Watt ‘a’ Bike

Friday the 9th and the alarm chimes at 6am, as a day off, it was somewhat of a welcome 1hr lie in from my normal Friday morning. The reason is we have a rendez vous with some of the squad for an official training session with Eddie Fletcher at Watt Bike HQ in Evesham.

GeoffThomasTrainingWattBike2 (1)

It was a 10.30am meet, Google maps had plotted the preferred route the day before, 2hrs 25mins via the M25 and M40, I had three options 1- sit on the god forsaken M25 frustratingly cursing, 2- leave the house before 5.30am (I have learnt anytime after that, it’s carnage) arrive at 8am and make an even more than the normal nuisance of myself, or 3- plot another route. The latter option was preferable, and although free flowing was still a 3hr drive, but a seriously worthwhile one at that.

Geoff & Hayden

Stephen, Ciaran, James and our captain Geoff made up the quintet, shortly after paperwork was signed and we ticked the boxes to say that we are fit and able etc. It always makes me snigger a little when there is one that states “any chest pain ?” when has there not been chest pain when you’re going as hard as you can, the two go hand in glove surely?

We were shortly joined by BBC Midlands, who were unexpected to me at least, as I would have done my hair – on my head and legs! They were going to be filming the session and speaking to Geoff and fellow local Stephen about the challenge.

This was aired on the regional news that evening with an impressive 2.5mins dedicated to the story linking in some VT from 1997 when Geoff rode the tour route last.

GeoffThomasTrainingWattBike2 (34)

Although I had got to know the “rack” (I mean Watt bike) a little having had it over Christmas, it turns out I didn’t really know much about it after all. After a familiarisation going through the technical aspects with sports scientist and creator Eddie Fletcher we went to work, with various pedalling drills and a ramp test.

GeoffThomasTrainingWattBike2 (91)

We then all individually undertook a 3min aerobic test which is harder than the title suggests, go as hard as you can and sustain it for 3 minutes, go too hard and you could go into the red early and blow up, ride too cautiously and still have too much left and deliver a poor score. It was a delicate balance, don’t take my word for it see for yourself-

'Geoff doesn't look too happy with me here, he was asking for a random drug test after seeing my 3 min stats' :)

‘Geoff doesn’t look too happy with me here, he was asking for a random drug test after seeing my 3 min stats’ 🙂

The power output was expressed as watts, we were a bit like Rowntree’s random’s, different sizes, shapes, ages and weights however it was the power in watts divided by the weight in kilos, so Watts/Kg that would be a common denominator. Then with the maths bit, Eddie would be able to establish our 6 training zones to ensure that we were maximising our training over our first 12 week period. This initially would be broken into four sessions, two on the Watt Bike two on the road, however if the worst of the uk winter prevented getting dressed up as a Michelin man, there was a specific road equivalent session that could be undertaken inside instead.

Here’s a youtube clip of our day –

So armed with two pieces of  information- Geoff looked way too good and was smiling in all the pictures, either he was bluffing and wasn’t trying or didn’t like hurting himself in front of us! The 2nd was that my W/kg were a good starting point and I established that I generate the same as Tour winner Nibali! But that’s where the good news ended, he can sustain it for over 30 minutes, where I did it for just 3 minutes, so that’s why I could never made it as a pro, but then again I have only been training for 3 weeks and we still have 26 to go. It will be interesting to see with the right training how (hopefully) this increases !

GeoffThomasTrainingWattBike2 (40)

Big thanks from all the team to Eddie and Marketing director/Co-founder John Wilson who is also a strong talented cyclist, no doubt all due to the hard sessions on the Watt Bike!

On the donation front, there has been some amazing support for the charity, with two extra premium sponsors and a handful of very generous supporters since my last piece, check em out below.

Anyway, time to sign off, I’ve one of Eddies famous hardcore rep sessions to fit in before bedtime…

If you would like to support the cause please click on my link. 100% of the donation goes direct to the CureLeukaemia charity-


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