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Starting 2014 on a high

After a hard winter of solid training I was ready to get back out onto the racing scene with a new team (Revolutions Racing) and see where my form is at in relation to the end of last year. This winters training had included a lot of weight and strength training sessions with Pete Roche (http://www.petespowders.co.uk) and from this I knew I was stronger than last year and hoped to put it into my performances.

1st March, Wrekinsport Hilly 18m TT
I travelled back to a familiar course for my first time trial of the year, the Wrekinsport Hilly 18. I knew from previous years how tough this course was with a hard climb up the hermitage to finish the race.

With an afternoon start I was off quite early being 15th rider off, knowing I had 2 other juniors starting in front of me and familiar top class racers off behind me. I knew it was going to be a hard race. I began my afternoon by doing my usual long warmup of 40minutes, increasing my heart rate to my race pace and included some above pace efforts to get me used to the pain I was about to put myself through. After my warmup it was time to change to my race wheels, helmet on and let’s go.

I got to the start in good time and knew after my warmup I was feeling pretty good and had some good legs to race on. It was finally race time, after the nerve racking countdown I was off. I pushed hard for the first few miles and caught my minute man before the 2mile mark, should I have held back a bit at the start? Nope that’s not an option, so I carried on working hard on the undulating course and then settled into my rhythm. I was feeling good and was closing down rider after rider. I got onto the flatter and downhill sections of the course and picked up some good speed before getting to the final section of the course. The dreaded climb up the hermitage and then a super fast downhill to the finish. I hit the climb hard and by halfway I was realising I was coming up the gears quickly and before long had nowhere to go. This meant it was down to all the hard work I had put in at the gym with Pete (http://www.petespowders.co.uk) on my strength and power, I worked hard and pushed the gear over well closing further riders down. I could see the final bend of the climb with my mum and dad waiting and cheering. I dropped it down a gear and pushed over the top and then let rip on the descent. I flew down and caught one of the other juniors who started 12minutes in front of me, keeping up with the traffic I knew I couldn’t ease off just yet. I safely got down and proceeded to the finish at near maximal effort.

After the race I knew I couldn’t of pushed much harder than that, and was coughing and spluttering later on. True signs of maximal effort. After the race I had a nice cool down and recovery shake provided by Pete and headed up to the HQ to see the results. I had finished 8th out of nearly 90riders, 2nd county rider and 1st junior. From this I knew I was on good form early in the season.

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NSW 2up TTT
Two weeks later I had another time trial, this one however was a team time trial. It was a 10miler and was on my former clubs new course. I raced with a good friend who is also my fellow team mate. The day before the race Rich had a disaster snapping a valve on his front wheel which meant for emergency measures, a quick message on twitter and all was resolved. Rich had to use one of my spare race wheels for it. We got to the race early and signed on, we were the 15th team off out of a big field of 35 teams. The weather was pretty good with it being dry and sunny but there was quite a strong wind out to fight us.

We warmed up separately and once both of us were ready we had a long ride to the start, during this we got our tactics right for how we would race and the duration of our turns on the front were decided. We got to the start in good time and were ready to chase down three teams of nova raiders (Rich’s old club).

We were off, we started well and strong into the headwind before turning back on ourselves and picking up speed with the tailwind. Our changeovers were slick and smooth and we were working well together for a first ride as a team. As the finish got closer, the turns got shorter, the ride got harder back into the wind but we could see a team in front. We pushed on and almost caught them before the finish.

After a long ride back to the finish, Rich had to shoot off quickly so I was left to wait an agonisingly long time before the results got back to the HQ. Me and Rich went out to win the race and with some fast looking teams here we knew it would be tough. Nearly an hour later the results were back… We had done it! We won the event overall in a time of 22:55 being the only team under 23minutes. Round one of the series was won, with 5 events remaining we knew by the end we will have some fast times in and hopefully a sub 22.

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My next blog should be next weekend after my first triathlon of the year, Harlech triathlon.

Thanks for reading!

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MSW 25mile TT

Well the week leading up to this event started well with a hard strength turbo and a good core workout (from Nadia Fantastico), but then on Wednesday I caught a horrible cold. It was getting better as the race got closer, but then when it came to race day i was still ill and I think I made the wrong decision to race.

Before the race i got on my turbo and begin my usual routine of warming up and drinking my Herbalife Prepare. Then with half an hour before my start time I got off the turbo and got myself ready for the 15 minute ride down to the start.

The race did not go as well as I had hoped but I think that would be down to being ill. I worked really hard on the way out to the half way turn around most of which into a tuff headwind. Once I had turned the pace was back on to try and get my time as close to the hour as possible. But on the way back my legs had gone an it felt very lethargic but I kept on working hard and finished with a time of 1hr 02minutes 58seconds. 2 seconds slower than last year whilst ill and in harder conditions.

After the race I had my Herbalife Rebuild recovery shake to help speed up my recovery.

For more information about Herbalife Products contact me on – garbett96@gmail.com
Or Nadia Fantastico on nadiactive@gmail.com or 07870684341

Check back next week as I will be turning this bad race around and do a good one. Next week I have a 10mile TT on Saturday and then on the Sunday I will be racing the rescheduled WC 10 mile TT.

Thanks for reading
Tom.

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WC 10mile TT

Well the snow hit hard again this weekend which caused another time trial to be cancelled. So it was back to the turbo for some intense interval work…it made me feel ill! After the turbo i had a herbalife rebuild shake to help my recovery.

For more information about Herbalife Products contact me on – garbett96@gmail.com
Or Nadia Fantastico on nadiactive@gmail.com or 07870684341.

Check back next week to read my race report on my 25mile TT. I will be trying to break the one hour barrier this time because at the last race of last season i PB’d at 1:00:25s on this course!

Tom.

25 mile TT Cancelled

Well today’s 25mile TT was cancelled due to really bad winter weather. I was really looking forward to this race after coming off 3 back-to-back wins, but better to be safe than sorry!

For more information about Herbalife Products contact me on – garbett96@gmail.com
Or Nadia Fantastico on nadiactive@gmail.com or 07870684341.
All herbalife products are VAT free for 2 weeks starting on Monday 18th march.

Next weeks blog will be about the west Cheshire 10mile TT where I am aiming to beat my personal best of 22:21!

Thanks Tom

Transition from winter training to racing

Today Senior cycling coach with the association of British cycling coaches, Pete Read travelled down to my local cycling club to do a speech and a show us different turbo sessions to help with the transition from winter training into race season.

For the first half of the day we discussed heart rate levels, fuelling, aerodynamics and PPP (premature performance plateau).

I found the PPP very interesting as this is where your performance increases and peaks to early in the season, then your performance does not increase and stays the same or sometimes decreases. It is also caused because you are racing week in week out, your glycogen levels are low (empty tank) and as you get further through the season you are racing tired and your performance will not increase. I found this topic very interesting because this happened to me about half way through last season, I started to get down as I wasn’t improving, but after resting more in between races it helped me to improve again towards the end of the season and helped me to pull out my 25mile PB on the last race of the season doing a 1:00:25! So close to breaking the hour! In order to stop this you should start the season with a few days rest after each event and half your training-not reducing the intensity just the time! Until you get used to racing every weekend and you will be able to start increasing your training back to what you used to with your long rides etc on the weekends.

The second half today was very intense as we did a 2 hour turbo session incorporating all of the different sessions that should be done now to increase your speed. Some of these sets will be included in my turbos throughout the season to help keep my top end aerobically strong through the intervals just above my race pace.

Throughout this two hour turbo I was drinking a great supplement from Hebalife. I was drinking Prolong, this seriously helped me to perform better over a long period of time. After the session I had a rebuild endurance recovery shake that has helped my legs to recover after the session!
I seriously recommend you try Herbalife product as they really do help!
To buy some herbalife products or want any advise on them please contact-
Nadia Fantastico
Tel: 07870684341
Email: nadiafantastico@googlemail.com

Thanks for reading, I will be recovering tomorrow with a 65mile ride with the club, weather should be good, so go out and enjoy the sunshine or whatever the weather is like where you are on your bike or go for a run. My next blog will be next weekend after my first Time Trial of the 2013 season… A hilly 14miler!

Tom

Fitness & VO2 max test

On Saturday 9th of February 2013 I went down to PML the LAB in Oswestry. Here I had a full fitness test measuring body weight and fat etc, I also had a VO2 max test.

My body composition-
Age: 16years
Height: 177cm
Body mass: 57.6kg
Lean muscle mass: 9.1kg
Fat mass: 8.5kg
Body fat: 11.7%
My body fat percentage for the 16-34 classification was average. The staff at the lab told me that most endurance athletes have a percentage of 5-8% but considering only being 16 years old they said it was good.

The VO2 MAX test
Well this was an experience. The test lasted a total of 9 minutes on a watt bike, after a 20 minute “team sky warm up” the test begun. The test consisted of increasing my cadence by about 3rpm every minute starting at 73rpm, with the watt bike on level 5!
After completing the test and feeling physically sick afterwards I have just received my report!
My results are as follows:
Maximal Aerobic capacity score:-VO2 absolute (L.min-1): 3.51
-VO2 relative* (ml.min.kg-1): 60.5
*VO2 relative score is my score divided by body weight.

From this I was given the advice to work hard at improving my absolute fitness. This involves working at zone 5&6- level 5 being 197bpm and above, and level 6 being 205bpm and above!! This is going to hurt….a lot! But no pain no gain!

My VO2 max was 60.1ml.min.kg-1. This means that at maximal exercise my body has the capacity to utilise 60.1ml of oxygen per kg of my body weight.

In the classification for men, age group 16-29 years my score places me in the ‘superior‘ category! Excellent being 51-55 and superior being a score of 56+! The staff at the lab told me that at my age my score and being in the superior category was extremely impressive but being 16 it can be increased, but it gives me a fantastic foundation to build upon!

After this test I had an awesome rebuild strength recovery drink from Herbalife! I felt great benefits from this shake as it helped me recover and would definitely recommend you buy some and give it a try!
To try these great herbalife products please get in touch with-
Nadia Fantastico
tel:07870684341
email: nadiafantastico@googlemail.com

Thanks for reading!
Check back tomorrow evening as I will be writing about different training sessions from winter training to race season from national cycling coach Pete Read.

Tom

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