Cycling-Inform Review

I am down 16kg since Christmas. Race performances are improving. I’ve moved myself up a grade in masters racing. As a result, I was in the “hanging on” category in the bunch and seeing stars at the finish. Not putting my nose in the wind because I was concerned I wouldn’t make the finish. My results in Jan were: Dropped at 50mins, dropped at 35mins, dropped in the sprint. In the one crit on Sunday – I was one of the dominant riders. Several laps on or near the front, chased down early breaks and although baulked early sprint, caught the leaders again and was travelling faster to get 4th about 5 metres off the win. Came away feeling like my target of another grade promotion later this year is attainable.

Martin Houston, VIC, Australia

Hi David,

Well, what a fabulous day on the bike. Started with the “realists” as the announcer called us, just wanting a bit of space for the first descent. Probably should have started at the end of the 11 hour group. But then just watched HR and cadence and kept saying at the start of each climb, not above 155bpm and control the tempo. Then did some recovery and spun the legs between climbs. Just caught the 12 hour group at Dinner Plain but they set off ahead of me and again at Omeo. They had already left when I got to Anglers, so most of the ride was solo except for the end and a train into Harrietville with not enough workers!

But it was really the end of the ride that shows how all the training and preparation paid off. Was talking to a lady who does ironman events after Trapyard who had an encounter with the lanterne rouge a few hours earlier, so was a bit worried about time. I said we were going to break 12 hours easy, so from Mt Cope we motored, as only 2 50yo + riders can motor and we did that last 14km in sub 30 into the wind and the rain. All those hours watching HR and cadence and there I was at 140bpm/95rpm after the back of Falls climb.

So thanks heaps for the training program. I think I did every session with a few variations along the way until mid January. Then Alpine Classic was a perfect test of everything to that point so I lightened the load a bit after that. But all those hours sitting on the trainer, or on the road, following these sessions, it just paid off. And I feel great. Maybe 11hr next year! Thanks again. 11hr46 … 10hr33 on the bike. Cheers, Brett.

Brett Maloney, NSW, Australia

Hey David,

The event and my ride both exceeded expectations. The main goal was to finish, then hopefully in less than 13 hours to pick up the finisher’s guernsey. The main strategy was based on being in the best state possible by the time I arrived at WTF corner. My Race Plan was based on 12 hours of ride time plus 30-40 minutes of rest time which would allow a small buffer of 20-30 minutes to still beat the 13-hour cut-off. I would adjust the plan throughout the ride as necessary.

To simplify logistics, I carried all my nutrition and did not stop at the main rest areas: Tawonga, Harrietville, Dinner Plain or Omeo. I expected them to be very crowded (and they were). Had brief toilet/bottle-refill stops at Buckland Gate, Anglers Rest and Trapyard Gap (and a few other very brief toilet stops). My plans for hydration, nutrition, pacing and rest time (total 18 mins) went very smoothly and put me in a good state at the start of WTF which I could then “enjoy” (or suffer with satisfaction). Dropped my heart rate about 20 beats for the last 1-2 kms before WTF Corner to prepare for the ascent. Rode up the 10kms very slowly but steadily. What they say about WTF is all true. It is a really tough climb made tougher by completing 200kms before the attempt. Saw many riders zig-zagging, stopped or walking. Very light rain started while riding WTF, which helped rather than hinder, but from Trapyard Gap to the finish the high plains were covered in cloud with a strong bitterly cold wind and medium/heavy rainfall. This was hypothermic territory but only made the finish line even more enjoyable.

Great organisation, atmosphere, competitors all super friendly and lucky with the mostly good riding weather.
What a great day !!
Finishing time: 11:46:53

I bought my first bike ever in my 50s (now 65) and have attempted only one other Gran Fondo (Amy’s GF last year), so I was completely lacking in experience for this type of ride. Over an extended period of time your Training Programs starting with Hill Climbers I & 2 early on, and the Strength and Mobiliser programs, have assisted greatly in raising my endurance and hill climbing and general strength and body resilience to the next level so thanks for that. Before this year, I hadn’t cycled in this area, so your webinar on the Peaks Challenge event was absolutely invaluable. I replayed it twice, took notes and used it as the basis for my preparation and planning which greatly contributed to not only finishing but being in a “relatively” healthy state (I was able to go for an enjoyable, light recovery jog the next day).

So thanks again for your assistance. Very much appreciated. I am now a much better cyclist !!

Cheers,

Jim.

Jim Taylor, VIC, Australia

Hi David,

Very happy to have ridden my first Peaks Challenge Falls Creek in 12 hrs 34 mins as a 65 year young cyclist! And feel great the next day.

Highlights of your training program in getting me there have been:

  • Targeted strength training on the bike instead of just ‘junk’ km
  • Developing more power by learning to keep my core fixed with the rod-through-the-hips feeling
  • Training to ride up to 10 mins in the standing position (fantastic for feeling powerful on the steep ascents)
  • Better understanding of the importance of recovery days/weeks
  • Effective tapering to feel great at the start of the event

Thanks for these and all your other tips.

Mark Hibberd, VIC, Australia

Hi David
I have just completed Peaks Challenge Falls Creek, which was the toughest event I have ever done. The day of the ride started of good cool morning but not too cold. I took the descent of Falls with a little bit to much care which put me behind on a sub 10hr straight away. I did a PB on Towonga and pushed on to Harrietville, Mt Hotham and had my first stop at Dinner Plain. After a 5 min break, I continued on to Omeo making up time, without stopping I went to Anglers Rest. I refuelled and moved onto WTF then I made it to Trapyard where the coke was a blessing. When I continued I thought and once I crossed the finish line I was very happy with the time I achieved 10hrs14min45sec. Thank you David, for all the coaching calls we had about getting me ready. The training program you provided supported me to achieve a time better than the 11 hrs I thought I would do. I am looking forward to working with you on future goals. All the best. Colin

Colin Broos, NSW, Australia

Thanks David. This was my fourth Peaks Challenge Falls Creek, and a PR by 10 minutes. I felt strong on the climbs and projected an even better finish time until overtaken by the alpine blizzard at Trapyard. My finish time was 10 hrs 51 mins. A most enjoyable, and totally memorable day. My stops were brief and only for the essential fluids, food and comfort. The Bicycle Network pace riders were an awesome asset to keep the pace up. I’m definitely coming back because I reckon I can still improve my time by being stronger on all the climbs. Thanks for your ongoing assistance and motivation! Peter

Peter Comben, QLD, Australia

Hi David, I achieved my sub-9 goal at the Peaks Challenge Falls Creek ride with a time of 8:50. Very happy with that! The nutrition guide, climbing tips and training plan were helpful. Thanks a lot! Brad

Brad Townend, NSW, Australia

Hi David, Thanks so much for your training plan and input during my training for Peaks Challenge Falls Creek 2019. In the end, the ride was wonderful – very enjoyable and the back of Falls was an easy cruise up the hill. Thank you for your input and assistance – it was invaluable. Richard Gurney

Richard Gurney, QLD, Australia

I have lost about 8kg and have dramatically improved my times on some climbs I do regularly. For example, the first time I rode Lapstone Hill (on 5th Jan 2019) at the bottom of the Blue Mountains, my time was 15:34. The last time I rode it (24th Feb) my time was 11:51.

David Begg, NSW, Australia

Over the weekend I participated with a cycling group from TEAM DAI, of VIENTIANE, LAO PDR in their annual fundraising challenge.

A group of 20 cycled over back gravel and bitumen roads for 440km over four days with temperatures up to 40degrees. We climbed over 6700m and often had to ride or walk our mountain or cross bikes up steep gravel terrain.

The last day was a relatively flat ride over 80km along the Mekong into LUANG PHRANG a world heritage listed town in the north of LAOS.

The first two days were hell with steep climbs and descents (15-18%) on often dodgy gravel.

We were fully supported by two vehicles and slept in local guesthouses.

It was the hardest challenge I have had particularly as I irreparably damaged my derailleur on my new gravel bike and then used a small framed mountain bike to complete the event.

The training I have done with you over the past five years enabled me to complete this Challenge as well as the two Peaks Challenges that I competed in.

David Cairns, WA, Australia

Hi David.

A quick update! I managed 9.48 for the peaks challenge and was absolutely delighted. Thanks again for your support on the splits and the opportunity to not only see the area but to also focus on climbing and descending during the boot camp. I realize that a huge element of the preparation is the mental game, so having pacing figured out and knowing what to expect certainly gave me a much higher level of confidence going into the event. I’ve had a great build up to this event – now to figure out what next!

All the best and thanks again!

Angus.

Angus Rolle, QLD, Australia

The Peaks Challenge Falls Creek day turned out fabulous being overcast around mid-20’s. There was an unexpected number of finishers (they ran out of jerseys). I left with the tail-end of the 11hr wave and must have passed over a hundred people descending Falls.

Having said that, I was really impressed with my performance which I totally contributed to the training program you provided. I backed that up by following the nutrition and hydration advice emphasised on the day prior by Bicycle Network, by constantly taking on food and fluid after the initial descent.

Climbing Hotham, again I must have passed another hundred or so on the first half. However, my only mistake of the day was to not take on water half way up Hotham (I had more than a bottle left). By the time we got to the tough sections, I was rationing and cramping. I did have to stop briefly a few times to manage that.

As the day progressed, my friend and I were often on our own or with stragglers. I climbed strong without pushing too hard. I found myself leaving others in my wake, including my mate whom I waited for at the rest stops as he was never too far behind. However, WTF Corner and the back of Falls still beckoned… Prior to the event, I wondered how I would cope… would I have to stop occasionally to recover?

As it turned out, WTF became a non-event for me and I pulled strong up the first half of the climb, again passing many others. Eventually, the duration of the climb does take a toll and the pace probably slowed a little, but I stayed in the “Hurt-Box” and did not let up. It was brutal, but I was still passing others. Elated, I reached Trapyard Gap, followed by the Summit WITHOUT the need to stop on any part of the climb. Tears of joy came over me as I descended into the village, followed by elation as I crossed the line in 11:54:18 with 10:37 riding time.

David, I can honestly say that I could not have performed so well without your programs. I also doubt if I could have finished in the allotted time without that preparation and training. Thank you!

Regards,

David Thornley.

David Thornley, VIC, Australia

Finished Peaks David! So stoked to have it in the bag. Big thanks to you and your training programs – much appreciated. Had a wonderful day on the bike today. Really enjoyed it and the back of Falls was honestly easy.

Richard Gurney, QLD, Australia

Hi David, Training has been going really well. The people I’ve been training with have been really impressed with my improvement. Thanks for the training plan, Hannah.

Hannah Reid, VIC, Australia

Hi David, week three has been and gone without any problems. Blitzed the Bunch ride with the cycling club I belong too. A few were keen to find out what was going on. Referred them to you. Now moving forward with Week four. Steve

Stephen Thuell, QLD, Australia

Update on Husky – It was very dark when we arrived at Huskinson at 5 am to put our bikes into the Transition area( bring a headlight next year), the weather was still warm but not as hot as previous years and there were waves in Jervis Bay (which made the swimmers unhappy) compliments of a southerly that had been blowing most of the night and unfortunately sort of into our faces on the way home- the last 12ks of each lap, except for a few crosswinds it was not as strong as it was on the water. We were told it was 90ks, 3 x 30k loops, it finished at 86ks with 570m elevation on a mostly flat course with a few several slightly rising pinches but not as undulating as last years course. And it made it easier to keep in a rhythm throughout the race. I was hoping to get under 3hrs and finished in 2.40.49.  Was I stoked or what, WOW!

After Cycling-Inform’s Hill climber II – Part One program then spent Feb on the Time Trialer II – Part One program I was able to maintain my rhythm, speed, cadence throughout the race, ride up and through the slight climbs then use the downhills to my advantage. Absolutely the best I have ever felt on my bike in this sort of race, the strength in my arms & legs goes to my training program including Matt Brindle’s workout and mobilisers.

To David & your team thank you very much. Now onto B2B.

Micheal Southwell, NSW, Australia

I rode the Otway Odyssey on Sat first time on the MTB and felt really good so that’s a good confidence boost and feel really good and fresh coming into this weekend where I’ll be riding my major ride of the year.

Jake Morgan, VIC, Australia

So, how did I go at the Bright training Camp?

Well, I have to say that it was simply incredible! I arrived at the camp quite fatigued despite David having written an appropriate taper program coming into the event. I had also not climbed any peak higher than Lake Mountain prior to coming on the camp, so was quite apprehensive about whether I would be able to complete all the rides, and enjoy myself…..

The climb up Buffalo (remember it’s not a race…..but we ARE timing you!!) was tough but I was pleasantly surprised with my time of 1:14. I felt absolutely smashed after the ride and was kind of glad that my time put me into group 2 as one of the faster riders, rather than group 1. I was a bit worried about Mt Hotham the next day having read the ride notes on The Climbing Cyclist website, but after a good night’s sleep, I felt great the next morning.

The rides up Mt Hotham and Falls Creek were truly awesome! Interestingly, The Meg and CRB Hill didn’t worry me too much up Hotham – the toughest part of the ride was the last 3km at about 10% before the highest point of the ride. Once we were above the treeline, the views were simply spectacular across the alps. the descent was fantastic despite some loose gravel in the road repair areas. Day 3 with the longest ride and biggest vert loomed large on Monday. I was surprised that my legs felt really good and so I was able to really have a crack up the Falls climb from the resort gate to the village, and back over Tawonga Pass (ably paced up the climb by Dave Fairburn!).

The loop ride on day four was simply beautiful. The country that we rode through was so picturesque – especially the section along the Kiewa River. Very little traffic, great views! And I finished the camp off by talking about a minute off the previous day’s effort up Tawonga Gap…..

So what made the experience so special? Basically, it was the people. The other riders from all over the country with such varied backgrounds, but a common interest and desire to find the best in themselves. The support riders were all amazing – we had Dave Fairburn and Bill Gordin with group 2. They were both so supportive and helpful, providing advice about so many aspects of our riding. And this was the first time I have had the honour of riding with a WORLD CHAMPION!! Bill’s talk to the group about his experiences leading up to his world championship win was captivating.

And to you and David a HUGE THANKYOU! I have been using David’s training program for 12 months and have seen my riding go from strength to strength. The training camp experience simply reinforced why I ride, how I can ride stronger and faster, and instilled in me a sense of self-belief – not only did I ride all the rides, I felt better each day and proved to myself that with the right attitude and the right people around you, anything can be achieved.

The set-up at Bright Chalet was excellent – the venue really lends itself to the event. The food choices provided at meal times were excellent, and I was never hungry after meals. The proximity to Bright gave great access to the town (and the brewery!) and a walk down after the rides were good to get the legs moving.

I suspect that my visit was the first of many more to come in the future.

Cheers, Matt

Matt Croxford, VIC, Australia

Hi David/Jodie, Just wanted thank both of you for a wonderful cycling camp in Bright Victoria that offered plenty of personal challenges. Six month’s ago I could have only dreamed of completing these epic climbs and this is where my journey started. It was in September 2018 my daughter was working up at Falls Creek. The winter season was coming to a close so I drove my car from Melbourne to Mt Beauty to pick her up. On the way there, there were plenty of cyclists riding up to Tawonga Gap and Falls Creek. I found it extremely inspirational and thought would it be nice if I was able to do the same. At that time I had a number of health issues so there was plenty of motivation to start turning my health around.

So back in Melbourne that night I discussed it with my family that I would love to take up recreational cycling and one day cycling these epic climbs. They were fully supportive and my son and I agreed to join the GVBR later in the year. The following day I dusted off my race bike and started riding around Diamond Creek trials. Rode my bike a couple of times a week and Sundays we did a school ride of 30km to 50 km so totalling about 100km per week as part of our training. I weighed over 92 kg and aerobically was extremely unfit. The GVBR came around quickly and had lots of doubts on my own ability to finish 500km over 7 days. However, we dug in deep and my son and I successfully finished the ride.

It provided me with more motivation to increase my training load but I needed more structured training and this is where I came across Cycling-Inform. Cycling-Inform placed me on the 12 week aerobic II training program. I finished up buying myself a cycling computer, HRM and some cycling shoes with SPD cleats. I listed a number of short term goals and soon I started to see the improvements. Both my son and I competed in the TDU in Adelaide and Cadel Evans challenge and we did some reasonable times. Again I started to feel more confident, stronger and fitter.

Then I received an email from Cycling-Inform with details of the cycling training camp in Bright and they still had places left. Again I discussed it with my family to see what they thought if I participated in this Boot Camp. They were fully supportive so out came the eftpos card and signed up to participate. The longest climb I had ever completed prior to this camp was the ride to Kinglake which is approx 7km and I only completed this a week beforehand.

The Bright training camp came around quickly and happened to be week 12 of my 1st 12 week training module. The climb up to Mt Buffalo was epic and we discovered that morning we would be timed so that we be allocated into 3 groups. I finished the climb in 1 hour 21 minutes and still had energy in reserve. Based on this climb I was placed in group 2. My aim of the camp was to complete all rides and learn plenty of soft cycling skills such as descending, ascending, nutrition bike maintenance etc. Not only did I finish all climbs, but I also lost over 10kg since Sept 18, my hypertension has disappeared and I’m feeling much better about myself. The accommodation at the Bright Chalet is clean and comfortable with plenty of healthy food on offer to ensure your body is replenished for the next day rides. The support staff riders were extremely helpful and provided plenty of great advice and cycling tips. Apart from this I met some great people all having their own challenges and goals. It is an extremely +ve atmosphere. Thank you to both David/Jodie for their professional cycling advise and their support. It is amazing what can be achieved in 6 months if you put your mind to it. Cheers, Ray.

Raymond Huisintveld, VIC, Australia

Hi Jodie, I had a fantastic time at the training camp in Bright. I enjoyed the idea of setting people up in groups allowing you to go at a suitable pace. The massages were great and the bike cleaning a real treat. The team leader/helpers that took us were great and I would say that any of us would be happy for some guidance on the go as we ride. Thanks again. Tony Simeone.

Tony Simeone, QLD, Australia

After finishing my third Bright training camp now since 2014, I have found the experience to be consistently good and the routes selected over the 4-days are really the best combination of rides. The quality of the support (both the riders and support vehicles) was excellent again. Even though I have been to Bright five times now for training or racing and could comfortably complete the training rides on my own, I feel the camp makes the 4-days more rewarding and enjoyable due to the atmosphere and company of the other riders. It is always inspiring to see such a large number of people with such diverse abilities & ages all having the courage to tackle the challenge of climbing the incredible peaks. It is motivating to share the passion for riding with like-minded people who are self-motivated and striving to achieve personal goals. Finally, it is important to me that there is also that added level of safety & convenience attached to the rides as compared to doing them on your own.

Clem Piscitelli, QLD, Australia

Hi Jodie, I had a fabulous time at the training camp in Bright. The climbs were tough but made enjoyable by the riders in our group and our fabulous support crew, both on the bike and in the support car. It was reassuring knowing that there was someone there looking out for you. I found everyone at the camp to be welcoming and so encouraging, and have definitely made some lifelong friends. The seminars were very informative, it is clear that David has a passion for cycling and coaching, loved his body maintenance tips on getting on top of those niggles. My spiky ball is my new best friend. I love riding my bike especially climbing, Bright is a climbers heaven. I really had the best time, I felt so much joy, so happy. I’ ve ridden all these mountains before but can honestly say I have never had so much fun, I mean singalongs on Mt Hotham! who would’ve thought. The best support, the best crew, the best weekend. Without question the most Awesome training camp ever, it definitely won’t be my last. Thank you so much Jodie and David, your training camp in Bright rocks!!!

Irene Sheppard, VIC, Australia

Hi David & Jodie, Thanks for a brilliant four days at your training camp in Bright. It is a special & unique part of Australia. Really enjoyed the format and would love to get a crowd along next year to experience the riding and training.

Mark Newman, WA, Australia

Hi Jodie, the training camp in Bright is a great experience. The rewards are many and varied. I went on the camp as the next step towards being a bettercyclist. The quality of the ride leaders was exceptional. They were extremely supportive, patient, friendly and approachable. The participants were great. Gladly sharing a laugh at breakfast and dinner, each was a skilled and supportive rider on the road. Coming into the camp my descending was embarrassingly terrible. Having completed the camp it has improved significantly – not to mention my bunch riding skills and general confidence on the road. Oh, nearly forgot – my fitness numbers are through the roof! So I think I’m a step closer to being a much better cyclist. Actually, it’s more like two or three steps. Roger Williams.

Roger Williams, VIC, Australia

Hi David, Jodie and all the super support crew. Thank you so much for the past three days at your training camp in Bright. It’s been bloody awesome. I got what I needed out of the rides I had. Brilliant to beat Buffalo, Hotham and Falls. Thanks again and a big thanks to Clem for all the encouragement. Till next time.

Ian Reid, VIC, Australia

I thought I would let you know how I got on at the Melbourne to Warrnambool. I Managed to stay with the peloton until the 215km mark. Supper happy with my result, thanks for getting me in shape to make it. It was a hard day in the saddle and a lot of things went right.

Paul Curry, VIC, Australia

I really enjoy your intervals workouts!! Seeing huge improvements. I also dropped 24 pounds.

Dan Hughes, Wyoming, USA

Thanks for the training camp. Greatly enjoyed it and feel far more equipped for the looming Peaks Challenge

Tom Patterson, NSW, Australia

Have enjoyed the challenges of the last 12 weeks. Looking forward to the next 11 weeks.  Then we do the TooMoo. Am feeling good on the bike and am defiantly enjoying having structure around my training. Not just smashing myself.

Darryl Blacker, QLD, Australia

I couldn’t be happier, the support provided and the timeliness of replies is exceptional.

Stephen Thuell, QLD, Australia
I am totally amazed at your service and the opportunity I have working with cycle inform. You gave me what I need and a great price. Thank you so much.
Dan Hughes, Wyoming, USA

I just finished the Cadel Evans peoples ride 115 km. I bettered a lot of my PB and I was very happy with my hill climbing.  The hill climbing programs and training got me through. Thanks David.

Steve Abbott, VIC, Australia

David I could not be more than happy with the way my training is going. After two weeks I could feel the strength in climbing hills. I am now up to week six, which included having a week off to complete the Festive 500 challenge. I am now riding better to cadence, HR and Power levels than every before and able to consciously able to maintain this more often in a session and on the big chain ring. Then in the weekend rides, I’m able maintain these levels when going on the flat or up hills, and riding over the top of the hills regardless of the length or steepness of the hills.

Michael Southwell, NSW, Australia

I’m currently doing the Aerobic II – Part One training program and progressing into week eight.

Benefits and goal progress so far:

  • Fitness has improved to over 33 CTL
  • Resting heart rate dropped from 65 to 55 avg
  • My hypertension has disappeared with blood pressure returning to normal 80/120. No more tablets required.
  • Competed in the stage 5 TDU 102 km in 3 hrs:36min together with my 13 y.o son. This included ascending 900mtrs and not one cyclist passed me during the hill climbs. Finished the ride with plenty in reserve.
  • Have not missed one training session and the functional core training is ensuring a balance in core strength in both legs and hips.
  • Lost weights from 88kg to 83kg
  • Total TSS per week of 400+
  • Climbing between 2,000 and 3,000 vertical meters per week

The result is that I’m a much fitter and efficient bike rider since being on the program.

Raymond Huisintveld, VIC, Australia

David thanks for your encouragement, insight and training programs. I’m achieving some great progress. Last weekend I finished off a 150km 3000m effort with 7 reps of a 10% (50m) climb to give me the final 350m. That went well without fading. I also matched my PB on Kinglake from 6 years ago, and probably could have done a bit better. This morning I rode Alpe du Zwift following your 083  video workout and finished the climb in 56:15 (avg 3.46 w/kg). Pretty chuffed about that, but I’ll have to give it another go on my own, or even better still – try the real thing (Alpe d’Huez). Looking forward to Peaks Challenge Falls Creek event with a lot more confidence.

David Thornley, VIC, Australia

Hi David, Just wanted to let you know that I successfully completed the Alpine Classic on the weekend. This has been my target event for the last 12 months and the reason I joined Cycling-Inform. My max HR for the entire ride was 161 bpm (I’m 48 and just over 80kg) indicating that I was well within my limits.  We gave it full tilt for the Tawonga descent and return to Bright and it felt great being able to pull that speed for that long after a massive day in the saddle. I felt good all day and feel my preparation and execution was spot on. I was even able to drive home on Monday/Tuesday (1600km back to Lennox Head). Thanks again for the service you offer through Cycling-Inform. Cheers, Stephen.

Stephen Manley, NSW, Australia

I enjoyed the Alpine Classic Mt Buffalo ride, the training program was a good guide to get me ready for the climb. I made it without any trouble. The views and the descent were nice reward for a really long climb. Thanks, Craig.

Craig Wood, NSW, Australia

i’m enjoying your programs and can see large improvements in my fitness and climbing abilities.

Rob Akkermans, VIC, Australia

We could not have asked for a better day to head off on the Cadel Evans ride-especially considering the heatwave of the previous week. The course of 115 km was testing and enjoyable. The Bells Beach undulations were very challenging and then relative flat pacing for quite a long stretch before the ultimate challenge of Challambar in Geelong. Your training program definitely helped me to focus on my riding, exercises, stretching and overall approach. Looking at my Strava results I had good form and I put this down to the “virtual” coaching you have provided. I have pulled up remarkably well, with no niggles or issues.

Barry Berger, VIC, Australia

My hill climbing surprised even me with all those hills at Bells beach and the Challambra and Melville Cres. I found I had enough left in me to power home to the finish line on my own. Thoroughly enjoyed the torture up those hills. I definitely feel your training helped me with the Cadel’s People’s Ride ride.

Steve Abbot, VIC, Australia

Hi David. Going great. The benefits of work over time have been turning into best ever results for me. Managed to Pb the 1 in 20 smashing my previous best from 2015 and a five minute plus PB at Baw Baw was another highlight this week.

Peter Smith, VIC, Australia

I’m building up to my European rides in April, and as a bonus, I have two daughters who reside in the UK, so I get to spend some time with them as well, which I am really looking forward to. I doubt any of that would have happened if I hadn’t taken up riding bikers four years ago and more the point entered the Around the Bay which is how I came to find you. You have helped take me on that journey, and I really appreciate all the help and assistance you provide. Kind regards, John Ellingham.

John Ellingham, VIC, Australia

With the sun creeping over the hills of East Jindabyne the 3rd edition of LeTape was ready to start with far better weather than last year. I had warmed up following Cycling-informs warm up plan with the aim of getting into E3 with 90-100 cadence on the flats & downhill the focus on E1 on the inclines with a cadence of 70, 60 or 50 depending on the gradient & not get caught up with faster riders/groups like I did at Bowral.

Focusing on this I made a steady ride out of Jindy rotating my hands to help remind me to relax my upper body. I was able to get into a few small groups on the way to Berridale and picked up the speed while keeping to my cadence & HR plan.

Col de Beloka I took the 1st K steady to save energy so I could attack in the 2nd K which I was able to sit down then stand up for 15-30 sec or to a marker. This tactic, from our training, worked, ok I just needed to keep the effort up once I sat down.
Disappointed not to beat 20mins however I finished strong and probably should not have stopped at the drinks station and had a good rest at the bottom of Perisher. On the way to the next stop, a fellow rider told me I looked strong, I think he was very tired.

Col de Perisher, a long bloody climb, I averaged 57 cadence, power 145 & HR was 130 and was pleased I could maintain an even tempo while occasionally picking up riders and speed. The downhill sections were very welcome. At the top feed station, I turned around and Matt Hayman was having his photo taken with someone so I had to make the most of the situation.

Again I didn’t need to stop at the 2nd last feed station-remember for next year.
The journey back to the finish line was great with a few climbs to let me know I wasn’t finished yet.

Stuffed, elated, sick of muesli bars and bananas and very pleased with the training I had done completed over 4 continents & and 18 day cruise.
Thanks Cycling-inform for your well set our program and email support, I look forward to my next challenge.

Micheal Southwell, NSW, Australia

8 weeks in and I see so much improvements. My first race is March 2nd. It a fat tire 25-mile race. Looking to see how much I improved since last year. Thanks for your program and making it affordable to people like me. Dan Hughes.

Dan Hughes, Wyoming, USA

Thanks so much for the program. I have to say – with all the business travel, and holidays etc…I am really proud of how consistent I have been. And it has shown in my outdoor group rides on the weekends. I have been, for the most part, keeping pace with the A group – previously unheard of. THANK YOU!

Christopher Geiser, NY, USA

I have been using a lot of your indoor training sessions every week due to rain, road closures or simply not enough time to get on the road! I love the hill climbing ones you have! I have just signed up for the hill climber two and will complete that and then finish with the touring program leading to when we take off to Europe for the tour in June. So everything is good here, your programs are great, love the indoor training videos!

Eryn Davies, ACT, Australia

Loving the workouts so far. What I’ve found is it alternates between hard and easy days with longer rides back to back on weekend so I feel fresher than with my previous training and have plenty in the tank to push the hard efforts. Kind regards, Mike Pagels.

Mike Pagels, WA, Australia

I am about to complete week 4 of my training. This was a welcomed week I noticed my resting HR is now around 50 where 4 months ago it was in the high 60’s. So a significant improvement.

Ray Huisintveld, VIC, Australia

E1 and E3 efficiency both up by more than 10% in the last few weeks.

Roger Williams, VIC, Australia

Hi David, Just wanted to say thank you. My goal this year was to break 12 mins in climbing Mt. Coot-tha in Brisbane. I started the year at 14:50 mins and no matter what I did, I could not get much better than that. I joined up to your training plan in June and at that time was down to 14:39mins. I started with the HillClimber I program and immediately saw the results. I completed that 12 weeks and then went into Hill climber II. Each week my times up the hill were getting faster and I was feeling a lot stronger. I am now on week 11 on Hill climber II and I not only reached the 12 min goal, but I also reached a personal best of 11:50mins. I am now looking to see if I can crack 11 mins! Thank you for your great programs. All the best, Mark.

Mark Karhula, QLD, Australia

My cycling buddies certainly think I have improved.

Colin Smith, QLD, Australia

Thanks for the great program. I am feeling the results already.

Susanna Dale, NSW, Australia
A good consistent 2 weeks finished. I’m almost afraid to say I am starting to feel the benefit of the last 9 weeks on Base 1 .That’s more of a reflection of my past efforts of boom and bust but now with a structured programme, I am doing a mix of efforts which I am starting to feel fitter on the bike. Did my first Over Threshold session this week on Tuesday preceded by 3 and a half hours on Monday. I was able to push 260 watts at a cadence of 98 and certainly couldn’t have managed this 9 weeks ago (wahoo kicker).Only 3 weeks before Gran Canaria and still a few months before the season starts here so with consistent progress I may be able to race this year. In my 53rd year still enjoying trying to progress after too many years off the bike and certainly now feel confident that if I follow the programme as best I can with proper rest threw in I have more to come.
Mark Douglas, Down, United Kingdom

Finished L’etape last weekend. Thanks David for all the tips, and the Boot Camp training. I found that the taper program in the 10 days between the Boot Camp and the event was really effective. And with the pre-race warm-up, I felt in form for the first 20km of climbing after the start. Really enjoyed the first 100km including the grind up Beloka. Then lost track of nutrition for a while (not enough), but got back on track about 10km from Perisher and finished in good form and a time I was happy with. Perfect weather for the event. Now 3 Peaks beckons.

Mark Hibberd, VIC, Australia

I finished the le’tape ride…the training program was a great guide and motivation during the training. As an aside… I learnt to ride a bike January this year and just wanted to commute to work. I don’t have a road bike – I completed the ride with a hybrid in 6hr30. Looking forward to improving my technique, learning to ride with cleats and completing 2019 L’Etape in under 6hrs. Thank you for your support.

Carl Arendse, NSW, Australia

I was quietly satisfied with my L’Etape effort – 7 hours elapsed time, 6:40 ride time and a 25km/hr average. I finished with a good level of energy and strength in the legs and may have mustered a semi sprint at the finish line! The Bowral 120km event was good preparation as I was confident I could meet the milestone distance (top of the Perisher climb) in the L’Etape. I also spent a little time planning my ride including making sure I didn’t try to keep up with the fast riders at the beginning, planning the amount of food and drink I needed and how to take the best advantage of the food stops. Living in Canberra I was able to visit the Perisher climb a couple of weeks earlier so knew what pace I could do up this climb.

Overall the training program was of great benefit and it provided the necessary tools, ideas and motivation to achieve the result. Your encouraging words along the way were not unimportant either.

Warwick Wilson, ACT, Australia

Firstly, many thanks for the training program in the lead-up to L’Etape. I feel that it was good preparation, much better than I have had in the lead up to previous events. Interestingly, about 4 weeks prior to the day I changed from the shorter to the longer event. I didn’t really want to change the program too much at that late stage, so just worked harder and more intensely on each ergo session, and ramped up the intensity of the on-the-road sessions as well.

So, how did the 170km go?  It was a cracking day, much better than the 2017 edition (who could forget that one!!). As I was a bit concerned that I mightn’t have enough endurance in the legs, I consciously went quite conservatively throughout – the goal was to finish, not to collapse in a sobbing heap half way up to Perisher!  Col de Beloka was certainly a challenge (but then I don’t know of anyone who wouldn’t have the same feelings!) and was conquered with persistence and brute strength, again drawing on the comments you made during the various ergo sessions about paying attention to form, changing hand positions etc. Although it was tough, I was happy with how I “grovelled” to the top – passed more riders going up than those who passed me.

I really concentrated on spinning out the legs over the next 30 km or so, knowing full well that a 27 km hill climb was on the horizon. And then the road turned up!  Again, I made a conscious effort to maintain a sustainable rhythm, focusing on holding a “stable” heart rate around 150 bpm (my max is 178), with a cadence varying from 50-75 rpm depending on gradient. It was going to be a long 2 hours.   As with Beloka, I also managed to overtake more riders than those who overtook me, indicating that I wasn’t travelling too badly. This was a great mental boost, believe me. Towards the top of the climb I did start to cramp periodically, but not so severe that I had to stop and stretch – I was able to ride through it.

Nutritionally I think I managed things pretty well. During training I’d taken on board your suggestion of eating dates as event food, so was well accustomed to those. I also had a couple of bars and had plenty of SIS re-hydration tablets to put in my bottles. Given the effort, and the last-minute decision to do the long event, I reckon that I was going to cramp regardless, so was quietly pleased that cramps didn’t stop me dead. There were plenty of others in far worse shape than me.

And then the sweet, sweet descent! It made all the climbing and suffering worth it. What a great section of the ride, including the tailwind to help get up the couple of pinches on the way home.  I must admit that I was glad to get off the bike at the end but was totally satisfied with how it all went.  So, what did the numbers show?  I set myself a target of 7 hours moving time – stopped the clock at 7:00.33, so was pretty much on the money. Overall time including stops at drink stations was around the

7:40 mark, as I was riding with a couple of mates and we’d made a pact to complete the epic journey together.

So, did I enjoy it? Absolutely. Would I do it again? Probably. The soreness and stiffness are rapidly subsiding, leaving the good memories and an incredible sense of achievement. Did I enjoy the event? Absolutely! Who wouldn’t – closed roads, crystal clear day, great temperature, good company and camaraderie, and riding through some of the most picturesque countryside this great country of ours has to offer. Happy days!!

Greg Scott, NSW, Australia

Excellent programs David. Very pleased with the results. I was using them to prepare sequentially for Fitz’s Challenge and the Great Victorian Bike Ride. After finishing strongly with Fitz’s I signed up as a late entry for the L’Etape Ride which I wasn’t confident about before. Five day GVBR was a very enjoyable prelude to L’Etape with a two day break between the events. Coped very well with my proudest achievement being able to ride up Col de Beloka without stopping at all, passing scores of cyclists walking their bikes up. Had hitched a lift with an eight strong peloton for 15kms through strong crosswinds in the leadup to this brutal climb and was most happy I could hold my place in the pace line. Hills are my friend. All thanks to your program.

Desmond Yip, NSW, Australia

L’Etape was a great achievement for only cycling a little over 12 months now. The structure you provided kept me on track for a training regimen and has definitely improved my cycling. Still, lots more to learn and techniques to develop but overall happy with my result for 108km. Thanks for your coaching.

Ryan Butler, VIC, Australia

Really happy with the time and my [L’Etape] ride. Your training programs and a bit of experimentation with nutrition and pacing in the last couple on months really made a difference, it’s a testament to how far I have come this year.

Ban Harris, NSW, Australia

L’Etape was a very satisfying accomplishment and I achieved my key goal which was to not have to stop, other than for my scheduled refuelling stops. I rode the first 120k very well and then rode a very controlled pace up the Kosciusko climb and overall felt my training held me in good stead to cover the distance and elevation gain well. Further, I pulled up well the following day. I did glance at my Strava account a couple of days after the event and noticed that I actually climbed Baloka nearly 4 mins quicker than last year – so I guess the old Greg Lemond adage holds true, “it doesn’t get any easier, you just get faster”! Thank you for the training guides – they have been extremely helpful.

Mark Lloyd, NSW, Australia

I gave it everything I had and came away the state champion [Missouri CX]

Travis Kobush, Missouri, United States

I received 2 awards from my club on Friday nite; most improved rider and best overall rider 2018. Thanks coach.

Suren Sing, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa

Now my weight is approx 84kg which is 10kg less than when I started four months ago. My health has improved with my hypertension has completely gone.

Raymond Huisintveld, VIC, Australia

Rode Falls and Tawonga last weekend. Falls from Mt Beauty 2hrs18 down to 1hr52 average cadence 65 up to 77 from previous ride in March.

Bret Maloney, NSW, Australia

Had a great day [at the L’Etape], although it was tough, especially the climb up to Perisher. Thanks for your program, your training schedule, your responses to questions, your personalised updates to my schedule and responses to my questions. Very much appreciated. My time for Beloka from last year improved by almost 4min (which is huge from last years time of 22min). One can only imagine how much better I could have gone had I started the program prior to 6 weeks to go). Very much appreciate the program, your enthusiasm and your assistance.

Stephen Murphy, NSW, Australia

Just a quick note to let you know that I successfully completed L’Etape – The Race yesterday. It was a tough day in the saddle, but I managed without stopping on any of the climbs or other than the food and energy zones. I don’t think I would have been able to do this without your assistance with my training program. Thanks so much, Peter.

Peter Doyle, NSW, Australia
I’m very glad I signed up with you for the L’Etape program, resources and your coaching were invaluable. I’m sure I wouldn’t have gotten up at 4:50 am weekdays for 24 weeks to do indoor sessions without the discipline of having a coach and a structured program. The improvements I made have built my confidence and I’d like to sustain them when the event is over. That will be a challenge without an event goal.
Barry McDonnell, NSW, Australia

Hey David, I felt like l got a taste of cycling heaven..great rides..great fellow cyclists…great accommodation… great food … great support staff and I don’t know how you did it but great weather. Personally, I took a lot away from the camp which I can now apply to my pursuit of continuous improvement both on and off the bike. Big thanks to you and Jodie. Speak soon. Chris Harrod.

Chris Harrod, VIC, Australia
Hi David, The Bright Boot Camp was a great experience. Well run and organised by Jodie and yourself. I thoroughly enjoyed it, pushing myself as a cyclist and learning a lot about how to train better. I will be back again.
Bruce Rayment, NSW, Australia
Hi David and Jodie. Thank you for a great 4 days of climbing and descending camp. I have only been cycling 3 yrs and have never climbed or descended anything like the Mountains around Bright. To say that I climbed over 7,000 meters and 420 km in 4 days I am very happy that I was able to complete the camp. I was never really good at hills so I did shy away from them in my training so now I feel a lot more confident that I can tackle more climbs and descend a lot better now. The accommodation was good and there was plenty good food. Thank you both and all the support staff for a great four days. Cheers Colin Broos.
Colin Broos, NSW, Australia

Dear Jodie and David, the training camp in Bright was very special. So consistently exciting, brilliant supervision, in fact memorable, the seminars nothing short of fascinating. Tiring and inspiring riding, I want to get better and participate in more like this, I shall return. I especially enjoyed the runs home from the end of the climbs, fast and furious… awesome. I want to improve. Thanks again and warm regards. John Duthie.

John Duthie, VIC, Australia

Currently on 4 weeks to go program. I can see improvement in my strength, it was quite evident when I did before and after strength tests (quad/hamstring/hip flexor) with the physio.

Warwick Wilson, ACT, Australia

I rode the 165km Fitzs Classic. This was the second time that I have done this ride. Your training program was a great assistance. I made it up Fitzs Hill no problem, which was my major aim with the ride.  Considering my other work and travel commitment I was happy with my time. I cannot recommend Fitz’s Challenge of any distance enough to any cyclist. Such a challenging, but rewarding course.

Bruce Rayment, NSW, Australia

I am currently following the PCFC Sub 10 program and all is going well, feeling strong, losing kg and I’m way in front of where I was this time last year.

Jed Harley, SA, Australia

Time for my monthly update. Mt Buffalo down from 1.32 at the end of the 7 peaks season to 1.21 with an average cadence of 75.

Brett Maloney, NSW, Australia

I have improved so many aspects of my riding this year including losing weight, being able to monitor my body and manage my effort better, stronger and more consistent climber. I have also improved results through the year culminating in the last 2 weeks with a 29.1 km average for the Bowral Classic and 24.1 km average for Fitz’s Epic.

Ben Harris, NSW, Australia

 I rode my “fitness test” hill (14km @ 400M elevation) last week in my fastest time in the last 4 years….so progress is being made.

Anthony Brown, VIC, Australia

I am pleased to report that the Ride Daylesford event went well last weekend, even with a stiff southerly headwind for the last 50km of the ride! I managed to improve my average speed for the 146km event from last year.

Matt Croxford, VIC, Australia

Just to let you know I have been very pleased with the program I have been on and have had a great season as a result of it. I have also been very pleased with the strength and mobiliser programs.

Philip Thomas, NSW, Australia

Hi David, Something is going right with the hill climber training programme. Brought my best time for the 1 in 20 in Melbourne down from by over 3 1/2 minutes to in the last 4 weeks!

Vaughn Ackland, VIC, Australia

I got my 1st [MTB] win! I got the start, fought off a couple attacks, actually fell and lost the lead at the end of lap 2. Got up took the lead back on a very technical off camber tree root filled corner and pulled away steadily. Thanks for everything!

Travis Kobush, Missouri, United States

 I’m definitely improving each week. Never thought I would achieve so much in such a short period! Thank you so much for your program and support along the way!

Brooke Vass, QLD, Australia

I’ve certainly experienced significant improvement in the eight months I’ve been training with Cycling Inform and look forward to this continuing.

Leigh Austin, TAS, Australia

As a past member of the program I have gone onto win a QLD Masters 6 Individual Pursuit state championship, Silver in the Sprint and missed a bronze by 0.1 of a second in the Time trial at the Masters State Champs at Anna Meares Velodrome using everything you have taught me. I also won Bronze in the QLD Masters ITT and a Bronze in a composite team with the Ipswich cycling club in Men’s Masters 4-5. Other results have come in Triathlon as the cyclist in a Mixed Masters Team, numerous wins and placings. Thanks very much as you have helped me to achieve my goals.

Robert Partington, QLD, Australia

Hey David,

Well, I did it !! My first 300km in a day and what an amazing day it was. I was very apprehensive about the ride leading up to the event worried I had not done enough and had I followed your plan correctly as I have been travelling a lot from Motel to Motel. But this is the 3rd year of doing this ride (210, 250 now 300) and the training program has worked well. I am happy to say that after 24 weeks of solid training I feel great and stronger and fitter than ever.

I did a couple of practice rides as per your plan of 150km and 175km and even did the new Arthurs seat loop twice just to understand what I was getting myself into and even after 180km I was able to climb Arthurs seat and only miss my PB by 1min which is just crazy. I was really worried about cramping and fatigue but after chatting with you at your place a few months ago when I dropped by after work I put some of the discussion into practice by well hydrating the week before and making sure I was drinking a lot during the ride. I did cramp a little at the 206km mark on the hill up to Red Hill but a simple salt tablet got that under control quickly and I was able to keep going.

Well, the ride went like this.

We got out of the start line in the second wave about 30mins later than the first group and set a comfortable 30-35km/hr down to Werribee. After a very quick stop, we took off wanting to get the next 50km down to Geelong done quickly as it’s the most boring part of the ride. We were cruising along with our strongest riders at the front pulling us along at a cracking 40km/hr. We did have to slow them down a bit because they were getting a bit excited and slowly were pushing it up to 45km/hr which was getting quite taxing. The group backed off and after Geelong, I was able to get my heart rate back down to around the 140’s and had a good 70kms to recover before the boat. We ended up averaging 31km/hr to the boat and got there in 5hrs.

Last year I hated the boat ride as I was cramping a lot but this year I really enjoyed the rest and food and when getting off the boat felt quite relaxed and refreshed. We took it easy heading to the base of Arthurs Seat and as I have said earlier I had a lot of fun climbing it and did a good time. It was getting quite warm by this part of the day which was a challenge. The rolling hills down to Flinders are fun with a really steep little pinch about half way down to Flinders.

>From Flinders we started with the rollers toward Point Leo road when we started the climb. This climb is longer and has some little pinches that go into false flats and then pinches up again. When got to the top we were able to enjoy the decent and I felt like I earnt my downhill. We rolled into safety beach and climbed through the hills coming into Mornington. These climbs were fun and we were able to keep up our average speed.

We dropped down into Frankston were we had a break refuelled and went for broke toward Melbourne with a slight SE tailwind. The 2 strongest riders in our group started pulling us along and we felt like we were flying. Our spirts were up and we were picking up other riders along the way. We started as just our group of 5 and ended up with more than 30 riders behind us. We all came across the line together and we were all very happy with our 28.5km/hr average for the day.

Our total moving time was 10 and a half hours and I am really happy with it. I know that without my team and the favorable weather I would not have been able to do that time but I really enjoyed myself. I have taken a couple of days to recover and now starting to think about what is next and will probably get on the bike tonight and just do a recovery ride in Zwift.

Thanks for your support and for the time you have spent chatting and emailing me. I look forward to catching up next time I am up in Mansfield working.

Regards
David Smith.

David Smith, VIC, Australia

I really enjoyed ATB this year. I certainly felt well prepared using your training program and your other training resources. At the end of the 210km (7hrs. 30 mins moving time) having kept up my food intake and fluid/electrolytes I felt I could have gone much further. I was also happy with my recovery which has been much easier than I expected.

Peter Hamilton, VIC, Australia

Hi David. Yes, l completed the 300km Around the Bay ride on Sunday 7th Oct and really enjoyed the challenge and experience of the distance it had its highs and lows but knowing that l had the right training plan and putting in the miles and time in the saddle was the diff between success and failure. Looking forward to the next challenge.  Thanks for your help regards, Ricky.

Ricky Holmes, VIC, Australia

Had a great Around the Bay Day day, I was down in Frankston by 9 am left the city at 7 am. Rode nice a strong all the way back, stopped for a coffee at Black Rock with a mate. Not bad for a bloke who 12 months ago had a full hip replacement.

Rhys Thomas, VIC, Australia

I reached my first goal this week at the Magnetic Island Triathlon festival. 🙌 The hill that got the better of me last time wasn’t part of the race, however, I rode over it to get to Transition set up and back to catch the ferry home. So happy to say I made it! With a little energy to spare. Thank you for the support on this hill climb, I’m now motivated to keep training to reach the top of Castle Hill. Not only did I achieve that, but my race pace was also faster and in general my cadence is almost always between 90-100rpm, riding is becoming second nature 😊

Brooke Vass, QLD, Australia

Hi David, have returned from Canada after riding from Vancouver to Calgary, including the Gran Fondo,  All went well with the help of your Boot Camp and Training Program which motivated me to join the harder local rides and purchase a Tax Neo Indoor Trainer. The Canadian Rockies are truly a beautiful riding experience. Cheers, John West.

John West, VIC, Australia

September 30th was my 3 Gap ride. I had a shortened training period so my goals were simple: 1) survive the climbs and not embarrass myself doing so; and 2) finish in under 4 hours.

Goal #1: I did not embarrass myself. In fact, the first long climb was a 9.7 km climb with 4-5% grades. Not a bad climb but long. I easily traversed Neels Gap. My cleat was loose on the climb but I stayed in the saddle and tightened it when I reached the top. The KOM/QOM was also not terrible, just under 6 km with fun switchbacks and 6-8% grades. I would have liked to be stronger but was able to easily pass the heavier climbers and reached in 26.53 mins at 11.1 kph (6.92 mph). My overall ride time landed me in 7th place out of 96 females. (6th out of 45 in my age group) Overall in the combined field, I was 96th out of 574 (men and women all age groups). So, not only did I not embarrass myself, I had a respectable showing. Keys to my confidence on the ride were my practice on the actual hills, cadence increase through training, and nutrition. It was key that I had done the training rides and working on my pace. When my legs became tired I was able to spin at the higher cadence and keep rolling as I built my pace.

Goal #2: I finished in 3:59, under 4 hours which meets my goal. If I hadn’t had the issue with my cleat I would have beat that by another 15-20 minutes.

My weakness was climbing out of the saddle and still struggled with this on the KOM portion at 8% grade. However, by kilometer 65 I was able to take the hills out of the saddle and felt much stronger as the ride progressed. I’m ready to tackle these hills over and over again until I get my pace above 16kph.

Overall I felt great on the ride. It was super fun to pass the guys and show my strength on the hills. I frustrated at least one guy who I passed on the KOM and final gap and received many kudos as I climbed. Such an enjoyable ride. Next year I’ll go for faster and stronger! Thanks for your support!

Regards, Stephanie Scarborough.

Stephanie Scarborough, Florida, USA

I’m five weeks into the Aerobic Base – Part one builder program and I’m getting PB’s every road ride so definitely improving.

Brooke Vass, QLD, Australia

Hi David, just some feedback on the Amy’s ride/program. Was about 40 minutes faster than last year. Noticeable strength improvement used small chainring only for one small pinch prior to KOM, otherwise, nothing smaller than 50×28 that included longish stints out of the saddle which felt very comfortable – this knowledge all came from the climbing articles and then doing the vertical metres in training and the intervals inside. Also watched your descending video and used that. So thanks for all the info so far – Bret.

Bret Maloney, NSW, Australia

End of my third week of the Aerobic Builder Part 1 – 12-week program. I’ve been trying to achieve an average of 100 RPM every session, but today’s 002 – E3 Strength Endurance session was the first time I’d reached my goal. I am feeling a bit stronger each week and I’m looking forward to the taper built into week four. I’m really looking forward to seeing where I get to at the end of the 12-week program. Regardless of what the final outcome is, I think that doing a structured program is making a huge difference to my fitness and confidence, especially committing to a program.

Graeme Savage, ACT, Australia

I completed the race on wet roads and with an official time of 3:44:38 with an average speed of 32kmh which is a PR for me. Now packing for a flight to Europe. Thank you for my improved performance and look forward to the next chapter being the L’Etape. I’ll get in touch once back.

Stephen Podmore, NSW, Australia

Just letting you know I enjoyed yesterday’s Amy’s Gran Fondo ride. I am training for my A-Event Half Distance Triathlon later in the year so I used this as a training ride to contribute toward that goal. Therefore no tapering etc. My Intensity Factor for the race was IF 0.81 which was what I was hoping for to satisfy my training requirements. Finished mid-pack overall and mid-pack in my age group. I finished in a healthy manner as well as contributing to my bike fitness. Have recovered well and feel good today. It is such a good ride, that next year I’d like to ride it as my main goal and use the AGF training program in its entirety. Apart from that, it was simply a great ride, in a great area for a great cause!

Jim Taylor, VIC, Australia

The program is going well, the out of saddle pedalling is an area I wanted to work on so your sessions are definitely working me. Matt’s [off the bike] exercises are a challenge, didn’t realise how uncoordinated/unbalanced I have become!

Mark Thiess, VIC, Australia

I rode Amys Gran Fondo yesterday after training on your Qualifier Programme. The day itself was a bit miserable and had many similarities to a tough Giro d’Italia day. Wet, cold and someone even commented that they had seen snow on the side of the road.

This all said I had a very good ride. 8 mins faster than last year with a couple of key segment milestones. Almost a minute faster up the first 10 km climb compared to last year and about 3 mins faster across the overall KoM. That positioned me to be in a strong group along the Great Ocean Road and from there the job was pretty well done.

Some observations about the training programme. It is great to have something so tailored to the event. I have several friends that will do intense sessions, but a bit randomly. It was great understanding the phasing of the programme, and how individual sessions are building relevant strength, fitness or power for the race. Having done the Peaks Challenge Falls Creek programme you can see how the different programmes really emphasise different things. Another observation is the smaller things like the pre-event ergo. After a very light week, this really primed me well for the race.

The good news is that I am sure that even at my age (49) I feel that I have a lot of improvement in me, and the accumulation of training over multiple seasons is really noticeable. Thanks for the programme and help David. Fingers crossed we can have a similar result next year and get me to Vancouver in 2020.

Shane O'Sullivan, VIC, Australia

Had a great Amy’s ride and qualified for the Worlds. I am stoked and so excited. Still on a high after probably my best and strongest ride to date. The training I did with your coaching program really helped especially staying with the bunch on the climbs and tough rollers. Averaging over 32 Kms was a very good result for me.  Looking forward to performing better at Bowral and L’Etape.

Mike Ellis, NSW, Australia
Really happy with my Amy’s ride, 4hrs31 which was a lot faster than I thought I’d go.
Andrew Rees, VIC, Australia

10 minutes off my Ventoux climb time from 3 years ago. 2 best Gran Fondo performances ever on back to back Sundays. Excited to keep going!

Christopher Geiser, CA, USA

I completed the Noosa Classsic 160KM Race a few weeks back and hit my goal of 5:30 despite some very trying conditions. I learnt a lot from this ride as it was my first Gran Fondo which will help improve future rides. So thank you for everything so far, I feel as though I am on track for a good L’Etape ride.

Bret Parkinson, QLD, Australia
I rode the Gravel Grit on the weekend – 91k on the mtb. From the start line, there was in a field of around 80 – 100, about 20% on mtb, with the strong rides all on CX bikes. The started us off, into a narrow chute and having started from the back, I was on the back before the ride got going. I rode around 30kph jumping from one group to the next in the hope of catching the front group on their CX bikes . With limited gearing and a strong headwind, jumping from one group to the next, whilst staying left was hard headwind I got to the first rest stop around 1hr in, and decided to keep going and start the climb on my own. It was 8 – 10 av, with spikes of over 20%, and I rode it at my pace – seated and heart rate at 150bpm – felt good, and within myself, as I rode in front.

At about 2.5hrs in a caught 2 rides on CX bikes and rode with them for 30 mins – before pushing on , on my own and was fortunate enough to catch 3 rides on CX bikes up the road and rode with them until 80k’s in and then push on to ride through the You Yangs on my own – cautious of the descents – as a few rides are come off , I rode within myself and finished alone in 4hr 06mins – not a bad effort I thought considering I rode the majority of the course seated and on my own with limited gearing

It clear that the spinning and the mental strength to not give up during the climbs has improved due to your help with the intervals.

Many thanks again.

Ross Sanelli, VIC, Australia

I had a really great ride today. I felt good all the way through and the ride was pretty challenging. 31.45 miles, 1526 ft elevation gain, time 2:34, speed 12.2 MPH. The three big hill climbs were all personal best times. Thanks for the great help.

Cheryl Swanson , Colorado, USA

Love the Strength training, the mobilisers and the Functional strength exercises as can feel stronger in the back only after a weeks training.

Michael Southwell, NSW, Australia

I’ve been doing climbing training generally with a few of your programs and feel that my climbing has improved particularly over the last 6 months. I enjoy the indoor workouts and have been far more consistent with my training over the winter this year and have targeted 100rpm on my rides.

Mike Kenealy, VIC, Australia

I just want to thank you for putting together the Hill Climber 082 workouts. I’m really enjoying the structure and progression in my strength of the workouts via Zwift. July last year I suffered a heart attack and four days later underwent 6.5 hours of surgery for Quintuple Bypass surgery. I had gone from riding 250kms a week and enjoying climbing Mt Arapiles and the Grampians to struggling to get dressed/showered and walk. After four weeks of only walking 30 minutes a day, I was able to start riding indoors (so as to not compromise my Sternum’s healing) for 10 minutes a day with a max HR of no more than 130 bpm. After rehab and medical approval, I was able to venture on the road again for small rides as my sternum had knitted. Since then, I have been able to get my Cardio fitness back to where it was, achieved my goal weight of 59kgs, but haven’t been able to regain the Glute/Quad strength I had. I really feel repeating your 082 workouts at level 1 and 2 (at present) is rapidly getting me back to and possibly exceeding the climbing strength I had, with the much-added bonus of proper technique and core strength. I’m super motivated to get back to our Grampians Region and Mt Arapiles in Spring / Summer to really enjoy the joy of climbing.

Anthony Heyward, VIC, Australia

The main improvement I am seeing is in my time management. I believe I am getting similar results with less effort which is really nice, this has been achieved by not having to think about what I need to do each ride. Using your weekly schedules is taking a lot of the indecision out of the equation. The information you provide also points out to me the importance of rest.

Warwick Wilson, ACT, Australia

I completed the Copper Triangle in the mountains of Colorado. 79 miles and over 5000 feet of climbing.  I was very pleased with the guidance of the training program and rode the indoor trainer more than I would normally do in the summertime. I finished the toughest climb at the end of the ride (Vail Pass) in good form.  I look forward to re-setting my goals for my next challenge.

Randy Hyre, Colorado, USA

I am very happy with my progress. My simple interpretation of Training Peaks is that my fitness is steadily increasing. I am still mostly on the trainer on “Maintainer 2” plus a few recent easy road rides with my riding group, these group rides will increase. I am finding that my Tacx training rides are getting easier, during today’s 010 – Hill climber cadence, my heart rate did not go over 122bpm even though I upped the FTP by 5%. I have been taking your advice and focusing on technique, and I think my technique is improving.

John Webster, NSW, Australia

Last week was the last week of training Aerobic Base Builder I – Part One, and this week was the first week of training Aerobic Base Builder I – Part One. On Saturday I did my group ride in 55 min 39 sec beating my previous best by 2 min 21 seconds. very, very happy with the result there.

Steve Mayall, VIC, Australia
We did a charity ride this weekend for 400km in total. 200km on Saturday and 200km on Sunday. Aerobic Base Builder 2 was the very reason I succeded on completing this Distance. I have realised practically the main reason for arms rotation during the entire race, your hands dont tire, and there is no numbness. The E3 training I did in preparation for this race was the reason for my success. There was a lot left in the reserve after completion of the race. Thank you Dave your coaching and training material is worth it.
Tladi Molefe, Gaborone, Botswana
I am pretty pleased with my progress as I am riding stronger than I have for some time with less training effort. So that is great! I feel I have really have benefited from the mobilisers and strength training. My hill performance in club racing is significantly improved.
Philip Thomas, NSW, Australia

I am finding that each time I reflect where I am compared to what I had been doing in the past, I shake my head in disbelief that I hadn’t taken this road sooner.

Ross Sanelli, VIC, Australia

Just finishing up the Road Racer II – part one plan. Managed to hold my form coming off the back of PCFC and have had a decent crack at a couple of road races, and some Zwift races as well. Just back from a week riding in the French Alps and ticked Col del la Madeleine off the bucket list as well as a new PB up Le Bettex which was the final climb of the Dauphine. Pretty happy with how things are progressing. Next goal is a qualifying time at Amy Gillet Gran Fondo, so moving over to that plan from next week, but will juggle it around being back in France for July.

Peter Gray, VIC, Australia

Well, I’ve made it to the end of Hill climber II part 1. So what have I achieved? I reckon my power in E1 @100 RPM is up 20% and my power in E3 is up 10%. So that’s pretty good. I’m very happy with the result.

Roger Williams, VIC, Australia

Training going well, have been doing all sessions on the road, mostly early morning before work. Weight is reducing slowly, the hills are easing a little.I am having fun and enjoy my rides. I haven’t started racing yet, as it has been only 5 weeks since I have been back on the bike after nearly 4 months off it, and the first 2 weeks back on was just easy, now that I have nearly finished week 3, another couple of weeks, I feel that I will be fitter for racing.

Chris Dungey, VIC, Australia

I am currently on the ABB program. Noticing improvement. I am also following the nutrition plan. Have dropped 3 kg slowly. Not feeling hungry or deprived. Just right and balanced. Am noticing the greatest improvement just after the rest day. My hill climbing is getting easier and enjoying longer time out on the road. Thanks so much for your help and program. It’s amazing. I’m getting so much out of it. Regards, Paola Henry

Paola Henry, ACT, Australia

HI David. Have finished the twelve week MTB Program Part one and noticed that my FTP has risen from 280 to 300. I am training on a Wahoo Kickr two to three times per week during the week and trying to get out on the road/trails on the weekends.

Tony Clark, VIC, Australia

Just finished my event and thought I’d give you details of how it went, the ride is on my training peaks. The forecasted conditions were perfect, overcast and quite warm, but unfortunately, we started with cloudless skies and hot, which stayed with us for most of the day! The first 42 miles went really well, we had 3 brutal climbs but, as I had hoped for, I rode up all these instead of suffering up them. The last 35 miles I got into a really good rhythm on all the climbs and was delighted with the last 35miles. Delighted with the way things ended up and felt I was much stronger than last year which is down to you. This sportive is ranked in the top three most challenging in the UK, easy to see why with its relentless steep climbing, and I did achieve all my goals for this ride. I’ve just been accepted into the biggest sportive in the UK, Ride London, which is a Gran Fondo on completely closed roads with over 25,000 riders. This event is the last week of July so gives me about eight weeks of preparation.

Kind regards,  Ken Parsons

Ken Parsons, Suffolk, UK

I completed the Convict 100 MTB race about 50mins quicker than my previous best time and I am very happy about that. My wildest dreams were getting close to it and I did that. Felt strong the whole race. I have lost 11-12kgs since Jan as at the start of May and this made a big difference in the Convict 100. I have maintained the weight loss for the last month even though I have dropped back on riding hours significantly. I am maintaining off the bike strength training and can plank like a champion.

James Kennedy, NSW, Australia

Power has come up 10% in E1 @100RPM compared with four weeks ago. Stronger back leading to a more relaxed upper body is having a huge impact.

Roger Williams, VIC, Australia

I’m entering my sixth week of training. Although I had been riding prior to starting my training program, Cycling-Inform has allowed me to be more efficient with my training systems. 1 1/2 weeks ago I completed a 3 day, 250 mile ride from New Jersey to Washington DC. I had no issues and was one of the stronger riders in my group. I was able to continue my training as soon as I returned home and did a high intensity, 53 mile ride yesterday. I’m very satisfied with my fitness level, to the point that I renewed my racing license through USCF and am hoping to start racing in the next month or so. I’ll participate in a local practice criterium in 2 days (first time in 10 years).

Alan Dela Pena, California, United States

Hello David, I’m three weeks into the Road Racer II Part Two and had my 1st race for 3 weeks.I h ad my best result for along time. So your program, although early days, has given me not only some fitness but more so more confidence in my racing especially when the higher graded cyclists come through. Early day yet but feeling like I’m getting somewhere with structured training. Thanks, Peter

Peter Kiel, VIC, Australia

Hi David, we ticked off my first goal, I’ve managed to move up a grade in racing which is something that I’ve been keen to achieve for the past couple of years. The signs from my first race were encouraging and were able to hang in and finish with the bunch. Thanks a heap.

Leigh Austin, TAS, Australia

Hi David. I have recently completed the GOORC 145 km ride and am pleased that I managed to complete the ride 16.5 minutes faster than last year, having used your training since early 2018.

Matt Croxford, VIC, Australia

The Otway 145km went well. I rode with a group of friends (10) which whittled down to 3 by the end. My hill climbing was sen-bloody-sational. At the top of each climb/end of each major descent I waiting for a minimum of two minutes for friends. The last 30km I rode on the front for 80% of the time. As we arrived at the final set of traffic lights entering Torquay I looked back and saw at least 20 people with their tonques hanging out breathing hard. Five of those thanked me for getting them back. I worked hard but never once went into the red. All of your training programs for Hill Climbing, PCFC and GF have made me the rider I am today. I can ride hard chat, give encouragement and enjoy the ride. When groups came to a hill it was as though they had stopped. I can’t ride that slow so would pull out and power away past them. Very enjoyable.

Peter Burke, VIC, Australia
Am now a few weeks in to the Road Race program and had the opportunity to pick up a 3 race license and test myself in my first ever club races this week. Started my week setting a new 20min power PB on my training ride, then raced C grade at the Caulfield Carnegie Anzac Day Classic on Wednesday, followed by the Southern Masters in Drouin on Sunday. Finished comfortably in the bunch at Sandown, then placed 2nd on Sunday. Big week of riding but feeling strong, and the training gave me the confidence to have a crack at the racing.
Peter Grey, VIC, Australia

By Thursday into my taper week I was tired, the taper Ergo session was solid, Fridays two hour E1 ride I was flat, Saturday two hour E1 ride I started to feel good.  Race day was awesome, our bunch wasn’t strong enough to get a winner up, but I felt great, on the climbs I couldn’t believe how easily I was able to ride away from our group, then had to sit up and wait, easily the strongest in my grade.  Thanks David, I have faith in the system.

Leigh Austin , TAS, Australia

I completed B2B yesterday [in a record time for me]. This is the fastest I have had in on any 100K+ ride. The gains came on the climbs and I give the credit to your hill training program. Thank you. The ride itself is very well organised and I would recommend it to everyone. Cheers, Ken from sydney

Ken Cahill, NSW, Australia

I have just come to the end of Aerobic Base Builder II – Part One. I did get noticeable improvements from the program (Strava PB’s and recognition from riding partners) so I know that the program has provided me with good outcomes.

Stephen Manley, NSW, Australia
I feel better prepared for my 14-day 1600km bike tour trip through Spain and I am noticeably stronger and faster than before. My physio is impressed at how much muscle I have built since my hip operation last May.
Dennis Hooper, Auckland, New Zealand
Just a short update .. On Saturday, one of the faster groups I ride with was doing an easy 60k’s @ 1200m as they were racing Baw Baw on Sunday – so I took the opportunity to see where I was at given that their ‘easy’ is usually quite difficult for me. So, I thought it would be interesting to see how I felt after 40k’s riding with this group. I did a very good warm-up – cycling through various cadence and loads. We started the climb and I thought I would stay with them for as long as possible and see how far up the climb I could get before being spat off the back. I thought, in about a 1k I will come to a grinding halt, but I continued. Finished the climb with a PB of 9.55. I am 2 mins off the group best, instead of almost 4mins .. I feel I have at least another 55sec in me without any further development, so I am very much looking forward to seeing that result and other improvements as our journey together continue. Sincerely thank you for allowing me to shine in front of friends. Ross
Ross Senelli, VIC, Australia

I am in week 11 of Hill Climber 2 part 1. I have found it very beneficial and have noticeably improved my speed on hills, helped by shedding a few kilos as a result of the ideal weight calculation you did for me.

Ken Cahill, NSW, Australia
Another PB for my local 7klm climb in the Brisbane ranges has me 16 minutes quicker since Christmas. Totally rapt, I’ve got the 145 Klm leg of the Otway classic later this month, can’t wait to put all the hard work into practice. I’ve lost 7 kilos since Christmas and looking forward to dropping another 15 kg this year.
Steven Dunbabin, VIC, Australia
Good news is I PR’ed Kinglake yesterday I wasn’t out to beat it, it just happened. I took 41sec off my previous time which has stood for nearly 4 years. I felt really strong and I wasn’t fresh either after Monday’s ride.
Paul Anderson, VIC, Australia

Just a quick word of thanks – without the earlier training, the current 083 hill climber and the 086 Over threshold hill climber intervals would not have been possible. The 145 – 150bpm area is getting easier, and I am finding that I am not falling apart from one block to the next – I am remaining controlled and focused to push on through. More importantly, I am absorbing the hurt and learning to breath through and willing myself to the next block. It’s only the beginning, but in a very short time, this structured program has allowed me to complete an interval like these. In the past, I would not have been able to continue – now I am completing the sessions. I very much look forward to moving forward and being able to complete the same sessions at a higher wattage and heart rate. Many thanks for your support & guidance

Ross Sanelli, VIC, Australia
I’ve weighed in tonight after being days away and I’ve dropped 11.7kgs total since 2 Jan, and cracked the double digits!!! Now, 99.5kg. Fat has dropped to 33.1%, down from 34.9% on Saturday (101.8kg). Starting to get quite a few comments about looking leaner, and I’m feeling great!
James Kennedy, NSW, Australia
Hi David, Things are going well. I can feel the training working as certain sessions are getting easier and on the road, I mainly feel I am recovering better from climbs, yet to get up the climbs a lot faster.
Ben Harris, NSW, Australia
In my opinion….and I have been a member for 4+ years now…..this is the BEST VALUE FOR MONEY site for cyclists. For those like me who are only looking for quality and implementable information this is THE best place to be. Great work David and team! Regards, Sri Rajam
Sri Rajam, Tamil Nadu, India
Hi David, I am pretty pleased to have beaten my 10hr objective, and with a time of 9:35, I was 45 mins faster than when I did it [PCFC] in 2014. I definitely improved my times on the flat sections, took shorter breaks, and generally felt stronger. The training plan gave me a good structure to work within and helped me to commit an execute the training required. Thanks for your support and advice. Regards, Peter.
Peter Gray, VIC, Australia

Thanks so much for your training program.  I attempted my first Peaks Challenge on Sunday with the aim of getting through before the 13 hours cut off.  I was stoked to make it through in 12:17 with plenty of time up my sleeve and with legs left at the end.  After using your program in the lead up I was very satisfied to find that I pulled up in really great condition after the ride. Not too sore and no injuries. Really happy with the results and will be recommending you to friends. Ben Richards.

Ben Richards, VIC, Australia
I followed your 10 hr [PCFC] training program for the last 13 weeks doing all the mid week hard sessions and most of the weekend long rides. I rarely reached the weekly Km goal though as I skipped a lot of the recovery rides prioritising the harder sessions. Very glad I signed up to your program as I learned a lot about actual training as opposed to just riding and I got a good result for my efforts. I ended up with 10h 33m and was happy with my ride.
David Taylor, VIC, Australia

I just want to say thank you for your program. It worked really well for me. But with 2 little kids to deal with and my wife’s business I often find I am time poor and really was only getting the Sunday to train. Having a structured program (as well as a smart trainer) meant I could quite easily follow the program from early December 2017 onwards. I was definitely training “smarter” and I was gaining more and more confidence on the roads. I had previously completed PCFC in 2015 with a time of 12 hrs 27 mins. I set a goal to beat PCFC in under 12 hours. I finished in a time of 11 hours 47 mins so was really happy with that. With my result, we can say “your program works”. Thanks – Tony

Tony Moore, VIC, Australia
I wish to express my deep gratitude for your excellent coaching albeit it comes with challenges. I’m a 51 year old ‘Froome wannabe’. The last 6 months have been the most serious in my career and I followed your programme almost 100%. It’s not easy getting on the Wattbike and cranking your sessions alone! But It paid off. I shattered my PB for this race by 12 mins and was the best finisher in my club. All the tell-tale signs were there this year with my HR dropping by 8%, power increasing and dropping top club riders who ride twice as much as me. Thank you again, it’s really appreciated. You are a great coach.
Suren Sing, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa

Hi David, 9hrs 46 mins so well happy, my fastest Peaks Challenge Falls Creek time yet, that was number 4 and number 8 for all Peaks challenges! Thanks again for all your help. Guy

Guy Streeter-Smith, NSW, Australia

Hi, please pass on to David my thanks for the pearls of wisdom he shared and how nice it was to catch up with him in bike check on Saturday [at the Peaks Challenge Falls Creek]. I was happy with my 11:44 time. Can’t help wonder what may have been possible if I could have made the boot camp and stuck to the training schedule. All the best – Tony Vink.

Tony Vink, QLD, Australia
I’ve been doing the sessions in the morning, and it has been helping with the weight loss. Although I have not yet spent too much time in the 150+ bpm zone – when I do get there, it’s a shift I no longer notice. Before, when I had that crept from 140 + to beyond 150+ bpm, it was very noticeable. Now, I finish a session, and I am surprised to learn that I actually spend time at 150+. I am finding it very comfortable at 200w at any cadence, and I am starting to get better at holding 225+w at a cadence of 90+ rpm.
Ross Sanelli, VIC, Australia
I’ve been a Cycling-Inform member these past few months – the tips, posts, videos etc that you’ve been posting have been great. I’ve been building up off a low base for Peaks Challenge Falls Creek and now feel a whole lot more prepared. I’m in my late 50s so probably an 11hr time is about right for me. The tips you had on descending were super useful – made a big difference immediately.
Daryl Marchant, VIC, Australia
James Kennedy, NSW, Australia
Ben Harris, NSW, Australia
Kim Lark, NSW, Australia
John Joass, NSW, Australia
David Petersen, NSW, Australia
Michael Hoyle, VIC, Australia
Leigh Austin, TAS, Australia
Tony Slimmings, Leeds, UK
Martin Rumsby, SA, Australia
Hugh Beveridge, WA, Australia
James Kennedy, NSW, Australia
Geoff Monaghan, SA, Australia
David Smith, VIC, Australia

G’day David, after finishing the above programme last weekend I had the rare opportunity to test out whether I had improved any, firstly though let me say I started the above programme immediately after completing the 12 wk hill climbing part 1. I took part in a Vets 66k handicap on the weekend, 3 x 22k laps, 4 guys in my group and on 24min mark, most bunches in front and behind us had at least 6 riders, the wind was horrible and increased in force as race went on, after first lap we had cut the lead of the bunch in front of us by half, halfway round 2nd lap one of our bunch dropped out so we’re now three riders, end of the second lap we’ve picked up all the riders in front of us apart from one, halfway round third lap we drop our third rider and we’re now two, we catch the limit marker about 4 k to go and we’re leading, wind is now ridiculous and we get passed by 3 A graders about 2k from finish but we get onto them, unfortunately at this point my adducter seized up but fortunately for me apart from the A graders we have kept all the riders behind us so far back I cannot see them. I just could not have done this six months ago before I started on your programmes, I was really really chuffed with the ride and the fact that I never missed one turn, even into that horrible wind, and I’m 70 yrs old so giving away about 10-15 yrs on everybody in my group and the A graders must have been in their 40’s but I still feel I can improve a bit more. I also think the programme has helped me on the mental side of things cos you need to concentrate and dig in a bit on those 5 min ergos. Now I’m onto the Hill Climber part 2 as we’re heading to Italy later this year to climb Mt Etna, a big thanks again David it has been great so far.

Michael Joss, VIC, Australia

I’ve come from a tri background and getting back into the scene after a break, though just focusing on the bike for now and starting from building the base back up in a structured way. It is good to be able to get some good volume in on the bike and the improvement has been noticeable even after just 3 weeks. The mobilisers have been gold and I think Matts Strength video is just enough.

Steve Edwards, NSW, Australia

A quick check-in. I’ve upgraded to the 8-10hr Leaner Cyclist program and have managed circa 180km for the last three weeks. Really starting to see the benefits.
The stretches and mobility exercises are having a subtle but noticeable effect. First longer ride of the year last Saturday – 80km with about 600m climbing. Best I’ve done for over 6mths or so. I hit 7kgs loss today since 4th Jan – stoked! I am starting to enjoy the hills again. I’ve cut out all of the crap – only eating good food in moderation. I feel lighter on my feet and have way more energy and feel mentally much more positive and in control. My Strava Fitness curve has gone from 14pts on 4 Jan (almost an all-time low) to 53pts as at last night and improving 6-8pts per week. I should be on fire for the Convict 100 in May.

James Kennedy, NSW, Australia

Everything is pointing to improvement. Average speed keeps going up, hills are easier to go over, and my weekly mileage keeps going up slowly.

Michael Kennedy, VIC, Australia

I signed up for the boot camp to kick start my motivation four weeks ago. I’ve lost 13kg since the holidays and gotten my fitness and power up over that period.

David O'Connor , NSW, Australia

I have a hill in the Brisbane ranges out the back of Werribee that is just over 7 km long and Strava reckons the average is 2.5 %, the truth is that the pinches top out at 11 %. Since Christmas, I’ve lowered my PB by 12 minutes over the 7 km climb! I’m a believer.

Steven Dunbabin, VIC, Australia

I’m feeling a lot stronger than last year David, I’m sticking to the training… I’ll finish the Peaks Challenge Falls Creek ride this year!

Andrew Gibbons, VIC, Australia

I raced yesterday with the West Coast Masters and placed 4th in the C grade.

Dave Morris, WA, Australia

The programme you supplied made me stronger and more confident. I’m much fitter and climbing better than when I did the AUDAX 200km in 2015. Your programme worked for me and I enjoyed the mix even the Mountains in Lao. Thanks again for your programmes and assistance.

David Cairns, WA, Australia

David, I noticed I had made an improvement in a really short time but what really proved it was my friends also noticed.

Julie Laine, QLD, Australia

I’m halfway through my second year of cycling, this was my first Audax. I completed it in 10hrs 10mins, which I was very pleased with, a good foundation for the up and coming three peaks challenge.  Taking on the event on my own meant there was a considerable amount of time on my own, which wasn’t an issue apart from the last 10km of Falls Creek. I found it tough going, especially without anyone nearby to hang onto. Although a coffee at the summit and I felt a world beater again  The climb home up Tawonga was hot but the feeling at the top was worth it. The training has improved me as a cyclist in terms of technique and strength, I’m certainly more confident.  Andy.

Andy Gibbons, VIC, Australia

Thanks for the feedback and constant encouragement. It is making a big difference! I weighed this morning, a 6.7kg loss since 2 Jan. I’m aiming for -7kgs by the end of the week. Happy days!

James Kennedy, NSW, Australia

I love your program, being able to train & exercise when it suits me, I am fitter than ever & love cycling in the mountains.

David Drysdale, VIC, Australia

I have been working on the sub 10hr Peaks Challenge program. Over the weekend I did the Cadel Evans Peoples ride which while it does not have a huge amount of climbing, is a challenging course with some nasty pinches and rolling hills. I managed to increase my avg speed by about 4kph on last year, and was dropping the rest of the group on the climbs. Feeling much more confident for PCFC now.

Peter Gray, VIC, Australia

I’m looking forward to the Audax ride. Just wanted to let you know that 3 big things for me from your program have been: (1) Grounding myself on the seat to improve pedalling technique. I’m amazed how well this works – smooth, continuous power without consciously thinking about all the different parts of the whole pedal stroke. (2) Emphasising the importance of rest days. (3) The tapering program for the last week. Lots of other good stuff too but I was doing a lot of it already. Definitely want to continue improving after this weekend.

Mark Hibberd, VIC, Australia

I don’t know if it’s related but some of my old speed and acceleration are back and, after about three weeks without a serious climb, this weekend’s climb up Mt Keira was “easier” than it’s been in ages and I put up a solid time on the toughest part. I’ve particularly noticed a marked improvement on maintaining good speed through short false flats and lower-gradient sections.

Walter Davis, NSW, Australia

I must say that I’ve always been drawn back to your site after purchasing a few of your videos and finding them really helpful and noticing some good improvement. It’s easy to see why you’re a very successful coach just in the level of detail you go into, and also your ability to always look at the bigger picture. I think your training programs are uniquely placed to train for the one off iconic Sportives we have in the UK. I’ve always found it so hard to get a really focused training plan to take on these really tough and challenging Sportives and I think that is what draws me to your training plans.

Ken Parsons, Suffolk, United Kingdom

Last week I rode from home to Olinda via the 1 in 20. (75KM return with 1200m of climbing). I attacked the Strava segment to Olinda and pushed it and did my best time. The last 3 rides up there I have done PBs. As you say I was “lost in the ride” climbing concentrating on each corner and my HR and although I was at threshold I loved it. Before I knew it I had finished the climb and it felt great. As you get fitter these rides don’t scare me as much as they used to do.

Tony Pignata, VIC, Australia

I threw in an Everest on the weekend for a bit extra in the climbing department. 19 hours, 335kms later and success  couldn’t have done it without the 3 peaks training program.

Peter Wadley, VIC, Australia

I am enjoying the Pt2 of Aerobic Base builder. The 081 and 085 sessions and video on the trainer are great. Its amazing how much confidence it gives me on hills now to stand and power for 1 or 2 mins at 60-65 rpm then back to seated and lower gear.

David Lucietto, NSW, Australia
I’m glad to have a trainer and the programs to use in conjunction with it. Car driver behaviors always deteriorated around Christmas and Easter do being able to train “off the road” is welcome at this time of year. I think David’s training programs are great – can definitely see the numbers getting better and am feeling stronger. Have been a client now for about 6 months and recommend the program to my mates
Tony Smith, VIC, Australia
Just settling in to the program and have had to shuffle sessions around a bit, but pleased to report I achieved a number of PB’s doing some climbs in the Dandenongs on Friday along with some new power pb’s according to training peaks.
Peter Gray, VIC, Australia

I have been trying hard to pedal in circles which I know I haven’t been doing consistently Prior to starting your programme …it is making a huge difference.
I am feeling very happy with myself as I feel my riding has improved already.

Robert Bush, NSW, Australia

My bike riding has improved and I am a lot more confident climbing and more endurance generally. My cycling has improved in all areas.

Julie Dart, NSW, Australia

Hi David I’ve successfully completed LeTape and met my goal of Riding Beloka – no walk of shame this year!!!

Andrew Orr, VIC, Australia

Last weekend I completed the first 4 weeks of my Program. Overall, I have been pleased with the Program and my ability to perform at the level that I have. My 100 km ride ( actually 97.1 km ) on 25 November , was the first time I had ridden that distance  for over 5 years. My cadence work has resulted in me now being able to do the 5 minute intervals at 100 rpm, something that I have never done in the past. So overall I have been pretty pleased with myself.

Ron Young, QLD, Australia

Hi David, Yes I completed L’etape in the very average weather conditions. It was hard mentally for the first hour, as I don’t normally ride in the rain and I had to get my head around that. Once I did, I rode well and enjoyed the ride up until the last 15-20km where I was starting to feel the cold. I gave Beloka a good crack and got a time that I was very happy with around 16 minutes & 45 seconds. Out of our group of about thirty of us, I was the 4th best time up the mountain. I can definitely say that your training programme that I followed fairly diligently was a huge reason I managed to get through the ride feeling ok and having the strength to get up Beloka etc. Once again thanks for your programme, it kept me very motivated.  – Neil Borland

Neil Borland, NSW, Australia

I am always so overwhelmed with the passion and personal approach you have David to any question or advice put forward to you. Thank you for all that you and your team do. Dave Keen

David Keen, NSW, Australia

Hey David, Just a quick note to let you know how much I appreciate your training program…smashed Bowral Classic in fact felt like I could have done the 160 kms.
Really confident going into LeTape this weekend.

Tom Aravanis, NSW, Australia

G’day David,
FYI I undertook yr training programs cos I was fed up being left behind when the bunch was going up hills or put the foot down on long rides, since I just completed the above programme thought I would comment on my progress and just want to say how pleased I am with the all round improvement in my riding, measuring the indoor stuff was easy as I could see I was using bigger gears and also using more resistance, outdoors was more difficult as I ride by myself most of the time so I timed myself up a short hill with 5-6% grade and the time it takes me to complete Kew Boulevard, both these bits of road I have been riding on for yrs, pleased to say that I saw a 18% improvement on the hill and 15% improvement on the Boulevard time, also I rode a crit on the weekend and very early this yr this bunch were dropping me regularly but different story this time I was very very comfortable in the bunch and actually placed, so tks for things so far and I’m now onto the speed session and hoping for similar improvement over the next 12 weeks. Two other things:

1) while I did not join yr “leaner cyclist” I did take yr advise and I lost 5kg, looking to lose another 2kg before Christmas,

2) at 69 years old I was the oldest guy in my bunch in the crit so yr program works for all ages.

Michael Joss, VIC, Australia

I feel a lot fitter, I did the 500m of climbing session on Zwift the other day. Just powered up the 3km hill, Watts at 210, HR about 170 and cadence around 105 and just kept it there for 15mins. Took about 3 or 4 mins off my best time and felt fine.

Dave Lucietto, NSW, Australia

Hi David, As more of a recreational cyclist, I attended Cycling – Inform’s boot camp with the goal of pushing myself to ride longer distances over terrain I’m not accustomed and to work on developing my “mental toughness”. With the support of your team, I achieved these goals. I’m still on a high after riding Mt Buffalo and making it to the top of Falls Creek and I know that I will continue to draw strength from these amazing experiences for as long as I continue to ride my bike. What also contributed to making the boot camp so enjoyable and satisfying was the comradery that evolved from day 1 with your team and fellow cyclists attending the camp. I found that no matter what your goal was or your cycling background, everyone was made to feel welcome. I particularly appreciated the efforts your team went to in providing a debrief prior to each day’s ride. Instruction on how to descend safely and a reminder about the etiquette of bunch riding were very timely. The boot camp’s program is very well structured and organised and as for the location, you couldn’t find any better than beautiful Bright! Kind regards, Catherine

Catherine Hume, NSW, Australia

David,  I found the Boot Camp excellent. I appreciated the instruction and support that your team provided, and the experience gave me considerable confidence to attempt the Alpine Classic in January. I would definitely recommend the camp to other riders. Thanks again, Regards, Chris Gebbie.

Chris Gebbie, VIC, Australia

I have thoroughly enjoyed the 4.5 days camp.  The best parts of the camp were sharing the challenging peak climbs with the group members and gaining new knowledge through the evening seminar sessions as well as talking to David, Jodie and the supporting crews. Hearing different experiences of other riders were really interesting too. I was very happy with my achievement of tackling three peaks (Mt Buffalo, Falls Creek via Tawonga Gap and Mt Hotham) in three days in row. Without the support of the camp team, I wouldn’t have been able to make this achievement. I would strongly recommend this camp to any keen recreational rider. Warmest regards, Yuki.

Yuki Davidson, VIC, Australia

I was a little bit hesitant to come to Boot camp as I thought it would only be for the more “elite cyclists”. As a 69 year old I didn’t think it would accommodate my older legs. However, it was a great relief to find that both David and Jodie were very helpful and I had no cause for concern. The ride up Buffalo in overcast, but dry conditions was fully supported all the way and graded cyclists into roughly even groups. The next two days, to Falls Creek and up to Mt. Hotham, although quite challenging, were very manageable and a provided great sense of achievement….I highly recommend the massages at the end of each ride to help refresh the legs for the next day’s efforts.  The support staff with each group, highly competent cyclists in their own right, understood the needs of us amateur riders and helped with technical advice in both climbing and descending and provided motivation when the going got tough.  I think Cycling- Inform is quite a unique group and has a genuine interest in helping cyclists of all categories to achieve their goals….I would definitely do another Boot Camp! Regards,  Scott Fowler

Scott Fowler, VIC, Australia

Hi David,

Having completed 7 peaks last summer, which also included the Bicycle network Three Peaks event in March this year it is of no surprise to me of how great it is to ride this region with great views, and was impressed that you can schedule the rain to only fall as we were eating breakfast on day 1, and then be replaced by clear skies.

I came to the Bright Boot Camp with basic knowledge built by my (and friends) trial and error, but now have an expanded toolkit of knowledge to draw on in relation to ascending and descending techniques gathered over the last four days. As a result of changing my braking technique slightly descended with more control, while increasing average speed = a very wide grin at the base of Hotham. Following up from the seminars it is time for me to put more substance to my goals, as my initial was to be fit enough to ride up Falls Creek in a reasonable time (for me), which I have now done.

The support riders on camp were great and really enjoyed the advice and discussions (and sometimes distractions from the harder parts of the climbs) when out on the bike special thanks Kevin for trying to keep me on target coming up Tawonga Gap on the way back from Falls Creek _ this was a big day !

Great support group, excellent location, and rides are fantastic.

Stephen Wood, VIC, Australia

Hi David, Catherine and I are still fizzing about our experiences riding with your team at Boot camp last weekend. We both really came into the weekend with simple expectations of enjoying a relaxing cycling holiday. I also wanted to get in some solid preparation for LeTape in 2 weeks time. Your team enabled us to achieve both of these things. Summary of my personal highlights :-

· Seeing Cath conquer Mt Buffalo, Tawonga Gap and Falls Creek off a very limited preparation

· The great camaraderie amongst all participants (and support staff) during the camp

· Going up Mt Hotham for the first time and setting PBs on Mt Buffalo and Falls Creek, so I feel in great shape for a good ride at LeTape

· Your coaching advice was very informative and useful. Post LeTape, I’ve set a new goal of doing Peaks Challenge again (time goal of < 8:50 in 2018 to be specific!) and will follow one of your programs through till the event.

I think you have nailed the Boot camp experience for all participants.

Thanks again for a fantastic weekend. (BTW. The weather could not have been more perfect.)

Well done. Regards Steve.

Steve Hume, NSW, Australia

This past Saturday I went out to do a somewhat significant climbing. I had done this ride a few times in prep for the Death Ride this past July. However, after five weeks of doing (most) of your training program, the results were much better. In addition to the quicker time, I felt great during the entire ride!

David Scott, CA, USA
I can say that through your sessions and coaching, you have helped me tremendously so much so that my colleagues say Im doping.
Self praise is not good, but with your coaching and doing half the amount of training with my club, I race with them with ease and drop them on climbs like Froome!!
Suren Singh, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
I feel a lot fitter, I did the 500 m of climbing session on Zwift the other day. Just powered up the 3 km hill, Watts at 210, HR about 170 and cadence around 105 and just kept it there for 15 mins. Took about 3 or 4 mins off my best time and felt fine.
Dave Lucietto, NSW, Australia
Hi David, I would like to thank you. The support team for providing a great training program for the Bowral Classic & it was really good to meet you & Jodie in person in Bowral. I have only been cycling for 18 months & prior to signing up for your program, I had never undertaken any structured training & the biggest ride I had completed was only 76km with 620m of climbing. Despite being unable to do the last 4 weeks of the program due to illness, due to all the hard work in earlier weeks I was able to start the event confident that I would be able to finish. As I had only fully recovered from sickness a few days before the event, I took it easy until the 2nd rest stop at the 85km mark & then I rode as hard as I could for the last 35km. In the end, according to my Garmin I completed the 117km in 4hrs & 20 min at an average speed of 27km/h & I still felt strong at the finish. Official results show that I finished 194 / 430 in the 50+ category & as this was my first ever event, I was more than happy with this result. I really enjoyed the challenge of your program & I am sure I could not have achieved the same result without it, so once again I would like to thank you. All the best, Andrew.
Andrew Brady, NSW, Australia
Hi David, I have been taking your advice and just trying to relax and enjoy my cycling after the ATB. I have recovered a lot better than I thought and even last weekend went out with my social bunch ride and did a PB up a hill climb that I have been struggling to beat for months (and I did not feel like I was pushing it). On the Monday I went and helped a friend who was doing an Everest and did 750m elevation climbing and descending officer road for 1.5 hrs and trying to help him keep his mind of the pain. He completed the Everest in 17hrs and I was really happy that I was able to ride with him for a couple of hours and help him as much as I could.
David Smith, VIC, Australia
Thanks for the contact David. Everything is going well, completed the Sorrento return in Round the Bay, gave me a lot of confidence completing 200 km. It was also novel to ride a distance on the flat. I’m certainly feeling stronger than a year ago. I start my Aux Alpine training on Monday. Loving the midweek ergo’s, I certainly feel the difference at the weekend. Andy.
Andrew Gibbons, VIC, Australia

Hello David, Just a note to say many thanks for your indoor training video programs!! I had a fantastic 250km ride around the bay on Sunday and would never have achieved the time I did without them. Cheers Jon

Jon Gooding, VIC, Australia

Well, going into my 3rd week of training and I feel like I’m starting to see some dividends for the hard work. Notice that my upper body is more stable on the bike, my cadence is up, speed is up even the climbs seem to be much easier. Doing the Bowral and L’eTape Australia so can’t wait to see how I compare to last year, when I just hopped on the bike and just rode.

Tom Aravanis, NSW, Australia

E1 on the flats and into E3 (and VO2max at times) for the hills. I took 5 mins of my time for the ugliest hill I have here, Glenbawn Dam climb. It is only 1.8km but I got there in under 10 min which is great.

David Lucietto, NSW, Australia

Hi David,

Thanks for the training programs and tips along the way to the AGF, my time wasn’t close to my goal although I did PB’s all the way and only managed less than 100 kms per week; also rode with a close friend and his first fondo for the last 40klm. Finishing with a great mate side by side was awesome and worth all the tea in China. Looking forwards I am going to the TDU in 2018 for the 9 days so another program would be terrific.

P.S. The benefit of having your training program for me was knowing I was maximising my 100 km per week time on the bike even though it was less than half of the suggested.

Cheers Roger

Roger Mcgaw, VIC, Australia

I’m still working toward the masters games time trial. It’s going well, club 20km time trial a couple of weeks ago, 20 minute FTP was up and I did it in 33:46. Not bad given I haven’t TT’d for nearly two years.

Steven Hart, TAS, Australia

Now as ready for Amy’s as I’ll ever be. Zwift in combination with a Wahoo Kickr Snap reckons my FTP has gone up by 49 watts since starting – that can’t be right because at least some of it has to have come from more aero wheels I gifted to myself  . But I’m stacks fitter, stacks stronger, definitely faster and climb much better than I used to. Thinking I’ll do the 12 week hill training session after Amy’s and Around the Bay – that is still by far my biggest weakness. A big thanks to David – you rock mate!

Tony Smith, VIC, Australia

Hi Dave, I’m really enjoying your hill climbing program, I’m feeling my hill climbing is really getting stronger.

Greg Doherty, NSW, Australia

I have really enjoyed the [Hill Climber I Part 1] program – and feel a lot stronger on the bike.

Damian Luppino, VIC, Australia
All training sessions have been fantastic (heart rate is a good E3 and sometimes Vo2…kills me, but really good. On the road, I can now ride 1,400m ascent @25km/hr comfortably and a good 28km/hr for 750m…very mindful of technique.
David Keen, NSW, Australia

Too windy today to be outside so did today’s session on the Zwift hilly route.  50km and 612 metres. Zwift reckons my FTP has gone up by 11 watts since starting with your Amy’s program – woohoo!

Tony Smith , VIC, Australia

Just a quick thank you! I’ve been doing the Hill Climber training program. Due to working interstate often etc I haven’t been able to follow the program to the letter, however, I have noticed a huge improvement in my riding towards the last three weeks of the program. Yesterday I completed the Adelaide Dirty Dozen ride, 140km with 4,000m of climbing and there is no way I would’ve finished this without your training program, so happy I joined up. Gives me much confidence for my PCFC goal! Thanks again.

Jed Harley, SA, Australia

Hi David, my training up to date is going well. A group of six of us went out for Bobbin head hills on the weekend which worked in well with my training. Let’s just say there were a few mouths wide open when I reached the top of both mountains first by a good distance. lol. Enjoying the program.

Neal Borland, NSW, Australia

Did Izoard (both sides) and Agnel yesterday. Insane ride! But finished strong.

Paul Cannon, Gauteng, South Africa
The work we have been doing must be working a treat because lately the 10min 328W sessions have got a lot more manageable and the recovery rides have increased 20W for the same HR. The legs are definitely feeling stronger which is great.
Adam Nelson, NSW, Australia
Spinning like a machine…like Froome on the Pyrenees!! Mission accomplished, met all your targets, at 95%!! My max rpm was 170… could have gone higher… next time. Saturday, covered 110km with 1000m of climbing. I pulled the bunch and gave them stick!
Suren Singh, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Hi David, Phil and I completed the Haute Route Pyrenees today. Your training plans were vital in my preparation- thanks !!!
Warwick Lee, NSW, Australia

A mate conned me into doing Amy’s – I didn’t read the small print so missed the small details (2000 metres of up). Then saw David on Facebook and here I am. I’m doing the Amy training program which I’m finding to be brilliant. In less than a month, I’m much fitter and stronger – I’m converted.

Tony Smith, VIC, Australia
Training is going well and I can see improvements in my fitness and strength on the bike already. My split times on my usual rides have had a steep improvement.
Paul Kamerman, WA, Australia
Thanks for your program David – I am seeing big improvements and my weight is in free fall. I’m now the lightest I’ve been this side of 40. Gotta love that.
Tony Smith, VIC, Australia
Hi David, have to share this, went out and did my 2×10 and 1×5 time trial efforts this morning. My FTP is about 240. I decided to push a bit above it on the first interval I pushed out 275w for 10 mins. Other numbers for 60 and 90 are not too bad either. I’m also 2kg lighter than this time last year. Feeling pretty stoked! Thanks David.
Steve Hart, TAS, Australia
I joined Cycling-Inform well over a year ago to prepare for a week riding the Dolomites which was just awesome. The training helped immensely so I’m back on the wagon or in the saddle to prepare for the next adventure…. probably a Peaks Challenge but a cruisy AGF first!
Serge Bobbera, VIC, Australia

Hi David, It’s week 4 and I’m noticing a definite improvement in strength, more than I’d anticipated, to be honest, so very happy.

Steve Hart, TAS, Australia
I am about to start week 6. I am over 50 and do 3 weeks and then a recovery week. Every week I have done this I have posted a PB. Most times, it is on the same segment from the week before, so I know I am seeing gains.

My long rides have improved the average speed by 1kmh.

Last Saturday I slept in and did 7 x reps of the 10km Mt Coot-tha track. My PB has eluded me for 6 months. But I cracked it by 30 seconds on the 2.6km steep piece.

Interestingly, some rides I feel so fatigued and think I will be a little upset when I see my times. But they always are showing PBs. I am getting much stronger.

Dave Hilcher, QLD, Australia
Hi David, I love the program, I am stronger, fitter and am climbing hills better than I ever have. I look forward to my goal of doing the 7 peaks ride.Thanks so much. Your program is just what I needed.Kindest regards, Julia.
Julia Wills, NSW, Australia
Hi David, I just completed the 2017 Etape Du Tour – Stage 18 Briançon / Izoard. The 2 climbs Col de Vars and Izoard were long but I cycled all the way (whereas lots walked)The descents were a big scary with amazing speeds but easy to go wrong. I limited my speed and its easy to get blown sideways. I did it on a 36 / 29 but ideally and lots had a 34 / 32. Thanks for your support.
Thomas Curley, Ireland
Hi David, Thank you for your help. I did the Haute Route Dolamites and had a memorable experience. I felt like I nailed the training. I placed 4th in my age group in the time trial up the Stelvio and an overall top 75 place over the 7 days. Since then I did the Bowral classic and I finished 4th in the 55-59 age group with a time of 5 hrs 28 m in the L’Etape snowy mountains. I was very happy with the race. I’ve just recently finished the Velothon 3 day event on the sunshine coast.
Phillip Parle, NSW, Australia.
About to start week three of the Hill Climbing program II (part one) after two month off (been back on the bike 3 weeks as the first week was trying to get back into getting used to riding bike – painful). Definitely seeing improvements and am able to recover pretty well even after longer rides with little bit of sore legs in the morning that dissipates quickly after getting on the bike.

Indoor trainer work out appears to be very helpful – I especially see improvements in sustaining longer efforts at E3 especially on flats. Am able to climb ok with the except when grades start to pitch to 8%..anything below I can hold comfortably at the upper end of E3…

Jan Jasiewicz, QLD, Australia.
What’s one of the best things about living in Tasmania, we have plenty of hills. So after a month of planning some friends and I headed off on a cool winters day to recon part of the PCCM course, Devonport, Cethana, Spellman’s loop. Of the group, there were two PCCM past finishers, a Wiley race veteran and myself, a newbie. Throughout the ride I kept going through all the principals David has been teaching over the past 11 weeks which help me tackle 3 of the big climbs, Melrose, Cethana and Spellmans totaling 2500+ meters. My co riders all commented on how strong I finished the ride through the rolling hills between Sprent and Devonport after Spellmans, which I all put down to the structured training program. The cadence work seated and standing, the pedal stroke, the strength and aerobic training, relaxed breathing and upper body all worked and continues to make sense. On review of my times up the climbs it was interesting my cadence averaged 66 up Cethana and 57rpm up Spellmans, for 29 mins and 17 mins respectively, again assisted by the hill climber and fruit bowl training videos that I have been recently doing. We completed the 125km in a little over 5 1/2 hrs, which I have gain valuable confidence and strength from, erasing any self-doubt I had in not being prepared. With this program, I feel I will be in good stead to be a finisher in PCCM after another 12 weeks. Thanks David.
Peter Williams, TAS, Australia.
David, having completed 10 weeks of your training program I wanted to let you know that I just completed Cairns to Karumba 2017 and loved the journey completing it easily and with no injury. I learned a lot through your training and learned so much more to add to on the road having never ridden in a pack before.
Mary Downie, TAS, Australia.
Best coach ever!! Thanks David for your great coaching, it has helped me improve immensely!!
Andrew Schep, VIC, Australia.
Hi David and crew, Just touching base as I have not trained since PCGC last year where I finished sub 9 hours due to your program. I have relied on the training for PCGC and it has carried me through till now. Our tri team has had great success this year winning Mixed masters at Mooloolaba, Mixed cat. at the Hell of the west, Mixed cat. at Tweed enduro and second in the mixed cat. at Byron Bay. I had some time off after Byron and I have noticed a slow drop in form and a slight weight gain to the delight of our local riding group. I recently obtained a three race licence and have raced in two crits. The first one I entered D grade as that’s where you start. I finished 1st so the next race entered B grade and came 3rd (got boxed in for the sprint) but had the legs. These are local club crits. I have started the new Road race two program. I am looking forward to improvements. I have been healthy not even a cold which I put down to being fit due to the training. I am still in remission from Prostrate cancer but you always have it in the back of your mind. It’s another reason and motivation to stay fit. I still look back from time to time on the achievement at PCGC and want to ride the Falls creek event and hopefully Gold coast next year. I hope to catch you at one of these rides. Thanks again Robert
Robert Partington, QLD, Australia.
Only done two of the efforts on the program and can really see how it works. On the second effort, I already felt stronger.
Dave Hilcher, Nundah, QLD, Australia.
Last week completed the “HillClimber II – Part 1” program.

This week I attempted my goal of climbing Humevale Hill (i.e. Strava Segment – “Humevale Climb from Bridge”). I use this ride as a benchmark of where I am with my training. My time was 20:04! I reached my Max Heart rate (151bpm) at the end of ride and AHR for the 20 minutes was 4 beats less than my Max Heart rate, so was satisfied that I put in my best effort.

This was a big PR and a significant step for my cycling. I can ride hills faster, my cadence and pedal technique has improved significantly, and my strength and strength endurance have improved. I bought my first bike about 10 years ago at 53, and this is easily the best I’ve ridden up hills.

The two main factors for my improvement on the hills were:
* Climbed more hills (Easy. Just follow the program).
* Lost 6kg (Easy. Sort of.. 0.5kg/week) Down to about 11-12% Body Fat and will lose another 2-3 kg in coming weeks.

A very satisfied recreational rider. Thanks David!

Note: A real surprise was the result of a VO2 Max test I had this week – 50.5 (Was tested about 6 years ago at 46.3). I didn’t think I was training this system much in the last 12 weeks but I guess if you climb enough hills you’re always going to come across the 8-13% gradients.

Jim Taylor, Alphington, VIC, Australia.
While holding 35+ km/hr on a road bike is comfortable on a mtb it’s hard work!

The event format I was entered in is a team relay, and as the seasoned cyclist in the team I was sent out first to tackle the stages, the others are seasoned mountain bikers and where amazing on super technical tracks that had me in pain during training, but the Gibbs road is non technical it’s just riding!

But later on in the event that a few things became clear talking with the other competitors.

They where all supremely fit, several high placing ironman athletes, marathon runners, xc mountain bike competitors who place highly. I spoke with them at the post stage beer tent. They said the issue was how comfortable I looked on the bike, it looked like I was on a Sunday stroll, it demoralised one of the guys as he figured it was pointless trying to keep up, I knew I was pushing hard and I was close to my limit riding, on the section he was referring to.

I put this all down to an unexpected benefit of the training, working on a smooth efficient power delivery, being comfortable on the bike and being able to maintain that smooth style despite being on the ragged edge, think about the guys you see who have blown up and the way they pedal, it looks horrible! But training means you can make it look effortless, and when your fellow riders are also on the edge the physiological impact of you looking smooth and untroubled can be the straw that cracks them rather than outright power.

Thanks for the training Dave, keeps paying off.

Spike Beecroft, Hamilton Hill, WA, Australia.
The training programs are really starting to hit the mark, I’m feeling lots of improvement in my cycling, thanks.
Peter Williams, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.
Holy crap I feel my power building! I’ll do some mobilizers after weights tonight and recover tomorrow. Matt rocks. Love him! Glad to be back!
Shannon Bryant, Round Rock, TX, United States.
I’ve been happy with my progress through the first 4 weeks of the Hill Climber part 2 and am enjoying the “rest week”. I’ve noticed the pedaling technique that David talks about really helps on the hill climbing along with the increased focus on the cadence. My aerobic fitness has improved through this short period to date. I have two events I am aiming for later in the year- Peaks Cradle Mt and a 3 day 370km Charity ride, both of these will require improvements in my aerobic fitness and hill climbing.

Thanks David.

Peter Williams, Launceston, TAS, Australia.
I’ve now completed 5 weeks of the 12-week Hill Climber II Part One program. All going well so far. Main noticeable improvement is my ability to ride at a higher cadence (still a way to go though). The “002-E3 Strength Endurance” video Trainer session is ideal for achieving this. This session encourages a cadence of 100rpm to be applied not only to the intervals but also for the warm up, cool down and recovery periods. (I monitor the average cadence for each of these sessions). This is then easier to transfer to the road. It has had a very positive effect on my riding form and hill climbing and subsequently my riding efficiency.
I have also lost 3 kgs in this period and aim to lose another 3 before the end of the program. My ability to achieve my target goal of less than 20 minutes for Humevale Hill at the end of the program is somewhat unknown but that’s what makes it interesting. So far, so good.
Jim Taylor, Alphington, VIC, Australia.
Started off slowly in wk1 but once I got used to the 90-100rpm cadence concept, things really sped up and looked up. Went to Pt Mac and rode 50 of the 90k bike course and found it difficult but not daunting. Sooooo, all in all, training is progressing well. The form has improved 1000% and strength is also on the up and up. Thanks David.
Dean Cox, Corlette, NSW, Australia.
Thanks for your help in preparing me for the Masters TT. Thanks to your training I managed to hit my splits during the 20km ending right on my latest FTHR, with a gradual increase in Average HR and speed through each quarter. Remember I am 70 years old and only started cycling from a zero base 9 months ago. I have increased my FTHR 6.8% in 6 months, and my average speed in the NZ Masters of 28.9 kph to 31.5 kph in the World Masters. I am sure I have a lot more in me yet with your help.
Colin Craigie, Auckland, New Zealand.
I am nearly finished my 12 week training program. I have had some really good results lately, I got a first at the Rydal 7 hour, a third at the AMB 100 (I nearly got a second place but I had a bad fall) and I have just had a first place at the convict 100 last week. I’m feeling really good on the bike and I feel like my fitness has improved out of sight. In the convict 100, at about the 50km mark my legs came really good and I felt like I got a second wind. I started passing a lot of people at this point and felt like I was going faster while everyone else was slowing down.
Gwynn Le Maitre, ACT, Australia.
I’m amazed at how much better I feel on the bike. More importantly, though it has now crystallized all the information that Cycling-Inform has provided. I can now directly correlate pedaling technique, riding position AND core strength as interwoven facets of good cycling. Keep up the good work.
Martin, Cycling-Inform Client
I was very happy with the training program, I definitely increased my speed and I thought the Matt Brindle strength training was very helpful. I’ve had bad ITB issues in the past (which have required two long bouts of physio) but even though I increased my cycling volume massively I didn’t have any injury issues. I’m planning to continue doing the trainer sessions and the strength training as I seek to get fitter.
Paul, Cycling-Inform Client
I followed your regular training program to pretty much the kilometer… The training videos certainly made a noticeable improvement in my performance. Thanks!! The training was very intensive, however it was quite manageable.
Anthony, Cycling-Inform Client
This is the first time that I have followed a structured training program and ride plan and I actually found this both enjoyable and beneficial. Thanks for your assistance … this certainly helped with the unknown and ensured that I was able to set a suitable pace to see the ride through from start to finish.
James, Cycling-Inform Client
I’ve enjoyed the program very much. Riding at a cadence around 100 was new to me and took a while to get used to, but I feel it’s improved my riding considerably.
Steve, Cycling-Inform Client
Thanks for all your help. The 12-week training program and various tips on the website along the way were very valuable tools in helping me achieve what I feel to be a good result… (I certain have not gotten tired of telling people about it.)
Paris, Cycling-Inform Client