Team Cycling Plus - Sam Shaw

The 5 and the 10 miler done - now Sam tackles a 25mile TT!

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. Sam takes on the 25mile time trial, completing the Stirling Bike Club Series...

Team member: Sam Shaw

29 year old Sam who lives in Stirling weighed in at 20stone in 2006. But through discovery of his love of bikes he has shed over 6stone and is still losing. Beginning with tentative 5km commutes, working up to include an 18km detour with 360m climbs, and now braving sportives and time trials, Sam’s newfound obsession has changed his life. His goals are to get down to 13stone and wear lycra with pride.

It’s been another week of firsts for me, it started with a rest day, which isn’t altogether unusual, but I normally cycle to work so it feels quite odd on days that I take the car.  The firsts really kicked in on Thursday; I had my first 25 mile time trial.  Well it was supposed to be 25 miles but ended up at 24 miles as the finish line was brought forward to a safer location.  That wasn’t so much of an issue to me as I felt absolutely drained at around the 12.5 mile mark!

The Stirling Bike Club time trial series has run on the last Thursday of the month for the last 3 months.  If you’ve been following these blogs, you’ll know that I’ve now done a 5 mile, 10 mile and 25 mile distance.  The 5 and 10 were really exciting, full of adrenaline and over in a flash of sweat and pain.  The 25 miler was a different beast altogether.  Firstly there was a 16mph headwind (according to BBC weather) on the way to the half-way turning point.  This made it very hard work and I slowed on hills, feeling week and as though I was lacking in power.  The only way I could keep going was to maintain a high cadence and spin my way through at about 90rpm.  This worked but I didn’t feel I was putting the power down hard as my minute-man (and 2, 3 and 4-minute-men) did.  I couldn’t get my heart rate up, the Garmin told me it was a steady 155bpm, so I really didn’t feel as though I was working hard enough.  I’ve spoken to coach Ben about this and more interval training and time trial simulations are on the cards to get me working harder.

The return leg was great, I had a massive tail wind and enjoyed it a bit more but my legs were tired from the effort on the way out.  I was glad to cross the line in 1hr 7mins and 40seconds, giving an average speed of 22.2mph.  I was sort of disappointed with it at the time but writing this now I think it was ok.  Still, there’s room for improvement!  With my efforts, I’m currently sitting in 9th place in the overall standings, though I’d be a lot further down if everyone had completed the whole series as I have.  I’ve really enjoyed these time trials, they’ve been well organised and I’ve had tips passed on to me from other club members which has been really useful.  I’m going to drop the bars on the Verenti a bit to give me a more aero position, part of me is loathed to do it though as it’s so comfy to ride!

The other first this week was going out with the intermediate group on the Club Saturday morning ride.  I’d ridden with people from the club who had taught me about group riding so I didn’t feel out of place, even when taking spells on the front.  I was quite glad that I didn’t make any mistakes either!  The ride was about 55 miles, completed in just over 3 hours.  The feeling of being out with the Club wearing the colours was great.  Before I started cycling, and last year when I was on my commuter bike on Saturdays riding on my own, I would see the Club go past and wonder if I would ever keep up so it felt fantastic to be at the front of the group, pulling people along.  Looking back to this time last year seems like a lifetime ago!

Who are Team Cycling Plus?

Team Cycling Plus powered by Verenti are readers Andy Ward, Kay Bowen, Malcolm Ratcliffe and Sam Shaw. We’ll be following them in the magazine for the next few months as they train towards their personal cycling goals under the guidance of Team Wiggle’s Ben Simmons and we will be publishing their weekly trials and tribulations here too. For regular updates check our twitter page twitter.com/cyclingplus and the Team Cycling Plus facebook page.

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