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Coach Tom's Optimum Indoor Training Session

Our new Struggle Training Plan Coach Tom Townsend of Downing Cycling shares his optimum one-hour indoor training session, ideal for locked-down cyclists training for a Struggle. 

Cycling Coach Tom Townsend Downing Cycling

Tom’s Top Session

Tom said: “The climbs in Yorkshire are notorious for their undulating gradients featuring viciously steep sections. The ascents often ramp up to greater than 20% for prolonged periods; requiring all your fight just to keep the pedals turning.” 

“This massive effort will see you surging above your FTP and producing unsustainable levels of lactate,” says Tom.

Tom’s recommended indoor turbo session will replicate the requirements of a Struggle ascent and help get the body accustomed to the effort - without even leaving the house. 

 Indoor Turbo Training Session for Sportive Riders

How to Complete Tom’s Session?

3 x 10 minute Over-Unders: 

Warm up for 10 minutes, starting at 50% of FTP, then gradually ramp up the intensity until you reach 75% FTP (the top of Z2). Then the fun begins… 

Perform a 10 minute interval comprising a 20 second surge at 120% followed by 2 minutes 10 seconds at 85% of FTP. This two and a half minute block is repeated 4 times to make each interval 10 minutes in length. 

Recover for 5 minutes by spinning easy below 60% of FTP to keep the blood flowing and clear the lactate from the legs. 

Repeat the 10 minutes interval twice more, with 5 minutes recovery between each.

Cool down for 10 minutes, gradually reducing intensity until you’re truly soft pedalling below 50% FTP.

Work out your FTP

Upload Tom’s Session to Zwift

Download the ZWO file for the session here and drag it into your Zwift files on your computer. Any .zwo files you move to your Documents\Zwift\Workouts\Your Numeric Zwift Id Folder will be added to your custom workouts menu the next time you launch Zwift. Find out more about importing sessions to Zwift here.


Pic of Matt Mannakee on Greenhow Hill

Tom Translates it to Struggle's Greenhow Hill

Coming in at 3.5km long, Greenhow Hill is the longest climb in the Struggle Dales. Tom says: “The red portions of its VeloViewer profile illustrate its vicious gradients, with multiple ramps of 20%+.”

“In between these gradients, particularly around the 1km and 2km marks, the gradient eases but not by much. The gradient remains above 7% meaning you have to stay on the power to avoid grinding to a halt.

This session replicates that demand; by surging above FTP for a relatively short period before settling back into a more sustainable pace.”

Incorporate it into your training?

“This session can be incorporated into your training twice a week. It’s a hard session, but not too hard that it will wipe you out and leave you unable to ride for days afterwards,” says Tom. 

“Avoid completing this session more than twice a week, as stacking them will lead to fatigue and eventually you will be unable to recover and adapt from the training stimuli you’re placing yourself under.

"You only get faster when you recover appropriately after hard sessions. You can then get stuck in and get prepared for those gruelling Yorkshire climbs!”


Sportive training plan

More Sessions From Coach Tom

Tom is now offering 12-Week Coached Training Plans, providing structured and progressive training sessions combined with steady rides. Tom provides weekly feedback and tailors your training to your lifestyle, your current fitness and your goals for 2021.

Find out more about Tom’s 12-Week Coached Training Plans or Book a Consultation Call with Tom to discuss your training today >>

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