How I found Njinga
I knew I needed a coach or training programme of some sort. My first instinct was to get a coach. I’d worked with several coaches over the years and valued the feedback and the accountability that the relationships had provided.
I got in touch with a coach, that had been mentioned by a number of riders, and featured in an article on coaching in one of the popular cycling magazines. I hit it off with the guy but after several weeks I was becoming frustrated by the lack of feedback, so I decided to end the arrangement. I then looked at an app - one that used artificial intelligence to update your training programme week by week based on the results from the previous week. It was interesting but I wanted human feedback - and I wanted to understand what each session was supposed to be targeting.
I decided to look again for a human coach. I Googled some search terms and came across Njinga. The website looked good, and the reviews were excellent, so I got in touch and arranged an initial consultation with Togo.
After that initial consultation I was confident I’d found the right coach.
I set up a personal 1:1 coaching programme and as part of that I got a bespoke training plan which included indoor and outdoor recommendations, weekly calls with Togo, I was able to complete “on-demand” Njinga training programmes and also got access to the Njinga Cycling Academy which has over 300 hours of on-demand content. Ride London Sportive I’d entered the Ride London-Essex 100 mile sportive to help with my motivation. When I came to Togo I had only 6 weeks to prepare for the event. I’d been doing the occasional longish ride outside, but I needed a serious boost. I joined the Ride London training programme run by Njinga. The sessions were hard, but I enjoyed the competitive aspect that the on-demand platform (On the Njinga Cycling Academy) provided. Long story short I completed the event in a time of 5 hours and 56 minutes. That included a long wait of about 45 minutes due to an accident on course.
Even with that delay my time was a personal best for me for a 100-mile sportive - 8 years after my last 100 mile sportive.
Ride across the Dolomites
I continued riding Njinga on-demand programmes and having weekly coach calls with Togo. I also completed outdoor rides in accordance with recommendations from Togo. Then in September I jetted off to Venice to meet up with my fellow riders to take part in the ride across the Dolomites and Italian Alps - A trip that included 15,500 m of climbing across iconic climbs such as Monte Zoncolan, the Stelvio, Passo Giau, the Mortirolo, and the Gavia. I won’t pretend the ride was easy and that I flew up the climbs like Pantani reincarnated. It wasn’t and I didn’t. But I did complete the ride and loved it (so much so I’m thinking about repeating it next year).
Without the help from Togo and Njinga I’m not confident I would have completed the ride - and I’m certain I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did.