Lockdown Q&A! With CX Star Ben Turner

After a winter of cyclocross in Europe, Ben Turner’s road season has been taken away from him by the Covid 19 crisis – we chat

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Lockdown Q&A! With CX Star Ben Turner

Brought to you by trainSharp

After a winter of cyclocross in Europe, Ben Turner’s road season has been taken away from him by the Covid 19 crisis as he looks for a new team – we chat

Q: Your last race (road or CX) was and how did it go you?
Ben: My last road race was in August last year and was Tour de Namur, which was quite successful. I ended up on the podium overall and top five in almost every stage. My last CX race was in Holland at Hulst which was a solid result after a long season.

Q: With road racing cancelled, what’s a typical week training wise for you?
Ben: I was meant to start my road season at Danum Trophy last weekend so up until that point my training was similar to what it would have been. Unfortunately, at this moment in time it’s difficult to know when the racing will restart but I’ve spoken to my coach at Trainsharp; Paul and we have made a plan to use this time effectively to increase my ability in some areas I was lacking. So at this moment it’s just endurance rides and some intervals to keep my system going. Also making sure not to do too much that my health is at risk in this difficult time.

Q: Do you spend the summer working on weaknesses in CX for the following winter?
Ben: Yes, normally it’s just trying to build on what I’ve had before. I’m still young so my body is still growing and hopefully getting stronger so the main aim is trying to increase in most areas but of course, weaknesses do need to be addressed.

Q: Do you do any cyclo cross training or off road riding to keep the skills sharpened during the summer season?
Ben: I think to do cyclo-cross training during the summer would help massively specially to get rid of the rusty feeling at the start of the season. Personally, I found it difficult to ride my cyclo-cross bike in the summer with a busy calendar on the road. However I did start preparations on the cyclo-cross bike from late July and then would spend every session on the CX bike just alternating between road and cx wheels.

Q: Is the coaching from trainSharp just about number and efforts or other parts of the training/racing?
Ben: I would say it’s a happy medium between the both. I think it’s important to look at numbers in a lot of circumstances, that way you can track your progress and make sure your staying in the correct zone in order to achieve what you’ve set out to do. Having said that, it can be important to not become a slave to the numbers and communication with your coach will help to build an understanding on what you need to improve upon/ the racing side of things.

Q: Do you use the turbo for any of your training or is all your training outdoors?
Ben: I do use the turbo for some sessions. I like to use it for short sharp intensity efforts where if you were on the road it could be difficult due to traffic at high speed. I would always rather be outside if I can. I just like the road feel but if the weather is bad in winter then it’s definitely a good tool to use and especially with smart trainers.

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Q: What’s the hardest thing for you about the Lockdown?
Ben: I think for me at the moment it’s not the fact we are on lockdown, it’s more the uncertainty of not knowing when we will restart the season and just general guessing around the situation. But it’s the same for everyone and it’s better to be healthy than risk it pushing things.

Q: Besides cycling, what’s your biggest distraction as lockdown continues?
Ben: It’s difficult as you can’t exactly do so many things but I am going to try learn some more Dutch which isn’t easy and I do play Xbox to pass the time.

Q: What’s the bike that gets the most use by you at this point in the season and what is the best thing about it?
Ben: At the moment, it’s predominantly my road bike although I have been trying to spend a lot of time on my TT bike to become more aero and better overall in the discipline which I do find quite interesting. I also bought a MTB not long ago so going to try have some fun on that whilst training is slightly more flexible.

Q: Are you pleased you were able to finish your season in CX before the crisis took hold of the world?
Ben: Of course it is good that it finished in time but towards the back end of the year, some races were cancelled due to high winds but this crisis is a lot different to that. I do think this could affect next CX season however.

Q: What was the highlight of the CX season just gone?
Ben: It wasn’t the best cyclocross season for me due to a block of health issues in the middle of the season. So I think it was when I got back to racing after that, I had a few good races and I was just generally happy that I could be back racing.

Q: Finally, where you do you enjoy riding the most in this country or abroad?
Ben: I recently went to France with Anna (Kay) which was near the Pyrenees and the roads there were fantastic. But I’m from Yorkshire and you can’t beat a good Donny chain gang so I would have to say home in Doncaster. I think it’s the thing I miss most when I’m away for a while.

Thanks to Ben for the Q&A and good luck to him in 2020 getting back to racing and finding a new team

If you want to be coached by trainSharp then please email paul@trainsharp.co.uk

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