A couple of weeks ago we had Olympic and World Team Pursuit Champion Joanna Rowsell at the Wattbike Sports Science Lab. As somebody who has been using a Wattbike for some time it was a chance for us to give her a refresh on the latest model and some pointers on how to dig more deeply into the performance data archived in our Expert software.
Joanna’s schedule is a little different this year after blitzing the opposition at the London 2012 Olympic Games alongside Dani King and Laura Trott. She’s turned her attention to the road with her Wiggle-Honda Pro Cycling team and has been getting some quite brilliant results.
On training, Joanna told us: “I’ve been using it this summer for TT preparation, a lot of work on my threshold and zones. Over the winter I’ll use it to work on specific powers and cadences and it’s a lot better to do this on the Wattbike than a turbo trainer.”
I asked her what had been the season's highlight so far and she told us: “My main target for the first half of the season was the National Time-Trial Championship but also doing road races like Het Nieuwsblad and Fleche Wallonne. I won the British TT Championships so was very pleased with that especially as I’d only done 10-mile TTs previously. I wasn’t sure how I would compare against some of the road girls but my training has obviously worked and now I get to wear the national jersey for the next 12 months in TTs.”
As the autumn months approach the focus begins to turn back towards the track season which will have the added interest of a move from 3km to 4km for the women's team pursuit. Joanna told us: “I’ve just got back on the track for the first time this week with all of the girls trying out for the squad (*interview was at the end of July*). Our first active competition over 4km will be at the European Championships in October but I’ll also be doing some Individual Pursuits with an eye on the Commonwealth Games in 2014 (as there’s no women's team pursuit)."
We wanted to get Joanna’s thoughts on the how the move from a 3km to 4km pursuit would affect training and competition, she said: “Obviously there’s an extra rider now and the team can lose a rider before the finish. We’ll need to explore a little more in training to see what works but it’s an exciting prospect for us as moving from 3km to 4km as it will be a completely different challenge.”
After Joanna came up to see us she was involved in a crash at the Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix in which she broke her collarbone. This has of course altered her plans for the rest of the season but she is back on the Wattbike already to help stay in good condition as she realigns her competition and training schedule before the track season begins in earnest. She has been posting video updates on her website which gives a great insight into her recovery.