Tip: Use a cycling DVD with a clear workout purpose
Sometimes I just don’t want to head out into the Chinese traffic and train, so I often find myself training on rollers at least 2-3 times a week. Usually no more than 60 minutes at a time. There is an old saying that 60 mins on the rollers is worth at least 90 mins of riding on the road. However, those outdoor rides are still very important to do.
I had the opportunity to try out one of the Sufferfest videos – The Revolver: which is an extremely intense workout and should not be attempted by the weak-minded! You need determination to finish all 16 intervals contained within the video. If you doubt your condition, you might want to ask your doctor before completing this workout.
I did my workout on my Cycleop Aluminium Rollers – which is probably not ideal for high power output, but it served to get my cadence very high and my heart rate hitting 170 + by the end of each 1min interval. They are great for working on efficient spinning technique and balance. If you want to get the highest power you are capable of, then it is recommended to either get a resistance adapter for the rollers or use a trainer/stationary bicycle.
The Revolver DVD contains officially licensed UCI track racing (Track World Cup in Manchester), cyclocross (World Cup in Hoogerheide and Koksijde) and road racing (Road World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland). This makes it an exciting workout and you feel the extra urge to sprint with the World Champions!
Before the Sufferfest or ultimate torture begins, you are warming up for six or seven minutes, beginning with the group ride through the Portala Valley in the US. You up the tempo when it hits the 250m velodrome and the last couple of laps complete your first interval. The crack of the gun spurs you into action!
The only respite is the one minute recoveries that show mountain downhill footage and then you are straight back into the suffering with the other World Class riders! This has to be one of the better DVD’s for an indoor cycling workout, it has very clear instructions on what to do and has prompts on screen and countdown so that you know exactly what you are doing. The alt-rock/electronic music also motivates you to perform to your best.
If you are doing the intervals to the best of your ability, then you will notice them getting progressively harder the more you do. Your breathing will also become ragged and uncontrollable, and those short recoveries is just enough to get it the lactic acid out of your legs and resume control of your breathing!
For those riders who incorporate power into their training, you will see that your ability to sustain the wattage in the latter stages of your workout increasingly difficult. It is common to see a decline in the power while your heart rate continues to shoot through the roof. If you don’t feel completely shattered at the end, please do another five to ten intervals! I give this DVD my recommendation.
Visit http://www.thesufferfest.com/ for more information on how to download their videos.
I like to use Training Peaks for keeping track of my workouts and uploading the power files. If you have got an online training diary, I would recommend checking out what Training Peaks have to offer. It is free for the basic level but if you want to upload your data, you need to pay a small monthly subscription fee. There is a free full-version trial that you can try out before deciding if you like it or not.