Your Time is Precious - #3

You may have read – and hopefully enjoyed – the first episode of ‘’your time is precious – train smart’’. As previously mentioned, I am not a cycling coach and will never be, but I love to train. I am a hard worker from the Pyrenees and always try to be as efficient as possible. I won’t replicate your training or follow any training plans of some idiot self-proclaimed guru of endurance sport, who probably never sat his backside down on a saddle in his life! Do it first, then tell me how… has always been my moto.

FULL DISCLOSURE: the following training session has been developed around MY sports and body capabilities. I check my physical condition on a very regular basis with professional medical staff. This training suits me and might not suit you.

I train short, I train efficient, and at the end of the day I go faster, and I go for longer.

It’s barely above zero celsius outside. I first of all forgot to pack neoprene overshoes and I’m not interested in losing any toes. Riding outside isn’t high on my “must dos”. I’ve done two turbo sessions a day for the last two weeks. I really want a different training stimulus…

I’m in luck, I’m in the Pyrenees for two weeks. The outdoors is pretty damn awesome ! and, not just for riding up the Tourmalet. So rather than give you the expected “train smart pain-cave session”! I’ll keep that for next month – here’s what I do every few weeks in the winter season.

Grab your shoes and anything you need to stay warm in your local conditions. Fill a backpack with a dry layer or two, food and hydration, a camera if you feel like it, and hit the trail!

Cross-training in the Pyrenees

You don’t even have to run to get training benefit from the mountains. Head uphill at non-granny pace for more than 5’ ! That heartrate is going to kick up as steep as the mountain. I love the burning feeling in my lungs, the fresh air, knowing there’s nothing between me and the sky but rock and water and snow.

I admit I timed things a little late yesterday and barely made it to the Lac d’Oô before the sun went behind the ridge. Feet slipping on icy rocks and giving my core as much of a workout as my lungs. I snapped some photos and turned round before daylight gave out! Jogging back down the trail with my quads on fire.

And there you go! 2 hours’ worth of lung-searing! Jaw-dropping exercise, which didn’t really feel like training but was as efficient as two turbo sets and a swim.

Try it! And if you ran downhill at all, take a minute to appreciate the pain of walking downstairs the next day!

Photo credits : Emma Bilham
I am wearing an ODLO smelling kit