"A scorpion asks a frog to carry him over a river."
"The frog is afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, both would sink and the scorpion would drown. The frog then agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When asked why, the scorpion points out that this is its nature."
I turned 45 last week, and I don’t think I’ve ever been as unfit as I am now, never been this heavy, that’s for sure. It’s not happened suddenly; it’s been creeping up on me. I’ve tried a few times to buck the trend yet it’s hard, life gets in the way, I know it shouldn’t and that it’s always possible to make time for something if we make the decision, yet, I haven’t been able to make the decision.
The thing is, it’s not just physiological, it’s also psychological.
I find it hard to feel good enough to motivate myself to get in the routine, to stop the infinite loop of waiting for tomorrow to start, healthy-body-healthy-mind, they say, and it’s so true, and it’s why I want to get fit again.
I need an objective, I can’t just do it to be healthy, even if that is the core driver. I know it works if I fix a target, it’s what I did in 2019 for the NY marathon and it kept me busy for a year, although I don’t want to slog through another marathon. I want to feel fast again, experience a fleeting glimpse of what I used to be able to do, so I’m going to train to ride a 20-minute TT as fast as I can. Roughly the amount of time it takes to do a good 10-mile club time trial, a staple of the UK amateur culture I grew up in.
Maybe it’s a bit of nostalgia on my part, although I think it’s a bit more than that, my hope is that it’s still possible to experience briefly what I once lived for and loved so much, a farewell to speed. It’s in my nature to go fast on bikes, like the sting of the scorpion, and I’m realising that I’ve been missing it and sinking myself in the process.
I’m very aware that before long I’ll simply not be able to go fast because of ageing, I’m not even sure if I’ll be able to go fast now, as it’s already taking its toll. Ultimately that’s neither here nor there, this isn’t about turning back the clock, it’s about finding time, rediscovering something lost in the hope that it will reignite an extinguished flame. That’s why we’re calling this the Time Traveller.
The date is set as May 14th, I haven’t started training yet, I haven’t given it much thought to be honest beyond the decision to go for it. I want you to come on the journey with me, share my rediscovery of time trialling. A lot has changed since my final year racing in 2014, and I’m going to be learning about the latest science of speed, training methods, nutrition, the tech from bike to speed suit. This will be the first time since I was a 16yrs old that I’ll be doing a TT without sponsorship obligations, I’m free to use whatever I want, no compromises.
I’ll be creating weekly content to chronicle the journey, you’ll be sharing the experience alongside me. Ultimately, we want you to take up the challenge, join me on May 14th. No matter where in the world you are, you can race your own DIY 10mile TT – it doesn’t matter what bike you use, or whether you do it on the open road or Zwift, let’s disappear into ourselves for 20mins worth of time and feel what it’s like to master the clock in the race of truth. For me it’s one last time, yet hopefully for you it will be just the beginning.
- Sign up to become a Time Traveller via the link below, or here.
- Get your 2 months free trial version of The Breakaway App on app store (Apple only).
- Choose your 20 min course. Could be on a flat road, a hill, in a beautiful landscape or even on Zwift.
- Create a profile on The Breakaway and do your first Time Traveller 20 minute test.
- Download your own Time Traveller training calendar made by David’s coach Dr. Marti Castello and put it on your fridge.
- Follow David Millar’s Masterclass on Time Trialling and get pro guidance on course selection, tactics, bike position, training, nutrition, apparel, mental strength, kit and tech.
- Join CHPT3s weekly Tuesday training ride on Zwift and ride with David and the special invited guests and curated training sessions.
- Track your performance during the challenge and compare with your friends using The Breakaway App, get rewards for beating your personal best.
- Taper the last two weeks and prepare to beat your best, join group video call with David as he explains the final phase and protocols for the big day.
- Go time. We will all ride together on May 14 with the goal of going as far as we can in 20 minutes.