Tunes for the Trainer: An Ironman 70.3 trainer workout

Tunes for the Trainer: An Ironman 70.3 trainer workout

By Profesional Triathlete Emma-Kate Lidbury

It's coming to that time of year when athletes living in cooler climates tend to become very well acquainted with their indoor trainers — and even those of us lucky enough to live in the sunshine hit the trainer more often for off season strength workouts. Of course, riding the trainer isn't always the most interesting way to spend time on two wheels, so I'm here to help liven things up a little*. I used to regularly hit my trainer boredom threshold when I lived in the UK and spent long winters almost always riding the trainer. Fear not, though — with the right workout and the right tunes, you'll be fit, fresh and fast before you can even say "Is it spring yet?"

* Disclaimer: my taste in music is best described as "eclectic", so bear with me here...

I use the CycleOps Powerbeam Pro Trainer and always use a trainer mat, climbing block and sweat guard plus plenty of towels to protect my Felt IA tri bike. Don't forget plenty of water/electrolyte, any fuel you might want plus a fan to ensure your trainer area stays well ventilated.

Emma-Kate Lidbury Indoor Trainer



30 minutes build, progressing from active recovery watts to aerobic endurance watts (e.g. 50% through to 70% effort). Keep cadence high ~90rpm

A good mix to get the body and mind revved up and ready to go.

The Lumineers - Ho Hey
Razorlight - In The Morning
Pink - Just Give Me A Reason
One Republic - I Lived
Newton Faulkner - Dream Catch Me
Razorlight - America
Pulp - Disco 2000
Maroon 5 - Payphone

Prep set:

2 x 12 minutes, build effort/intensity by 4 minutes to STRONG in the last 4 minutes. 3-5 minutes easy between efforts.

These should help you raise the intensity!

Queens of the Stone Age - First It Giveth
Skunk Anansie - Twisted (Everyday Hurts)
Midnight Oil - Beds Are Burning

<<CHILL, 3-5 mins>>

Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera - Moves Like Jagger
Martin Solveig - Hello

Main set:

4 x 8 minutes at or close to the effort/watts of the last 4 minutes of the prep set intervals. TOUGH! Hold it, do it! 3-5 mins easy between efforts.

They'll help you push through these tough intervals.
Girl Talk - Every Day
M People - Proud


Eminem - Lose Yourself
Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling


Lily Allen - F**k You
Katy Perry - Roar


Stereophonics - Dakota
Underworld - Born Slippy


Cool down:

5-8 minutes easy spin, bring the heart rate down and flush the legs with high cadence spinning ~95rpm

Time to cool off and enjoy the post-workout endorphins.

Morcheeba - The Sea
Moby - Find My Baby
Elton John - I'm Still Standing

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About Emma-Kate
Emma-Kate is a professional triathlete who races on the Ironman 70.3 triathlon circuit. With two top 10 finishes at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships to her name — as well as six Ironman 70.3 titles mdash; she is widely regarded as an exciting talent in the elite endurance world. A former journalist, she only discovered triathlon when asked to write a feature on the sport in 2005. She has a first class honors degree in English and Sports Science from Loughborough University, Britain's premier sports university, and a postgraduate degree in newspaper journalism. 

She moved from her native UK to Southern California in early 2013, where she still lives, trains and loves the sunshine. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @eklidbury and check out her website at