How to use Doctor Who and The League of Gentlemen to ride faster this Christmas!

Set up your turbo trainer in front of the Christmas telly and use the festive offerings as sessions for working off that third mince pie and brandy butter…

Christmas Season in Dublin

The Queen’s Speech

20 minutes

Get yourself a slice of motivational pie with a pep talk from HRH as you pump the pedals. The Queen’s speech lasts around 10 minutes, so get yourself started before Her Majesty starts speaking and expect to finish while still mulling over her thoughts for the year. (Sorry, but you probably won’t be getting an invite to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day…) After a short warm up of 3 minutes, moving up through the gears, spin hard and fast for 15 minutes. Change gear every minute, adjusting your cadence between 85 and 100rpm so your heart rate remains the same. Pedal at recovery pace for 2 minutes to finish off.

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Songs of Praise 

30 minutes

Okay, not the tunes you’d typically whack on your MP3 player to help you blast through a turbo session, but the carols should provide some festive cheer. Spend this session working on your technique. Warm up for 5-10 minutes in the small ring/largest rear sprocket and work right up through the gears. Keep this resistance and cycle for 10 minutes one-legged, alternating every minute, and maintaining a cadence of around 90rpm. Then shift to the big ring and, keeping at 90rpm, ride hard with both legs for 10 minutes. Singing along to Hark the Herald Angels Sing is optional…

The League of Gentlemen Anniversary Specials

40 minutes

Turbo sessions can take you to dark places and fewer are darker than Royston Vasey! Warm up for 10 minutes – imagining yourself approaching the town on the local roads, for local people – steadily building resistance, then go hard for 7 minutes at 90% maximum effort, followed by 2 minutes at recovery pace. Repeat for 5 minutes, followed by 2 minutes at rest pace, 3 minutes hard, then 2 minutes rest. Finish by going hard for 2 minutes at as close to 100% effort as you can, before doing the final 7 minutes as a gradual warm down, reducing resistance as you pedal. Recovery with Hilary Briss’s ‘special stuff’ is not a Cycling Plus recommended recovery food…

Doctor Who

60 minutes

Channel your inner Time Lord and make an hour’s worth of pedal power feel more like three, in an all-out effort to earn your second helping of chocolate log. Warm up for 10 minutes, starting in the small chainring and largest rear sprocket, and every 2 minutes move up a gear. Then switch to the big ring, drop to the smallest sprocket and sprint flat-out for 1 minute seated. Then spin for 3 minutes in an easy gear for recovery, before repeating the 10-minute warm up/1-minute sprint. Five reps and you’ll feel like your legs have been blown off by a Dalek. Like Peter Capaldi at the end of this episode you’ll likely feel, ahem, regenerated…

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Image: (Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)