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Cold sweats – and nothing to do with nightmares…

| Blog, Cycling Plus | 13/11/2013 13:00pm

The temperature in the Wattbike/Cycling Plus pain cave has plummeted in the last few days but the sweat keeps on coming as Mark Robinson found out…

I got in my car this morning just after 7am and the temperature gauge immediately started flashing. It only does that when the outdoor air is less than three degrees celsius and a quick glance confirmed that it was working properly and showing just two degrees above zero. After a pretty mild October and early November it felt like winter had finally arrived.


MR Wattbike


After a short drive I was ensconced in the car park underneath our offices, which is now moonlighting as our Wattbike pain cave. There’s a pair of the latest Wattbikes facing each other in the dimly lit and damp feeling surroundings. One for me and one for the editor of our sister magazine Triathlon Plus, who like me is undertaking a Wattbike challenge over the winter months to get in shape for the new season. But it was so early that I was on my own, which, I admit, is just the way I like it for this type of thing.


I’m roughly five weeks into it (you can follow my progress in Cycling Plus) and I’m only just starting to feel the benefits of the tailored training program given to me by Wattbike’s chief sports scientist Eddie Fletcher. Up to now, after a few months of inactivity because of injury and a huge workload, it has been a struggle keeping to his recommended 200-watt average. I’ve spent the first few weeks perfecting my pedal stoke, which he told me would make things easier, and after a couple of weeks of wondering if any progress might finally become obvious, I can say that it finally is. It’s not hurting quite as much as it was.


As a result, this week my training is stepping up a notch and this morning was the first of a planned three consecutive daily sessions. Up to now I’ve been sticking to two sessions a week mixed in with separate visits to the gym, but now I am getting generally stronger the idea is to phase out the gym sessions and give more of my attention to the Wattbike. I’m approaching the time now when my training plan needs to start moving forward onto the tougher sessions that Eddie has provided me. Myself and my colleague Liz are scheduled to go and visit Eddie again in his lab after Christmas so he can monitor our progress and I want to ensure all the effort is worthwhile with some great feedback from him.


I’ve always been a person who likes to take exercise and training first thing in the morning. We all know what works for us and what doesn’t, and over the years it’s become clear to me that if I don’t get out of bed early and put the work in before clocking in at the office, the chances are that I won’t at all. So it’s that kind of routine for me, even if it means leaving a warm house while most people are asleep and punishing myself. But that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Self sacrifice…


For more information about Wattbike, visit their website by clicking here


Follow Mark’s progress online here every fortnight and in Cycling Plus magazine – which you can subscribe to here


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