Adapting to life as a parent…

The last three months have been a bit of a blur for me.

My life, and the way I lived it, quite literally changed overnight following the arrival of my beautiful daughter, Sienna, on 16th August. Before Sienna came along, I had prepared myself mentally for how I was going to cope with the daily stresses of work, travel, training and being a dad. However, nothing can ever quite prepare you for it until it actually happens. Being a parent is incredibly demanding, more than I ever imagined, but hugely rewarding at the same time. There will be people reading this who already know how hard it is to fit everything in and so I should say that I have new found respect for all the mummies and daddies out there who have continued to race at a competitive level despite trying to juggle all of the above. It was clear that for the forthcoming season I was going to have to change the way I trained if I was going to continue to be competitive in the time trial world because my time commitments to the bike would diminish following my new found responsibilities.

I have always been very lucky in that I have a hugely supportive wife who has never moaned or complained about me going out for 3 or 4 hours on a Saturday and Sunday. Nor did she ever complain when I arrived home from work and jumped straight on the turbo trainer for an hour or so. It would be very selfish of me, however, to continue to live my life the way I lived it before Sienna’s arrival. After all the years of support my wife has give me, it is now time for me to support my wife and spend more time with the family and less time on the bike. I thought it may be insightful therefore to write a blog on my typical winter training week as I now appear to qualify as a ‘time crunched cyclist’.

Monday: Normally a rest day but occasionally I will do some core exercises in amongst changing nappies and wiping up baby sick.

Tuesday: 6am turbo session – generally 1 hour in duration with 40 minutes level 3 (76% – 90% FTP).

Wednesday – 6am turbo session – approximately 75 minutes with a 15 minute warm up followed by 2 x 20 minutes sweetspot (90% FTP) with 10 minutes Zone 2 in between. 10 minutes cool down.

Thursday – same as Tuesday so 1 hour with 40 minutes at Level 3.

Friday – 6am turbo session with a steady 1 hour in Zone 2.

Saturday – 90 minutes on the road working levels 2 and 3. In all honesty, I ride this 90 minutes fairly hard. Living near Holmfirth, we have lots of hilly terrain so I tend not to get too concerned about staying in the Zones (sorry Bob Tobin if you are reading this!)

Sunday – 2 – 2h30 on the road. This session usually consists of some sweetspot intervals or Zone 3. Again, I tend not to get too caught up about staying in Zone and when I see a hill I generally ride it hard! If the weather is bad I will complete the session on the turbo trainer. I have developed a good relationship with the turbo over the years so I have no qualms about riding the turbo for a couple of hours.

So that’s about it. Nothing too exciting or ground breaking or scientific but perhaps of interest to some people. I am very lucky to be coached by Bob Tobin whose reputation speaks for itself. I pretty much just do as I am told with minimal fuss but I may change the sessions around here and there to fit in with my daily commitments. Each session is structured and there are absolutely no ‘junk’ miles.

I will be working on my time trial position over the winter with the help of Xavier Disley & Aerocoach. I think Bob Tobin once described my CDA as ‘’average’’ so hopefully I can get some ‘free’ speed after my trip to see Xav.

It is going to be interesting to see whether I can improve next season. The season just gone was hugely successful from a personal point of view and if nothing else I am extremely motivated for the forthcoming season as I seek to repay the faith our fantastic sponsors have shown in us, so a big thank you to Simon Fearnley of Selectrical Services Leeds Limited, Blake at No Pinz, the OTE Nutrition Crew, Sir Bob Tobin, and Cyclesense in Tadcaster for your continued support.

Thanks for reading and see you next season.

Alastair

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