AudioFuel – ‘Ride Harder 1′ ReviewedWritten: January 11, 2012
Bike Tart's Musings, General Brain Farts, New Kit, Review, Training
So intrigue got the better of me, and after visiting Bespoke to see what the AudioFuel fuss was about I decided to have a crack at one of the workouts – strapping the bike to my LeMond trainer, I cracked out ‘Ride Harder 1‘…
Ride Harder 1 is a fairly short (40min) pyramid session. All the way through you have Chrissie Wellington explaining what you should be doing and when; urging encouragement through the hard sessions and making sure you rest properly in the recovery periods – and all the while the music playing is set to the correct BPM to match the RPM you should be using.
As someone who isn’t particularly committed to ‘training’ it’s difficult to convince myself to do indoor trainer sessions, yet I still feel the need to do them and often prefer the concentrated effort to playing with traffic. I really like VeloBeats, but it’s just music so I struggle to both do a workout of decent length and do anything vaguely specific. Being talked through a session of a pre-determined length without having to watch a clock or see how long there is remaining is key – so far so good then.
But what of the effectiveness of the actual workout? Well, it’s the first indoor trainer workout I’ve done in recent times where I’ve worked hard enough to cramp, and afterwards I grabbed the first bottle of water I could find (which unfortunately happened to be a two-day old water bottle from my commute bike, eurgh) having blasted through what I’d taken with me on the bike. As someone who usually uses Sufferfest videos, not having to watch the screen all the time for instructions was a welcome change.
Overall it’s hard to fault.
As I mentioned after my first brief listen, these Ride Harder MP3s seem ideal for those who don’t necessarily focus on the bike or are new to indoor training as Chrissie gives rough guidance on what kind of gear she thinks you should use – Wendy is always asking me what she should be doing on that front so whilst I didn’t need to focus so much on that, for some it will be ideal.
- No mention of how long is left of the overall workout
- Clear and concise instructions
- Guidance on gears
- Encouragement to go harder and dig deeper
- Lots of ‘make it count’ motivation
- The music is always at a BPM that you should match with your RPM
- Occasionally cheesy messages mixed into the music might wear thin (I don’t mean Chrissie’s voice, just to be clear!)
- The music won’t suit all tastes (but then it never can)
- Chrissie isn’t particularly ‘hard’, but many (me included) will be fine with that
AudioFuel advertise themselves as ‘running workouts’. This ride workout proves that they can and should broaden their reach as these ride workouts definitely stand up on their own as a genuine cycle training alternative to the likes of The Sufferfest and VeloBeats – the latter of which I have always felt was good, but suffered (no pun intended) from a lack of instructional guidance.
When Wendy walked in afterwards she looked at me with a rather sarcastically sympathetic expression and said: “oh dear, was Chrissie not nice to you?” - if that doesn’t tell you how tough I found it…
Chrissie’s parting shot is: “your next session should be an easy one”. I should coco!
Tags:audio fuel,audiofuel,bespoke cycling,chrissie wellington,Ride Harder,Tri Harder
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