Saturday, 28 February 2009

Torture at Torq

I'm new to physiological testing and now I know hurts! I visited Matt Hart at Torq to find out what my lactate and anaerobic thresholds are. I need this information so that I can start training effectively; something I have not done up until now. From now on my training is going to be completely different!

The session started off on the turbo indoors. I started off riding really easy at 50watts and then I had to increase the power by 25watts every 5 minutes while Matt measured the lactate levels in my blood. Once there was an increase in my lactate the session was stopped and resumed later outside.

The outdoor session comprised of riding up a 7 mile road climb. The only instructions I had were to ride as fast as I could and as though my life depended on it! I had a Powertap in the back wheel of my bike which measured watts and heart rate. Dave and Matt followed behind in the car and Dave shouted what he described as 'words of encouragement' - however I wouldn't exactly consider "come on fatso" encouraging......I can't wait until it's his turn. The hill took about 30minutes and I was glad to see the top! I now know what all of my training zones are and all of my rides will be based on them. I will repeat the testing in a few months time to see how I've progressed.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Round 1 on the rollers!

Well, Dave said that I have the balance of a giraffe with three legs but guess who has mastered the art of the rollers first?! Apparently rollers are great for learning how to pedal efficiently...something that I definately need to practice. Last year I was told to stop pushing heavy gears and spin more but having used flat pedals for so long I had bad habits.

Initially I didn't believe that any one could use just seemed impossible. I started off holding the doorway and gradually progressed to one hand on the bars and then two. Dave didn't quite progress as quickly as me...and after riding right off them a few times (leaving rubber marks on the carpet) he suddenly decided that washing the dishes was more important. One nil to me ;0)

Friday, 20 February 2009

Holy Schmolke!

My new bikes are being built and I can't wait to get my hands on them! I'm like a child waiting for Christmas at the moment! They are going to be pretty special, and I know I say that about all of my bikes but this time they really are! In fact, there might not be any room in the bed for Dave anymore once they arrive :0) My non-riding friends will probably be totally unimpressed when I tell them that Stefan Schmolke is making the handlebars and seat posts but I know that other riders will share my enthusiasm!

See the Schmolke website for more info:

Friday, 13 February 2009

Bikes, bikes, bikes.....!

Over the last few months I have been riding my Rotwild R.R2 FS which is hard to miss in the Team Topeak Ergon's a fun bike to ride and it's taken everything that I have thrown at it in it's stride, including the trials in the Peak District, Afan, Cwm Carn, Blanford UK bike park (introduced to me by Stuart Bowers), and some great riding north of Cardiff (kindly shown to us by Mel Alexander, Mark Sprat, and Kate and Des Betts).

Riding my local trials in the Purbecks, Dorset on Christmas day with my friend Lottie who has recently added mountain biking to her sporting agenda!

In 2009 I will be racing a new Rotwild R.R2 FS which will be the same as my current bike but with some nice custom components including the Magura Marta SL brakes......I can't wait!

Friday, 6 February 2009

Back in action!

2008 didn't end the way I expected! I became anaemic and I had to stop racing and training in July :-(

I want to make 2009 a good one, so I am now being coached by Matt Hart at Torq. I don't intend to repeat old mistakes or make new ones! I am slowly starting to get stronger and my training is progressing. Structured training is totally new to me and it has been a real eye-opener! I am not sure yet whether me and my new turbo trainer will get on but I have learned that it is an essential piece of training kit so I am willing to give it a go! Training in zones is also a new is certainly interesting keeping my brakes on while descending in order to keep my heart rate's keeping Dave busy too changing brake pads ;-)