For many years now I have been bubbled in the ‘old school’ category of a cyclist in regards to training – same pace , same sessions , same duration.
I guess it has done me ok in the past having achieved numerous National podiums and team wins.
My basic week of training through the winter months up until now consisted of ;
Mon – Steady 40 mins on turbo and some core work.
Tues- 1.5 hours @ tempo pace on the road.
Wed- 1 hour + @ tempo on turbo.
Fri- 30 mins hard over geared effort on turbo.
Sat- 100 miles , same route every Sat @ tempo
Sun- 120-160 miles dead on my arse.
As I’m a vet with a wife (very understanding and lovely) , have 2 kids and a full time job like the rest of them it seems , it would take me until Thursday to actually recover from this routine just in time to slaughter myself at the weekend again but hey I knew best!!
In my flat lined mind this obviously worked as I was beating my younger teammates week in week out at all distances even though they seemed to favour shorter events.
As the years ticked by they started to get closer (although always easier to chase than be chased!) until over the last 2 seasons they had simply kicked my arse as well as many other testers too!
The excuse of them having faster bikes , 3 hours more sleep or 1 less child may have been an external explanation but internally I was mature enough to realise I’m getting beaten by modern day technology and training methods paired with quality athletic riders.
I knew I could sensibly eliminate reasons such as age , job etc as we are all in the same boat plus these would only count as a minor percentage.
In 2015 I wallowed in gloom and self pity as my teammates excelled every weekend but I was genuinely happy for them as we are all good mates , so good that a read of our Whatsapp conversations could be described as the latest version of The Inbetweeners!!!
I was aware they all trained with power meters and being coached by Bob Tobin and Matt Bottrill. Both have a sky high reputation for detail and results so it was likely they were a source of their success.
FTP, TSB, CTL , ATL , TSS I would hear them quoting after races and think WTF are you giving it? B&Q , S&M , BBC, C&A you mean?? As I was living in the dark ages I was obviously a standing joke to them but fair dos , I was!!
Things kind of changed though when Beldon , Ali Wareham and Jacko rode in perfect harmony and style to triumph in the National TTT. This result opened new pathways to progress and potentially put us on a level with other well funded teams.
With valued input from Jon Surtees and Richard High a new beginning was launched for 2016 with backing from Simon , Keith and Paul of SSLL. It was a presentation of support too good to be true but it is now a reality we are so grateful for.
Within this time we had built a rapport with Blake Pond of NoPinz who has come on board as an additional sponsor along with OTE nutrition who have continued their sponsorship from previous years gone by.
So fast forward to 2016. With SSLL’s support I am now in a position to spray paint my black fleece to white and join my ugly teammates in the power and numbers game as I am now too being coached by Bob and have several power meters!! Ok they’re still just numbers to me but I guess for now Bob just shouts a number and I try and hit it!
I must mention CycleSense in Tadcaster who awarded us a fabulous deal with Giant Bikes so we all kind of resemble each other this year too.
The final bonus in all this is that my wife gets to see more of me although I think she is now seeking revenge as she disappears out the door when I get in now, Maybe she preferred the old Joel after all?