Fixed Gear Crit

Training, Nutrition, Material and more: Introducing a new series “Project: Get Brian in shape again”

With FGC we have created a lot of content regarding racers, riders, and race organisers. We will, of course, continue to do this but we also want to have content which helps riders getting started in the world of fixed gear crit racing and the more experienced riders that just want to increase their level. We will come up with specific content regarding training, nutrition, material, and more. As an experiment and a series for FGC, I will try to get myself into race shape again with the help of Cas Fuchs, a PhD Candidate in Sports Nutrition. He will help me get to my ideal crit weight, however, I first need to know what my current level is. To learn this, I will go to  Diagnose Berlin to run some lab tests – from these results, we will create a training schedule. A bike-fit will also be done to make sure that my position on the bike is correct. All of this will be published on FGC to update you on my journey, but more importantly, to create informative content regarding nutrition, training, material, and more. So not only me, but you also will be better prepared for the 2018 fixed gear crit season!
Text: Brian Megens
Header Image: Chiara Redaschi

So why this experiment? I will first briefly give my history in cycling as this is a big factor in my motivation to get in serious race shape again.

In 2011 and 2012 I was a UCI road cyclist riding for Continental Cycling Team, Jo Piels in 2011, and for the Rabobank Continental Team in 2012. Long story short, I had a bad season in 2012 – at the same time that the whole pro road cycling world collapsed due to doping confessions from a generation before. I decided to quit cycling and went to university for my studies. For four years I was rarely on a bike: I continued training but went to the gym instead. I went from a tiny climber weighing around 65kg to a gym monkey weighing 85kg. In May 2016 I discovered fixed gear cycling, and soon I found myself racing Red Hook Crits. The results aren’t bad, I won several national fixed gear crits, and this year in RHC I won 2 qualification heats. However, I know that I am not in optimal shape as, firstly, my weight is not optimal, and I didn’t race in enough high-level crits.

Photo by Wouter Roosenboom

Although weight might not seem super important in crit racing, carrying too many kilos will not benefit any rider. For example, in endurance tests my weight in 2012 was 65.5kg and I pushed 434 watts which is 6.63watts per kilo. In 2017, I was 82kg and I pushed more absolute watts, 451, but ended with 5.53 watts per kilo. So my legs are stronger, but there is just a lot more to carry. I don’t have the ambition to become a pro rider again, but with 181cm in height, it should be possible to decrease my weight somewhere to the mid-70 kilos.

Result sheet from Rabobank sports test from March 9 2012

What my goals are for next season? Well, let’s begin by saying that I do not have the ambition to ride the Tour de France as I focus on FGC, photography work, and I am finishing up my studies. On top of that, unlike many former pro’s coming in fixed gear crit racing my talent wasn’t in sprinting or crit racing. This makes the challenge bigger but also more fun. So I don’t have specific hard results in mind, but I just want to see how far I can get when my weight is on point and I have enough racing K’s in the legs!

Red Hook Criterium Brooklyn no. 10
Men’s Heat Races
Brian Megens

So what can you expect and why should you follow my journey? As I already mentioned, I will have guidance from Cas Fuchs, a specialist in sports nutrition, to get my diet sorted and to help me with losing weight. I will do a bike-fit to make sure that my position on the bike is correct. Furthermore, I will do some tests in the lab of Diagnose Berlin, they will critically asses my training schedule. All of this will be documented in the form of articles which not only focus on my results, but to give an insight into training, nutrition, bike position, and more for beginner and more experienced fixed gear crit racers. Next to this, articles on nutrition, training tips en techniques by Diagnose Berlin and William Lewis will be published. All to make sure that at the start of the 2018 season we are in a better shape and get there in a healthy & sustainable manner!