Home
Am I lighter? Yes. Am I quicker? It would seem so

So. The training continues. "How will you know if it's working", people ask me. Up to now, I'm not sure I knew.

There's a target in mind: race Cat 4 up at Odd Down next year, and not get dropped. That's my lowly, primary, goal. But there's no specific plan, other than follow the specific plan that Dave Smith has set out for me. Do the diet, and the exercises, and the bike time. Hit the intervals. Lose the weight.

So far, so good. I weighed in at 98.3kg before I left for Italy, down 5kg from where I started a month ago. Italy was a break week from specific sessions but a big week in terms of distance covered. It felt good to get a bunch of miles in the legs, six days in a row averaging over 100km a day, with some quick rides and some big climbs in the mix. The Hotel Belvedere has a legendary buffet but I managed to stick to the plan, pretty much, some desserts and emergency mars bars excepted. When I weighed in on Monday morning the scales said 99kg. Relative to every other time I've been away on holiday ever, that's an unmitigated triumph.

Sunday was travelling, and I had Monday off the bike, so today was my first riding day since coming back. I looped in to the office the longish way but riding back home is usually the same every day: boot it back up the hill via the shortest route. The last bit is a reference segment on Strava for me. The segment is called Wansdyke Road, but the road is actually Bloomfield Road. It's 1.2km at an average of 8%, with a cheeky 13% corner half way. I can roll up it in six or seven minutes. Five and a half is a decent time. I've gone under five minutes twice, once on a quick bike and once following a quick wheel, and both times giving it death.

I wasn't on a race bike today – the Tripster ATR is no slouch, mind – and I wasn't with anyone quick, but I thought I'd give it a go. Not a tasting-blood-and-coughing-till-bedtime go, but a much-quicker-than-comfortable go. It was going pretty well, I thought, until I realised there were temporary lights near the top, and they weren't going to be kind to me. I relaxed a gear and span to try and get through without stopping, which I managed, just. I put the hammer back down for the top section, but it was a segment spoiled. I did the maths in my head. Maybe 15 seconds lost to slowing and speeding back up again. 5'15" would be a decent time then, with the interruption. And the pannier I was towing. And the fact it wasn't proper full gas.

But I did it in 4'41". Ten seconds faster than ever before. And I know I'm now capable of a time 20 seconds under that.

So how will I know if it's working?

Trust me. It's working.

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

10 comments

Avatar
themartincox [553 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

thats great work Dave!

Avatar
RobD [786 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Good on you Dave, that's a pretty impressive improvement already

Avatar
Dave Smith [47 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

The initial plan was to get you fit enough to train properly, so I predict 4'20" is on the cards around easter  1

Velocity and Vitality - www.ffflow.com

Avatar
mtbtomo [292 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

I have a similar thought....how will I know that all the winter training will pay off?

Will I get there (next season) and it won't have been enough?

Could I have trained harder?

Avatar
Dave Smith [47 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Everyone can train 'harder'. The key is training hard enough - the minimum effective dose.

Velocity and Vitality - www.ffflow.com

Avatar
weenyd [19 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Good on you Dave. Keep on going and with a bit of training on cornering on the circuit and you'll be mid-pack no worries.

Avatar
step-hent [726 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Flippin fantastic! That's impressive progress. Looking forward to seeing how much more you can knock off it...

Avatar
backflipbedlem [1201 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Wahey!! Love it when you get a big Strava shocker like that!

Well done Dave!! Keep it up!

Avatar
alotronic [633 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

You're making me feel lazy (which is a good thing). Good feeling isn't it? It's very addictive actually  1

Avatar
dave atkinson [6528 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Worth revisiting this: since I wrote this blog i've taken a full minute off that time. So it's still working  1