My Secret Training - Erick Rowsell
“In August 2015 I had a bit of a horror crash that stopped me riding the Tour of Britain. The broken arm I sustained required plating and screwing together, so one year on I took the opportunity to have everything removed"
“My operation went well, but for the first couple of weeks I had to be careful; I had 12 screws in the bone which means 12 holes that all need to heal and a big wound with 60-odd stitches"
“That means some enforced rest followed by some rehab but I always like to take at least four weeks totally off at the end of the season. It gives you a good break, time for the body to repair itself and time to do some other things (mostly jobs round the house you put off all season) or a little holiday"
“I got back on the bike in November but didn't do an awful lot to start with. British based teams start the season quite late so we can afford to hold things back more this time of year"
“In terms of my training I don't do any gym work at all, all the training I do is on the bike. I have done it in the past but I find it quite boring and feel I can get the benefits I need from doing strength work on the bike"
“The reason I got into cycling and got to where I am is because I enjoy being out riding my bike and I'd much rather do that even in the British winter than be stuck inside in a gym"
“What I will do though is go hiking, to explore some areas I won’t go - even on a mountain bike. I'll normally get out once a week up until Christmas. It gives you a good work out and it’s something different from just riding everyday. You use your muscles differently and it gives your body a different type of stress that's important to keeping you strong and healthy"
“A typical week in November for me would be three road rides, a mountain bike ride, a day hiking and two days off, increasing time on the bike in the new year. “It’s also very important this time of year I think to make time to go out a bit, see friends, see family and have a bit of fun, things you can’t always do when you’re racing or training hard"
” Tim Lawson’s take – Owner, Secret Training – Madison Genesis nutrition partner Erick’s approach to training is something a lot of amateur racers could learn from – his ability to look at the bigger picture is a huge advantage.
Recognising the first national series events aren’t until April and the Tour of Britain takes place five months later means that reaching January with little intense training recorded is no bad thing.
By taking time in October to ensure his body is fully repaired, Erick minimises the risk of recurring problems interrupting his training mid-season. What Erick is aiming for is a near-uninterrupted eight-month build from January to September.
And while there is a huge amount of temptation to make the most of November and December by training to the maximum, there are plenty of examples of riders who have tried to do this to their detriment. Importantly though Erick is not just ‘resting’, he has found ways that work for him to keep fresh, active and put different stresses on his body in order to keep him strong, healthy and prepared for the hard work ahead. Professional or amateur, we’re all human – so look at when your targets are for the season and build slowly and progressively.