Team Cycling Plus - Sam Shaw

The arrival of new toys from Garmin is a welcome break from revision!

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. Exam pressure is having an impact on Sam's training...

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 a tough week.  I’m working towards my professional chartership exam and balancing revision, cycling, work and a demanding 18 month old has taken it’s toll on me.  From the start of the week I’ve not really felt like getting out of bed in the mornings, which hasn’t been a problem in recent months, especially since getting the Verenti!  I didn’t have a rest day until Wednesday since completing my first time trial last Thursday, so when I started feeling tired, hungry all the time and mentally burned out, I knew it was time to give the bike a day off.   

Wednesday was also the day which a new toy arrived in the post.  The nice folks at Garmin UK have sponsored us with GPS units; my lovely wife drew our names from a hat and I ended up with an Edge 500, which I’m still getting the hang of, despite spending an hour or so setting the unit up.  The more I use it however, the more it becomes second nature to analyse what’s happening to my body as I ride.  I hadn’t had a computer on the Verenti so it’s been interesting comparing my speed with the speed at which I usually ride on my slicked-up MTB.  It’s also good to know what my cadence is; I thought I was a bit of a pedal-masher but I was quite pleased to find I usually ride along at about 90rpm.  The other guys have been sent theirs in the post, so expect more in-depth initial reviews next week.

My calorie counting has gone a bit wayward this week, as has doing any kind of structured training.  Something had to give in the run-up to my exam.  I weighed in on Tuesday as usual and happily recorded a 700g loss, taking me down to 84.4kg.  The other exciting weight-loss event was buying two pairs of 32” waist trousers at the weekend, that’s 12” (a whole foot!) I’ve lost off my waist since starting cycling and the first time I’ve been a 32” waist since I was in my early teens!

The real story of the week however is my lack of time to train and feeling tired whilst on and off the bike. I think this is due to a bit of over-training but mainly due to the work/life balance being affected by my upcoming exam.  I’m looking forward to the week ahead and getting back to a bit of normality but I’ll be away from home until Wednesday, which also means being away from the bike and from playing with the new Garmin Edge 500!

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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