Be a slave to speed - The road to Victoriaville

It's been a rough 18 months. In June 2019 my family and I emigrated to Canada, but the journey started a year before that. Probably the most stressful time of my life. It is only now, almost two years later that I am starting to find my feet, set new goals and feel like I have the drive to train hard and eat clean.

I am going to use this blog to document my comeback to full race strength in the next few months as a competitive age grouper. My first initial goal is to qualify for the UCI Amateur World Time Trial Championships that will be held in Vancouver in September 2020. The qualification race will be held in Quebec in July, so I have roughly 4 months to get in race shape.

My life is finally starting to find some rhythm and my second child is close to the 2 year age mark, I feel like I am finally starting to climb out of the trenches. I have two great coaches working with me, Bruce Diesel and Darrin Jordaan.

Bruce has been my coach and friend for the past 8 years. We have built up invaluable data points about my body and engine, what works and what doesn't work and have adjusted my training to fit my schedule. I have not had the opportunity to put in long hours the prior 3-4 years, generally 8-10 a week, but we seem to have gotten the mix right to produce some great results. Darrin is on the forefront of the latest coaching techniques and technology, he is up to date with the latest journals and research and is going to be a valuable asset in my team, questioning everything we have done so far and making sure we have the right plan for the next few months.

My goal for the next 6-8 weeks will be the following:

  1. Drop weight: I havent been light for some time now, probably 3 years, so getting back to my race weight (77kg) will up my power to weight considerably. The other advantage will be the reduction in my coefficient of drag (CDA). My surface area of my body will reduce.

  2. Increase time to exhaustion: Based on the qualification race distance, I need to increase my time to exhaustion from 20min to 45-50min power at the right power number.

  3. Increase power output: I am use to pushing 300-320w for 3-4 hours for 5-7days in a MTB stage race. TT events arent like MTB stage races. Its a different part of my engine thats going to require work. Increasing power is one thing, increase power in TT position is another. When you in the drops, with a closed hip angle and trying to be as aero as possible it makes it very difficult.

  4. Become a slave to speed: Making sure my position is optimal and fine tuning everything I have learnt from the previous few seasons. I have recently added a 170mm SRM to my TT bike to help open up my hip angle. This should allow me to raise my seat so that my back flattens.

I will be posting a weekly update on my power figures and sessions completed. Not living in the southern hemisphere anymore, my training regime is going to need to change dramatically to incorporate a lot more indoor, gym and core until the weather improves to a point whereby I can ride outside and start putting in some more hours. I have a full time job, so 8-10hr for now is probably all I can achieve in terms of weekly training hours.

I have taken the first few weeks of 2020 to find a routine, get some base miles in on the indoor and stay healthy while my body adapts to training stress again. I am looking forward to some structure as we kickoff with full on training.

Follow my progress on strava or zwiftpower.

Be a slave to speed.

Andrew Stockwell

2018 Cape Pioneer Podium Finisher - 2nd Solo Cat 3x sub vet Gauteng ITT Champ 4x sub vet SA ITT Bronze Medalist 2x Cradle Traverse Winner ABCC - Level 3 Certified Cycling Coach

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