Charles Neal completed the 102 mile Civil War Century, September 9, 2017, a whopping 10 minutes faster than his previous ride over the same course in 2017!
Along the way through the historic rolling hills and mountains of Maryland and Pennsylvania, he set new all-time PRs for 60 and 90 minute power, and record 2017 peak performance numbers for 10 and 20 minute power. His NP, normalized power, was 190 Watts hitting the upper limits of his target tempo zone for the 102 mile effort.
Charles had an annual plan and he stuck to it over a challenging year as a professional hard working Dad with a new baby in the house! He exemplifies dedication and discipline as an amateur athlete as he gets up every weekday morning, at 4 AM, to go to trainer in his basement executing his daily workouts sent by his coach via Training Peaks. Only on weekends can he get outside to enjoy his progressively challenging rides--Saturday 2+ hour endurance and hard interval HIIT rides on Sunday--as annually periodized by coach Hoffman.
In his 6 hour and 47 minute effort, Charles had an average cadence of 79 which was right on his target in spite of climbing at an average grade of 4.5% and pitches of over 9%. "When I saw my cadence fall below 70, I stood up," he said. Overall, "I just felt faster."
And, after a sorted history of cramping before coming to PCG, the changes made--in his diet, training protocol, hydration and massage--have all but eliminated the cramping problem. "There was nothing near cramping," he reported, almost as an afterthought.
So what next? "I still want to be better, faster," he says. Now the focus is to back off a little, include some group and fun rides on the weekend while the mild fall weather is still cooperating, add cross training and more and varied strength training during the week, and reboot for next year. Meanwhile he asks coach Hoffman, "what brand Kettlebells do you recommend?"
Charles is coached by PCG elite coach Charles GaryHoffman