Forcing the athlete out of me at Athlete Lab…

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!

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Majorca Training Camp 2013

Hi guys and girls!

A short, mostly picture based post about my time in majorca.

I left the UK on the 14th of January, just as the snow hit, with the intention of staying for ‘only’ three weeks but due to some unforeseen circumstances I was then left free to stay for a further two on top of that! A blessing it seems. As my fitness and riding has improved no end. Probably down to riding in the mountains and living like a monk for 5 weeks…

I know some of you guys like the stats so – In Five weeks –

Distance – 2112 Miles.
Time – 127 Hours. Not like the film. Though there were some close cliff calls.
Calories – 87337 Calories burnt.
178965ft Climbed.
57mph – Max Speed.
1 Ultegra Di2 rear mech broken. 1 Rear dropout snapped. 1 chain destroyed. 2 sets of brake pads worn. 2 tyres worn.
1 midnight robbery.
674 cakes consumed (estimated)

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And just to name drop, I bumped into Sir Bradley Wiggins on Formentor and he was kind enough to let me ride with him, top bloke. We also rode with Omega Pharma-Quickstep Team. It was good to see Kristof Vandewalle who I met last year at the Trois Etapes. He recently won the GC and prologue in the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen last week! Props!

I’m looking forward to racing in 2013!

#JakeAway