Saturday, 19 February 2011

Broken Bones

Sorry about the lack of updates but there’s not been much to write about recently… that is apart from me breaking a finger. It all happened one Tuesday morning out on the mountain bike on a familiar trail I’ve ridden hundreds of times. A small slip of the front wheel under heavy braking into a corner sent me flying, I did the correct thing and rolled as you’re meant to do but I also put my hand out to break my fall.

After a lengthy wait in one of our countries marvellous NHS hospitals I was bandaged up and then drove home with a diagnosed broken finger and an appointment for surgery! Surely a finger can heal itself!? Apparently not and there was a chance I’d be fitted with another horribly painful wire like I had 2 years ago when I broke a bone in my left hand.

A few days later I was privileged enough to explore multiple waiting rooms in another NHS hospital. Having waited all day I was then invited back the next day to wait in another waiting room for my operation. Eventually, as all hopes of ever making it onto the operating table had pretty much disappeared, I was called through to get prepped for the reconstruction of my finger. Once in the operating theatre I was asked some final questions including why my heart rate was so slow!

Having been knocked out by the general anaesthetic for a few hours I awoke and felt pretty groggy - like I’d been out drinking at university. However, I wanted to get home as soon as possible so told the doctors I was feeling fresh and awake. They pretty quickly allowed me to get changed, as I climbed out of the bed I almost fell over like a drunken kid but stabilised myself before anyone noticed, phew!

Since then my right hand ring finger has been healing pretty quickly and there’s been surprisingly little pain from the 2 screws that now hold the bone together. Instead my throat has been incredibly sore, an after effect of having an air tube down my throat during the operation so I could breath.

Despite all of the above training has continued. There were 3 forced days of rest between the accident and the operation but I’m now training about 2 hours a day on the indoor trainer and hope to be fit enough to be racing the next Gorrick Spring Series race on the 6th of March. Hopefully see you there!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Testing Time

This past weekend the TORQ team gathered for its first testing and training weekend of the year. The testing would give a clear indication of who’s been putting in the miles and doing the correct training. The test day was made up of two parts, the first being a lactate test that shows the power output the riders begin to suffer from lactic acid and essentially indicates how effective the riders base training has been over the winter. The second test was a flat out 20 minute effort outdoor up a nearby hill where the riders power output is recorded and the average power is taken to indicate how strong the riders legs and lungs currently are!

Having been to TORQ for testing twice last year it meant we had some data to compare these new results with. My lactate threshold was good and matched my best results from last winter, more impressive though was my anaerobic threshold power from the twenty minute uphill effort. In July last year just after National Champs I smashed the record set up the climb, at this point of the year I’d just peaked for my main goal and had fantastic form. Already this year I’m just five watts below that previous power output despite having done no power training through the winter. Both results are a huge moral boaster and show that all the hard work over the last three months are paying off.

The following two days consisted of some epic training rides over the amazing Shropshire hills. Check out the video below taken by teammate Josh Ibbett showing the weekend’s trails and scenery.

Torq training ride in Shropshire from Josh Ibbett on Vimeo.