Monday, 26 October 2009
Tom’s challenge is different to most other 24 hour cycles as he is ‘selling’ 30minute of 1hour slots on a second spin bike alongside him. Tom comments ‘I wanted to raise money for the PAH and felt that by selling slots it gave people the opportunity to take part in the fundraising. A marathon is a long way for most people but 30minutes of cycling really isn’t’.
The event is being held at Horsley Sports Club, East Horsley, Surrey, KT24 5AH where there will be various events happening throughout the 24 hours such as live music and a DJ on the Friday night and a cake and tea sale throughout the Saturday morning for local cyclists, walkers etc. Please do make the effort to head down to not just support Tom but also help raise funds for a superb charity that needs your help.
For donations or to take part please visit www.justgiving.com/24hourtom
Monday, 19 October 2009
What a fantastic weekend!! – I was still buzzing from the Spinning Showcase well into Wednesday!!
Most of my friends thought that I was crazy spending an entire weekend at the Spinning Showcase held at the Chelsea Football Stadium here in
After signing in and scoping out the grounds, all of us cyclists/instructors headed off to our various rides or lectures. First up was a battle between attending the lecture held by Michelle Colvin on Endurance Training or riding Mark Tickner’s (Michelle’s partner) Tour de France ride with footage on a big screen to motivate you as you rode!! A tough call. Personally, I wanted to learn more about endurance training and making spin programs that weren’t immediately considering boring if in the endurance zone – this is unfortunately the perception that most cyclists have of endurance training so off to the lecture I went. I knew that there would be other rides to be had.
There were so many great rides and informative lectures and sessions, it was truly very difficult to decide what to do. In then end though, every person has their own particular interests and so you attend those lectures that spark your interest – for me, it was endurance training, interval training, make a difference with metabolic assessment, the ultimate training for weight management, learning about the importance of sleep, strength training for cyclists, learning about the proper fit out of bikes (all kinds) and the importance of weight training. The biggest thing that I took away was that I do indeed need more sleep to allow my body to repair and rest, I should take a day off from training or at least recovery train and that I need to do more strength training and in the week since the conference, I have been trying to introduce these changes into my routine.
The climax for me was definitely Saturday night – we were all kitted out in our spin shirts – we looked great. A big thank you to Sandro for designing these lovely shirts. I can only imagine how we all looked riding together, as one unified team. The funds from purchasing our shirts were directed to the charity and I tell you what, Sarah really set the scene with her music selection – the first sounds we heard were that of a helicopter coming in to rescue injured soldiers. I certainly had a tear or two and I am sure that I wasn’t the only one. I love knowing that our spin bikes are scattered over the globe helping injured people to get back on their feet. I still have that chant in my head – body and bike, body and bike….there’s not much that’s separates us.
Sunday was the second day of the conference and well, I needed to ride so I rode the first three classes back to back. Truly enjoying every moment. First up was an amazing class by Sarah to gently wake everyone up with the rising sun and moving mountains, I followed this with Sandro’s 2 Fast 2 Furious (I couldn’t resist it – the titled grabbed me) and then I followed this up with Michelle’s Race Day – part of an ironman event and this really tested my ability to stay about 80% maximum heart rate but I did it. The Activio heart rate system was fantastic – I really loved this and found it to be very accurate. The best thing about this system is that it is anonymous and easy to follow with the zones represented by colours in a dial. You really do work harder and smarter when you know that you need to be in a particular heart rate zone. There is so much truth in the words used by both Michelle and Sarah – it’s easy to work hard but it is hard to work easy!! I so wanted to ride Mark’s To the Beat of the Drum – another catchy title – but I decided I best not as I had a 7am spin class to tackle first thing Monday morning. I felt like I could ride all day though!
Everything ran so smoothly – I honestly couldn’t fault the weekend. Some great organisation invested into this weekend. I think that Sainsbury’s and Starbucks at Fulham Broadway shopping centre were certainly increased over the weekend!! Everyone ventured off there at lunch time before returning to the stadium to sit in the sun.
It was disappointing not to win the incredible spin bike that was being raffled but I am sure that this went to a worthy home.In summary, this was an incredible weekend – very informative with great rides and great people. I am confident that many new friendships were formed and hopefully we will see each other again at the next spinning event in Blackpool or again in
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Main positives are
1 - Smaller field than the other sportive races like L'Etape. We only had 1,300 in the main race so it is not crowded
2 - Easy flight over to Venice and then a 30 min taxi
3 - You get to eat real authentic pasta during the built up to the race (including breakfast)
4 - Some lovely fast sweeping downhill sections after the 90km mark
4 - Great weather, scenery and they give you a beer and pasta at the end for your efforts
I completed the 200km race in 7h20 with 3,100m of climbing. Frantic start with hundreds of crazy Italians flying past you at 45 km/h so the first 20 min involved survival tactics but hard not to get caught up in the mad pace at the start. The major climbing was in the first 90kms which took me 4 hours with lovely switch backs so you could see all the way down the valley. The next 110kms was super fast - managed to get behind a big group which at times I was fighting to hang onto at the back because they were doing 40-45 km/h on the flats. Wonderful experience and well recommended for the racing nuts. All the hard training paid off - mixture of road and spin classes.
Monday, 5 October 2009
Day 1 : We departed from Croydon on a clear but chilly day and the forecast for the coming days was for no rain and around 22 degrees each day. We were warned that France is not flat (like most people think) and there were plenty of hills on the first day. Within 5 minutes of the start we hit the first major hill of the day and that really spread out the field, I ended up spending most of the morning riding with "Team Patel" and a few partners from a legal firm in London. Little did I realise that I would spend the rest of the 3 days cycling with them. A huge lunch was put on for us after about 75km and we then headed off on the afternoon leg to Dover to make sure we made our 6pm ferry. Two very big hills towards the end of the day took their toll on the riders but I was fine on them. I arrived in Dover at around 15:30 in the first 20% of riders and waited there for 2.5 hours for everyone else to finish. The ferry across to Calais was a shambles and cycling in the rain, dark and freezing cold to the Holiday Inn led to 2 accidents. I was roomed with a Scottish chap - weird rooming with a stranger.
Events of the day : 3 accidents, 2 people hospitalised. One guy fell and broke his finger and another woman's brakes failed and she went through a stop street, over a busy road, into a fence and straight over the fence into the bush.
MC - no punctures, no injuries, no accidents
Distance - 149km
Day 2: An early start to what would be the hardest day of the tour. The route took us through many small villages and towns, where I was convinced there was more activity in a cemetery at night than in many of these country towns and villages. The monotony of the route took its toll, along with the heat and the field was spread out over many miles. I headed off in the lead pack shortly after lunch and had a great ride in the afternoon mostly on my own. Got into the Holiday Inn in Arras at 4pm and took it easy until dinner. Roomed with the Scot again and he was starting to irritate me.
Events of the day - no accidents, plenty of punctures etc for many riders.
MC - no punctures, injuries or accidents.
Distance - 135km
Moment of the day - walking to bed at 20:45 and seeing a rider arriving at the hotel reception. He got lost when the organisers forgot about him and they had taken all the route signs down. Shame - 12 hours in the saddle.
Day 3: Another 7:45 start on what turned out to be the best day of the trip. The morning's ride was south from Arras which took us through the old battlefields from WW1 and many memorial sites for those who died during WW1. A truly moving experience. Other sights included passing the South African and British cemetery's as well as a tree now known as the "Last Tree Standing". The ride was at a casual pace and I stopped at most of these viewing points and memorial sights. No big hills on this stage, smooth roads and mostly down wind. Stayed at some dodgy hotel in Compeigne - bought the Scot his own room as I couldn’t share with him anymore.
Distance - 139km
MC - No punctures or injuries, but I did break my chain after 28km as I climbed a small hill - as my mayday call to the roving mechanic connected, I turned around and there he was at the stop street behind me !! It was quickly sorted out and I was on my way again.
Moment of the day - standing at one of the memorial sites taking a picture of a grave of a South African soldier with an inscription saying "Known to God".
Day 4 : The easiest and shortest stage of the trip with a flat 115km ride into Paris. A lot of excitement and anticipation amongst the riders. The goal on this stage was getting to the Eiffel Tower with no injury or accident or puncture. It was fitting that I ended up cycling into the heart of Paris with my buddies that I met on Day 1 and Tiesto cranking away in my right ear. Thanks Lee for all the CD's. Armin and Tiesto kept me going on Day 2.
Distance - 115km
MC - no punctures !!!
Moment of the day - cycling in convoy around the Arc De Triumph and then down the Champs Elysses with crowds lining the streets applauding us and taking photos.
On the whole it was a tremendous experience and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a challenge.
Finally, thank you so much to everyone for sponsoring me and supporting my charity that I chose. In the end, I raised an amount of £1835 for CLIC Sargent.
Saturday, 3 October 2009
Join the Full Potential team for 7 days intensive training on the volcanic island of Lanzarote. Our camp, now in its 5th year has grown from strength to strength. It has evolved and now we offer a package that caters from Novice to experienced athlete.
Club La Santa is run as a modern hotel with all the necessary facilities of a combined sports, active holiday resort and conference facility. Located on the north west coast of Lanzarote, approximately 20 minutes from Arrecife airport, Club La Santa is appreciated by young and old, elite and beginners, holidaymakers and sports teams. Relaxation, fascinating nature, breathtaking surroundings, live entertainment, friendly people, delicious food and an excellent climate combine to make Club La Santa the perfect location for your training holiday.
What we offer:
- RUNNING: The roads and trails that surround the resort are excellent for runners. Every day we have 2 or 3 run sessions. They appeal to everyone from the competitive types to the novice runners. Our week includes talks, discussions, track sessions, skill sessions and races over 10k and Half Marathon.
- SWIMMING: Club La Santa has 2 separate swimming areas – the main, Olympic sized pool is for serious swimmers, while a separate complex is provided for leisure. The Olympic-sized, open-air pool is 50m long and split into 8 lanes, each segregated by ropes. We have ¾ lanes booked on a daily basis for group swimming in ability based lanes with expert swim coaching. Timing pace clocks are at both ends of the pool and the water is heated to a temperature of 23°C or warmer.
- CYCLING: We offer a full range of guided bike tours, bike fit, technique and handling skills . The tours suit all levels of ability, from very basic beginner’s to our advanced. We offer the possibility to cover most of the Ironman bike course. Every day we plan a bike ride from 90 minutes to 7 hours all based on ability and target.
- Coached run sessions on trail, road and track with Olympian, Liz Yelling.
- Daily guided bike rides in ability based groups over undulating terrain
- Daily swim sessions in an outdoor 50m pool with excellent pool side coaching
- Brick sessions – bike to run
- Trail treasure hunt in teams – very competitive
- Races – 10 k run, Half Marathon, Duathlon and Triathlon with timing chip recorded data
- Over 30 free activities provided by Club La Santa that you can dip in or dip out of
- Group meals and dinners with evening entertainment
- Coach trip to Puerto Del Carmen for shopping, open water swimming or running
- Evening talks, lectures and Q&A opportunities
- One to one coaching in any of the three multisport disciplines
Friday, 2 October 2009
Walking to the studio this morning I knew winter had snuck up on us, even with all the sun of late - there was a bite in the air and Wandsworth Park was dark and empty of the outdoor gymers. It is the 1st of October and I have been inactive since I completed my iron man on Sunday 2 Aug - we are talking 2 months of NOTHING !!! The odd Munich Beer fest featured, a huge Pedal Studio Boat party definitely featured, sure a quick down hill sprint in Fort William ( but that was gravity assisted in a big way !) did hit the highs for thrills in September BUT I have managed to stack on 7 kgs in 2 months !!
I was late for the the start of the class and Carms gave me the eye ball but also said it was nice to see me again ~ it has been some time ! Straight into a hill climb ! OMG - I sucked for air. I know you are all missing the HR system but for once I was glad I was not plugged in. It would have been RED zoned for me and green for everyone else. I still check my rate as I ride, it is a habit to keep my body in check and I was off the scales. I kept my head down and continued to climb.
I was surprised to see only 3 other riders - the morning session creates such an energy and really kicks the day off - come on folks, it is time to get more stuck in.
My goal - A massive massive hill climb in Peru in less than 6 weeks ! I will be back in class a lot more so I hope to see you all there.
The class was great, Carmen has really developed as an instructor over these past few months and the controlled intensity of the class that she delivers leaves you challenged and rewarded. She challenged us to compete against her. That always makes it fun but the there is no getting away from the honest grind of pushing resistance and the legs did burn even if the tunes helped keep the mind drifting off. I eased off for a few of the climbs and certainly the sprints I was not in the front. I had planned to sit at the back of the class and take it easy but I guess the competitive nature is a spirit that cannot be killed. It makes me realise I need to get the HR system fixed ASAP so that it can act as a control and keep things focused to goals.
Right now I have got 8 kgs to loose otherwise the climb over the Andes in Peru is going to be tough as and added to the weight will be all our equipment and food !
Short term objective 1 is ticked and that was get out of bed at 6:15 and go to spinning for the 1st day of the month, can you believe October is here.
Weight - 96kgs
Endurance level - low
Strength level - low to medium
Heart Rate - in upper thresholds around 188bpm and moving up.