Training on an indoor trainer is great because it can help you laser focus your training but it’s important that you select the right session to match where you are in your training cycle. In this article, I discuss two indoor training sessions that makeup our detailed 24-week training program for L’Etape Australia.


Training on an indoor trainer is great because it can help you laser focus your training by doing specific workouts that target specific aspects of your fitness. Also, out on the road, you get hit with interruptions like intersections and stop lights. You also spend some of the time freewheeling and if you’re in a bunch, drafting. So every minute spent on the indoor trainer can also make your training more time-efficient. Finally, trainers like the Wahoo Kickr that I have, you have power built into them. That means that you train with power and measure your performance accurately and get more insight into the status of your fitness over time.

The downside if you pick the wrong indoor training session

But there is a downside to the indoor trainer. Because training on home trainers allows you to laser focus your training it’s important that you select the right session to match where you are in your training cycle. And this is where so many cyclists get it wrong. They think that doing ANY session on a home trainer is going to help them get a step closer to building their fitness towards their L’Etape Australia ride. But there are many indoor training sessions that just aren’t that suitable for preparing you for L’Etape Australia.

Build strength and aerobic base first before speed

I recommend that you build your strength and aerobic base. High-intensity intervals, as good as they are, should be left until later in your program after you have built your strength and aerobic foundation.

The reason for this is simple. There is no sense in being able to do hard short duration intervals for an hour on a home trainer if you don’t have the leg strength to climb all the vertical meters and aerobic endurance to finish your L’Etape Australia event. While your aerobic fitness and strength can be built out on the road on the weekends, I highly recommend that you support this training with aerobic base and strength building sessions on the trainer during the week.

The two indoor training sessions that we use

To help build strength we have the 082 session:

  • Warm up for five minutes building to E3 at 90-100 rpm.
  • Then 2 x 5 minute efforts riding into E3 rotating through the five hand positions (tops, hoods, drops seated and then hoods and drops standing) every minute with a 2 minute recovery in between each 5 minute effort at 70 rpm.
  • Then 2 x 10 minute efforts changing cadence from 70, 60, 50, 60 and then 70 rpm every 2 minutes while seated, with a 2 minute recovery between each 10 minute effort.
  • Cool down in E1 at 90-100 rpm.

To help build aerobic base we have the 085 session:

  • Warm up for 5 minutes building to E3 at 90-100 rpm.
  • Do 3 x 10 minute E3 efforts,  90-100 rpm while seated and 60 rpm when standing with a 2 minute recovery between each effort
  • Cool down for 5 minutes at the end of the session 90-100 rpm.

Where to from here

If you want more details on these sessions, with a detailed 24-week training program, the indoor training videos that go with it that teach you how to maximise your pedal stroke and the off the bike strength training program to build enduring leg strength for the climbs then check out our detailed training program for both the RIDE and RACE L’Etape Australia events.

They include:

  • The detailed 24-week training program
  • Indoor training videos
  • Off the bike strength training videos
  • Online video to stream to your mobile or computer
  • Downloadable high definition, standard definition, and mobile indoor training videos
  • Detailed PDF timings sheets
  • Description of heart rate and power zones
  • Zwift training workout files (.ZWO)
  • TrainerRoad training workout files (.MRC)
  • Garmin training workout files (.FIT)

It’s a small investment that you can make in your riding and it will help you post your personal best at this event.

You can get them here:

L’Etape Australia – 24 wk Racer Training Program

L’Etape Australia – 24 wk Rider Training Program

Other resources

Cycling Heart Rate Zones Explained – How To Use Heart Rate Monitor And Zones To Improve Your Cycling

Introduction To Cycling Power Zones

How to ride efficiently so you get a faster time at your next Gran Fondo event