Member of the Month
Name: Bev Reid
Sport: Rowing, and now cycling!
Greatest achievement: British Masters Single Scull winner IM3 (Vet B)
Sporting Icon: Jens Voigt
Favourite (post-event) food: Stem ginger biscuit, dipped in dark chocolate
Bev is currently training for the Deloitte Ride Across Britain, and has been working hard in the Chamber, utilising the Wattbikes and the POD, as well as working with our Endurance Coach Max Curle to ensure that she is getting the right training done out on the road.
Despite the Christmas temptations and the leftover Boxing Day turkey (chocolate, puddings, and Stem Ginger biscuits!!) – Bev managed to rack up the miles over the Christmas period, by bike and boat, and her dedication to training has seen some incredible results during what is a notoriously tricky training period!
As part of Bev’s training, she has regular Body Comp analyses and Power Tests to complete to monitor her performance progress, and we’ve outlined some of the results Bev has seen so far!
Weight (kg) – 69.4
Lean Weight (kg) – 53.9
Body Fat % – 22.2
FTP (W)– 161
W/Kg – 2.2
Cycle Race Cat – Non Racer
Weight (kg) – 64.4
Lean Weight (kg) – 54.9
Body Fat % – 14.5
FTP (W)– 152
W/Kg – 2.4
Cycle Race Cat – Cat 5
The Q & A:
The Altitude Centre: Hi Bev. Can you tell us a little more about yourself? Your sporting background etc.?
Bev Reid: Funnily enough, I actually hated sports when I was younger. During cross-country at school, I would actually be the person walking at the back with a cigarette, moaning about why I was being made to run around the school field (and now I’m signed up to cycle 900+ miles!!). On the other hand, I didn’t actually see cycling as a ‘sport’ at the time; it was a mode of transport and a way to find adventure in the Shropshire countryside. At age nine, I put a pair of drop handle bars onto my bike – and yes, I did think my bike was the coolest thing going!
Having quit smoking at age 29, I decided that as my thirties started to diminish it would be a good idea to get fit and take up a hobby. For some strange reason, rowing on the Thames between Tower Bridge and The Thames Barrier was my hobby of choice. So at 5ft 2” – I decided to learn how to row. I had no idea it was a racing sport, and it has taken me at least five years to learn how to race properly.
Now that my forties are demising, I don’t question my ideas so much and have decided it would be a good idea to ride across Britain in just nine days.
TAC: So was it cycling, or rowing that led you to The Altitude Centre?
BR: It was rowing that led me here. Being ‘vertically challenged’, I was conscious that I was not born with the physical statue required to be a powerful rower. I wasn’t a sporting person, I was aware I lacked fitness, and having not enjoyed sports, I was acutely aware that I would need to gain mental toughness if I was actually going to race. All these challenges led me to find a place which could support me, and help me gain an advantage on my opponents, all of which I have found at The Altitude Centre.
TAC: You’ve swapped out boat for bike to take on the Ride Across Britain Challenge, what was it that inspired you to do so?
BR: It was a combination of a few things really. I love to watch cycling, and have ridden a bike ever since I learnt how to. Racing in a boat is something I find mentally challenging, and it may sound strange but winning is something I have never really enjoyed, but I enjoy the training and the feeling of being fit.
After one rowing session, a friend mentioned the idea of riding across Britain and there was just something inside me that said yes! The thought of knowing that I have ridden the length of Britain (probably in the rain!), and seeing photos of people at John O’Groats that had completed it, made me realise that it was a challenge I wanted to try.
TAC: How have you managed the transition from boat to bike? River to road?
BR: To begin with I found the change from Rowing erg to Wattbike really tough. During the first months of training I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do it. Actually being out on the bike though.. I love it! The increase in miles from just my daily commutes have been surprisingly OK – despite my navigation skills adding a few kilometres more than required! It has been really noticeable how training at The AC has helped with the mileage out on the bike, and my ability to get up those hills!
I do still sneak out for a row on a Saturday and Sunday morning to get my water fix, but for how long I can’t be sure as the miles increase on the bike!
TAC: So do you think this is your biggest challenge to date?
BR: That’s a resounding YES. When I spoke to Max, my mantra was, “I want to enjoy this, not survive it”.
TAC: What about the most challenging aspect of your training to date?
BR: Being on the Wattbike and those dreaded FTP tests!! As important as they are, they make me want to cry – no joke!
TAC: What have you enjoyed most about the training?
BR: Apart from being out on my bike and seeing different parts of Kent, Surrey, and Essex? I have really enjoyed having a structured programme that pushes me, but also provides me with a good recovery to ensure that I feel the training effect and improvement week on week.
TAC: You’ve had some amazing results so far, particularly considering the time of year. Battling Christmas, the weather, the rain, the snow on some occasions and still improving week on week! What do you think has been the biggest contributor?
BR: I have learnt to trust Max’s programme. I also think the support I have received from The AC team has made a massive difference.
I honestly thought I wouldn’t hit the target for weight loss over November and December, and I was really worried I would lose muscle and not fat. Having that monitored certainly put my anxieties to bed!
TAC: What’s coming up in the next few months?
BR: Miles, miles, and.. more miles? I also plan to get a few Sportives in as well, although that’s a pretty scary thought at present!
TAC: Have you got any celebrations planned for September?
BR: I actually haven’t even given it a thought! Although I know a bath will be welcomed with open arms at the end!
TAC: Do you have any advice for anyone else thinking of doing something similar in the future?
BR: Do your research, and go for it.
For me, I wanted to be sure that I gave it my all and this is why I approached Sam and The AC. I wanted to make sure I trained efficiently, and could trust the training programme that I was following. I need good support for the wobble days, and AC’s advice is based on experience and client knowledge.
TAC: So no celebration plans, but do you have any events lined up for after the Ride Across Britain?
BR: Do you know, I was actually only thinking about this just the other day. I get inspired by all of the pictures that come through in the chamber of past client successes at The Altitude Centre. But.. I have decided that I need to wait and see how this challenge goes before I commit to my next crazy idea!
A Typical Training Week
We got the lowdown from The Altitude Centre Endurance Coach Max Curle, on what a typical training week for Bev will look like. Here’s what he had to say:
“A typical training week for Bev currently consists of approximately 12 hours. Sometimes the completed number is higher if Bev rides to work.”
The Ride Across Britain involves 9-days of cycling back to back. To mimic this as closely as possible, Bev’s weeks are back heavy, so she will have longer sessions towards the end of the week and on consecutive days. Thursday and Fridays will be 90mins (approx) in the AC working on developing threshold power. Whilst at the weekend Bev rides up 140km per day, on the road. This allows Bev to practice her bike handling skills as well developing her endurance.”
But is the focus all on endurance and longer rides?
“Although Bev has longer sessions at the end of the week this doesn’t mean she doesn’t train at the beginning of the week, she will have shorter sessions focusing on maximal power development, essential for hill climbs and quick acceleration. These sessions may be shorter but are often more taxing as the HR is higher than in the longer rides. It is also on these days that Bev completes her Strength & conditioning work, which has been prescribed for her, after a full body screening taking into her account her individual strengths and weaknesses.
Hand in hand with Bev’s training program she has taken a dedicated approach to nutrition. After the initial body composition measures and the report into her food diary, Bev is very aware on the types of foods she needs to eat and when to eat them in order to be sufficiently fueled for all of her training but also being able to loose excess body fat, whilst maintaining muscle mass. Bev has made significant strides in this area but would like to have her BF% down to single figure before the event.”
Training at The Altitude Centre
The Altitude Centre offers many training options, whether you’re looking to improve your fitness quickly with a package of 3, 5 or 10 sessions, or if you want to commit to a longer block of training.
We also offer our new Power Profiling Service for clients, enabling you to track your training progress and monitor your improvements on the bike.
If you’re looking for even more structure to your programme, our Endurance Coach Max provides bespoke programmes, which are updated and monitored on a weekly basis based on your training performance, to help you maximise your time and ensure you are not only training hard, but also training SMART.