In recent years, London has welcomed a new generation of high-performance indoor cycling studios.
The sophisticated, data rich environments coupled with programmes tailored towards maximising power output, mean that indoor cycling classes can add a new dimension to the triathlete’s training plan. Group cycling sessions in a studio setting, can be the perfect solution for aspiring triathletes who are pushed for time, daunted by the elements or in need of some motivation.
Cycle Rhythm, Loughton
This has attracted a following of keen athletes and cyclists. Offering the most advanced indoor bikes on the market, as well as a powerful performance tracking and monitoring system, this studio has a unique appeal to those with a competitive streak. Real-time stats including power, calories and RPM are displayed on screen at the front of the class. The leaderboard ranks each rider based on total energy output and allows members to compete with others to improve their ranking and ultimately their race performance. An app is available to capture and analyse the data from each session.
Cycle beat, City of London
Performance metrics are also a key part of the experience at this boutique studio, which opened two years ago. After each class, a summary of each rider’s workout is emailed and saved to their account. Seeing the results of each cycling session has proven to be effective in motivating their members, allowing them to set targets and become more precise in their training. Cyclebeat has also recently set up its own triathlon club, which was born out of a need to add a more social element to those who are triathlon training at the studio. Cyclebeat Tri aims to create a fun, like-minded community with a motivational environment to support those preparing for triathlon events.
Athlete Lab, Cannon Street
Offering a unique spin on the studio cycling concept, this one is equipped with real bikes (known as Adjustabikes). With gears and groupsets these bikes allow the rider to accurately simulate an outdoor training session. Adjustabikes ensure that riders train the specific muscle groups required on a road bike to optimise performance and minimise injury. Classes at Athlete Lab are designed to work you at different levels of intensity based on a percentage of heart rate, power, interval duration and perceived exertion. Their ‘Ironmania’ class focuses on longer, sustainable efforts at a tempo pace. Whether you need help keeping up with the bunch at the weekend or you are aiming to secure that Kona slot, the experienced team at Athlete Lab provide quality coaching and advice.
Pedal Studio, Putney
The team here have partnered with Pro-Vo2 Coaching to offer a comprehensive package tailored towards triathletes. Their Spinning® sessions are open to all fitness abilities and designed to help improve strength, endurance and speed. Suunto heart rate monitors are provided to each rider so they can target their own intensity zones throughout the class. The tri-specific sessions at Pedal Studio work on short, sharp sprint efforts out of the saddle with some high cadence threshold blasts. These are followed with a coached group run to help prepare the athlete for the transition from riding to running.
Unlike a solo turbo trainer session, classes at these boutique studios have the added bonus of group motivation and support. Fuelled by an uplifting soundtrack, enthusiastic instructors and the energy of a group ride, there is nothing routine or mundane about these workouts. Just be sure to not neglect miles on out the road, to maintain bike handling skills and technique.
Report written by Lucy Edwards (@paddlepedalpace) from Havering Triathlon Club and part of the London Region social media team, you can follow her blog at www.paddlepedalpace.co.uk
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