Team Cycling Plus – Malcolm Ratcliffe

A much needed week of recovery

Malcolm takes it easy this week

Team Cycling Plus will be updating you each week with the highs and lows of their training as part of the team. This week Malcolm tries NOT to ride in the red zone…


Team member: Malcolm Ratcliffe

Malcolm from Erdington is determined to shed some of his 17stone before his 45th birthday this October. To do this he hopes to take his cycling to the next level with Team Cycling Plus, by extending his 10-20mile rides, and include a sportive or two in his season. As well as losing weight, his goals include regularly commuting the 10miles to work and doing a London to Paris charity ride.

A recovery week following the hell on earth last Saturday that was the BikeRadar Kent Killing Fields sportif!  To be honest I didn’t feel too bad physically after the event but work and family commitments meant I had an enforced rest and I didn’t get back out on the bike until the weekend which was probably not a bad thing.

Having had a chat with Neil from C+ this week he did suggest that given I’d red lined my heat rate, early on on the first climb, and was operating over a third of the race at 90% plus HR then I’d probably emptied my fuel tank early doors and hence why I struggled so much from mid way onwards.  One for coach Ben to analyse and advise on.  My HR training zones have improved over the weeks but obviously not enough.  Believe the strategy will be long slow rides at lower HR.  I just don’t think I could pedal slowly enough to manage that without falling off, on top of the embarrassment of being overtaken by an old dear on her shopping bike!!

The weekend warmed up and it was back on with the padded lycra shorts and into the countryside.  On Saturday I extended my usual route out, ok I got a little lost.  I really need to work out how to download a route into the Garmin.  So what was meant to be a twenty something mile ride turned into a thirty something mile ride.  Despite this I felt great, the baptism of two ‘back to back’ 70 mile sportifs  over the space of a fortnight obviously having had a great ‘training’ effect.

Sunday I took it a little easier and did twenty odd miles back out into the Warwickshire countryside.  The day was set to be very humid and breezy so more of a grind it out ride than an easy flyer.  However still nudging the 17 mph average speed barrier.

The coming week is trying to get back to some regular training, mixing some shorter mid week ‘sprint’ sessions with the long weekend ride(s).  Then we’ll see what coach Ben advises as I look to hopefully build up to the KiloToGo ‘The Rut’ 100 miler in early October.  In between there are some local and family oriented events that look interesting so if you’re in the West Midlands watch this space for news on these.  Cycling with the family is a great way everyone, young and oldish, can enjoy getting out and about and exploring the local area.

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 and the Team Cycling Plus facebook page.