Earlier this week after watching French National Road Champion, Thomas Voeckler, power to an superb win in Paris-Nice I was inspired to do some reading on this individual, who is arguably one of the more interesting riders in the peloton given his tendency to surge off the front of the group and succeed while others would consider it suicide. The most interesting thing I learned about Voeckler was his approach to training is drastically different then many of the other big names in cycling. Unlike others who post similar results to Voeckler's, (ie. winning, races, stages and occasionally wearing the TDF yellow jersey) he completely disregards watts, power meters, heart rate zones and other mainstays of sport science; Voeckler's definition of training is: find out what direction the wind is blowing from and head straight into it.
Thomas Voeckler, French Road National Champion 2010
Inspired by the audacity and nostalgia of the French Champions approach to training I decided to give it a try. So I made my way out to Jamesville and when it came time to decide which of the 3 climbs to take I took the one that went directly into the wind and proceeded to climb up hill into the wind for the next 45 minutes. I can say with complete confidence that it was the of most difficult and adverse conditions I have ever experienced. After coming home and checking out what the windspeed outside was I discovered I was riding uphill into 25-30mph winds the entire time, needless to say I felt pretty enthused after.I don't know if there is something to Mr. Voeckler's training style, I'll have to continue to explore it and see in what ways my fitness improves. Check out the elevation profile from my ride (courtesy of MapMyRide) and I look forward to keeping everyone updated on our training trip to South Carolina this week.
Keep your SWAG on and be excellent.