TrainerRoad Concentration during workouts

Hello, I’m new to the forum and to using a smart trainer and was wondering if anyone has any good advise about focus and concentration during workout.
I’ve been using TrainerRoad for around 3 weeks now and very much enjoying what it offers. However, during Long Intervals, Tempo or Sweetspot workouts I am tending to loose concentration with a resulting variation in cadence and power output.
Are there any technique that athletes use on trainers to help maintain focus to minimise the variation in cadence and power output and get more out of the workouts.
Thanks in advance, appreciated …

Hi, welcome.

Are you using other entertainment to distract you during the rides? Until you’re used to the harder longer intervals, try and pick a less intrusive kind of entertainment. I tend to only watch stuff for lower intensity rides and then it’s music as the intensity picks up.

If you’re new to using a smart trainer and are using it in erg mode, check out these helpful resources from @mcneese.chad : Erg mode problems.Anyone had this?

Lots of the workouts have workout text that will take you through the intervals, so turn those on if you haven’t already.

And finally, some of it just comes with time. Practice, practice, practice.

Good luck!


Hello, thank you for your considered reply, appreciated.
I have listened to music for the interval sessions so far which has been helpful. I have not tried watching anything so far although I have considered YouTube stuff but my fear was that it may be too distractive … but I will give it a go.
To be honest I’m not sure what ERG Mode is, it’s benefits and how it used, I have seen ERG discussed on the forum too and should look into it.
I have used the txt mode and found it useful especially during warm-up to explain the work-out.
I’m sure that I’ll adapt given time and as you say practice, practice and more practice …
Thanks again …

Break up the long intervals into shorter, goal-oriented chunks. Many of the workouts already have this in the in-ride instructions (cadence drills, quadrant drills, aero position drills). Either follow these instructions, or create your own (e.g., five minutes at x cadence, then five minutes at y cadence). make them shorter or longer as you feel your concentration accommodates.


If you are struggling with keeping cadence/power on target, I would highly recommend that you use Erg on your smart trainer if you are not already. I spent several years riding a wheel-on dumb trainer and it does take time to learn to ride smoothly for long intervals and keep power steady. That said, when you go to a smart trainer and Erg, all you have to do is keep cadence relatively steady and the rest is done for you.
Music is great, and if you are suffering I recommend a POV bike race (like from Norcal Cyclist) on Youtube. I swear it drops my RPE by 20%!

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I use ERG always and as you get comfortable with a cadence, you can very easily and without any thought maintain a cadence. However, one drill you can use is to literally stare at that cadence number and try to keep it on a specific number. It gets easier with practice, but I find it can be a good game to play with yourself.

Otherwise, music for anything sweetspot and above. Youtube or movies for anything below. I also listen to audio books during recovery.

There are also little coping strategies that you can use, like the game I mentioned below. Closing your eyes, looking at a spot on the wall or down below your bike. Literally ways to kind of zone out and stop considering the timer altogether. I also will run Zwift side by side and there are any number of other games you can play with Zwift while in a long interval.

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Great, thank you very much. Seems that ERG mode is the way to go, I’ll give that go.

Thank you for the idea of coping strategies. I have tried that and it does help, however my cadence was dropping as I zoned out. However, I will try ERG mode as that seems to help … thanks.

Thank you. I have started to do that too and as you suggest it does help, certainly on the longer and sustained workouts. Appreciate your time to reply.

If it’s anything that is long intervals in in sweet spot or above

i use a random video (of the right length) from this channel:

and some music to keep me going, keeps me concentrated enough. And i’m usually using erg mode for sweet spot or threshold

If it’s vo2max, ill try my best to be in resistance mode with the same youtube/music setup.
If its endurance or recovery rides, then i can put on a show and just relax…unless i’m on the rollers lol


Which smart trainer?

Perhaps it’s normal and nothing to worry about, can you post a screenshot and f the power graph?

Turn off Erg and focus on a smooth pedal stroke. With just a little practice (week or two) I can generate smoother power in resistance mode than Erg mode. If you really want to work on pedal stroke, get a set of rollers.

Not sure what you mean by “get more out of the workouts.”

Wow, I didn’t know that this existed! I have been putting on old race videos. This looks way better. Thank you for posting this :+1:

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I randomly found it online… the views are spectacular, and some descents give me tiny heart attacks, to the point where im shifting my body with the turns (as he passes cars and motorcycles on some descents)

Thanks for the reply.
I have an Elite Direto trainer.
From my comment ‘Getting more out of the workouts’ I am aware that by not staying with the cadence and target power I’m loosing out on the effectiveness of the workout but maybe in the grand scheme of things there is little loss/impact.

Thank you Philippe, that looks good, I’ll give that a go.

music. loud. loud. loud. music.

when i get off the trainer, my ears are usually ringing. it’s a good distraction from the heavy breathing.