Thursday, November 22

Spinning class: ski-ing in Tignes

Eh? Ski-ing in a Spinning class? Nope, just another from this year's Tour, with the finishing line at the glacial ski resort of Tignes. Another jagged-tooth profile, this one, which will test the legs in the final climb.

After the usual warm-up, it's a short climb to find those climbing legs, before a nice easy descent to the bottom of the big climb of the ride. The climb isn't so steep at the beginning, so the first 4 mins are at moderate resistance but reasonably high tempo, both in and out of the saddle. This will get the heart rate fairly high. Then, as the gradient gets bigger, resistance gets heavier until we need to stand to continue climbing until the summit, where a leisurely descent awaits us. After that, there's a shorter climb but don't let that fool you - the switchbacks (short bursts at high resistance) will take a lot out of your legs; so much so that, after another recovery, the final climb will feel the hardest, despite it being a fairly steady one with gradual increases in resistance. If there is anything left for your legs to give in the final 2 mins, it's time to turn up that resistance even higher and push with all your strength to the finish line. Looks easy but it won't feel like it after those switchbacks!

Warm up - 4 mins
Seated climb - 3 mins
Recovery - 2 mins
Fast climb - 4 mins
Heavy climb - 8 mins
Recovery - 2 mins
Climb with switchbacks - 6 mins
Recovery - 2 mins
Heavy climb - 8 mins
Cool down - 6 mins


Tatouage bleu - Ben Onono
Fuego - Bond
Harlem's nocturne - Alicia Keys
I predict a riot - Keiser Chiefs
Subminimal - Sonic Cube
So com voce - Thievery Corporation
Put 'em high - Stonebridge
Barber's adagio for strings - William Orbit
Insomnia - Faithless
Easter song - A man called Adam

Sunday, November 11

Spinning class: The High Road to Briancon

I can't believe it's been two weeks since I last posted - just shows you how much effort it takes to keep partying for a week! If it wasn't Halloween, it was a birthday or a fireworks party, a bonfire.... or just any old excuse. I've been recovering this weekend - not a glass of vino in sight! Right, let's get to this week's ride - another stage from this year's Tour de France, this time from Val d-Isere to Briancon and crossing the mythical Col du Galibier.

After the usual warm-up, it's straight into a climb - starting comfortable but getting increasingly harder with a resistance change every minute. Then the staggered descent with stretches of flat road that require some effort while keeping a high cadence. Once we get to the bottom, it's straight into another climb, making it increasingly hard and finishing with two minutes out of the saddle to get to the top. After a brief descent, the road heads upwards again, getting tougher and tougher, finishing with another two minutes out of the saddle at the hardest part towards the top. Although the final stretch to Briancon is downhill, we want to keep effort levels high to cross the finish line as quickly as possible so there are three sections of all-out effort, keeping cadence high. Simple, maybe, but not as easy as it looks!

Warm up - 4.5 mins
Seated climb - 6 mins
Flat road - 7.5 mins
Climb - 6 mins
Recovery - 2 mins
Steady climb - 8 mins
Flat road - 5 mins
Cool down - 6 mins


Lebanese Blonde - Thievery Corporation
Changes - Alexander Kowalski
Clubbed to death - Rob D
Rays of the rising sun - Mozaic
Adagio for strings - William Orbit
Razorfish - Tranquility Base
Skylight - Overseer
Easter Song - A Man Called Adam