Just before Christmas last year we had the chance to catch up with UK racer Hannah Barnes, who signed with Canyon//SRAM last year. Her 2015 season had been a huge success until a crash in August meant she broke an important supporting bone in her ankle - resulting in 5 months in a cast.
The time off the bike was tough, but Barnes showed her strength of character in how she dealt with it, telling us in December: “I’ve gone through a lot of stuff that I never realised or expected… it’s been quite an experience... You kind of take yourself away from cycling a bit, and just be a normal person. It’s hard, crutches drive me crazy, but I just try to forget about training and racing and what everyone else is doing and just focus on me."
At the time, she'd taught herself to knit, and was taking some Spanish lessons - which we've got to say is pretty good going!
Thankfully, now Barnes is back on it, and we've been treated to a video interview (scroll down the page if you're impatient!) with her discussing the journey, thanks to Wahoo Fitness who sponsor Hannah with a Kickr Snap Trainer. The video was filmed just before the Women's Tour, where Barnes placed 22nd just a few months after returning to the bike.
The first race back for Barnes was the Belgian classic La Flèche Wallonne back in April. Barnes comments: "The girls were saying it was probably the hardest race they'd done all year, so that wasn't great - but it was really great to be there and be back with the team and to finally be racing again... I was a little bit hesitant that I was going to be nervous in the peloton, sometimes when you have a big crash you tend to be a bit wary but I felt that wasn't really an issue. Fleche is probably the hardest one day race you can do, so I was definitely thrown into the deep end but it was really great to be there and do my first World Tour race."
Discussing her recovery, she said: "I was in a cast for 20 weeks, so almost five months. I lost a lot of fitness and muscle mass in that time. So coming back from that I had to really focus on progressing, not training too hard and overloading my body or my ankle or my muscles. I'm still recovering from that now, I still see quite a weakness on the right side of my body. So I'm using the Kickr Snap to help build the muscle back up and help smooth out my pedal stroke."
Turbo training is a great way to get intense efforts in, without disruptions - and Barnes gives us a little insight into her own routines: "If the weather’s bad, I’ll sometimes do a really hard session on it with intervals or time trial efforts. My coach includes double days so I’ll go out in the road and then come in and do specific intervals. They’re good to do when you’re doing 10 minutes or 20 minutes because if you’re out on the road and there’s a roundabout or traffic lights it’s hard to always get that in so it’s nice to just have when you’re in an environment where you don’t have to worry about traffic or cars and nothing can disrupt your effort."
She also uses the turbo for warming up before a hard effort - particularly time trials - usually going for a duration of 20 to 30 minutes.
Check out the video for more...