Back to overview

7 Turbo training hacks that Chris Hall swears by

Whether you’re restricted to riding indoors or you do it out of choice, chances are you’re constantly refining your indoor set up to make your pain cave as pleasurable as possible. Here’s some ‘level 41’ tips from Shimano Rider Chris Hall.

“I started a new job recently so my life is silly hectic right now. I’m on the turbo more than ever at the moment, which feels odd with the weather turning warmer, but it’s far more efficient training when you live in the middle of London. Here’s some tips I’ve picked up over many years in the pain cave that make the difference between turbo time being fun rather than a chore”

1.

I make sure that my bike is in great working order for both indoors and outdoors. That means making sure my chain is lubed and my gears are aligned so I can churn out the kilometers smoothly. If you’re riding a direct drive turbo you’ll want to check the derailleur alignment is the same as it is on your road bike. With Di2 gearing that can all be done from the handlebar with the touch of a button

2.

After every single turbo session I clean the bike down to remove sweat. That stuff is brutal and can really corrode a bike. I put a towel over the handlebars to help protect them a bit and I have a separate one for my body. You’ll also want to rotate your front wheel regularly to even out any wear and tear.

3.

Buy a MASSIVE fan or better still MULTIPLE MASSIVE fans. I use two and my turbo is set up next to window. You’re going to overheat very easily on the turbo so it’s good to keep as cool as you can.

4.

I line up several water bottles with a carbohydrate based solution and some electrolytes. You sweat a lot of salt out of the body so you need to keep that topped up. With less natural opportunity to freewheel you tend to work harder on the turbo so make sure you have some sort of food or fuel. I treat myself to some gummy sweets during the sessions after intervals. A little reward after each little bit of pain!

5.

Find your mojo. This is my go to playlist for hard sessions:

If it’s for a long easy one I tend to listen to podcasts. I actually set up my own here: https://www.zero-lemon.com/the-podcast

6.

Depending on the session it also changes what bike I do it on. I like using my Cervélo P-Series TT bike for longer sessions but for things like Zwift races and intervals I tend to do these on my Cervélo R3.

7.

Get some structure and routine. Faff is your enemy. Make a plan before you start so you’re not riding aimlessly or searching for the best ‘world’ to ride in. I mix up my training programmes between all out power blast, long low-watt efforts and over and under sessions.  

 

At the moment a normal training week for me is 11-12 hours on the bike. It looks like this:

  • Monday: Rest Day or social Zwift meetup
  • Tuesday: 2 hours with low cadence threshold efforts. Normally 8 minutes x5 with 2 mins rest between and a long warm up and cool down. 
  • Wednesday: Long 2-3 hour zone 2 ride 
  • Thursday: A Zwift Race, usually 1h+ which can be 30-50km depending on the course
  • Friday: Recovery spin (normally after blowing up spectacularly in the race the day before). 
  • Saturday: 2 hour varied tempo ride. Riding at my sweetspot (250-280 watts) and then at 100-110% of my FTP for a minute
  • Sunday: Another long 2-3 hour zone 2 ride 

My set up

I’m riding a Cervélo P-Series TT bike fitted out with Dura Ace Di2 and a Cervélo R3 equipped with Ultegra Di2. I switch bikes depending on the sessions I am doing. It's good to get quality time on both bikes as I do so much TT riding.

I use Shimano’s Dura Ace R9100-P Powermeter on both Cervelo bikes to give me consistent and accurate power numbers whether I’m inside or outside. 

Specifically for riding indoors I use a Wahoo Kickr, Headwind Fan, Kickr Climb and an additional fan and I have a monthly subscription to Zwift. I recently reached Level 41 – I’m looking forward to beating the big boss at the end of the game!”

Chris Hall is a #ShimanoRider. He hosts a podcast at Zero-Lemon.com and he can be found on Instagram: @ChrisHallRides