NJINGA

Larisa Strickland

Road cycling newbie to LEJOG and Ride London

Notable Performances with Njinga

FTP Improvement: 25 watt increase in 3 months

Power to Weight Improvement: 0.46w/kg in 3 months

Completed LEJOG Challenge ride (1000 miles in 10 days)

Completed Ride London in 5 hours 35 minutes

Larisa Strickland

"A Baptism by Fire was just the start - as a relative road cycling newbie Larissa purchased a road bike 6 weeks before riding a fundraising event from London to Paris. Following LEJOG and Ride London in 2017 Larissa‚Äôs 2018 challenge is the Mad (wo)man Challenge - Mount Ventoux 3 times in a day.

I'm relatively new to cycling. I cycled as a child then had a 25 year break until at age 39 I decided to cycle from London to Paris for a fundraising event. I purchased a road bike 6 weeks before the challenge in the spring of 2016 and experienced quite a lot of "baptism by fire" with road cycling. But I absolutely LOVED every single thing about it. I was hooked! Four months later, a friend convinced me to sign up to ride across Britain from Lands End to John o'Groats (LEJOG) in June 2017.

I'd received the "recommended" training schedule in January 2017 and, as a working Mum, I quickly realised there was no way I'd have enough hours in my week to train properly for such a challenge. Someone at a local yoga class suggested Watt Bike Classes.

I had no idea what a Watt bike was or how it worked, but while stuck in January-sales-traffic near the Kingston bridge, I noticed "Watt bike" written on the back of someone's spin jersey in the window of NJINGA. I rang up Njinga and had a very friendly chat with Leigh who booked me into my first class with Josh.

Let it be known that Josh is a fantastic instructor and motivator, as well as a great Ride Captain. He was very quick to get me set up on my Watt Bike and took me through a few basics, like "no elephant stomping". I soon learned that there were huge efficiencies to be gained in cycling by making simple adjustments to toe technique, hamstring use and more effective stretching and nutritional balance.

With information sessions, regular classes, and a few 1:1 sessions with Togo, the team at Njinga helped me learn about all these changes in bite-size increments."

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"I also attended an 8-week "Tour of Cambridgeshire" course, where I saw my FTP score rise significantly.

More importantly to me, I saw my average speed on my rides rise by 2-3 miles per hour!

I also joined the Njinga Collective and gained confidence in riding with a large group on busy roads, using hand signals and all with a really lovely group of Njinga cyclists. I'm pleased and proud to say that in July 2017 I completed my LEJOG challenge and cycled just shy of 1000 miles in 10 days. It was a wonderful experience and apart from saddle sore, I felt I had put in the right amount of training to get me across the country safely and without any muscle strain!

I really believe that the combination of training, nutritional & recovery advice that I received from the Njinga team are what helped me achieve my Ride across Britain goal. I am also pleased to say that I completed my first ever Prudential Ride 100 in 5 hours 35 minutes. A goal that one year earlier seemed impossible to me.

Looking ahead, I am hoping to join the "Mad (wo)man challenge" and climb Ventoux 3 times in one day in the Spring of 2018. I would also embarrassingly but very much like to learn how to change a puncture on my own, and.....in less than 40 minutes!"

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