Mid August 2016 I was picked by Pav to be an ambassador for Pav Bryan Coaching, a few weeks later I was then introduced to my dedicated coach Caroline Stewart. My 2016 season was a learning curve as I was from cross country mountain bike racing (last race 1999) back in the day I was able to compete at local level with many top 10 positions, 18 years later I decided to change career and go back to working in a bike shop and as you will guess started to race again, however this time focusing on cyclocross & road racing.
2016 was ok, I competed in various cyclocross & road races with a few good positions. I was never really sure what my training should include as I was new to the sport, I did receive some great advice from a local racer who very experienced, this has really helped me to get through the season.
After speaking to Caroline I was given some great advice, one peice of advice she gave me was to rest, this is always hard to take as like most other cyclist I thought I needed to ride a lot, every ride I did was intense resulting in some weeks feeling drained.
I provided Caroline with my FTP results and we started work early September, the night before my first cyclocross race I had a chat with Caroline about my other races, Caroline pointed out that I should try to stay smooth and constant through the the race instead of wasting energy, I got to the race, registered and started my warm up,I was feeling good and fresh. The race had a good grid of around 80 + riders. I managed a great start and was with the group of riders I knew would be competitive, first, second and third lap I was very consistent and stayed up with the better guys, just after the start of the third lap I crashed resulting in around 1-2 minutes on the floor and sorting the jammed chain out, as I jumped on the bike to ride again I noticed my knee was very painful, this got worse through the race hurting at every step and climb, I managed to finish the race in the top 30, after finishing the race I sat down and could not stand back up or bend my leg.
The following day my knee was swollen and I was unable to walk/ride. I decided to visit the hospital for a check over this resulted in an X-ray which showed no bone damage, still having issues I was booked in for an MRI scan in November, this has shown no damage to the knee but again I was still having some issues.
Through the all of the above Caroline has been very supportive and worked with me sometimes daily to help me keep some fitness and also keep me focused on the long term plan for 2017. I know at times I have taken up a lot of Caroline’s time due to days when the pain was so bad I could not ride, changing the program + asking for advice.
One thing I though I would struggle with was dedication, this however has not been the case, I have a busy lifestyle, family, working full time and also working as a freelance designer this allows me very little time for training, however Caroline has put together a program that fits around me and more importantly around my family.
It’s now December and we are finally starting to increase the work load and intensity, Caroline again is monitoring me regularly and giving me honest feedback and support.
My first few months of the ambassador roll have been a little frustrating to say the least, If I was not supported by Caroline and the ambassador roll I think I would have decided to change my plans and not raced in 2017. Caroline has been a great help from day one, with years of experience behind her I know 2017 is going to be a great year…
Roll on 2017 and results