This winter has seen a substantial change for me personally, having moved away from home for the first time to study and live at Loughborough University. It has also been a big change where cycling is concerned. I have started to work with a new coach at Loughborough and have logged many more training hours on the bike than ever before, in preparation for my first season racing at the senior level with races lasting over 4 hours. A big leap up from the usual 2.5 hours at junior level.
My training began properly in November after I had settled into University and consisted of general riding to get the body going again, with some really hard short intervals to try and build some high power which we can build on later in the season. I also went to the gym twice a week to build more strength which should prevent niggling injuries which I have been susceptible to in the past. This seems to have worked as it is the first winter of proper training where I haven’t been injured, touch wood.
December was similar to November in terms of training, just with more hours. I also had a few weeks at home over Christmas, which was nice to see family again and to get back on local roads.
Into January, and that meant exams. My coach and I scheduled in a rest week before the exams so I could properly knuckle down on some revision, which definitely helped. No one wants to do an exam, let alone after doing 5hrs in pouring rain the day before.
After this rest period, the intensity has increased to get me up to speed before racing begins. I plan to do a few local crits and TTs to see how I feel before my first proper race of the season, the Roy Thame Cup. After this it is a pretty full on calendar for me as I will be racing most of the UK premier calendars with Crimson Orientation Marketing RT and after logging a good winter of training I can’t wait to get started!
A massive thank you must go to The Lewis Balyckyi Trust Fund for their support because without them it wouldn’t be possible for me to race at this level.