Home
I've got a training plan. I'm gonna get trained.

There comes a time in a man's life when he sees a picture of himself hanging off the back of a Cat 4 race, and he thinks to himself: I'm a bit fat, and not fit enough even for the very bottom rung of the sport I love, which is more than a bit disappointing. Okay, maybe it doesn't happen to everyone. But it did to me.

So. That's where I find myself right now. I've made plenty of excuses, but enough is enough. It's time for some affirmative action, and that's where Dave Smith comes in. Dave's a sports scientist with coaching experience up to Olympic level. He's helped a hatful of chuffers like me, as well as a wide selection of elite athletes. So I asked him.

I just got Dave's training plan for the next 3 months or so. It is, and also it isn't, what I expected. I knew already that his approach wasn't totally mainstream, so that wasn't a surprise. Having said that, the plan certainly surprised me a bit, especially some aspects of the nutrition side. To get to where Dave wants me to be, nutrition-wise... well, it's a fairly long way from where I am now, let's just say that. It'll be an interesting journey.

I'll try and update on here every two weeks. That's as much to keep me focused as it is to specifically keep anyone informed. I'm not good at rigid frameworks. I'll need some help. And the fear of having to say on here how I'm getting on will be a more effective stick than the fear that I've wasted my money.

Anyway, let's go.

www.ffflow.com

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

22 comments

Avatar
backflipbedlem [1201 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Good luck Dave! Always good to have a plan!

YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!

Avatar
adamtaylor [61 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Good luck! It will be interesting to hear how it pans out. Is it a training plan only or do you get some kind of online/in person coaching too?

Avatar
dave atkinson [6516 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
adamtaylor wrote:

Good luck! It will be interesting to hear how it pans out. Is it a training plan only or do you get some kind of online/in person coaching too?

it's basically a training/nutrition plan, although i'll be talking to dave before it starts to make sure i understand everything, and giving him weekly feedback on how everything is going. dave does more involved coaching/training too.

Avatar
tom_w [233 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Well done you, I keep thinking about doing this but then being unwilling to really commit to the nutrition side.

It would be really interesting to see a comparison of your before and after stats. in order to see what sort of a difference following a plan and changing what you eat makes to us mere mortals.

Any chance you could get in the gym with Dave and get him to give you a 'before' assessment (VO2max, lactate threshold, fuel metabolism, power and heart rate training zones, body fat, etc) before you get started on the plan?

Avatar
Dave Smith [47 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Dave (Smith) here.

The lab test idea is nice for fluff effect, but unless a rider is aiming to break through at a high level, we all know when our condition has improved. Body weight, belt holes, gears on climbs, strava etc.

Maybe we can do a feature on some 'lab rat' riders sometime in the future, but I love seeing real world changes in performance. I like to keep things simple, there's too much addition of unnecessary complexity these days and coaching becomes more like data analysis.

The plan for Dave covers bike training, off-bike conditioning and nutrition.

The particular plan Dave has started is also on offer until the end of the Vuelta, 20% more for 10% less.

Avatar
stuke [334 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
TheFerryman wrote:

Dave (Smith) here.

The lab test idea is nice for fluff effect, but unless a rider is aiming to break through at a high level, we all know when our condition has improved. Body weight, belt holes, gears on climbs, strava etc.

Finally, what sounds like a sensible, realistic training program with realistic goals for people with jobs, kids etc.

good luck Dave

Avatar
step-hent [726 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Bravo Dave! Best of luck - keep posting about it and you'll get loads of encouragement. Looking forward to reading your report about winning your first bike race next spring  1

Avatar
jollygoodvelo [1827 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Sounds good. Best of luck.

Whenever I try to structure anything life always gets in the way.

And when I say life, I mean 'going to the pub'.

Avatar
notfastenough [3734 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
stuke wrote:
TheFerryman wrote:

Dave (Smith) here.

The lab test idea is nice for fluff effect, but unless a rider is aiming to break through at a high level, we all know when our condition has improved. Body weight, belt holes, gears on climbs, strava etc.

Finally, what sounds like a sensible, realistic training program with realistic goals for people with jobs, kids etc.

good luck Dave

Agreed. It's not a 'real' training program unless you have to quit your job for the season (Mortgage? What mortgage?) and go live at the foot of a mountain, abandoning the kids to social services in favour of 35 hours a week on the bike...

Avatar
Dave Smith [47 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

I'd also add that Dave has paid for the plan, same as anyone else - it's not a freebie for road.cc - so to add extras may make it look like more than it is to readers.

Avatar
tom_w [233 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
TheFerryman wrote:

I'd also add that Dave has paid for the plan, same as anyone else - it's not a freebie for road.cc - so to add extras may make it look like more than it is to readers.

I get that and entirely as you please. I thought people might find it interesting to see what sort of differences following a program like this makes to someone who's a 'normal' rider like us. Strava times and the like are great, but ultimately there are a lot of extra variables outside of the lab. It seemed like a good opportunity to turn Dave's quest into a larger bit of research that would make an interesting ongoing series of articles in road.cc.

Avatar
djm.morgan@btin... [2 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

As someone on my 3rd programme with Dave this year I can simply echo his comments. I can measure my physical progress by ...inches off waist, neck, hips etc. Have thrown away and resized shirts / trousers twice ...and I wasnt massively over, having dieted the year before. Working on more power/strength ..weight is stable and still changing shape (smaller in the right places) and getting leaner huge differences in endurance ...3+ hour rides on electrolytes - no problem, average HR way down....etc. If you have a power meter - you will be able to quantify progress. and best of all ....just feel bloody marvellous. Am 57, just do sportives and ride for fun...but was a serious rugby player in my youth ..so do enjoy the "training" aspect. First time I have ever found someone who would a) fit a programme into my life ...I did the first one mostly in hotel gyms in Oslo - in 4 1 hour midweek sessions + a weekend ride, b)actually made a real difference which you could see and feel as you went along. I am still lost for words on the scale of the impact training+nutrition change has had on my on bike endurance. I have tons of gels and carb drink going out of date as I barely need them!
I spent a lot on bike eqpt (why not) ...but this has been the best money I have invested in my health and performance ...ever!

Avatar
notfastenough [3734 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
TheFerryman wrote:

The plan for Dave covers bike training, off-bike conditioning and nutrition.

The particular plan Dave has started is also on offer until the end of the Vuelta, 20% more for 10% less.

Could you tell us how much?

Avatar
Dave Smith [47 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

12 weeks for £225 until Sunday, then back to £250 for 10 weeks
www.ffflow.com

Avatar
don simon fbpe [2988 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Go Dave(s)! I might be giving you a call after Sunday (Smith)...

Avatar
keith roberts [206 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

As a family man, and a cyclist/triathlete..i think dave has taken a brave step. to become "good" at anything you need to be consistant and have some ability...even a little will do!
we know Dave can ride a long way. waking up the parts of him that work over a shorter distance and work fast....well that's something else.
but, as the blogs title say's.."Enough" there always comes a time when you realise you want to do better than perhaps you are....your time has come Mr Atikinson!  3

Avatar
rix [265 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

That is a good motivator and has worked for me. Tell all your friends that you are going to do that and fear of failure will give you an extra boost.

P.S. Just don't tell your friends that you are going to ride 150 miles tomorrow after you had a couple of beers at the party  31

Avatar
notfastenough [3734 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

I think the expiry of a £225 investment after 12 weeks would beplenty enough motivation to be honest! Maybe I could look at it for a bithrday present though, perhaps take it from March through to the middle of may (10 week version) after getting a good winter in.

Avatar
fennesz [159 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Is Dave Smith iDave? Both me & wife did iDave strictly for 3 months. I went for 93kg to 81kg. My wife lost more.

If it's the same chap, I could be interested.

Avatar
andyp [1600 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

it is the same chap.

Avatar
abudhabiChris [691 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

First, well done for taking the plunge Dave and I also look forward to seeing how it goes.

Purely in the interests of price comparison for those who are interested, you can get quite high levels of individual service for similar pricing. I make no comment on the relative quality of course.

The thing that I would say about monthly or quarterly plans is that if you are travelling, changing schedules at work or home etc then it becomes hard to stick to the plan and it can unravel.

Flexibility, amount of contact and support and edits are something to think/inquire about of a coaching service if you're getting in to anything along those lines.

Avatar
Dave Smith [47 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Certainly shop around, but look at the experience and results of the coach - you're paying for more than simply the time it takes to write a plan, or cut and paste one from a spreadsheet. Whilst the plans I write may come in a 10 week or 7 day block, they can be amended and adapted as required - they're not fixed in stone.