Been a while since I posted about cycling – the explanation is that I’ve mostly been in the garage pounding the turbo. To deal with the tedium that is turbo-training, I’ve been listening to a variety of music via Spotify (via an old 1st generation iPad). In no particular order, here’s some recent training music:

<a href="http://open.spotify.com/user/therealgrumpybob/playlist/485gE94VLOQOzQjNoikFXd">Mindflayer – It's Always 1999</a>
Loud, fast, noisy – just what’s needed. You can’t listen to gentle ambient when you’re trashing the turbo!

On the other hand, a bout of mid-70s nostalgia led me to It’s Alive, a double live album by the Ramones. I mean, what can you say beyond One Two Three Four!

<a href="http://open.spotify.com/user/therealgrumpybob/playlist/0QOcI6uh2MGfLGMSoNnCOj">Ramones – It's Alive</a>

Sadly, It’s Alive seems to be unreasonably expensive as a download, presumably because many sites price albums on the basis of the number of track. And when most songs are about 2 minutes long, there are a lot of them!

And an Oblivians album:

<a href="http://open.spotify.com/user/therealgrumpybob/playlist/1CUW12T4ZrHiPgzkSfyPRF">Oblivians – Desperation</a>

Related to Mindflayer, and in a very similar vein is Lightning Bolt:

<a href="http://open.spotify.com/user/therealgrumpybob/playlist/0SgYXK8DOjlmEg8HDsL04F">Lightning Bolt – Hypermagic Mountain</a>

On the other hand, recovery sessions on the turbo don’t demand such an aural assault, and the latest album from Wooden Shjips fits the bill.

<a href="http://open.spotify.com/user/therealgrumpybob/playlist/5VFkfFCmYHIB3IPXxT9DvD">Wooden Shjips – Back to Land</a>

This is billed as “psychedelia” – to be honest it sounds to me at times like Suicide but played with guitars.

As ever, you can view my listening habits over at last.fm.

And how is the training actually going? I’ve returned to the training programme that has served me well in the past, the Black Book (a.k.a. The Annual Manual) by Pete Read. This training manual seems to have achieved mythical status and appears to be hard to come by. Essentially, it describes a month by month progressive turbo training programme, based on heart rate. I guess it pre-dated the advent of affordable power meters. In any event I still prefer to train using heart rate over power, on the grounds that HR better reflects my physiology and the effort I’m putting in. I use the power meter data to better understand how a particular turbo session went and to estimate my fitness level as I move through a training plan.

I do have a bit of experience with turbo training and, with a bit of work-life balancing, now train on the turbo early in the morning before cycling to work. This gives a good balance of higher intensity work with easier recovery style riding. The big hope for this winter is that I can make it to the 2014 season without a Christmas cold, or a recurrence of my lower back problems – both of which had a dire impact on my racing last year.

The metrics as analysed using Golden Cheetah seem pretty encouraging, and I’m looking forward to the club’s New Year’s Day ’10’, about 6 weeks away. At the moment, I’m optimistic.