I had a cycling accident during a duathlon on 20th March 2022 …
I fractured the seat bone in my pelvis and also my groin, broke 2 ribs in my lower back and 2 more in my upper chest. Bruises and scrapes a plenty added to my woes along with concussion and dizziness lasting several weeks. Had it not been for my helmet which shattered and split right through things could have been a lot worse.
I eventually healed and started to train for up and coming events with the support from some truly amazing Coventry Tri members but confidence was low and motivation even lower. The injury aside, my problem is I’ve never been consistent with training and regrettably never taken full advantage of the experienced Coventry Tri coaching on offer. I would just dip in and out of sessions or I would try numerous get fit, get fast, complete this complete that in record time advertised plans on the web or design my own plan all of which ended as quickly as they started.
My attitude towards training and lack of respect for distance events and what is actually required to complete them clearly explains my 70.3 DNF in Vichy, 6 hours to complete a Marathon, 4 hours for an Olympic distance and well the list goes on. At the start of 2023, I was about done as far as triathlons were concerned when I saw a post by Alex Williamson about a new initiative being trialled by Coventry Tri, an adaptable training plan linked with Training Peaks.
I got in touch with Alex who explained how it all worked. This sounded amazing and so I thought I’d have one last go. I booked a few events on line and after sharing my goals for the year with Alex, connected my Zwift and Garmin accounts to Training peaks and completed an FTP on the bike and run I was all set.
Alex was patient with me and took on board everything about work life balance where I could fit training in and more. He then designed a weekly training plan specifically for me…. yes that’s right, not a plan for everyone else, this plan was designed specifically for me. It really felt like I had my own personal trainer… this was incredible.
The training plan has adapted with my progress over the weeks and months, and driven my fitness to new levels turning my BPM, VO2, power levels and more into meaningful data that I could understand. More importantly, data that I can apply when out on the bike or running to get the most out of my sessions without totally buggering myself. Adding Yoga and strength sessions in at key times really makes a difference and adds something different to the monotony of swim, bike, run training.
My motivation and consistency is on another level now than it’s ever been. Getting out of bed early or to do a workout after a 12 hour shift is still challenging but I can’t wait to do them. And yes its hard… it’s really hard at times. And yes I’ve missed one or more sessions due to being over tired, I am 56 after all. One or more session have been missed through other commitments which mostly involved alcohol 0but I find myself feeling really guilty and disappointed with myself like I’ve never done before and try putting in extra or longer sessions where I can to make up.
I’m now up to two training sessions a day where I can fit them in and you can quite often find me in a puddle of sweat lying on the floor mid-week in the box room next to my turbo trainer close to a bucket after the weekly FTP intervals longing for that all important rest day … God knows I love Mondays.
The workout I’m looking at on my watch, Zwift or Garmin bike computer is actually tailored to my own most recent FTP test results not just any old workout cause I’m in week 3, 5 or whatever for the masses. I get real confidence that what I’m doing is benefitting me and the evidence is stacking up fast.
Since starting this plan, my average pace on the bike has risen from 17.6mph to 20.6mph in 6 months and I can climb hills on my bike during a long ride without fear of needing an air ambulance to resuscitate me half way up. My Garmin age is now 37 where prior to starting this I couldn’t get it below 50. I got a PB in the Warwick half Marathon knocking 10 minutes off my time, completed the Brighton Marathon, revisited Dorney and knocked 1 hour and 8 minutes from my time and most importantly for me was the big one….
I finally completed a 70.3 triathlon in full The Outlaw in Nottingham May 21st at the 3rd time of asking.
None of this would have been possible without the personalised training plan on Training Peaks and I cannot say enough about how much the ongoing guidance and support from Alex has helped me achieve my goals. Throughout the last 6 months Alex has kept in constant contact with me, replied to my e-mails and given me words of encouragement and advice.
What a difference this last 6 months has made. I cannot wait to be doing the Vitruvian 70.3 In September, the Coventry Half Marathon in October and whatever next year brings:Back to Cov Tri Achieve