I have had an on/off love affair for the best part of 30years with cycling, falling in love with it multiple times over the course of my adult life, only for various complications of either injury or distraction to take me away from my bikes, often for years at a time. I found I never really got fit enough to be truly comfortable with my performance despite joining a local club and riding regularly; and in 2015 I resolved to try and change that with the addition of some indoor training on a turbo trainer. This was another expensive failure and my turbo sat unloved in my shed for a few more years. In 2018 we went on a family holiday to Greece, and I found there were bikes available to ride and organised guided rides to take part in – fabulous! I was 106kg (on a good day) at the time, and struggled through many of the group rides, last up every hill, including one particularly shameful experience walking up a mountain, that should have taken a recreational cyclist 20minutes or so, and it took me 40.
I enjoyed the trip, despite my woeful fitness, and when I returned home, I dusted off my turbo trainer, and started a zwift subscription in September 2018. My first FTP test had me somewhere around 230w, for my 106kg. I built into my training, starting at a couple of days a week, and building over the years to 6/7 days a week now. I did group rides, learnt about training methods and nutrition and gradually built my performance over the next 3 years to this summer, I went on the same holiday again, now with an FTP of 375w and weighing 87kg. I destroyed every mountain, left all other riders behind me, and finally felt that I had reached the performance level I had been searching for for the last 30years. But where do I go now? How can I go further?
Also this summer I had a fairly decent accident, smashing my shoulder socket and humerus head and needing surgery to rebuild my shoulder, taking me off the bike for a little while. In an effort to solve both the recovery from my injury, as well as take my performance to the next level and see how far I can really go, at 44 years old, I signed up with Alex as my first coach.
I’m now 2 months in to working with Alex, and I have to say the experience has been excellent so far. Alex is incredibly active in both understanding my performance and adapting my training plan accordingly. He’s always available for questions and support, and has rewritten my plan completely at least twice as circumstances have changed with my health and availability.
As a technology executive with two sons who play multiple sports at both school and club, my time is limited, and Alex is great at maximising the effectiveness of every training hour. I am typically able to find about 10hrs a week, which is consistent with what I was doing before joining Alex, but my strength and endurance has definitely improved in the first two months, despite no increase in volume, and I look forward to seeing how far we can go together.