Review of Targets 19/5/14

My short-term targets were:

  1. 500 steady miles in March, 600 in April, 600 in May
  2. Reduce weight to 71.5kg by end of March, 70kg by end of April
  3. Two gym sessions per week (Tuesday, Thursday)

In March I rode 456 miles, in April 251 miles, and in May to date I have ridden 371 miles. My weight is currently 72.4kg and I am averaging 2 gym sessions per week. Overall, I am making reasonable progress towards these goals. In April, and due to getting a successful team entry to Ride London I started doing one long ride per week (75/80 miles) with my team mates, Pete Lamble, Simon Aplin and Alistair Lobban. I’m not quite sure why the miles fell well short of their target in April. We took a holiday to Cornwall at the beginning of the month and then we went away to Forest of Dean later on. I was quite active through April and there were rides with the family on bike trails which were not recorded so I don’t think April was quite so bad as it first appears.

My weight loss wasn’t as quick as I would have liked, however, the weight is steadily coming down and if I can get it under 72kg by the end of this month then I will have made good progress. I will then have 2.5kg to lose in June and July to bring my weight to 69.5kg for Ride London. I need to ride a further 230 miles to reach my 600 mile target for May and with 13 days left this averages out at 115 miles per week. My approach is to ride 80 miles of recovery rides this week and one 80-mile ride at the weekend. This will leave 70 miles to ride before we travel to see Mum for a couple of days.

Looking ahead to June, July, August it is useful to start formulating some targets:

  1. Weight loss – down to 71kg by the end of June, 70 kg by end of July and 69.5kg by 10th August
  2. Sunday 22nd June – Dartmoor Classic. Need to set a time to complete the course
  3. Sunday 10th August Ride London-Surrey – time for team to complete the course under 5 hours
  4. 600 miles June including 2 x 100 mile rides (incl. Dartmoor Classic)
  5. How do I deal with the 2-week holiday 28/6 to 12/7? Need to keep cycling. Yemi not keen on me taking bike, but it appears there are no decent bike hire shops.
  6. 500 miles July – more intensive work

Why Do I Cycle? 19/5/14

It is useful to reflect on why I put so much time, effort and money into cycling. It has become my number one pursuit and I have been actively cycling now for about two years.

There are occassions when I am out on a bike ride and I am finding it tough and I ask myself why I bother putting myself through all the pain. I think it is a good question, especially for those rides when it is particularly tough. It is on those occasions that I need to remind myself why I do it. So, why do I cycle?

  1. To lose weight (more precisely, to lose fat) – this was always my original goal. Losing weight and keeping it off has been my biggest challenge. I currently weigh 72.4kg and that has taken some time to get to. I am aiming to reduce my weight to 69.5kg – it is proving very difficult but slowly but surely the weight is coming off. If I didn’t cycle I would have no chance of losing any weight, not without losing muscle too. But why would I want to give up eating – why give up one of life’s pleasures. So, that is one of the top reasons for cycling; to lose weight and to keep it off whilst enjoying my food.
  2. To get fit and strong and have good tone and musculature – I am aware that every year, men over 40 lose 1% of their muscle mass. I have seen how older men lose their muscle and I don’t want this to happen to me. In order to maintain/build my muscle mass and build my strength I ride my bike and to aid my bike riding I train with weights in the gym.
  3. To feel exhilarated when I achieve a cycling goal or ride well. I won’t forget how good I felt after last years Ride London. I just could not believe that I had ridden 100 miles at an average speed of 18mph. It was just mind-blowing and I want to feel like that again. I can also feel exhilarated when I have ridden well on a long or hard ride. It is a fantastic feeling when you hit good form, however, it takes effort and hard work to achieve.
  4. One of the surprising benefits of bike riding is how many friends I have made. I suppose it is no surprise that I am able to bond with people with similar outlooks, people who want to keep fit and strong. Cycling attracts people from different backgrounds, young and old, and different demographics. The one thing that brings us together is our love of cycling. Training with other guys in pursuit of personal goals, lets say for a given sportive, is a great motivator for training, especially when the going gets tough. One shares the ups and downs of training.

Overall, it has to be said that cycling has given my life real focus. I have a pursuit that keeps me fit and strong, that allows me to carry on enjoying my food, and allows me to share the mixed emotions of cycling with like-minded people. I shall continue to set myself goals so I have something specific to aim for. I don’t think it is enough to just to ride for the sake of riding – there has to be a compelling goal to keep me going.

Weight, weight, weight!!!!!

Over the past few months my weight has been hovering around the 72.5-73kg mark. I rarely go on the scales as subconsciously I know what the result is likely to be. Not good. I am not moving down towards a more ideal performance weight. I am making progress fitness-wise but I am not making any serious inroads on reducing my weight. Why?

1. I clearly like my food – it is the old trap; I am exercising and therefore justify what I eat based on the effort I have expended. The problem is I am consuming too much and I am not reducing my weight

2. I am not weighing my food so there is no real control over the number of calories I am consuming

3. I can train harder if my body is fully nourished. If I undereat, which of course I would be if I was watching my diet closely, then I would not be able to train as hard.

What can I do? If I really want to lose weight then I have to start being more strict over what I eat, I simply have to weigh what I eat and there is no getting away from the fact that I will need to eat less. To lose 1kg or 2.2lb I need to reduce my calorie intake by 5500 calories. Based on a reduction of 500 calories per day it would take 11 days to lose 1kg. I absolutely want to get down to 70kg so this would take a month of concerted effort. Gosh, it is really hard. Just the thought of the sacrifice I have to make is getting me down but there is no other way.

I have fat, obvious fat around my stomach, chest and back. The ultimate goal is for my body to be hard to the touch and this means getting rid of all the excess fat. I am just fed up with this lingering fat. It really is a battle that I have to win. Enough is enough, I need to get on and conquer this demon.

Targets – Review 21st April 2014

Short-term targets:

  1. 500 steady miles in March, 600 in April, 600 in May
  2. Reduce weight to 71.5kg by end of March, 70kg by end of April
  3. Two gym sessions per week (Tuesday, Thursday)

What is required to achieve these targets?

  1. Watch my diet – back to controlled foods and portion sizes
  2. Approx. 125 miles per week (8 hours per week) – 3-hr ride Wed, 2 x 2hr Sat & Sun, 1 1/2 hr Mon or Fri
  3. Ride alone and not in groups – zones 2 & 3; aerobic
  4. Plan ahead – check out weekly weather forecast and plan rides accordingly
  5. Increase ride distance whenever possible – move up to 60,70,80 miles


  1. Rode 456 miles in March vs target of 500 miles.  Have ridden 185 miles so far in April so unlikely to get near to 600 mile target.
  2. Weight is 72.8kg so 1.3kg behind target
  3. I am completing 2 gym sessions per week