NJINGA

Ruth Berry

Mums the word…from big Miles to baby Myles!

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES WITH NJINGA

FTP Score Improvement: 14 watt increase in just 4 months from 188 watts to 202 watts

Power to Weight: 3.64w/kg - 9th highest female score in The Lab

Cape Rouleur (four day stage race): Finished as the 3rd fastest amateur female

Improved 100 mile time by over 30 minutes from 5 hours 15 minutes to 4 hours 46 minutes

WHERE MY JOURNEY BEGAN:

I have always been sports mad and enjoyed playing a few ‘school sports’ (hockey, tennis, netball, athletics) at national level, but once I moved to London and work took over, the team sports fell by the wayside. I cycled an old mountain bike to work to avoid the tube and did a few triathlons (before they got crazy popular), but it wasn’t until I met this fabulous new boyfriend…now husband, who was a super cyclist, that I had to get real!

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Getting the cycling bug

I followed him to the Alps to watch him in an amateur multi-stage race, and cycled up my first cols – I couldn’t believe you could cycle up hill for 2 hours and still be climbing! It was too late and I had caught the bug, so next stop was Ride100 and a few events in Cape Town – The Cape Rouleur and The Argus. Both are in March and covered 1000km in a week between them, but training through the cold wet winter for long distances and balancing a demanding international job was terrible and dangerous. Luckily we’d seen this cool looking place on Kingston Bridge while gibbering and dripping from a Surrey ride and training changed forever! What’s a watt?! Focused, constructive, results measured, weather-proof training in the lab with a long weekend ride on the road was the perfect work-life-bike balance.

Taking on my first cycling events

I did the FTP builder programme led by Togo and learnt techniques for cycling I didn’t know existed – smooth pedal strokes, threshold zone training, built my strength and stamina over the 8 weeks as well as adding over 20 watts to my FTP score and a 3.6 power to weight ratio. The results of the training programme really showed in South Africa when I surprised myself entirely coming 3rd amateur female in the Cape Rouleur. Next event up was my second Ride100, which I did in the first year as an enthusiastic leisure rider in 5 hours 15mins, but now I’m starting to feel a bit like a cyclist.

That said I’ve always had a mental block with hills – slowing up before I’ve even started climbing for the fear of what’s ahead! Only one way to get over it – Mountain Goat training programme with Josh “one more watt”, and wow – I added mental and physical strength to my climbing and did Ride100 in 4hours 46! It didn’t stop there, with sights set on qualifying for UCI Worlds, I committed to the lab twice a week for constructive, quality training, then onto the roads at the weekend dodging potholes. I did a range of classes with Njinga instructors, who supported my nutrition too, and could not have been happier to qualify, but alas, the Worlds clashed with our honeymoon and bikes were banned!

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Why Njinga

Togo and Josh are phenomenal coaches and really bought out the best in me, pushed my goals and the reward was huge results. Having the ‘Njinga family’ around you too, makes it so much fun – your programme pals to the collective, supporting each other, wanting the best for each other and looking out for each other on the road.

After a hectic couple of years of events, I wanted to give something back to the Njinga community and last year joined as a Ride Captain to encourage and support other riders to get as much out of it as I do – a really rewarding challenge and way to keep fit.

Mum's the word

Just as well as the boyfriend turned husband, was soon to become a daddy as I fell pregnant. The idea of not being able to ride for a while was somewhat challenging, but luckily for me with Togo on hand, I could swap the road for the safety of the lab and Togo worked with me to taper my training into ‘safe pregnancy tick over’ to maintain a level of all important pregnancy fitness and muscle memory.

6 weeks after having our baby boy, and after the Dr sign off, I was able to get back on the wattbike and start the road back to recovery and fitness, all supported by the fabulous team at Njinga. Hopefully I’ll be back to a Ride Captain soon enough, maybe back to the worlds one day – perhaps with Myles in tow!

START YOUR OWN JOURNEY

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Ruth's journey with Njinga has included:

  • Regular wattbike classes
  • FTP Testing to TrainSmart
  • Yoga classes 
  • Multiple Njinga Training Programmes

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