My Training Space: 'I jump off my bike into the sauna – heat is no longer a limiting factor for me!'

TT veteran, Ironman and CW reader Keith Murray gives us a tour of his Taylor Swift-resounding garage

The training space, showing the bike and the sauna
(Image credit: Future)

Each month in this MY TRAINING SPACE series from Cycling Weekly’s print edition, a CW reader shows us around their training room, shed or garage, the part of their home or garden dedicated to all things cycling. They talk us through the equipment, as well as the motivating keepsakes and decorations that keep them training hard. This time, it’s the turn of Keith Murray

I started racing in the early- Nineties, and I’ve been a Cycling Weekly reader for about 30 years. After joining the military, I served in Germany and went on to break the military Hour record in 1997, riding 46.6km – featured in CW at the time. I was relatively successful in time trialling in Yorkshire and the North-East until about five years ago, when it got harder, in my 40s, to beat the youngsters – that’s when I switched to triathlon. 

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In 2017 I’d set a 10-mile PB of 18.06, and in 2018 I was still riding 25-mile TTs in around 48 minutes – but Ironman had always been a perverse obsession since watching Transworld Sport as a kid. In 2019, I did Ironman Wales and came seventh in my age group, just missing out on Kona qualification. I managed to qualify in Argentina, then competed in the postponed Kona in October 2022. [Murray’s Ironman PB is 9hr 10min.] 

During the Covid lockdown, knowing that the rescheduled Kona race lay ahead of me, I wanted to improve my heat tolerance, so I built a sauna in the garage – that’s what you see alongside the treadmill. I’ll jump in the sauna after a run or bike session, and it definitely helps – heat is no longer a limiting factor for me. Having the garage fully set up for running, cycling and acclimatisation has been great. These days my weekly training volume is 12-15 hours, with more indoors during winter or in the run-up to a big event. Next up for me, in November, is Ironman Arizona.

Rider profile: Keith Murray

Age: 48

Height: 6ft 4in

FTP: 350W

Rides for: Vector Racing

Lives: Darlington, County Durham

Occupation: National sales manager (bike industry)

Proudest cycling achievements: Represented GB in a Cyclo-cross World Cup (2003); Finished third in the National 100-mile TT Champs (2014)

Instagram: bigmuzz_tri

Headshot of Keith Murray

Keith Murray

(Image credit: Future)

His training space

Let's take a look inside...

Annotated image of the training space

(Image credit: Future)

1. SAUNA: I bought the sauna as a kit off the internet during lockdown, and my mate helped me assemble it. I use it regularly; the only problem is, when I go in there after a session on the bike, it’s very tempting to grab a cold beer from the mini-fridge!

2. BIG SCREEN: I’m the only cyclist I know who’s not on Zwift. As you can see, while I’m training I watch Swift, not Zwift – I have tried virtual riding, but to be honest, I thought it was a bit s**t. When the free trial expired, I went back to what I’d been doing for 20 years.

3. IRONMAN MEDALS: I’ve amassed a lot of Ironman medals over the years – all of them tell a story. My Kona and Race Across America medals are particularly cherished. I took part in RAAM twice, in 2012 and 2013, as an eight-man team – my GB team-mates were Kev Dawson and John Tanner – we still hold the record, five days and five hours.

4. WALL ART: A couple of the pictures on the wall are me riding in cyclo-cross and TT races. There are also a couple of motivational posters that I’ve acquired through my work over the years.

5. THE BIKES: In the frame here, my Colnago C68 – I work for the firm that distributes the brand in the UK. I’ve worked in the bike trade for 24 years, first with Scott, then BMC and now Colnago. My race bike (not pictured) is an Argon18 E119 Tri Disc.

6. THE TRAINER: I use a 10-year-old SRM ergometer, so I’m quite old-school – I listen to music and keep an eye on my Garmin, rather than pedalling around Watopia. Sessions are written down on a piece of paper and I adjust the power accordingly.

The full version of this article was published in the 21 September 2023 print edition of Cycling Weekly magazine. Subscribe online and get the magazine delivered to your door every week.

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