UK National Masters Road Race Champion
During the autumn and winter of 2010/11 I trained with Ben regularly and frequently. Never matching him but doing the same training and then the gradual confidence building started about 2011. Ben began to suggest a programme of road and turbo training to fit in with my life always emphasising the need to recover. Something I’d never been particularly good at. The training delivered me to the beginning of the season in good form which then built through repeated sessions to the eve of the national age group championship road race. I was not convinced about being able to win. Ben rang me to ensure my race head was screwed firmly on. I forget what it was he said but it did the tick and after an aggressive display of riding I sprinted clear of the lead group in the final mile to win.
The national title was great and much of the achievement was owed to Ben who provided guidance and structure throughout the previous two years. It made me realise the benefits of having a coach. It’s some else to discuss the goals and issues with. A rational, detached individual. I suspect I could have figured the training sessions out for myself that from the running days, it is not that dissimilar however I had forgotten how to structure the training and did not know how to get the most out of my turbo for example. I do not have a power meter. I was not entirely sure of the benefits bearing in mind that I was able to actually ride with Ben who had one.
As a result of the title I was invited to race in the International Masters Tour of Majorca for ProCycleHire.com in mid October. This was great however there were two obstacles:
1. On the Monday after the National Championships I took up a three month assignment inAbu Dhabi. I would return two days before flying out to Majorca.
2. There was a 14km climb over a 900m Col on the second stage and I was around 82kg heavy.
No worries. Ben provided guidance and structure around what to do with the limited resources I had available and always promptly replied to my updates/queries/concerns which was a real help. He also offered further nutritional guidance to assist getting to 78kg on the start line. I recall one particularly difficult session – my last road ride before returning home for the race inMajorcawere two 10mile time trails with a 20min recovery. I did this on the Yas Marina F1 circuit in 98% humidity and 36 degree heat. The coaching provided by Ben assisted in getting me out of the door on occasions when an air conditioned hotel bar was more appealing. In Majorca I rode the mountain stage well and finished 7th overall on General Classification in my age group.
2012 has also gone well.
Ben’s input has been measured as usual and I have been able to sustain a decent level all season. The year has been aided by a ‘Bike Fit’ and recommendation to invest in a new frame which was much more stiff than my previous and one which had more areo pedigree. On a test based upon a tempo ride of approximately 1hr 45 mins over a particular route, in very similar weather conditions, I rode 2mins quicker on the new recommendation than on the previous bike (a top end bike none the less) for the same average heart rate. Interesting and suggesting of more good input from Ben. Additionally I and have just attained my 1st Cat license – one of my seasons goals. Other goals were top 10 in the Eastern Divisional Championships (finished 7th), retaining the national title (didn’t happen but not for the want of trying!) and finally a podium place in Majorca. At the time of writing Ben is cracking the whip to get me ready amidst a welcome but untimely spike in business activity.
Director – Morgan Smith Limited