News: ‘Tis the time to train says Raleigh’s Liam Holohan

The appearance of Christmas trees and other goodies was the signal to get back out on the road for Raleigh’s Liam Holohan. Article brought to you by Train in Spain

Liam writes … My 2011 season came to a close at Britain’s biggest bike race of the year, the Tour of Britain in September. Since then, like most of my fellow cyclists, I have been using the time to relax a bit and re-charge the batteries.

When Christmas trees start appearing everywhere though, I know the 2012 season is just around the corner. After a good six weeks without training, a quick review of my 2012 race calendar gave me the necessary motivation to get back on the bike. There is a cracking year coming up and I’m really looking forward to it.

Liam racing in Wales earlier this year when the temperatures were warmer and skies brighter.

One thing I’ve enjoyed this winter is getting back to my roots and doing some mountain biking – I had forgotten how much fun it is. However, putting a load of us roadies on fat tires and sending us down a black run can be a recipe for disaster – especially when egos are on the line!

Despite a few close calls, I’ve come away unscathed and I’m now back in pro bike rider mode, building the foundations for what I’m hoping will be a successful year for myself and for Team Raleigh. I’ll be progressively building up the hours and intensity through December to get ready for the next phase of my training. As the old saying goes, “be prepared or prepare to fail.”

Once we enter January, my pre-season training begins in earnest. The focus will shift away from endurance to speed and power work so I’m ready to hit the ground running when racing begins in February. In the past, my January training has been blighted by snow and ice. That means sitting on a turbo staring at the walls or worse . . . no training at all.

The way I got around this last year was to head over to the Spanish Costa Blanca. It’s no secret why most of the top Pro Tour teams have their winter camps there. The roads are fantastic, there is hardly any traffic in the mountains and the weather is much milder than in Northern Europe! I couldn’t help feeling smug last year when I was reading the tweets of the “home trainer heroes”, clocking up big hours on the turbo while I was climbing the sun-drenched mountains of the marina Alta, (in shorts I might add!).

I’m delighted to say that I’m going back again in January and will once more be staying in the lovely town of Denia. While there, I’ll be on the ‘Train in Spain Early Prep Camp‘ from 14-21 January.

The camp is aimed at giving cyclists a solid week of road work in the hills and mountains and should be attractive to any of you who aim to be in good shape before the spring.

We’ll mix up the week to ensure we get plenty of great climbing and descending done as well as some steady miles in the flatter countryside around the coast.

If anyone wants to come out and join me I’m sure it will be a great week. I will be more than happy to give you any hints and tips if you want them on how to train and how to make the 2012 season your best one yet.

For now though, it’s on with the thermal jacket, winter tights and gloves while I tick off the days until I’m climbing the Coll de Rates, the Tudons, the Vall D’Ebo and the Vall de Gallinera. I can’t wait!


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