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The journey begins here

So I don't know what made me set this up, but hello to all of the five people who will probably end up reading this! And apologies in advance because I work with numbers, not words, for a reason. Writing has never particularly been a strength of mine but nevertheless, this will be a place for me to write about the physical and mental side to training for an event that you won't be able to see through a couple of Instagram/Facebook photos or a Strava ride as well, hopefully, a weekly update on training progress!

For anyone who doesn't know me very well, I am Tom. A 30 year old guy living in the UK just outside London and working in finance. Most of my days are spent sat at a desk in front of a computer screen so a couple of years ago I took up road cycling as a hobby as well as a means of exercise (seeing as I could no longer run more than 2 miles without getting shin-splints). It wasn't long before the hobby turned into a passion and culminated in 2017 where I rode 4 stages of the Tour de France while raising over £1,600 for charity.

Now, in 2018, I have signed up to ride 6 stages of the Tour, again while raising money for charity. This wonderful event is run by Le Loop so please visit their website to learn more about the event as well as the many charities that they support:

Throughout the next 6 months I will be raising money through my virgin money giving page which is also accessible through the front page of this blog using the hyperlink button, next to the LinkedIn and Facebook icons.

I guess I will end this introductory post with why I think I have created this. Last year was the first time I had ever attempted anything on that scale but every time I looked for advice on the net, or especially on social media, all I found were ridiculously trim and obviously very experienced cyclists talking about going out on centurion rides on a sunny Tuesday afternoon. None of this resonated with me... I have 25 precious days of annual leave that I can take each year so I couldn't just get up and decide to ride that day; I couldn't even ride a hundred miles yet; and I had no idea how to plan food/drink for rides when I did finally reach that milestone. I somehow managed to muddle together a training plan and vaguely stuck to it to achieve what I effectively wanted to: to finish all 4 stages.

Along the way I over-trained and created stress injuries; I mentally exhausted myself; and I learned what my body could and couldn't handle. Because of that, I feel I am much better equipped to tackle the challenge this year so documenting it seems like an obvious step to me. If just one person like the Tom of 12 months ago stumbles across this and gains some knowledge and confidence then I feel it will be worthwhile.

If anyone has made it this far then thank you for reading and I hope you want to hear more. Until next time, Happy New Year!