On average we trained for 70 hours a month. Some months more, some less. This comprised of a polarised training approach where most of the work done outside and at the slow steady riding pace we would be riding during the record attempt. The rest of the training was at very high intensity and done predominantly on a turbo trainer (think indoor bike). Often, we trained twice a day.
During the week, for the most part, we trained separately. At weekends we did most of the long rides and on the tandem. In a typical week, we would get up at 5am, drink coffee, sometimes eat a light breakfast and train for between 1 and 3 hours. In the evening we would do a further 60 – 90 minutes of training. Weekend rides would start as early as 4:30am and sometimes go through the night.
Prior to breaking the record, I had already spent years training at this sort of intensity for both previous attempts, other ultra distance races and prior to that Ironman triathlons. Charlie came from a background of racing shorter distance time trials (predominantly 10 – 50 miles in duration). In the 10 months Charlie trained specifically for this event he found time for a massive increase in time spent training.
The winter of 2014/15 was notable for being very wet. Many, many hours were spent training in the rain. It was not pleasant. In addition to physical fitness, we also worked hard on becoming a great team. Many hours were spent reviewing the way we rode together and how it could be improved.
The nature of the training meant that if there was a family event such as a sports match, or a weekend away to see friends we would choose to ride there whilst our respective wives drove. We stopped watching television and spent very little time socialising. We reckoned that if we could watch TV we could train or work and that would be more likely to help us break the record.
Training to break the record was an anti-social business.