Posted in Cycle
split image of andrew riding aa mountain bike nd his road bike

Andrew Reeves is Wiggle's commercial finance manager and is one of our most passionate cyclists. Whether it's mountain biking or road riding, Andy is a man who likes to get out there and turn those pedals. In this blog Andrew talks about his training preparations for 2015 and the Wiggle products that he feels will help him on his path to success - #goodstuff

Hi, I’m Andrew Reeves and I’ve been at Wiggle since August 2014. I work in Commercial Finance and support a range of colleagues across the business including Marketing, Customer Services and International.

I’ve been passionate about cycling since I watched Stephen Roche win the Tour De France on channel 4 in 1987. I love all things cycling & really enjoy mountain biking especially cross country racing, and road riding. I am a 3rd cat road rider for team Wiggle and I race regularly on the road and in crits.

Wiggle is a great place to work as most colleagues are cyclists, runners or triathletes, and so are very passionate about getting the best quality products to our customers #thegoodstuff

  • Best race – Paris Roubaix
  • Best current riders – Tom Boonen / Lizzie Armistead
  • Best all time rider – Jens Voight
  • Best bike brand – Colnago
  • Best after ride meal – Sardines on toast with a cuppa

2015 pre-season training and preparation

Last season I rode my first full season on the road and achieved my aim of a cat 3 licence. I got a handful of top 10 places a 3rd and a couple of 4ths but no win. After racing mountain bikes I used last season to learn as much I could. I was involved in a couple of crashes in races resulting in a broken elbow and concussion, which makes it sound as though I was unlucky but in fact I felt lucky as I still managed to get my 3rd cat licence, and apart from some minor scuffs my bike was undamaged! So in summary a successful first season, but a lot to learn.

Rear image of a bike on a wet road

Aims for the season

I like to have specific aims and for the 2015 season mine are as follows:

  1. Get my cat 2 race licence
  2. Win a race
  3. Play an active part in Team Wiggle and assist teammates in races
  4. Complete the RideLondon and Wiggle Dragon Ride sportives
  5. Race in the Rapha Supercross at Alexander Palace in December 2015
  6. Ride as much as possible and remember to enjoy it!

I’ve earmarked a selection of road and crit races starting in April with a series of weekly crit races near my home town of Fleet. My plan is to use these to polish the top end of my fitness and really get race fit.

My season proper will start in May with a series of weekly circuit and road races. The circuit races are vets (over 40’s) but don’t let that fool you into thinking they are easy. Last season these were the toughest & most tactical races I competed in. The racers are of all categories and abilities and are very competitive. A great place to learn from riders who have seen it and done it.

The two main series of races I want to compete in run weekly for three months from May to July and I plan to pack as much racing into that time as possible. I will then use August for recovery with only a few races, and then finish the season with a bang in September & October.

I am also going to challenge myself with a couple of longer organised rides, The Wiggle Dragon Ride and RideLondon. Both should be a great experience and a test of my fitness.

Training

I believe that preparation is the key to success and I like to plan as much as possible, from my training plans to the kit I use and the food I eat. It all makes a big difference when trying to improve.

I have a coach, who I have worked with for the last two years. He sends me weekly training plans and we discuss my training & progress and which areas to focus on. It really helps that he has raced at a high level so he has loads of knowledge and advice to share. I would definitely advise using a coach if you want to make progress as it can help to have someone with experience to offer impartial advice and a structured plan to make sure you get the most from your training. There are many good coaches out there, but my coaches’ website is as follows.

http://pickupsportscoaching.co.uk/

After a few weeks rest & recovery I have been training hard for the last couple of months in preparation for this season. Initially this meant completing base miles and long rides at a fairly low intensity to really help build that underlying endurance.

I am now starting on the second phase of my training which involves higher intensity efforts to start building power and the ability to change pace, recover and repeat, which replicates race conditions. These include specific sessions on the road and interval sessions on the turbo trainer. Turbo trainers have a bad reputation but I like them, occasionally. They are great for focused sessions where you can control your efforts and have a consistent base to judge them. If you find them boring then there are companies that offer training plans on the internet. I try and do at least one focused turbo session a week and I think it makes a difference.

I also use my commutes to and from work as part of my training. I’m lucky that my commute is just over 18 miles either way on a fairly hilly route which is great for training. Generally I use the morning ride to work to work on pedalling fluidity and then a more focused session on my ride home. This can be a tempo ride, hill climb efforts, a time trial or sprints. All good fun and a great way to use my commute as a productive part of my training.

Training with PowerTap

I’ve ridden my bike for over 20 years but I have only very recently started training using a power meter. In the past I have trained using a heart rate monitor which has been very usefully, but they do have limitations, such as the time lag between effort / output and the recording of heart rate data.

I have been using a pair of Powertap G3 alloy wheels on my winter training bike. These were really easy to calibrate using instructions on the Powertap website and even installing a new battery on the rear hub for the power meter was very simple. I then synced the powermeter to my Garmin with no fuss. It took about half an hour in total to set the powermeter up so that it was ready to use.

It’s been really interesting training with a powermeter and although I’ve not been using it for long I can see the following benefits:

  1. It has helped me to focus on my pedalling technique and to improve its efficiency
  2. A great way to get the most from your training sessions and efforts
  3. As the name suggests – it monitors your power and this is a massive motivation to pedal that little bit harder!

I’m really looking forward to continue training with the Powertap wheel set as I think it will assist me to train smarter and achieve my aims for this season.

Andrew's Wiggle product list for 2015

PowerTap G3 Alloy Clincher wheels

Verdict – The first time I’ve used a power meter and it makes a massive difference to training. You get so much more from training sessions based on power output rather than heart rate. I can’t wait to carry on using it as I prepare for this season.

Speedplay Zero stainless pedals

Verdict – I love speedplay pedals. They have a great level of float but you do need to look after them.

Vittoria rubinia pro tech folding tyres

Verdict – I’ve been using these tyres for winter training & commuting in all sorts of weather and on some terrible road surfaces. They grip well and are very reliable.

Campagnolo Khamsin Asymetric G3 Wheels

Verdict – I’ve been using these wheels with the vittoria rubino tyres and they have been really good for winter training and commuting. I’ve done over 500 miles on these without any issues what so ever.

Northwave Artic Commuter road GTX boots

Verdict – Awesome. Warm and water proof road boots that protect you up to torrential rain level. Also bright fluro so they get you seen by other road users. No need for overshoes.

Castelli Mortirolo 3 jacket

Verdict – This jacket is in a fluro camo pattern and is a bit of like it or loathe it item. The fit of the jacket is so well thought out and the side vents allow you to flex the amount of ventilation depending on the temperature. I’ve worn it in freezing conditions with two layers underneath and in milder conditions with just a vest underneath. This is a great looking jacket for a range of conditions.

Etixx energy & recovery bars

Verdict – Great tasting bars for during and post ride. I especially like the chocolate recovery bar. Tasty. Used by Mark Cavendish & Tom Boonen’s Omega pro team and you can’t argue with that.

About the author

Andrew Reeves
Published on: 23 Jan 2015