Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Introducing our new blogger: David Hewett – “Winter Training, Part One”

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HomeJournalsRibble Pro David HewettIntroducing our new blogger: David Hewett - "Winter Training, Part One"

I’m David Hewett, and firstly, a warm welcome to my new blog which aims to document my 2017 season of training and racing in Belgium with PCT Tomacc. Thank you for taking the time to read my ensuing ramblings, I hope you find them of some interest and if not, I can only apologise for being so dull in nature.

I will be publishing a monthly blog post so watch this space and also keep an eye on my own Palmarès and Gallery pages for the latest race results and images/videos. I’ve also done an interview with Ed Hood for VeloVeritas, and I’m one of the six riders lucky enough to be supported throughout the 2017 season by The Lewis Balyckyi Trust Fund.

In this edition there is an overview of the first half of my winter training, from picking myself up and dusting myself off after my collarbone break in September through to full gas December endurance training in Girona…

Having returned from Belgium just a few days previously, on the 9th September I crashed whilst training in Cornwall and shattered my right collarbone into five pieces.

Eleven days later, I had surgery to rectify the damage; the three hour operation involved a 15cm incision, a large titanium plate and eleven screws holding everything together whilst the bone healed fully, something which I was told would sadly take twelve weeks due to the severity of the fracture.

After a lot of walking and various attempts at cardio exercise, I managed my first turbo session 22 days after surgery (with my handlebars upside-down to both raise the front end and enable me to shift with my left hand).

Over the next few weeks, it’s fair to say I got very familiar with the Zwift/ turbo setup in the garage, but after physiotherapy, an outrageous amount of sleep and a few nutritional gains I successfully completed my first (extremely nervous) road ride on 15th November, exactly eight weeks after surgery and therefore four weeks ahead of the surgeon’s original recovery timescale.

David Hewertt
A little mudguard bodging and I’ll be good to go.

Despite my best efforts on the turbo however, it was clear that after almost ten weeks of heavily compromised training, there was a long road back to competitive fitness ahead of me.

The following week, I visited a university friend and training partner up in Cambridge for a couple of long rides, which I found unsurprisingly very challenging indeed, despite the power data suggesting that they were in fact rather steady – somewhat depressing but it was great to be back training properly at last and feeling more like a cyclist again.

David Hewett
Back in the flatlands again.

During this time, I had also been slowly sourcing parts for and building my new bike for 2017 – a Felt AR1 with Ultegra Di2, Mavic Kysrium Elite training wheels and Roval CLX64 tubeless race wheels. It was quite satisfying researching equipment options, selecting the best components and purchasing them second hand within budget.

In the end, almost every single part of the bike is a pre-owned component (including the frame itself), yet it rides like an absolute dream and should be about as fast as road bikes get (depending on how my legs are of course!) … I can’t wait to get racing on it.

David Hewett
Felt AR1 frameset, Roval CLX64 tubeless clincher wheelset, Vittoria Corsa Speed G+ tubeless tyres with Orange Seal valves/sealant, Ultegra Di2 levels/sprint shifters/derailleurs, Dura Ace 9000 brakes/pedals/cassette/chainrings (54/38T), Quarq Elsa RS powermeter, 3T Ergonova 38cm bars, 3T Integra 135mm stem, Specialized Power Pro saddle, Elite Custom race bottle cages, Yokozuna brake cables, Swisstop Flash Evo carbon pads, LizardSkin bar tape.

Jump to the following week (3rd December), and I was on a plane bound for Girona, still having only been back on the road for 18 days / 11 rides. I’d read a lot of great things about the area, so I was excited to see what all the fuss was about first hand.

The day after arriving, I was out in the cold, pouring rain smashing myself to bits up the climb out of Amer, completing a power test to see just how unfit I really was after my extended lay-off.

Thankfully, the results were actually quite good, as they suggested my FTP was exactly the same as it was 11 months previously during last year’s winter training – a decent starting point.