Laying the foundations

Our 70.3 first timer, Matt Beale, has been burning calories and putting in the miles before he starts the serious hard work

Our 70.3 first timer, Matt BealeIt’s been a long two months since the New Year weigh in. My festive over indulgences saw me spend more time in the pub than in a saddle and standing on the scales made for bigger numbers than my bank account. However, over the past nine weeks I have recharged my confidence, worked hard to progress my training and shed 11 pounds.
I could not be more pleased with my work in January and February – averaging 24 hours of training in each month. I have followed Phil’s top advice and tried to build in a strong mix of indoor cycling (on the turbo), long winter runs, pool swim sessions and strength training. I even managed a very muddy Surrey League Cross Country meet (a late ringer to make up the numbers), my first official cross country run since some point in the early 1990s! Although not working to a specific training plan yet, as I begin this three months out, I needed to build a more solid training foundation which I feel I have already started to cement.

At the moment I am not really working on technique or to specific drills, I simply want to get the miles in across all three disciplines. However I am concentrating on working at a lower heart rate as my main fear is that I will blow up on the course as I try to put too much strain on my body. I have never trained to specific heart rate zones before, but I’m already starting to see how a better understanding of this could revolutionise my potential as an endurance athlete.

“An endurance athlete” – that is the first time I have ever referred to myself as one of those. In all honesty I don’t think I am quite worthy of that title yet, but I am a lot closer than I was on 1st January and I’m determined that by the time June comes I will be.

Next month I plan to crank it up a gear – literally. My bike is currently being retuned and refitted with an Infocrank integrated power meter ( So I’ll be crunching the numbers as well as churning out some serious miles.