Week 5 – Dealing with doubt and a check in video with Alex Dowsett

Hello all, this post is a slightly longer one with a few videos. There’s chat and ride with Alex Dowsett, me being brave and laying down some goals and a few videos from the garage. I’m going to reduce the frequency of my posts to 2-3 weeks, this is in order to give you more in one go.



This week I have truly felt the progress. The videos I’m posting below will detail it. But in summary I feel faster without having to kill myself to get the speed. I’ve always been envious of riders who can stay on top of their gears making most speeds look effortless. I also know plenty of fast riders who achieve amazing speeds but bust a blood vessel each time getting there. I felt this week was a tiny step toward becoming smoother.

Fatigue and busy schedules

These last two weeks have been very hard. In terms of volume, my legs have started to show the strain of the type of threshold efforts I have been doing. So much so that I had to miss a workout this week to recover (with consultation from Cyclism). In terms of family we’ve been unusually busy and have had a to make changes to our normal schedule which has resulted in me training at 10pm or 5am in one case.

At times like this you really need to stay realistic about how much you can take on. Monday’s session was brutal and really took a lot out of me. The next day at work I felt the fatigue and genuinely was worried about how I would be able to complete my week, knowing the week after I had no weekend ride. I contacted my coach and she immediately put my mind at ease. This feeling was down to an accumulation of fatigue from the last four week block and was normal. I booked a sports massage and skipped the normal midweek cadence session. The result was more time with the family and a much better quality threshold workout on Thursday. Saturday came around and once again I felt the benefit of recovering properly when I needed it mid week. So by making a judgement call and taking out a 45 minute session, I turned the week into one of my best yet. Without the reassurance and guidance from my coach I may have just powered on and spoiled the rest of the weeks effort. You will need to workout at times when you really don’t want to, but think about each session and its impact on your family, work and training. BE HONEST!! do you NEED a rest? or do you ‘fancy a break’?

Doubt and how people can contribute in good and bad ways

For the last five weeks I have experienced a mixture of support and negativity. There has always been a core of people who support what I’m doing and even those who train differently but still respect the effort I’m putting in. These people have really kept me positive and genuinely make it easier to get on the bike in the cold garage when I could easily be inside. My advice is to keep these people around and make sure they know how important they are to you. Your partner and family will play a huge part, but friends and club-mates who drop you a message to ask how things are or want to come on a training ride are valuable. With that in mind I’m going to say thanks to Paul Saunders, Tom Willian, JP, Jo Kelly, Joe Pak, Rob S, Rob G and Dougie. Over the last few weeks I’ve doubted myself a lot and I’ve even felt silly for writing this blog and setting my goals. The chats I have with these people really make me feel positive, probably without them knowing it.

There are also those who will tell me to just ride a million miles a week and I’ll be fine. Or offer lots of sage like advice that doesn’t work with what I’m being coached to do. My advice here is to listen to these people too. There are always nuggets of gold to be found in a lot of advice. It’s also worth remembering some people can also be insecure about what they are, or are not doing, this will change their approach to you. Take the good, throw away the bad and try to help them back if you can.

Here is a summary of the last two weeks and me setting my goals for the next 12 months:

The Goals!!!

Cyclism Club ride and check in with Alex Dowset:

Training videos including some personal insight into a saturday ride and why I love club cycling:

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