentle Spinning
  • 1 mins - 120 RPM Fast Spinning
  • 1 mins - 100 RPM Gentle Spinning
  • 30 Secs - 120+ RPM Fast Spinning
  • 30 Secs - 100 RPM Gentle Spinning
    • Repeat Last Five Minutes 4 Times
  • 5 mins - 100RPM Gentle Spinning
  • 5 mins - Steady High Cadence with progressive power - Select the big ring up front and the largest cog on the cassette, spin the gear up until you get to 120RPM, then change into the next hardest gear on the cassette. KEEP GOING until your cadence starts to fall below 100 and you can't get it higher. Then start to shift back up to the easier gears on the cassette (pyramid training). If you find this hard to get near this kind of cadence using the big ring gears then use the smaller ring and start mid-way down the cassette (you may have to change up the big ring mid-pyramid if you do this).
  • 10 mins - 100RPM Gentle Spinning (Cool Down).

The Single Legged Spin Session (40 mins)
This is a technique rather than a fitness session, and is designed to help even out any power imbalances in your leg strokes. Stay in the same gear as you use for the warm up (small ring) when you move into the first set, but cycle one legged for the next 10 minutes. The best way to do this is to unclip your "resting" leg and just place it on the pedal.

  • 10 mins - 80-100RPM Gentle Spinning (Warm Up) (100 Watts)
  • 1 mins - 80-100RPM Left Leg Emphasis (try to maintain 100 Watts)
  • 1 mins - 80-100RPM Right Leg Emphasis (try to maintain 100 Watts)
    • Repeat Last Two Minutes 5 Times
  • 10 mins - 100RPM - Now change up to the big ring on the front and ride fairly hard with both legs. Try to keep up the same feel of fluidity and smoothness that you were working on.
  • 10 mins - 100RPM Gentle Spinning (Cool Down).

All these sessions could also be done on a turbo trainer, but the benefit of using a set of rollers like the Tacx Antares Rollers is that they will really work on your bike handling, core stability and technique. They will also help to keep you engaged and switched on throughout the training session!

The Tacx Antares Rollers are available from Wiggle Bike Shop (Link)

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