The whirlwind of summer holidays has left our loved ‘Get fit in six weeks’ feature unfinished. After working very hard for six weeks to get fitter, all four of us arrived at the office on a cloudy Tuesday and we were ready to finish what we started and decide which one of us is the fittest. Oh, hang on, not four of us: one of us, named Neil Fitton chickened out and he organized a day full of meetings so he had the perfect excuse not to put his stamina to the ultimate test.

I left the premises first, spent 30 minutes with warming up then set out on the 14 mile loop. The weather was much worse than 6 weeks before, it was windy and it was drizzling every now and again, but the rain wasn’t too bad to affect our ride. The wind was a different matter, it certainly affected our performance. 46 minutes and 33 seconds later I was back, quite exhausted, burning legs etc. I wasn’t very happy as I was held up in the last 300 meters and I lost nearly 30 seconds due to incompetent drivers.

Soon Michael returned too, but we kept our times secret until everybody was back in to make it a bit more exciting. Nick was last to start the loop and by 3:30pm, all of us was back in the office, where Neil downloaded the results from our Garmins and dropped the data in a spreadsheet to see how we had done. After 30 minutes of frantic Excel-magic, he stood up to announce the winner: Michael Tomsett!

He considered two things: who shaved off the most of his time and who bested their time the most proportionately – and Michael won in both. He improved his time by 2 min 48 sec, which is a 5.37% improvement. I improved my time by 2 min 33 sec, which is a 5.2% improvement. Even though Nick was working hard during the six weeks, an unfortunate illness didn’t allow him to improve his time, though he was still the fastest on that day, finishing the loop in just 44 min 36 sec.

In terms of effort, Michael did very well: his average heartrate and his maximum heartrate didn’t change and yet he managed to shave off time, whereas I needed much more effort to achieve a similar improvement (12% higher average heartrate).

All in all, it was good fun and now we are trying to find another challenge that can keep us excited for another six weeks.

Michael Tomsett: I went into this training programme not expecting that I would stick it out as well as I did. As someone who didn't really ride outside of commuting I've really grown to enjoy my weekend rides, and I'll definitely keep it up moving forward. As for my improvement, I worked as hard, if not harder on the final ride but my average heart rate has fallen, average speed is higher, and I didn’t feel as tired after the ride. Overall I think I am a lot fitter than I was when I started the training, but I wouldn’t say I’m fit. I’m looking forward to continuing my rides and hopefully through riding I’ll reach a decent level of fitness.

Balint Hamvas: It was a lot of fun and it forced me to do rides more or less regularly. Unfortunately, due to a lot of traveling, it was often hard to find time for training, but it definitely put me back into the habit of going for a longer ride regularly.

Nick Jenkins: Managed to finally do some road miles during week 6, but I think it was too little too late. My 2nd timed ride did not go well. I was over tired and completely unmotivated, plus the weather conditions were not ideal. I think this was reflected in my time. As a training regime I would recommend it and think it would work, if paired with healthy balanced diet and was taken seriously. Unfortunately I didn’t really follow this advise.

For those our readers, who would like to give our loop a go, click here to download the get-fit-in-six-weeks-loop.