The Hurt Locker
And thus it begins. As I begin my research proposal, the training has begun in Athlete’s Lab website here, an indoor bike studio with realtime analysis on my training output. I know what you are thinking, so to get ready for one of the world’s toughest endurance tests you have just done some spin classes. Well you are wrong. The gym is kitted out with the latest in adjustable training bike – you know the ones you see the ones that the riders on the Tour de France use – which optimizes training in the quadriceps & hip flexors, and also allows you to get used to the feel of changing gears at the right moment on your climbs. Absolutely perfect for those hard early morning workouts, when getting out of bed is hard enough, let alone waiting at traffic lights & dodging delivery lorries.
From my experience in competing in the Transcontinental Bike Race (London – Istanbul, non-stop & unsupported 3500km single stage race – race report ) hours on a spin bike staring at yourself in the mirror won’t allow you to compete at the top level (I was on course to finish that race in 13 days of cycling, the winner did it in less than 8 days) so over the next few weeks I will detail my experiences of training with the best cyclists in SE Asia – the trainer next to me last week had just come 3rd in the big stage race the Tour of Bintan and cycled 24,000km around Australia at 20! The whole setup of the lab is a no escape theatre of pain and progression, with groups of cyclists effectively racing each other of a host of programs designed to give the perfect workout for balanced progression of my power output and increased endurance. Basically it is the only way to beast it up Alp d’ Huez at 7am in the morning with some of the best cyclists around before you are shallowed up into office life for the rest of the day. For my Deca Ironman next June I have never been so confident that this is the right place to get prepared.
The Lab’s indoor classes include;
– Lactate Threshold
Lactate threshold is the glass ceiling of cycling performance-it’s an invisible barrier that keeps you down. When you do crack through, the rewards are sweet.
Lactate, your body’s buffering agent, neutralizes the acid that builds up in your legs and makes them burn during heavy exertion. The harder you turn the cranks, the faster acid accumulates. Eventually, your muscles generate more acid than you can neutralize and your searing muscles force you to ease up. The point at which you begin to accumulate acid more quickly than you can dissipate it is your LT, or, in riding terms, the fastest pace you can maintain for 30 minutes without feeling like your legs are on fire.
– Super Sprint Interval
Short sharp intervals designed to improve cardio-respiratory fitness and recovery. In a race have quick cardio-respiratory recovery is essential, if you can recover from an attack quicker than everyone else, you can launch the next attack whilst everyone else is still trying to recover.
– Fight Club
These intervals are designed to take you well into your anaerobic zones (dark side) and to improve your cardio-muscular-respiratory fitness.
Attack, Attack and Attack is the main word!
– Hill Intervals
– Mountain Madness
– Dedicated Race Days
Bragging rights on the line, testing myself against the best!
Stay tuned for tales of being trialled by fire!