Ask some of my family or close friends and they’ll tell you I am addicted to cycling and spend way too much time on two wheels. In 2011 I decided to get serious and work closely with a coach, Rich Simmonds from Personal Cycle Coaching, start training with an SRM power meter and buy a few more toys. Read on for a brief summary of my training, racing, time trailing and sportives in 2011.
My 2011 goals…
- Cat 2 racing license
- Sub hour 25 mile TT
- European Sportive
- Balance family and working life with training
In 2011 my journey of cycle training began with the purchase of a SRM power meter, encouraged by my coach Rich from Personal Cycle Coaching and started training with power for the first time. We began with a ramp test and a lactate threshold test at Sigma sport in Kingston. Rich from Personal Cycle Coaching has a cave there on the top floor. It gave us some very useful information to work with for building a training program around. The winter was dreadful in 2011 and for the first time I did a lot of training on the turbo trainer. I built quite a few base miles and working with power was able to keep the efforts at a moderate level.
I entered a couple of the Imperial Race Series at Hillingdon in the January which were usually a cold and windy affair. Out of the three races I entered I only managed to scrape two points, finishing ninth, tenth and last as I got pushed wide on the final bend – frustrating stuff.
April: Then came the preparation for the first of my Surrey League road races the first one being Bletchingly 2/3 race which was a baptism of fire and I have never been happier with a 34th place. Next it was Milland Hill 3rds where I saw Tom Gilby take an easy victory and he cruised up to the second category where he definitely belonged. Millard Hill has a steep hill in the middle of it and you certainly have to work hard cranking out the 39 – 25 to even get up it. So I landed a 5th place and that got me another six points for the season. Slow going.
May: The Nove Colli an Italian sportive, which included 9 climbs over 205km. I was joined by 60 of my London Dynamo colleagues and 15,000 other crazy Italian cyclists for a most enjoyable 205 km over nine different climbs. It took me 7 hours 15 mins and resulted in an invite back the following year in the leading pen.
June: The next race was down to Goodwood where the field imploded and there was an ambulance needed in the middle of the race. It was turned into a three lap race from the restart and managed to scrape 10th place for one measly point. In an attempt to grab a couple of easy points I headed out to Eelmore where I competed in the Cycle Kingdom series and managed a 4th place for another six points.
Obviously with work commitments preventing me from racing on a Tuesday or Thursday night at either Hillingdon or Crystal Palace it was proving difficult to race enough to get the points needed to get that second cat license which was part of the goal of the season.
July: My decision to race time trial in the summer didn’t particularly help my cause of achieving a cat 2 license, but my focus became time trialling. The goal being to do the 25 miles under the hour and beat my one attempt that I’d tried previously of 1 hour and 13 seconds. Obviously to improve the TT times required heavy investment in equipment. Add to the power meter a carbon disc wheel and a silly pointy hat.
So the first TT was the London Dynamo Richmond Park Time trial where I managed to beat my previous years attempt by 3 seconds which didn’t particularly turn out to be a good value for money investment given that there was about £800 per second in spend on equipment.
Next I’d entered at the Bently A31 – 25 mile time trial and I was determined to crack that hour mark. I had been training pretty hard, had all the equipment and ended up in setting a pretty satisfying time of 55 min and 30 seconds which was an average of 43.6 Km/h. I did one more TT over the 25 miles and it was the Marlow course on the A404. I managed a time of 46min and 45 seconds on a slightly hillier course – happy to have beaten ex-Olympian James Cracknell by 15 seconds on the day. One more Richmond park TT over the hilly 10.4 mile circuit saw me post a 25min 30sec time. Not a bad month of TTing.
September: The last crazy event of the season was the 4up team time trial. I’ve entered the event with some real cycling animals – Roy Mc, Stu Spies and Tom from Prologue. Wish me luck hanging onto those wheels given in training we regularly pump out a sub 16 min lap of the park as a 4up and even managed a sub 15 min the other day. Read here about the race report, but in summary it turned into a 3UP given one of my team mates punctured of after 10 minutes. Together with another team mate hitting the deck on the second lap – we still managed 3rd place.
October: club championships and end of year bash.
So the season so far points to get second category license 22 (need 40) nowhere near it and not looking good, obviously not racing enough even though had some form. TT under the hour mark – check. Italian sportive – check. Still married – check.
- My long suffering wife and kids
- Rich my coach from Personal Cycle Coaching
- Jonny my bike fitter and foot biomechanist from Profeet
- Tom and co my bike mechanic from Prologue
- Luke, Edwina and Bec my chiropractors at Putney Chiropractic
- Martin and Bobbie my myotherapists at Putney Chiropractic
- My pro race team at London Dynamo