David is progressing and so I thought I’d give you an idea of where his improvements have been made and where there is still a way to go before I’m really satisfied that I’ve done my very best for him in his preparation.
When I first met David he was, to be polite, rather a novice within all areas of cycling. From changing a tyre to changing himself in getting dressed! The clothing requirements we’ve endured have been based around looking like the Michelin man in lycra as it’s been so cold layers and layers have been required. His bike handling and road craft was requiring a great deal of attention as I discovered when he nearly ended up underneath a VW Golf after clipping my back wheel. David would drift round bends, not holding his line too well, and the anticipation of potholes or gear selection was closer to David Blunkett’s skills rather than David Millar’s.
He has, is, enduring a physical change whereby his back has been complaining often. His thighs and lungs have been screaming at him and on occasions his heart rate has hit 95% of its suggested maximum beats per minute.
Yesterday though I had the pure pleasure of seeing in him radical changes. An easy roll out to Leith Hill saw David get up one of the tougher hills in the area with aplomb, topped off by a fabulous rainbow and bluebell woods I could sense a pivotal change in David’s cycling ability.
I’m no longer checking behind me to ensure David is not in a ditch but that he is not having too easy a time of it so that his training is effective for him. Our last few miles back in to Reigate yesterday saw David rise to a new level where I got him to start and use the power he has to push up over small rises and lastly a really great leadout to exhaustion. On the last mile and a half David managed an average of 45 km an hour!
Now that I’ve got him to this area of ability, and he has put in some great work of his own, it’s time to get serious over the next few weeks and put in some much longer rides. The time commitment here is immense, 4 hour rides will become common place and throughout all of this I’m am really enjoying David’s tenacity and resolve to get the job done.
Today, David will be doing at least 2 hours and he may as well be in his swimming trunks as the forecast looks truly awful. When you’re reading this in the warmth of your office laughing at the thought of David on his bike spare a thought as to why he’s going through the suffering – so that others don’t have to so much ……. admiration!
Steve (DC’s Trainer)