Anyone who read my old blog (that is to say precious few) might remember a post a few weeks back in which I outlined my season goals, click here for it if anyone is interested. My main ambition, is to turn myself into a good time triallist – having decided not to focus on Closed Circuit racing after becoming heartily sick of it by the time the 2016 season drew to a close.

Unfortunately, my build is against me. 62 kg and 5’8 doesn’t exactly put a powerhouse in mind. Back in August, my FTP was 280 Watts (4.5 W/kg) – not bad but could certainly be better. I’m hoping to represent the University in the BUCS 25 mile TT come April. Again, this may be easier said than done, having enrolled in one of the top Sports Universities in the country – with a very prestigious Cycling club, selection is far from certain. In fact I’m hoping that no-one else will want to do the event by virtue of it being a long way away. In short – some work is needed, and fast.

Luckily, I’ve managed to acquire a TT bike. A Cannondale Slice 105, at a heavily discounted price. Of course there is still much equipment on the list – TT helmet, Skinsuit and Deep Section wheels being the main three. Being a student, this will require full use of my well honed bargain hunting skills, fingers crossed for a Black Friday deal.

For all those potential seconds shaved, no piece of equipment will make me significantly faster compared to a winter of hard work. I decided to cut the end of season break short by a week so as to start training as early as possible. As is my way, I’ve hit the books – reading up on position optimisation and the training best suited to the distance.

Its also time to start thinking about nutrition again. One area with which I frequently find myself at my wits end. Sadly, I am no longer at race weight, the combination of fewer training hours and cake has not left my waistline wanting. So it’s now back to losing weight, weighing out my food and trying not to think about my love of carbs. I’d like to be down to 61Kg by January, corresponding to the end of the base period. With Christmas fast approaching, this is easier said than done.

I have already discovered a few problems. It turns out the TT position is very uncomfortable and my flexibility is in need of some work. Somewhere during the course the summer I appear to have acquired a dead-spot in my pedal stroke, something that has never been a problem before. My fitness has declined more than expected following a three week break from structured training – I’ve put off doing an FTP test until now but soon the extent of the damage will become apparent.

In short – I have a large mountain to climb before becoming competitive again. Thankfully, my motivation is high enough that this shouldn’t be a problem, though the scheduled 13 training hours during the second week of January is going to be a struggle. Is my goal of breaking the hour and competing at BUCS achievable? Honestly I don’t know – but it’s not going to stop my trying.

One final word, this isn’t a political blog and never will be. Seems like just about everyone has something to say about recent events in the US and I feel as if I’m letting the side down if I don’t join in. In my opinion, the wrong man won – I just hope he doesn’t do too much damage over the course of the next four years. Now time to get out on my bike and forget about it.

Thanks for reading – stay tuned for more.

Ps – If there is enough interest, I’m planning on putting together a post of First Race Stories – just to reassure anyone who didn’t have the best time that they are from alone when it comes to disasters early on in a racing career. Success stories are of course also welcome. Any fellow bloggers, I’m quite happy to provide links to your sites from the post – as an extra incentive. Comment below or get in touch via twitter (@JamesALewis1297).




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