Memoirs of a MAMIL #2

UCI World Cycling Tour competitor Rick Jordan tries to get a head start on his training, but is quick to realise how hard it can be to balance life and competitive cycling

Welcome back,

In last week’s post I gave you some insight to my background in cycling, and how I’ve qualified for the UCI World Cycling Tour final in Trento, Italy. With only a month to go, I thought I would just quickly recap the last seven months to give you an idea of how I’ve been strictly preparing for the final race.

As of December 2012…

Weight (on Christmas morning): 82kg
Note: that’s Christmas morning. Not after lunch, or the obligatory nap aka carb coma, or listening to the stories about great aunt Betty who wasn’t a drinker, but always had a half bottle of cooking sherry in the kitchen. The weight should be about 120kg.
Power: around 240W, or enough to power a light globe for about 5 seconds.
Hours spent riding September – December: 53
Training load per day (CTL): low – mid 30s.

It was after the holiday celebrations that I decided it was time to get serious. My first task was to find a good coach that I would have faith in and be able to get the best out of me. I was after someone who didn’t have the ‘old-school’ mentality of getting out there and putting in the long miles. I enlisted the much-needed support of coach Alex Simmons.

Being a geek, I have dabbled in training with power for the past few years, but never really had a clear aim or goal. Hence why Alex, a world leader in training with power, was the perfect choice. Power is great for efficient and effective training especially for A: mere, slightly lazy, mortals, and B: time poor, working cyclists.

What Alex (who I dubbed super coach) identified almost instantly was that I simply wasn’t working hard enough. Any good rides that I was having were more a result of good luck rather than good management. Looking forward to the final and the terrain I made the decision to target the Individual Time Trial over the road race. I was raised on handicap racing and I’m a decent time trialist so it seemed a natural decision. Plus the Road Race is finishing up a 2000m mountain pass – not good for a then-tubby MAMIL.

My super coach and I developed a plan, set targets and some massive milestones that I would have to overcome. I spent the summer months on the road, enjoying the sunshine and building consistency, but sitting at a manageable power level. With quite a few coffee rides scheduled, trying not to get frustrated at always being dropped at the hills AND the flats, racing (club and state level, the UCI Perth Tour, and a second UCI World Tour qualification event) plus finalising wedding plans; come March 1 was a broken man who was approaching my first milestone: SCODY 3 Peaks Challenge.

The 3 Peaks were to me, what green kryptonite was to Superman; the one thing that brought me to my knees. Back in 2010 I suffered near hypothermia (how’s that for commitment?) while racing and pulled out at the half way point, swearing never to return. Little did I know, some two years later, I would be at the starting line again ready to take on my nemesis.

Next week I will share my return attempt at the dreaded 3 Peaks, results at the Perth UCI, run through some lycra-ninja Jedi skills and reveal where NOT to get stung by a bee…

As of March 2013…

Weight: 79kg
Power: 255W
Hours spent riding January – March: 95
Training load (CTL): just below 40
Big mac’s burnt: 2 (about 52000 kJ)