Women’s Cycletta Sportive: Team Spatone’s 1st Training Session With World Pursuit Cycling Champion Joanna Rowsell MBE

On Wednesday 28th May 14, I attended my first team spatone event held at the energetic spin studio Boom Cycle in Holborn. It was the first time that those lucky enough to be selected to be part of this amazing experience were going to meet each other as well spinning alongside World Pursuit Cycling Champion Joanna Rowsell.

Out of the two sessions available, I chose to attend the first session that was to due start at 5.00pm. As I was about to leave straight from work, the lovely Ellie from Nelsons advised there will also be an opportunity to have a deep tissue massage for half an hour, and should I be interested, to arrive half an hour before we were due to start. Truth be told, my body has begging for a massage by have not put time aside to arrange an appointment with a recommended specialist so jumped at the chance and confirmed my acceptance for this surprise treatment.

I headed home to drop my laptop off, and opted to wear my newly delivered Purelime padded cycling shorts, sports bra and training top courtesy of the Less Bounce team (upcoming review to follow).

Despite leaving my home in ample time to get to Boom Cycle for 4pm, TFL couldn’t help but ruin my planned journey! My train was held at a White City for at least 25 mins as we were told a train had broken down at Leyton and had trouble moving it. I eventually arrived just after 4.10pm where I was greeted by Ellie and immediately taken to the back room so I can get a 15 minute deep tissue massage by sports massage specialist Emily Campbell .

After specifying areas of tightness and knots (shoulder blades, neck and lower back) Emily quickly got to work and began to work her magic with her hands on my tense muscles, knot riddled back muscles. I honestly cannot recall when the last time I had a sports massage (make that any kind of massage) and winced in discomfort the numerous times when Emily discovered a knot and applied pressure in a bid to release it (ouch!).

It was a nice to know that Arnica Oil was being used on my skin as opposed to toxin riddled massage oils which made the overall massage experience an enjoyable yet somewhat painful and much needed one! Those 15 mins seemed to have went by extremely slowly and by the time Emily had finished with me, my lower back, shoulder blades and neck felt less tense and more relaxed.

Emily concluded the deep tissue massage session by advising me to book two or three appointments with a qualified sports masseuse so they can rid the knots and tension which will ultimately allow me to perform better within my chosen sporting disciplines and even passed a complement on how strong my back and back muscles were. This was news to me, especially as someone who has yet to fully delve into the wonderful world of strength training using free weights.

With my upper body feeling brand new, we finished just in time for me to make my way to the spin studio, choose a bike and set up my station. Taking my previous experience of using clip in trainers into account, I decided to opt against using these in preference for my own trainers.

Seat and handlebars adjusted, I was ready and rearing to go and didn’t have to wait more than a couple of minutes before Joanna entered the room with our Spin Instructor Hilary Gilbert who led the spin session.


Lights dimmed, mic check in place and a quick press of the remote control button and the playlist began to BOOOM (see what I did there). We started with a warm up with included spinning at a comfortable pace with minimal resistance whilst going through some upper body joint mobility stretches. After five minutes we were told to pick up the pace.

From here was the point of no return! I honestly forgot just how HAAARD and intense spinning actually is!!! made us work by throwing in 1.5min intervals to the beat of each song using bursts of speed sitting down on the saddle, the same again but standing up (which I despised strongly) upping the resistance each time followed by a slower recovery cycle before repeating this sequence all over again.

It is safe to say that during training and in the lead up to the MacMillan Cancer Women’s Cycletta Sportive race, I NEEED to pay extra attention to building power in my legs so I can cycle at speed standing up without slowing to a near halt after 30 seconds of attempting to cycle whilst standing.

The atmosphere was electric with the instructor jumping off her spin bike from time to time, running and dancing her way across the room to get us more pumped than what we were. Joanna led the warm down after our 35 mins of madness and by this time I was glistening with sweat!

A quick wipe of the face arms and legs with our complementary towels and we were lead to seating area greeted by a much needed mixed berry yoghurt smoothie (thanks boom cycle staff). We sipped on our smoothies as we listened to the lovely people of Nelson’s and Human Race Adventures enlighten us team members just exactly what being a part of #teamspatone actually meant.

I did mention in my previous article we would be coached by some of the best Nutritionists and Olympic Cycling Coaches within the industry and couldn’t wait to get started to reap the benefits of being a Spatone member. We were given Spatone goodies bags that contained a Spatone printed training compression top, a box of Spatone liquid iron supplement in apple, a bottle of the much loved arnica massage oil and a welcome pack containing all the information we needed to get successfully signed up to the cycletta challenge.


Our session concluded by talking with Joanna all things olympics and cycling, a chance to see her Olympic Gold medal in the flesh (it is sooo big and heavy!!) and photographs with her before the second half team Spatone arrived for their 6.30pm led by legendary fitness and lifestyle writer Bangs whose informative articles can be found over at Spikes and Heels and Bangs and A Bun.

My training and nutritional plan is currently being put together and once in receipt, I shall inform you lovely lot on what the next few months will consist of. I am still undecided whether to complete 40 or 60miles and will ponder on this decision over the next few days.

Thank you for taking time out to pass by and read my training diary. By sharing it with you not only makes me accountable for my pledges, I also hope to encourage and inspire you to try something new yourself  in your own exercise and training routines.

Happy Training All, whatever your chosen sport or discipline 🙂