Training: My Week in Training – Geoff Platts


The Old ‘skool’ Geoff Platts on the older training methods that continue to work for him

Source: I-Ride Team News

Geoff writes … What you are about to read will be totally different from anyone else’s weekly training routine that you have read so far.  Why, I hear you muse. Reason, I’m an older guy with old ‘skool’ ways and whilst the older training methods continue to work for me (to a certain extent), there are other reasons why at this time of year I have no option but to train the way I do.

Let’s put it in to context a bit, in February I will be 57 years old, I have raced for 41 years, I did my first 19 minute 10 before Matt Bottrill had even started infant school and had National Championship medals before he reached year 2.

It is accepted that once over the age of 40 your power output decreases by 16% every 10 years, so at 57 I calculate that my power is now over a quarter below what it was when I won the National 100 in 1994. So realistically it is highly unlikely that my performances can improve.

Working for the Environment Agency, I have a strong environmental ethos and as such I am mindful of our carbon footprint; provided I always cycle to work, it is possible for us to only have one car. So that is what I do, my training is based around a daily 40 mile commute from Sileby to Nottingham.

I aim to avoid riding when the traffic is at its heaviest, so my day begins at 5.00 am with an on bike departure at 6.00; consequently I am ahead of the game for the return trip and hope to be on the bike by 15.15.  From November through to mid-January, this means I am doing almost all of my weekday training in the dark.

I can’t see a computer, I can’t see a pulse meter and I couldn’t see a power meter if I owned one. With age comes long sightedness which means reading the results of what your cycle computer or pulse meter shows also becomes difficult. Another down side of the age game is the time that it takes to recover from a hard days training.

So the training at this time of the year is all done on feel factor, Monday to Thursday is a round trip of 40 miles. I try and ride a different route each day to beat boredom but this has to depend on road conditions, if it’s icy I have to stick to the main road. I have a day where I ride at a constant pace of about 85%, a day where I concentrate on faster pedalling in a lower gear, a day where I do some more intense riding for short spells of approx. 2 miles some of which will be done on a big gear and usually a day where I just roll along.

All of this is open to change depending how I actually feel on the bike; usually I can tell within the first 200 yards of a ride, what I am going to be capable of doing on the bike.   On the Friday of the week, I work from a satellite EA office which means I have a total return commute ride of 6 miles … so to me that is as good as a day off.  Leading up to Christmas, I was riding my fixed wheel bike (46×18) on a Saturday for 21 miles, but at as fast as I could go sort of pace, (did it in 56 minutes one day).

On the Sunday I have been meeting Scott Walker from the Team and doing a ride of between 3.5 and 4 hours at around 18.5 to 19 mph pace, so we can chat and look over the hedges and remind ourselves that cycling is about enjoyment and not just bashing your head against a wall.

This winter up until Christmas I have incorporated some running into my week (3 times per week) maximum distance 5 km. Now we are in the New Year, I am aiming to get out with Matt and others on a Saturday morning and hope to still meet up with Scott on a Sunday.

Diet wise I take no supplements and rely on a well balance diet with loads of vegetables and not much sugary stuff. For training rides (not including my commute at this time of the year), I use Zip Vit  ZV8 Energy Bars, ZV9 – Recovery Bars and in my bottle ZV1 Energy Drink. My wife and I also like walking – long walks – can be up to 5 hours at a time and for these we have found that Zip Vit ZV10 chews are ideal.

Remember be seen be safe and have a great year.

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