"For many this time of year is the off season, taking it easy (er) and giving the racing legs a rest. For me, it is time to rebuild and recover after my season was cut abruptly short after an incident with a 4 x 4 left me with 9 broken ribs, and a 2 week stay in hospital. I was fairly lucky, my legs were untouched, the surgeon did a good job of plating my ribs back together, they were broken in two places per rib and would have never healed without help, and I now have a huge scar on my back to tell a good story about. I spent 6 weeks off the bike and it was another 3 weeks until I was back on the road, fair to say my form has suffered...... I had been coached by Jon from E3 coaching for most of last season, with the aim of competing in Xterra and a few other triathlons, this adventure has taken a back seat, and will for the foreseeable future, cycling is what I'm best at, but training for triathlons did teach me some valuable lessons about looking after my body! As part of recovery and winter training program Jon invited me to Southampton Solent University for a sports testing session, something I had never considered, but could see the benefits and I was intrigued what damage I had done to my lungs, the VO2 max test would be useful for this and lactate, max heartrate and power zones would all add quality data to my training plan. I was hooked up with various ECG sensors to measure my relatively high resting heartrate, I blame the nerves, then weight, which I was pleased to see had dropped to my usual, now i've lost my "recovery" weight. Jumping on the bike the test started gradually, but every 3 minutes the resistance ramped up, there was no where to hide, no gears to change down, just spin the legs!! I held on for as long as i could, but slowly my cadence dropped too low to keep turning the cranks and I spluttered to a halt! I felt i'd given my all, but I know i'm still down on power, but despite still recovering from my injuries my VO2 max figure was still very favorable. I have a few plans for next year, but I've no rush to return to racing until i'm fully fit and recovered."