CW5000: CW staff progress – Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

A first cat on the road, combined with testing bikes for a living, means Michelle is expected to log the biggest total out of everyone in the CW office. We check in on her progress just ahead of a training camp in Spain.

Name: Michelle Arthurs-Brennan
Job: Tech Editor

How many miles have you done so far in Jan and Feb?

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1,182 – including some estimates based on indoor rides with no miles attached (I only signed up to Zwift last week..). That’s a little lower than I’d have liked, but I’ll caveat it with the fact I spent a few January weekends on the mountain bike, and half of February’s weekends have been spent logging 2-hour roller sessions each day due to assorted storms.

Are you following a training plan, or just riding?

I have a coach (hi Coach Watto!) so I’m more or less doing what he says…

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Whats been your longest ride?

77.6miles… again I’d have liked this to be higher but February’s storms have made the prospect of century winter rides a little less inviting compared to last year’s epics.

Have you suffered any setbacks?

I’ve been doing two weight lifting sessions a week in the gym too, and to be honest I think my Norwood Paragon club mates were pretty fed up of hearing me moan about how tired my legs were every week. I dipped a bit too deep into the fatigue hole at times – mostly due to overdoing the gym training on rest weeks – and that was an error I paid for once the harder blocks arrived.

Whats your ratio of indoor to outdoor miles?

In January I was hardly riding indoors at all, mostly because my job involves testing bikes and you can’t assess handling, compliance or stiffness on the turbo trainer or rollers. February has seen the pendulum go the other way – almost 50/50 – partly down to weather, partly due to focused sessions become more structured as race season approaches.

Michelle was hitting the gym in winter to increase strength, and her club mates heard all about it. Picture by Chris Catchpole

Whats your main target for this year?

Last year, the focus was achieving my Cat 1 license – that required 200 British Cycling points so I had to race a lot. This year, to maintain it I only need 100 points, and BC has altered the structure so women now receive the same points bands as the men. I’ve chosen some target races from the British Women’s Cup and a couple of HSBC National Rounds, where I want to really perform. Aside from that I’m looking forward to enjoying some long summer evening thrashfests with Norwood Paragon and the Maision du Velo bike shop crew, I didn’t get enough of that last year because I was too busy driving to every crit race in town!

 Are you doing more or less riding than this time last year?

About the same – but my midweek rides are longer and my weekend rides a little shorter.

 Confidence, out of ten, of hitting 5,000 miles this year?

9/10 – I surpassed it last year without including indoor miles, and I don’t intend to do any less this year. Can’t go 10/10 because you never know what might happen.