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Improve Your Road Riding With These Two Cycling Roller Workouts

rochelle-gilmore
(Image credit: Unknown)

The hardest part of cycle training indoors, aside from the boredom, is trying to replicate how you actually ride outdoors. Assuming that the long sessions spent pedalling away inside are building towards excelling on the roads, you want to mimic the situation you’ll face when outdoors.

Rollers have a distinct advantage over turbo trainers or indoor bikes in this regard. Riding the rollers might be a slightly terrifying affair the first time you try it, but it will improve your pedalling technique, bike handling and balance.

Below you’ll find two sessions Wiggle High 5 team manager Rochelle Gilmore uses but first, watch this video that explains how to use rollers successfully – ie without falling and hurting yourself.

Pre-Race Roller Warm-Up

You never want to start a fast cycle cold, so use this 20-minute roller warm up to ensure you’re primed to fire on all cylinders at the start line.

Roller Sprint Session

At some point in almost every road ride you’re going to want to up the speed – whether that’s to burst towards the finish line of a sportive, or to outshine your friend on a Strava segment. This 30-minute blast on the rollers will help build the speed required.

  • Start with ten minutes dropping through the gears as in the warm-up session above. Keep pedalling at 100rpm throughout. Spend the first minute in the 39/23 (39 is the small chain ring at the front) and the tenth minute in the 39/12 (smallest chainring at the front and smallest bottom gear on the cassette at the rear).
  • In the 10th and 11th minute, just ride easy and breathe deeply.
  • On the 12th minute: 1 x 6 second max sprint.
  • On the 13th minute: 1 x 10 second max sprint.
  • On the 14th minute: 1 x 15 second max sprint.
  • Ride easy for two minutes.
  • On the 16th minute: 1 x 6 second max sprint.
  • On the 17th minute: 1 x 10 second max sprint.
  • On the 18th minute: 1 x 15 second max sprint.
  • Ride easy for two minutes again.
  • On the 20th minute: 1 x 6 second max sprint.
  • On the 21st minute: 1 x 10 second max sprint.
  • On the 22nd minute: 1 x 15 second max sprint.
  • Ride easy and recover until you hit 30 minutes.

Online cycle retailer w (opens in new tab)iggle.com (opens in new tab) sponsors Wiggle High 5.

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.