Here is a link to Charlie’s first blog on his web page :
or you can read it here :
First Blog Post – Returning to the Track & season preparations
The winter preparations have thrown a whole spectrum of events at me from highs of winning a national title and finishing 2nd in the individual pursuit to coping with debilitating injuries that have stopped me in my tracks for weeks on end, so, onto the blog!
I’ll start with nationals, which were obviously one of the high points of the year so far. I guess most people are wondering how we beat the GB boys riding in 100% Me Academy kit and the preliminary Scottish commonwealth games squad. Well to a certain degree so are we, for us it was completely unexpected to get gold, we knew silver was in our grasps but not gold. A big shock. So here is how we achieved our goal; a good understanding of aerodynamics (from Dan Bigham who has a background in this field, I’m still learning), masses of help from sponsors and my university athlete scheme, some practice but nowhere near enough to reach our full potential and of course the standard grit and determination. I don’t consider myself to be particularly talented, yes, my characteristics suited the events in which we excelled in however I just think that hard work and knowledge can be over looked it really can go a lot further than people think. For example, breaking down all the components of the event into smaller parts where we would look and ask ourselves ‘if we change such and such, will this make us go faster?’ then doing the maths and testing to see. In the end, it was quite obsessive we even looked at the type of tape we used to cover our disc holes, probably a negligible gain but when all these small things get added together they certainly did make a big difference. Looking forward into the future I want to give the track racing another go, I can go faster next time, with more favourable preparation and few more aero and resistance gains in the pipeline. It would be a real dream for me to go to the commonwealth games in my career so the next coming nationals will be huge for the selection process, I mean if you can produce a world class time in your event and beat your competition then they must consider you, right? Will that’s the plan anyway.
Now injuries, we all deal with them and unfortunately it was my turn coming into this road season. This time I’ve had problems with my left knee, it’s a common thing to happen within cycling apparently and has put the brakes on my preparations for this season temporarily however it is clearing up now and I’m gaining fitness every day. There are some positives to come out of this seemingly grim situation though it has allowed me to have some down time, hang out with friends and continue with my swimming hobby which also coincides with the rehabilitation process so it’s not all doom and gloom. I’d say personally staying positive during this time and accepting what’s happened is critical in your recovery well it seemed to work for me anyway.
I’m looking forward to the season and have some clear goals in mind some big races in the UK, Europe and further afield. The team have been ultra-organised and put together a great calendar for 2017.The next big race for me is early April the tour of morocco, a UCI 10-day stage race which consists of back to back 4-5 hour days! I am looking forward to it though, stage racing is great and who knows what we can achieve, hopefully I can get in a break on one of the more testing days and get some UCI points on the board. Up until then I’ll be getting stuck into some racing in Britain, exiting times. See you on the road