NJINGA

Sandra Eager

Recreational cyclist who went on to cycle Italy from coast to coast.

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES WITH NJINGA

FTP Improvement: 43 Watts increase over 8 weeks - Highest female FTP Improvement score in the Njinga Lab

Power to Weight: 0.91w/kg improvement in just 8 weeks

Improved 1 minute average power output by 13% over 8 weeks of the Fire Starter Group Indoor Training Programme. Increased from 183 to 207 watts

Italy Coast to Coast: Cycled 185 miles in 3 days with 12000 Feet of climbing

Where my journey with Njinga began:

When asked, my one word to describe Njinga was ‘delivers’. I took part in their ‘Fire Starter’ eight week course to get cycle fit over winter in preparation for a challenge I’d signed up for following a talk at my children’s school that emphasised how you need to set a good example to your children and if you don’t challenge yourself, you can’t expect your children to. The challenge was cycling coast to coast across Italy, Rimini to Pisa. Three days, around 185 miles…not so concerning until you add in the 12,000 feet ascent, which for me was going to be hard. I was more of a recreational cyclist, the furthest I’d ever cycled before was round the Isle of Wight in a day, but I’d never done back to back days on my bike and was genuinely terrified.

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Njinga Training Programme:

Njinga came recommended by my partner, I hadn’t ever done a spinning class before, let alone been on a wattbike and had no idea what I was capable of. You start off with some nutrition advice and pedal technique and then in the second session we did our FTP test, to give you a base line and numbers you can target to improve. I probably went too easy on my first test. I didn’t know what I could sustain for 20 minutes and didn’t want to burn out and really embarrass myself before the end. After this, we had sessions twice a week learning a range of skills: endurance; hill climbing; sprinting; and the importance of stretching. All the things you need to prepare you, for whatever goals you have set yourself. Togo, our coach, pushing us to achieve, coaching us not only physically but also mentally, be prepared for anything.

I had become stronger and fitter:

The group bonded and supported each other and shared healthy snacks we’d made to go with the class protein shake to help your recovery.

In the final session, we repeated our FTP test and everyone’s scores had improved. Me – I ended up increasing mine by 43 Watts and made ‘most improved FTP female of all time’ and get to have my name up on the leader board. ‘Sandbagging’ was not my intention, but I must have been holding something back in the first test to be able to improve that much. I had certainly become stronger and fitter.

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MY BIG CHALLENGE:

And Italy? I did it! It was still hard, harder than I’d thought it would be, but having built up my strength, it was all achievable. And being prepared mentally for anything also came into play as we embarked on a ten mile descent in a hail thunderstorm…Njinga had delivered!

Next stop, Ride London!

START YOUR OWN JOURNEY

Sandra's journey with Njinga has included:

  • Njinga Training Programme
  • FTP Testing
  • Outdoor Hill Climbing Workshop
  • Regular wattbike classes

FEELING INSPIRED? READ OTHER STORIES HERE

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