Dean Downing back in the saddle on a Wattbike
Posted by Matt Moran on Jan 04, 2012
Interviewing one of the nicest riders in cycling makes for an enjoyable day out, and so it was that we ventured to see Rapha Condor Sharp pro Dean Downing at his home in South Yorkshire. Dean recently broke his collarbone and has been using a Wattbike to help with his recovery, it's been beneficial in a couple of ways as a)Dean couldn't actually hold his bars in the first few weeks after his accident and b)the weather has been so awful in the UK lately that it's made cycling outdoors nigh on impossible. In 2011 it was snow and ice, in 2012 we're suffering gale force winds. All hail the Wattbike.
As we arrived Dean had just finished his first Wattbike session of the day, an impressive hour with a few blocks at varying power levels. He's following a plan provided by team sponsor Claremont Hospital which progresses from a straightforward 60 minute session around the 150-200W mark up to hour sessions with a number of blocks of 5mins at 300W. Those have to be painful.
Dean's also been using some of the DVDs from the guys at 3LC.TV to help keep him motivated and we may just have to introduce him to our friends at The Sufferfest too. He'd be the first to confess (and does so in the video below) that he is not a fan of turbo trainers but we think we may just have helped turn him towards a better way of training indoors on the Wattbike. He particularly likes that he gets the feeling of riding out on the road.
It was interesting to hear that Dean trains using only heart rate when out on the road but has found being able to train with a combination of power and heart rate on the Wattbike has provided him with a lot more focus and knowledge about his condition and the quality of training sessions he can do.
Dean talked about the upcoming season, left us feeling jealous that he is about to head to Lanzarote for warm weather training and gave us some background on the club he has formed with his brother Russ, called Out of the Saddle, which raised over £13,000 for good causes in 2011. Definitely worth a look.
Stay up to date with Dean's season on his personal website and that of his team at Rapha Condor Sharp.