Client of the Month: Henry Howell

Henry Howell COTM pic

This month’s Client of the Month, Henry Howell, has been training with us since 2013.

‘My personal trainer told me about The Altitude Centre whilst I was training for the 2013 L’Étape du Tour, and being right in the heart of the City, it was convenient for me as I work nearby.

‘I didn’t know much about altitude training except that endurance athletes often trained as high above sea level as possible to increase red blood cell count: The US Olympic facility is in Colorado (approx. 2,000m above sea level) for example.

‘I wanted every advantage for L’Étape, a ride that is legendary for its demanding climbs in the French Alps, so I was intrigued by the fact an elite-level sporting facility was right on my doorstep.

‘After just one class, I was totally hooked. The high intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions on the Wattbike were some of the hardest bike workouts and cardio training I’d ever done. It was also consistently intense: No matter how often I visited The Altitude Centre, it was never an easy or boring session. My performance on the bike was also improving. The sessions at altitude were routinely pushing me to my furthest limits and beyond.

‘Since discovering the Altitude Centre and riding in L’Étape in 2013, I’ve ridden the Prudential Ride London 100 twice, and in the last 12 months, I’ve set new PBs on the bike, including a sub-4:30 century.

‘I’m really proud of riding L’Étape for a second time this year. Less than three weeks before the race, I suffered a radial fracture on my right arm. The Altitude Centre staff made sure I didn’t lose out on my fitness by recommending POD sessions, and when my arm was better, The Sufferfest. This definitely helped speed up my recovery and keep my fitness level high.

‘I also recently began long distance running, and without much specific training, I completed 21 miles (34km) of the Burning Man Ultra Marathon, a feat that would have been tough without a base of fitness built at The Altitude Centre.

‘A large part of The Altitude Centre’s appeal for me are the metrics: Live data displays of power output, heart rate, VO2 max and training effect give instant feedback on your effort and your level of fitness.

‘I also find the online post-workout Training Report really valuable. It offers even more in-depth analysis, and you can scientifically and clearly track your workouts. There is also a psychological edge to knowing that you are training in a cutting edge, professional-quality facility, often next to professional athletes.

‘As appealing as insanely demanding cardio workouts sound, the staff at The Altitude Centre keep me focused, motivated and coming back consistently, 3-5 days a week. Everyone possesses a deep understanding of sports science and how to get the best out of your training. Even better, they make it fun.

Always looking for the next adventure, Henry’s sights are now set on conquering distance running: ‘My next challenges include the 2015 Virgin London Marathon, Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon and probably an Ultra as well…’

We’ll be posting the running programmes we’re doing with Henry and the other runners in our run classes. In the mean time, good luck, Henry!