Winter training 2011 style

This has ben an odd winter. Normally we don’t see snow here until the new year. This year it arrived mid-November. On top of that I broke my collarbone on 13th November, so it’s been anything but normal.

It’s now been ten weeks since the crash, and that’s meant a lot of training indoors (I only missed about ten days after the crash). As anyone who trains for cycling knows, indoor training on the turbo is a form of purgatory. A necessary evil, we do it but loath it. Training sessions are short, sharp, and always painful. At least they are if you want them to be worthwhile.

Doing four or five sessions a week, normally the monotony is broken by getting out on longer rides at the weekend. But I’ve not been allowed or able to. So when I heard about The Sufferfest training videos I was immediately interested. Anything that could make indoor training more enjoyable had to be worth a look.

The videos are made up of race footage, combined with great music, so you’re immediately engaged. Each one is a different style of intervals. Each one is brutal. You couldn’t do them every day, but building a couple in over the course of the week has made my training so much more enjoyable.

My favourite is The Hunted – you’re out front in a small group being chased by the bunch. Can you stay away to the finish? There are attacks going in all over the place, it simulates real racing very well. You automatically find yourself chasing down an attack, or sprinting to get on that wheel. I’m impressed.

So as we head into February, and my return to the road gets ever closer (5th February since you ask), my thoughts start to turn to our training camp in Mallorca in early March. My focus once I get back on the road will be on building up my mileage so that I can cope with the six or seven hour days in the saddle in the Mallorca sun.

Training camp is, for me, the best week of the year. I’ll write about it as we get closer to the date, however I’ll close today with this wonderful piece from pro rider Michael Barry of Team Sky. He captures it beautifully. Enjoy.


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