The 10/5s workout is my absolute favorite trainer workout, and some part of me hates it. Read on to learn how you can hate it too!

A blueprint for my favorite and most effective trainer workout!

by John Brown,

The 10/5’s workout is my absolute favorite trainer session, but a part of me hates it. I love it for it’s simplicity and efficiency and hate it for its devilish difficulty. Overall this trainer workout starts easy, gets harder and is over within one hour. It also helps to train your body to recover with limited time and is best done on an indoor trainer. The final outcome, when riding outside, will have you smiling more with all the trainer workouts behind you! Read on to learn how you can hate it too.

What you will need for a trainer workout.

Considering this is a workout session, you will definitely need a trainer. The type of trainer isn’t important, but the workout will be a bit easier to execute if you have a trainer that measures power output (watts). If you don’t have a trainer that measures watts, any bike computer that can read off the rear wheel will work. Finally, you want to be able to time your workout, so a clock or stopwatch is helpful.

-Trainer, clock, Power meter of bike computer.

Setup for your trainer session

The setup for this workout comes down to numbers. If you are doing it with a power meter, having a baseline understanding of your average power output is helpful. when working with a bike computer and tracking distance, just take a look at the chart below for some numbers you can use. If you are using distance for the workout, be sure you are comfortable with resetting the trip distance on your cycling computer.  Finally, pick a number (either power or distance) that is about ½ of your average and write it down. Then, if you are using distance, write down the next 9 ascending distances in 1mph increments. If you plan to use power, add 5 watts to each number in an ascending order. As an example, if you start at 7mph (or 940 meters) you will finish at 17mph (2280 meters). For wattage, if you start at 100 watts, you will finish at 145 watts

Starting the workout

Get on your trainer and soft pedal for 10 minutes to warm up. Once warmed up, you can start the workout. To begin, ride at the first number you wrote down for 5 minutes. Then take one minute off. Be sure not to get off the bike, or stop pedaling. This is a one hour ride that works on training your body to recover. Once your one minute recovery is complete, re-set your trip distance on your bike computer (if you are using distance) and start the second number on your list. You goal is to maintain the wattage number or reach the distance totals (if you are using distance) on your list. If you miss one, don’t stop. I have had times where I missed the 8th or 9th goal and still hit the 10th.

What’s next step

With your 10/5’s workout complete, soft pedal for 10 minutes to cool down. Look at how many of your goals you hit/missed and adjust the workout accordingly. As an example, if you missed ½ the goals, look to start at a lower number or pedal softer between each 5 minute piece. I have noticed that if I don’t pedal soft enough between pieces, I will never put my body into recovery, and not be able to complete the workout. Overall, this workout is not something you do every day (it’s probably too high intensity for that), but can be a fun drill to drop into your rotation a few times a month.

The final outcome, you will be smiling a whole lot more when riding outside with a trainer workout regiment behind you.