As an Elite cyclist finding the motivation for hard interval training can be difficult – I’d prefer to be riding on the road somewhere spending hours and hours riding away. But ultimately these long miles will not help me win races. they are miles that will keep you fit but they won’t get you that ‘race ready’ razor sharp top end speed, where you can keep pushing and pushing.
I’ve done a few sessions at the Lab recently in an effort to save a season marred by crashes and bad luck. Trying to find that ‘athlete’ inside me again. I signed myself up to do a HIIT Hurt Box session, short burst sprint intervals coupled with all-out efforts, often with little recovery between intervals. This session improves anaerobic capacity, explosive power and builds a higher cadence. All of these are not easily trained on the road, especially when I’m cracking out 500+ miles a week. An hour or two of these classes have REALLY improved my power numbers. After I’d done my first HIIT session Jack advised me that I’d just done one of, if not the hardest session available…lucky me!
Athlete Lab differs from other cycling studios in Central London in the fact that the bikes are actual bikes. No huge flywheel or crazy shaped handlebars, no person at the front shouting and pumping their fist (though that is an option if asked). For me my set up on my bike is something that has to be perfect and the bikes at the Lab are adjustable to the millimetre. Having Ultegra gears and SPD pedals meant it was very easy to get set up and away for the sessions. It’s also great to be on a real bike on what is more like a turbo with a power meter instead of a spin bike, it gives you real ‘cycling’ experience and trains the right muscles instead of having a flywheel do half the work for you.
So I’m hoping that the Athlete Lab will be my secret (not so secret now) weapon in an end of season campaign to finish on a high with a few wins!