Back at it

A rejuvenated Sutherland looks to next season

I am back at it.

How did I forget how much it hurt? I was begging not to ride my bike in September, but now I need a ride to help me get through the day! Yes, the off season must be picking up steam. We are at the transition point right now. This is a wonderful, stress-free time of year.

The old season is behind us and proper rest has been had. My training is ramping up, and it seems new and I am full of motivation. 2010 is just around the corner! January will be here soon and suddenly it is "The Season!" Scary thought!

It is time to get really serious about training. So, what have I actually been doing? A lot!

I have been spending time on a variety of bikes - road bike, mountain bike, time trial bike. I have also been hitting the gym and doing a bit of swimming. Last week, I was in the lab for VO2 max testing (ugh). There have been many visits to the chiropractor as well.

I have also been attempting to have some type of a life outside of cycling! At this point I'm starting to miss the ease of the racing season where all I have to do is race and recover.

As much as I really enjoy the off season, I absolutely hate lab testing. If you do like it, there must be something wrong with you! Pain, pain, pain. Lactate. More pain. The test helps you measure where you are physically and the level of your 'possible' ability. It begins with easy roll on a laboratory bike and ends at your most painful and lactate-filled level. You are essentially riding until you cannot ride any longer. Blood is taken from your ear every five minutes (to test lactate) and you wear a big mask in order to measure how much oxygen you use.

The test can be pretty horrendous. However, it is a pretty important part of the off season. It is a really great check of where you are at and, more importantly, how you need to train. I hadn't done a test for a few years, so it was high time to man up a little and get it done.

Last week I experienced the first training crash I have had in many, many years. Yep, it has been a long long time since I've done this! I found myself sprawled out in the middle of the road, the victim of a bad patch of ice. I think I was on the ground for all of five seconds. As soon as I realized I was down, I was back up and on the bike in hopes that nobody observed the crash. I made it home and I am alive and well!

November and December are my favorite months. I am training more and planning for the 2010 season. I won't lie, I love riding my bike and I love that I'm privileged to be able to do it as a job.

Till next time.
(Hopefully with no more skin off!)
Rory Sutherland

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I hadn't done a test for a few years, so it was high time to man up a little and get it done. - Rory Sutherland

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