“Being told what not to do is sometimes more valuable than being told what to do.”  

Read on to discover how 1-1 VIP Njinga coaching helped Simon prepare for his cycling challenges: Ride London, Etape du Tour and The Tour of Cambridgeshire. 

Looking for help to achieve your goals? Find out how we could help or book a free 15-minute call with our Head Coach.

Achievement Highlights


Official Sportograf photo

ETAPE DU TOUR

Successfully completed the Etape du Tour, gruelling 166km and over 4500m of climbing.


Official Sportograf photo

RIDELONDON-ESSEX SPORTIVE

Smashed RideLondon 100 mile sportive in a new PB time of 4 hours 15 minutes at 37.6kmph.



COMPLETED HEAD FOR LYON

Completed 800km charity ride from London to Lyon over 5 days.



FTP SCORE IMPROVEMENTS

Improved FTP score by 31 watts from 271 (December 2021) to 302w (June 2023) to make the 300 FTP club.

The Reason for Signing up to Njinga 1-1 Coaching

I picked up cycling again in my 40’s when the once bike-crazy skater boy had become a very different size and shape.

My initial inspiration was a charity close to my heart and just completing the 100 miles of RideLondon.

I did and the charity wanted more, 2 years later and turning 50, I decided to make it challenging and try and break 5 hours. I lost nearly 10kg, started to train properly and in the pouring rain, I just about made my goal.

Next up was the Etape du Tour, coached by YouTube and a training app algorithm. I got timed out and a dreaded DNF.

"That's when I realised I needed a coach."

Looking for a Coach

I signed up with Njinga and Togo. He told me he would be straight talking, and he was true to his word.

He brought insight into performance and nutrition, and having him there to make sense of my numbers, guide me as I learnt about my body, and consult as we tested nutrition and fuelling on the bike was invaluable.

Simon during the Etape du Tour.
Official Sportograf photo

Simon during the Etape du Tour.
Official Sportograf photo

My Achievements

Working with Togo in 2020 saw me destroy my century PB with a 4 hour and 15 minutes for the RideLondon 100 miles sportive, six weeks before the Etape du Tour.

He helped me get to a race weight of 85kg, 20kg lighter than I was at my heaviest and coached me through a structured programme that ensured I finished the Etape strong at the top of Alpe d’Huez.

My First Race

Going into 2023 we decided it was time for my first race, and I signed up for the Tour of Cambridgeshire (TOC). Togo devised a programme focusing on my base over the winter and strength and speed in the run-up to the event that saw my w/kg improve by 0.4

"I was the strongest I’d ever been, my FTP was over 300 watts and I was smashing everyone on the club ride."

Simon racing in the Tour of Cambridgeshire.
Official Sportograf  photo

Simon finishing the Tour of Cambridgeshire.
Official Sportograf photo

Set Back

But on the day I was just not quite strong enough. I averaged over 300 watts in the first hour, holding the wheel and managing peloton surges that meant I smashed all my power PBs, and set new HR thresholds.

It was a tough introduction to racing, and then I crashed. A bidon came out of nowhere and hit my front wheel, I went down hard, picked myself up quickly and rode on. I finished, but my bike and I were broken.

That experience was hard, but it also highlighted the progress I’d made in mental strength and focus.

I was straight back on the bike and training for multi-day events. The distances didn’t worry me as I knew I had the fitness. However, managing fatigue and overnight recovery did.

"The foundation for off-bike conditioning that Togo had built up with me was invaluable, with the core work and stretching really paying dividends."

Multi-Day Events

I rode King Alfred's Way, a 360km off-road route, over 3 days in August.

Then to top that an 800km charity ride from London to Lyon over 5 days in September.

The ride was to raise awareness and funds for Head for Change, and it’s patron, Geraint Thomas, joined us for the last 2 days.

"It was awesome to ride with a legend, even if he did manage to miss the worst of the weather!"

Simon with Geraint Thomas on his London to Lyon cycle.

Simon during his ride to Lyon.

What's Next

I will be taking it easy with the Njinga crew on the next Challenge Series trip and then talking to Togo about what might be my next target. On the bucket list, is the full 21 days of Tour de France.

"It has been an incredible few years working with Njinga and I know I have it in me to continue to achieve new milestones with the coaching and support from Togo."

Are you looking for 1-1 VIP coaching to help take your cycling to the next level?

Our bespoke personalised coaching and training plans are designed to suit your specific goals and built around your lifestyle. Benefit from weekly coaching calls and mentoring support via Zoom to keep you on track.

IMPROVED FTP SCORE

Improved an incredible 66 watts from 174w to 240w in just 18 months.

POWER TO WEIGHT

Increase from 2.46 to 3.59w/kg. An increase of 46% in less than 18 months.

RIDE LONDON 100 MILES

Completed first 100 miles in July 2019 in a time of 7h47m.

MALLORCA 225

Took on the Mallorca 225 cycling challenge and conquered it in tough heat conditions.

Inspired to kick start your cycling journey?

Book a free 15-min introductory call with our Head Coach now and find out how Njinga Cycling could help you achieve your goals.