Cotswold Cyclo Race Report

The week before last was week 17 of The Plan, and a big week it was too! It started with another ramp test and with it another bump in my functional threshold power (FTP) - a 5% increase to 271W. I’m starting to get in genuinely good shape now! At the end of the week, I had my second event of the year, the Cotswold Cyclo by Hammer Sports, which was 143km around the Cotswolds. … »

Rawlinson Bracket Race Report

My first race of the year was last Saturday - The Rawlinson Bracket, a charity ride in aid of SADS UK who provide information about, and fund research and medical equipment to help prevent Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome. The event’s namesake, Nick Rawlinson, died of this condition in 2012. It’s not technically a race, it’s a mass participation event… that people like me treat as a race! The route was a hard 93km taking in the toughest local climbs, including Edge Hill and Sunrising Hill. … »

Out of Hibernation

Finally, some not-awful weather! On Friday I ventured out of the garage for the first time this year. I feel a lot stronger than my previous outdoor ride, though I still have a way to go on the climbs - basically I’m too heavy! I started my build phase with a ramp test last week. My new functional threshold power (FTP) is 258W, an increase of around 4.5%. That’s a fairly sizeable improvement, but I’m still finding the hard sessions too easy! … »

Fred Whitton, here I come!

When I started this blog I said my initial aim was the Fred Whitton Challenge - 184 brutal kilometres around the Lake District. Well, I got a place! Training has been going well. I’m in week 11 of The Plan, which has been my most consistent period in years. I’ve been smashing the hard sessions. In fact I keep having to raise the intensity! Yesterday evening was the hardest session so far - seven rounds of three minutes at 122% of functional threshold power (FTP). … »

Holiday Training and Proper Recovery

My two-week break started out well. The lead up to Christmas was my biggest week of training since the summer and I nailed all three quality workouts. Last week, my recovery week after a five week training block, was less good. I’ve been enjoying the holiday season a bit too much, not been getting enough sleep and eating badly, resulting in me not feeling at all recovered. I started my next block of training yesterday with a ramp test and my lack of recovery showed. … »

Maintaining Motivation and Sticking to the Plan

In the two weeks since my last post, The Plan has been going well. In fact, this is the most consistent period of training I’ve had in years! I’ve been completing my four planned rides per week along with some strength work and the odd run. A few weeks ago even moderate intensity was a struggle. Now I’m handling around 60 minutes of sweet-spot no problem. I’m surprised by how quickly I adapted to this training intensity. … »

Back on it

Well, turns out I’m less fit than I expected! Now I’ve stopped getting sick The Plan has begun in earnest, starting with a ramp test. TrainerRoad’s ramp test is my “favourite” method of fitness assessment. After a short warm up the power increases in small increments until you can no longer continue. In this case each step is 6% of your previous functional threshold power (FTP). Your new FTP estimate is then around 76% of your best one minute power. … »

Change of plan

Well, one day into my master plan and guess what? I got sick! This means a change of plan. It’s not ideal but training through illness is never a good idea so I’ll rest up and get cracking next week. This early setback did get me thinking about how I’ve handled adversity in the past. It’s varied a lot over the years as I’ve matured both as an athlete and as a person. … »

How will I prepare for the for Fred Whitton Challenge?

So in my inaugural post I set out my goal for the next six months or so - the brutal Fred Whitton Challenge. How brutal is it, I hear you ask! Well, take a look at that profile! How am I going to prepare for it? I’ve been following plans from TrainerRoad on and off for a while now so I’ll be using these as a starting point. Before diving into my plan, however, there are a couple of concepts worth explaining. … »

I used to be fast

I used to be fast… kind of… I ran cross country for the county when I was a teenager and snuck into the Great Britain age group triathlon team seven years later, primarily because nobody else paid a tenner to register their interest in being considered for qualification. Another decade has passed since my athletic peak and I’m not getting any younger - or thinner, as those f**king scales keep reminding me - so I’ve decided to get my act together. … »