In a break from our usual style of blog, GCH’s Peter gives an insight into his current mood…

As I sit here now, I’m feeling pretty good about myself.  GCH is slap bang in the middle of a solidly booked 6 weeks towards the end of the season and 2020 is filling up nicely with some new and exciting stuff on the horizon, but this is not the reason for my smugness.  Its actually a minor victory but its a step in the right direction anyway.  Today the scales showed me I have lost 5kg in less than a month….

Lets take a minute to throwback to April 2019 for a bit of background.  13th April to be exact, when I got knocked off my brand new bike (in the middle of its 3rd outing) and broke my wrist.  It was the beginning of the cycling season and with a target to do the Fred Whitton route in July I was starting to train in earnest. But with my arm in plaster for 10 weeks, my new bike written off and being unable to do any of the things i had planned (a week at GCH for one) my motivation, to do anything other than eat and drink too much, disappeared along with my fitness and waistline.

10 weeks out with a broken Radius

Don’t get me wrong, when I got the all clear and physio sessions cleared me to get back to cycling and yoga sessions I was temporarily reinvigorated, but social pressures (nights out) and the catch 22 of not being fit enough to enjoy the little riding I was doing meant it didn’t last long and the weight kept creeping up.  A weekend away with friends to watch the World championships in Harrogate was the final straw.  Pushing up minor hills, having to buy new clothes that fit and generally feeling like shit it was clear that weekend that id reached the turning point.  So here’s what i did:

On the 30th September I got on the scales.  0.1kg shy of 90kg! Aka 14stone 2 1/2 lbs aka 198 lbs. F*ck me! 

For a bit of context for those that don’t know me (those that do will now be pissing themselves), I’m not tall.  At 5’7” and with an “athletic” build I’ve not been slim since I was 21. In 2013 I was probably at my fittest and weighed 78kg. In the intervening 6 years I’ve attempted to keep my weight around the 80 – 82kg with 85kg being the point which spurred me into action.

The other thing that happened on the 30th September was I got on the turbo trainer for a 30 minute spin.

Ive always been a fan of writing notes and keeping diaries.  I have work notebooks from 20 years ago and training diaries from the heady days of 2013.  I find writing notes much more meaningful and worthwhile than the multitude of training apps and electronic devices that are designed to track and provide motivation. Even the act of drawing and updating a graph is more satisfying and uplifting than using a spreadsheet. Thats not to say that i don’t use the apps, i do, but as all the data uploads and syncs automatically across Garmin connect, training peaks, myfitnesspal, Strava et al there is no investment from me to reflect and refocus.  Writing it down, on paper in ink does. So i also ordered a diary.

Ive set weekly and daily goals since it arrived and tracked my weight weekly. I set myself a target to get back to 2 yoga sessions a week and to pedal at least 30 minutes every day in October and a longer term goal to be <80kg by March 2020 (6 months and the duration of the journal) .

The yoga classes have improved week on week with the wrist getting stronger with each class (although I’ve added it to the list of joints that creak when moving) culminating in my first head stand since returning last week

I’ve managed to pedal every day bar one and my streak lasted 21 days. Initially i just got on the turbo and pedalled for 30 or 45 minutes depending on how i felt.  Sometimes i followed the GCN training videos but after a couple of weeks it was becoming tedious and i began to feel not really too beneficial so I signed up to the Trainer Road app.  I set myself up for the medium load – sweet spot – base loading – 6 week plan with the target to stick to 95% of the trainer stress score every week.  So far I’m into week 3 and on track.  I also did an initial ramp test first time out to set my levels.  I’m planning on retesting at the end of this 6 week period and if I’m still loosing weight and my FTP numbers improve there might be a part 2 to this blog.  If not I’ve fallen off the wagon and am sat on my couch watching strictly stuffing my face with rich tea biscuits.

For now though im going to review my training diary and keep pedalling.

Cheers Peter