I’ve done it again… I have committed myself to the Paris-London Tech Bikers Ride. All 325km of it in three days! 

Tech Bikers 2015

This year I have what should be the benefit of knowing exactly what I’ve let myself in for. The 2014 trip was a shot in the dark and ‘ill-prepared’ would have been a fair summary. I had no specific cycle training and was even without a road bike until the night before we set off. I was not under too many illusions about what it entailed but I was propelled by a certain amount of blissful and optimistic ignorance.

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So being fully conversant with what lies ahead should forewarn and forearm me and make this a slightly easier challenge shouldn’t it? I fear not. In fact I am in no doubt it is going to be far harder than my baptism of fire last year. They say ‘preparation is everything’. In which case, in this instance, I am lacking almost everything.

I am the Founder and CEO of WatchFit – a website and app platform dedicated to spreading the best articles, information and plans on all subjects of health, fitness, nutrition and wellbeing by brilliant professionals worldwide. My every waking thought, many of my sleeping ones too, are consumed by these matters. However these are busy, exciting and evolving times at WatchFit and it has probably been a few of the most sedentary months of my life. The irony of this is obvious and glaring.

One of my WatchFit colleagues once told me that, as a dedicated gym goer, he had never trained less than when he had a business that actually had gym equipment in his office. I used to think that was ridiculous, but now I’m starting to see his point!

But nothing focuses the mind more than necessity… and I am in need!

Last year I was training twice a week with GB Athletics coach and fitness magazine editor John Shepherd. We were actually working on a lot of explosive and dynamic athletics training protocols at the legendary Crystal Palace Stadium in London. It certainly wasn’t distance cycling based, but it fired up my body and got my conditioning into pretty serious realms. I’m convinced that work with John was a massive factor in me being able to complete the challenge despite being technically unprepared in a sport specific sense.

In fact the only aches and pains that I suffered were in my shoulder and neck area – and this was entirely down to all my years on mountain bikes and being an absolute novice in the road bike position.

So last year I was a total newbie at this kind of challenge and I was naive, but I was fit, sharp and active and that got me through to the end with some energy to spare. And the knowledge that we’d raised £70,000 for the wonderful Room to Read charity certainly kept a spring in the stride.

This time, not only am I short of road bike time, I’ve not been doing any meaningful regular fitness work for several months. And whilst my general diet tends to operate more towards the sensible end of the spectrum, there can be no denying the rather too frequent bars of dark chocolate and generously proportioned wedges of cake.

brownies screenshot

This is what I had after a ‘healthy’ chicken wrap

But this is WatchFit and (without wishing to blow my own trumpet) I am the CEO. So all cannot be lost! For one thing I will be using my own WatchFit app (iOs and Android) to deliver, log and track my daily food intake. This will definitely keep me on the straight and narrow. And there can be few people in a better position to turn to brilliant professionals for help and advice. And this is exactly what I have done…

The ever expanding WatchFit community of Expert Contributors is a remarkable roll-call of stunning talent from all over the world. I am placing myself in the hands of some truly extraordinary people whose talent, dedication and skill has seen them reach some of the highest peaks – figuratively and literally.

I am so excited to be gaining the invaluable support and advice of:

Alice Hector – Professional Triathlete. Unbeaten extreme runner.

Ness Knight – First woman to swim length of The Thames River. First woman to Stand Up Paddle Board 1,000 miles. She has also cycled across the USA.

Rebecca Romero – Olympic cycling gold medallist, Olympic rowing silver medallist and an Ironman World Champs finisher.

Joey Bull – Four times UK Fitness Champion and former International Adventure Athlete.

John Shepherd – GB Athletics coach, GB Masters Athletics Champion, former publisher of Ultra-FIT Magazine and now Editor of Outdoor Fitness Magazine.

As long as I listen and learn from these supreme talents and apply their instructions…what can go wrong?!

Stay tuned. I will be keeping this blog running right up to departure on September 18th. You will be the first to know of all highs and lows as I battle time and a complaining body over the next three weeks.

Read Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4,  Part 5, Part 6 and Part 7 of my journey Here.

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