Blog Post by Emma
Grant and I don’t race our bikes, but we simply love riding and to get the most out of our year, especially our summer trip to the mountains of Europe, we use TORQ Fitness for our training. So I thought I’d write a little about this, to dispel any myths that training plans or coaching are only for those who compete.
You may be familiar with the brand from their superb range of energy and recovery products. However, TORQ first started out in 1999, set up by Director Matt Hart as a fitness and coaching consultancy, with the nutritional products coming a little later in 2002.
We started going to TORQ in 2007, after a friend recommended it. We had enjoyed three summer trips to the French Alps and the Dolomites in previous years, and we decided to explore how we might benefit from more structured training. At that time, TORQ were based in the village of Westbury, near Shrewsbury, so only about an hour and a half away from us. However, they have since relocated to the picturesque location of Bryn Mawr in Powys.
Back in 2007 we attended a full day’s education, which also included the fitness testing. The education covered various aspects of training: energy systems, aerobic and anaerobic training, nutrition etc. It was also a time to discuss our aims/goals, what we hoped to achieve and what our training capacity was. I must add that a very fine lunch was also included and the chance to sample TORQ’s products. All of this was to form the basis of our first 6 months training plan.
Since that first visit, we’ve returned every Autumn, to carry out a test, in preparation for the following year’s training plan. We generally run our plan from January to June, our main objective being three weeks cycling in the mountains. So let me tell you more about our fitness testing experience.
It’s a good idea to have a substantial breakfast, as you need to leave a gap of 3 hours between eating, and taking the first part of the test. This is the lactate threshold test, which is carried out indoors using a power meter on your own bike or on a Watt Bike. A resting heart rate and lactate reading are taken first. Then you are asked to start pedalling at a low wattage, which you increase at gradual intervals, whilst your TORQ coach measures your heart rate and takes blood lactate readings. Don’t worry, this is painless! A quick needle click in your ear lobe is all it takes. Throughout this process you will be asked to confirm your perceived level of exertion. From this you will ultimately learn what your lactate threshold is, and what your endurance training zones will be (using power and / or heart rate). Continue reading “TORQ Fitness: Performance Coaching and Fitness Testing”