Training for threshold isn’t as scary as it sounds. I promise. It involves some big efforts, but the good news is that it’s also really time effective, so with some concentrated sessions you’ll quickly notice big gains. And if you combine it with some Tempo workouts, which we’ve already covered, you’ll be crushing those climbs in no time.
It’s funny how quickly you get used to the good life. Actually, no. It’s not. It’s not funny at all. There’s nothing fun about washing your bike. You can’t laugh at a laundry bin full of dirty kit. And there’s nothing amusing about standing on the side of the road with your arm raised, signalling a puncture to a non-existent mechanic. Even ordering in a restaurant can be a pain in the derrière, once you’ve become accustomed to having all those world-class chefs you met over in Europe just set out a menu for you.
In case you missed it, we’re on a mission here at inGamba HQ. The lovable Jim Merithew suffered some health woes this spring and now needs to be whipped back into shape. At the same time, I’m queued up to share some of my experience as a World Tour professional to help Jim and you all become better, fitter, more focused cyclists. You can catch up on our earlier instalments here and here, or dive right in with one of the most important training tools out there.
The scene is the inGamba office in Sausalito on a balmy summer’s morning. The protagonists: Ted King, the recently retired World Tour rider, and his portly apprentice, aka Jim Merithew, our Creative Director and resident funny man. Jim has decided he wants to get fit … and Ted has decided he needs a challenge. So he’s going to use his lifetime’s experience as an elite athlete to counteract Jim’s lifetime experience as a prolific consumer of ice-cream and pastries.
“Hey Jim, you want one of these cookies?” says Ted King. “One is chocolate chip and the other is one of those fruit, nut, and chocolate things.”
What Ted doesn’t know this morning, as he tries to ply me with his cookie bounty, is sometime in the next hour he will go from being Ted King, my famous former cycling pro deskmate, gravel-grinding superstar, product tester, and all around good guy, to “Coach Ted” — explaining what I need to know about my diet, questioning my level of commitment, and describing VO2 max.
I’m about to ask him to be my coach because … I need help.
We’ve all had those moments, mid-ride, when we annoyed at our bike or our kit not working quite right and think: “there has to be a better way.” Most of us never get past the complaining phase of that thought process, but Stan Day isn’t like most people. Frustrated at having to reach for downtube shifters, he did something about it and with a group of friends and family, he set about revolutionizing the bicycle industry. The Grip Shift was born in 1987 and 29 years later, SRAM is still at the cutting edge of cycling technology.
We’re lucky to have worked with some great photographers over the years, so we thought it was time to shine the spotlight on some of them and ask them to select and explain some of their favourite images. First up is Paolo Ciaberta, native of Turin and a firm friend of inGamba. You probably know his work from magazines such as Rouleur, Peloton and ProCycling, but just in case we’ve asked a pal to introduce him. We hope you enjoy!