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Talk to me about being coached....

milesemilese Posts: 1,233
I did my first season of racing in 2011 and it went as well as I had hoped, I won a 4th cat race, got quite a few other top 10s in crits and RRs, in 3/4 and 2/3/4 cat races. My training was a bit hap hazard without any structure, which means that I tried to ride as much as the weather allowed over winter with regular turbo sessions doing whichever sufferfest video I thought would be less boring, then once the season started I tried to enter everything and do well, no targets or peaking etc.

I've not raced since due for various reasons, but want to start again next season, and given my available time I want to make the most out of the training I do. So I either need to create my own training plan and motivate myself to stick to it, get an off the peg plan or get a coach.

I'm very aware that getting a coach is the best option, for reasons I'm sure I wont fully appreciate until I've been coached, but it obviously comes at a cost which I have to consider given family etc. The different coaching options seem to vary quite significantly as well.

I'd appreciate the thoughts and advice of others who have made similar decisions, those with coaches and how well that has gone, thoughts about geographically remote coaching, how much people are paying for coaching and anything else that might be useful!

It would also be good to understand how the relationship works on a day to day basis. What info do you provide and what do you get back?

Thanks.
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Posts

  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,411
    Have a word with this guy :)
    memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=540967
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    I went with a coach earlier this year when I decided I'd just about reached the limit of what my own knowledge could do and my training felt a bit 'samey'. We do a yearly plan and then a weekly diary that gets sent across, I fill in results against each training ride and get feedback at the end of each week. We adjust the plan dependent on my schedule, how I'm feeling, results, etc, etc.

    So, is it useful? For me I'd read the bible so understood the basics but having a coach really helped crystalise the basics in my mind, there is no doubt my training wouldn't have been as effective left to my own devices. I find it helps to bounce ideas off, discuss what's working, whether I've been pushing too hard, etc, etc. Having said that I have a natural tendency to get too focussed and over train, a coach has helped me by lecturing me when I do that.

    Having said that I think the biggest benefit is the first 3-4 months. I've continued past that point as the cost isn't prohibitive for me.
  • What he said.

    I had done a couple of years of self coaching (based on JF's bible) and found I could stick together 4 weeks training, make big improvements, but then I was at a bit of a loss as to how to kick on. I started working with Mercury Cycle Coaching in january and have made significant progress (10 mileTT PB gone from 23:01 to 20:46).

    The benefits for me are:

    - no time spent poring over the bible and hunderds of websites trying to work out what to do, I spend that time training
    - proper periodisation, tapering etc
    - support from someone who qucikly gains a detailed appreciation and can pick you up after a difficult session or poor performance, remind you of what you can do
    -

    A lot of coaches offer to just provide training plans, without the daily/weekly/monthly feedback, which is cheaper that full coaching. Most coaches also provide different grades, often bronze, silver and gold, this tends to be driven by how much time a coach will spend analysising your data and providing feedback. The main reason that I chose Mercury was that they don't do that. I pay a flat rate and can call my coach when ever I like (within reason!!). I've actually found that I pseak with him much less than I thought I would, but this is a complient to how clear everything is and how much he's helped me understand my owns strengths and weaknesses.
  • As you've imagined there can be some great advantages to either having a coach, or a training plan. Training that is structured around your goals, that is tailor made for you will help you to improve significantly.

    I would suggest that the order of importance for doing things is
    1) Any training is better than no training!
    2) Reading articles from the internet/magazines and haphazardly putting some training together
    3) Using a book to formulate a plan
    4) Getting a Training Plan
    5) Getting coaching

    There's also the skill of the coach, and what they use as their 'background' to develop the training. if the coach is just copying something like you'd find in the JF "Bible" then this is something you'd be able to put together yourself with a little bit of thought. But, your coach also acts as someone who can analyse your data, motivate you when you're feeling down or not wanting to train, and importantly tell you to take a rest when you need one.

    Benefits of having a coach include

    - not having to waste your valuable time thinking about what to do - the coach does this for you
    - doing the correct training - rather than thinking, ah it's nice n sunny today i'll go and ride with my mates and have a laugh!
    - motivation: everyone has days or periods where they're tired or wondering why they need to train so hard, and a shoulder to cry on can be quite useful
    - we can help you understand why you do the sessions and what benefits they bring to you

    At RST Sport we've worked with athletes like you: whether you're a masters riding fitting in training around work and family, or an elite athlete aiming for the world championships we can help you. We've done it before and have literally hundreds of athletes who have met or exceeded their goals. We use an evidence based approach to coaching, and have redefined and introduced many new aspects of remote coaching providing levels of coaching that are above what you'd get if you were on the GB team or a pro cyclist.

    If you want results backed up by the highest levels of coaching (don't forget we've provided coaching to squad riders on GB and Australia as well as other national squads) then please give me a shout on [email protected]

    cheers
    ric
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
    Check out our new website https://www.cyclecoach.com
  • BenderRodriguezBenderRodriguez Posts: 907
    edited August 2013
    Milese wrote:
    I tried to ride as much as the weather allowed over winter with regular turbo sessions doing whichever sufferfest video I thought would be less boring, then once the season started I tried to enter everything and do well, no targets or peaking etc.

    Seems like you were doing about as much as you could and that more targeted training would, at best, have brought some pretty marginal gains, especially as you are new to the sport, so so far so good.

    With regards planning your training I would say that that, generally speaking, the more specialised your event, the more you need to focus your training. For example, if you were aiming just to do well in short TT's you would get the most benefit from focusing on threshold and higher intensity intervals. That said, road racing makes such a wide range of demands that a 'bit of everything' would not see you going far wrong and variety will help to stave of boredom and staleness.

    Yes, read up on the theory and, taking what sounds as though it makes the most sense and is most up to date, put a plan together that will help you to keep focused. To be honest, I think that you might well be better off doing this yourself than going to a coach for the following reasons:

    1) The science of sport is still under-developed and there are many areas that are poorly understood. A coach will be putting together plans that are much a reflection of this ignorance as anyone else capable of reading up on the subject.

    2) Coaches often seem to have their own pet theories and ideas, and often seem very closed-minded to things that don't fit in with what they already 'know', and so might dismiss things that you would actually benefit from.

    3) Coaches will often push certain technological aids as being all-but indispensable, especially power meters, but these are expensive, as are coaching plans. This can lead to a situation where you feel that you are all-but wasting your time if you can't afford to make the 'investment', both in the technology and the coaches fees. In my view this is nonsense given the number of riders who have excelled over the years without a power meter or a coach.

    4) Following a program set by a coach can be too prescriptive. There is still a lot to be said for 'going by feel'. (I note that over on the TT forum one poster has asked the question - I paraphrase - "How come I am going faster now than I ever have done when I have junked any idea of having a training 'plan' and simply do what I feel like doing when I feel like doing it.") Do you really need a coach to tell you when to take a rest? Personally I know when I am tired and need to take it easy for a day or two!

    5) People often believe in the advice given to them when they follow a coached program because they improve. However, this improvement could have little to do with the quality of the advice being paid for! If you are paying out relatively large sums of money, and have a coach to 'answer' to, you will probably do more than you otherwise would, and you might well benefit to a similar degree by simply being a bit more disciplined and training a bit more / a bit harder, even if what you did lacked the focus of a coached plan.

    6) This is the big one! Although coaches often claim that they tailor their programs to the individual rider, the degree they can do this will inevitably be limited. All rider's are very different in their strengths and weaknesses, in the way the respond to training, in the way they recover and so forth. The only real way to discover what 'works for you' is to try different approaches over a number of years and following a coach's plan might stifle such experimentation and innovation.

    Although finding out what works best an an overall approach might take a few years, you can still 'try out' different things each season in order to help you understand yourself better. For example, after a really hard RR try taking a rest day, or alternatively an 'active recovery ride', or even a longer ride and see what approach leaves you feeling freshest and strongest later in the week. Similarly, wait one, two or three days before really hammering yourself again so you better understand how frequently you can make hard efforts whilst recovering from them. Try to work out how many weeks of progressively harder training you can tolerate before needing to introduce a 'recovery week'. Try a few weeks where you focus on long hilly rides, or threshold work, or intervals, and see how you respond to these different stresses.

    This is not just a physiological thing. It is all well and good a coach prescribing 5 minute intervals or whatever because the books he has read say this is what 'works' best (for the average rider that is...) if you hate doing them and so won't do them 'right' or at all. You still need to enjoy what you do at some level otherwise it is likely you will give up before ever reaching your true potential. One rider I raced with loves 'just riding his bike' and would have rather shot himself than do intervals or a turbo session. However he became a British national RR champion by doing what he enjoyed and what he found actually worked best for him: actually racing supplemented by two 100 mile hilly rides a week right through the season!

    Again, another rider I raced with who was a British RR champion, on the GB road squad and raced successfully on the continent before turning professional for a couple of seasons found over the years that several months of old-fashioned 'base' miles was the thing that really worked for him, followed by the gradual introduction of higher intensity work leading up to the racing season. He tried other approaches but these never gave the same results as putting his 'training ego' on hold for a few months and watching all the 'winter warriors' disappear up the climbs. Come the season the situation was always reversed. A coach would probably have said he was wasting his time with such an approach, but it worked for him, even if this was in part due to the psychological break it gave from the stresses of racing.

    To be fair, coaches do have a role to play, and there is doubtlessly easy money to be made from all those newcomers to the sport who haven't had the benefit of the support of the traditional club system and actually need to be told how to set up their bike and what gear to use on a climb! I am also sure that at certain levels a coach who works intimately with a rider can be of great help, as with the relationship between Boardman and Keen. However, you are never going to get that level of mutual understanding from someone who e-mails you a training program once a week.

    Bottom line is that making the most of your ability is essentially a journey of discovery, and one that demands that you look inside yourself and come to understand yourself, something that a coach will be of limited help with and may even be a hindrance.
    "an original thinker… the intellectual heir of Galileo and Einstein… suspicious of orthodoxy - any orthodoxy… He relishes all forms of ontological argument": jane90.
  • P.s. I is also worth noting that despite all the claims made for 'scientific' training, power meters and all the rest, it is debatable that these have actually led to a higher level of performance than in the 'old' days when people just went on winter club runs, enjoyed riding their bikes and raced. For example, although we have vets in their 60's time trialling faster than they did in their 20's, this can be pretty much be attributed to the use of modern aero equipment.

    It could be argued that the main benefit of 'modern' approaches is that the sort of focused, high-intensity training that is often prescribed these days simply makes the best of the limited time many people have to spare. I.e there is nothing magical about modern methods, above and beyond the simple observation that the less time you have the harder you need to go in order to get an effective training stress. In fact, if you have the time, 'old school' approaches may actually give better results. There has been much debate about this point in running circles, where the standards in UK distance running are lower now than 30 years ago, despite 'modern' training methods and the large number of people who run to keep fit, many of whom progress into competition. See this blog:

    http://acceptableintheighties.wordpress.com/

    PPs. Whilst you need to find what works for you, what works the best may change over time as you body becomes habituated to the stresses placed on it. Hence after a few seasons you might need to try new things, or swap things around a bit. For example, doing high-intensity work in the winter (especially if you have access to a track) instead of 'getting the miles in', but then doing more distance work in the summer (when the weather is better in any case) to compliment the high-intensity efforts from your racing. Some of the best form of my life came after a winter where I got into running and didn't actually do that much on the bike. YMMV... :wink:
    "an original thinker… the intellectual heir of Galileo and Einstein… suspicious of orthodoxy - any orthodoxy… He relishes all forms of ontological argument": jane90.
  • milesemilese Posts: 1,233
    Thanks for all the replies. Its certainly food for thought.

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a text to read, to devise a training plan from?
  • Best place to start might well be to think back to your last season and reflect on what worked, and what sort of training you might benefit from doing more of. For example, perhaps more winter miles on the road, weather permitting of course, this time around.

    There have been a few books over the years that have tried to give a complete overview, but these tend to reflect the preconceptions of the writer as much as any coach's training plan! The Cyclists Training Bible by Joe Friel seems to be popular these days. I have not read this myself but it is probably better than Peter Ward's King of Sports and the Italian Cycling Federation Training Handbook than I started off with! If you have faith in the current fad for power meters, Training and Racing with a Power Meter by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan will be your 'bible'.

    To illustrate just how every writer and coach will have their own perspective on things just compare the following articles, each of which provides a very different perspective on 'base' training. In reality each approach probably works to some degree for all riders, and each may well be optimal for some riders. The real task is finding out what works for you, and whatever coach you employ there is no guarantee that their own interpretation of what 'works' will result in a training program that is optimal for you.

    http://www.biketechreview.com/index.php ... format=pdf

    http://www.endurancecorner.com/Intervals_for_Base

    And a more 'traditional' approach.

    Ace of Base
    by mark allen


    Hello 1996! Even though it's almost the official beginning of spring, if you are anything like me, I'm still trying to find my rhythm in training. Should I try something new or go with the basic routine I've done in the past? Something extravagant? Forget it. It's nuts and bolts time. Everything we do now on the roads and in the pool will pay off during the summer and at that final race of the year in the fall. The trick is to do enough training in the right way without overdoing it. It may seem like quite a balancing act, but in reality it's quite simple to lay the groundwork now in a way that will carry you through an entire season, and on into the next. I'm going to throw out most of the entertainment value during this article and give you the essentials I consider absolutely necessary to do this time of year to help make your season as a whole a success.

    But first I want to share with you the secret of how I have trained for the last 12 years. I'm going to tell you exactly what I have done every winter and spring since 1984. I'm not superhuman, so this secret is not reserved for the genetically superior being. I have a family and other commitments outside of my training even though I do this for a living, and this secret works within those constraints as well. I can be lazy with the biggest slouches, and have also overtrained like the most neurotic type ‘A’ person you've ever met. But this secret has helped me overcome both of these extremes. Do you want to here it? Are you ready for it? The secret is... BASE!

    You're probably saying, "Base'? So what? Everyone knows you need a base.”

    I know you know you need base, and that you probably don't want to read another article on it because you've already been bored to tears with the topic. But I'm going to give it to you once again anyway, because if you can finally get it right, I guarantee you will have a better overall season than you have ever had in your life. Period! So bare with me, and let's get going.

    The number one thing I'm going to ask you to do right now is to put your ego in the vault for the time being. We are talking about no frills base building. This is the biggest determining factor in performance later on. It’s not intricate like threshold work or interesting as are variances on a theme at the track. But it will bring the results you want. Base is the big potato. Without enough of it, all the speed work in the world won't turn your VW engine into a Masarati.

    The problem with base work is that it doesn't really feel like you are going 'hard' enough. Base comes from going out for the daily grind at or below your Maximum Aerobic Level. But since it doesn't have the same shock feel of speed work, day to day it doesn't really feel like you are getting anywhere with it. It doesn't satisfy our mind's need to see big jumps and changes in a short period of time. But trust me. It works. Building your base is putting money in the bank for later. The more you put in now, the more there is to take down the road. Speed work draws on that account, and the energy taken out goes to 'buying performance'. Save the big 'bucks' for the big races. Use the big withdrawals to accomplish your big picture goal. Don't let yourself get caught in the anaerobic trap of draining your physical account bit by bit over too long a period of time. If you do, there may not be anything left for the big dance at the end of the year. Have you put your training ego on hold? Okay, then we're almost ready to get training.

    But first, let's talk a little science. Your body is a big energy converter, using mostly fat and carbohydrates to move. In action, you change stored fuel into forms your muscles can 'eat' for contraction. This requires enzymes. The more enzymes you have to make these conversions, the quicker the whole process works. More enzymes for energy conversion is like hiring more workers to help on the construction sight. You can saw a thousand pieces of wood, one at a time, or bring in a thousand people to saw thern all at the same tirne. It's obvious which is quicker. In the body, more enzymes makes you more metabolically efficient.

    Metabolic efficiency, the ability to convert stored energy into food for muscular activity, is built over time, with the right level of intensity during training. Anything we are doing in triathlons is going to be achieved predominantly with the burning of fats, even in Olympic Distance races. Therefore, as you have heard before, we need to increase our number of fat burning enzymes. You do this by building a base. This requires training at or below your Maximum Aerobic Level. This is the highest heart rate you can train at and still be predominantly training your aerobic (fat burning) systems.

    Figure your MAL right now before continuing...

    Okay, back to the programme. As you build base, your MAL stays essentially the same within each season. But your pace at that particular heart rate will gradually get faster. You can measure your progress by going to the track once every two weeks and, after warming up, time one mile at that MAL heart rate and see how your speed at that MAL changes. When I first started training this way, my time for the mile on the track was a 7:45. Now, at that very same heart rate, my pace is a 5:25 mile! Same heart rate, very different speed. And it all came from building those aerobic enzymes.

    There are three keys to making this base system work.

    * The first is to be very consistent in your training. You don't necessarily need mega miles to become more efficient. Simply try, within the constraints of your life, to make an aerobic workout a daily part of your routine. Even training for twenty minutes a day in this zone will make improvements in your pace at your MAL.

    * The second condition for maximizing your time spent during the base period is to NEVER train above your MAL heart rate. Remember, this is the time when you are putting money in the bank. Anaerobic work (anything above MAL) takes big chunks out and erodes the base you are building. This is the hardest thing for people to do- to trust that a seemingly moderate effort in training will ultimately enable you to really crank it out at the high end later. Have the patience. You will be doing the fast stuff soon enough, but not now.

    * The third key is to as much as possible, keep your lifestyle stress free. That's almost impossible in these times. But try. The reason is that your body reacts chemically to stress in the exact same way it does to anacrobic training. It turns off the fat burning systems and turns on the glucose burning systems. Every time you get overstressed, it's as if you just did a track workout, rnetabolically speaking. So if you aren't seeing any improvement in your pace at the MAL track test, take a look at your lifestyle and see if there are stress factors that might be working contrary to your base programme. And as always, change those that you can and don't worry about the rest. I haven't given really any specific advise on the actual miles you need to be doing right now. That is relatively unimportant in relation to your pace. Don't be fooled by the simplicity of what I have presented to you, I know very few people who have the patience to train their base miles in the way I have just outlined.

    In fact, I'm going to present the challenge to you right now. Go to the track this week and find out what your pace is at your MAL, Then for the next rnonth, train consistently at or below your MAI. The actual mileage shouldn't be the main concern. Train roughly the same miles you have been, but without doing anything fast (above MAL). Reduce a few of the changeable stress factors. Then before you read the next month's 220 Magazine, go to the track and do the MAL pace test once again. See if there isn't a change in the positive direction. At that point we can talk about the next phase of your training. Good Luck. I'll see you next month!

    two twenty april 1996.
    "an original thinker… the intellectual heir of Galileo and Einstein… suspicious of orthodoxy - any orthodoxy… He relishes all forms of ontological argument": jane90.
  • Ps. Many today would scoff at the 'polarized' approach promoted by Mark Allen ( a six times world 'Ironman' triathlon champion). Then again...

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23264537

    Of course, what 'worked best' for Allen might have been different if he had been only riding '10's!
    "an original thinker… the intellectual heir of Galileo and Einstein… suspicious of orthodoxy - any orthodoxy… He relishes all forms of ontological argument": jane90.
  • give it a rest Trev, there's so many holes in your arguments that it's just drivel. at least come up with something more interesting or create a new name this week.
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
    Check out our new website https://www.cyclecoach.com
  • give it a rest Trev, there's so many holes in your arguments that it's just drivel. at least come up with something more interesting or create a new name this week.

    Eh? I am certainly not this 'Trev' you speak of!

    I can understand that you have a vested interest in promoting your 'services', but why not just give the OP some constructive advice instead of resorting to petulance?

    As to what I say, I am quite happy to let people read what I put and then, after evaluating it, make their own decision as to whether it is 'drivel' or not. If they get something from it, great! If not, well at least I tried to contribute to the debate. What's more I didn't charge anyone a cent! :D
    "an original thinker… the intellectual heir of Galileo and Einstein… suspicious of orthodoxy - any orthodoxy… He relishes all forms of ontological argument": jane90.
  • Hmmmm
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
    Check out our new website https://www.cyclecoach.com
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    Get a copy of the "Black Book by Peter Read" If you wish to pursue BRs comments.
  • Anyhow, Milese, here's an article suggesting what is known as 'Reverse Periodisation', that is doing high quality training and then adding the distance stuff on later, which I mentioned earlier.

    http://iceskatingresources.org/EnduranceTrainingPlan.pdf

    A paper on the periodisation versus threshold debate:

    http://www.sportsci.org/2009/ss.pdf

    And another...

    http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/endurance-training-large-amounts-of-low-intensity-training-can-develop-base-conditioning-and-aid-recovery-41932

    Given all these different approaches, one might be excused for thinking that it doesn't really matter much what you do, as long as you get a mix of training stresses and, whatever you do, you do it for long enough to produce a sufficient training load to promote adaptation. Most simply put, you feel tired afterwards!

    It is also worth noting that no training program, no matter how much you pay for it, can overcome the limitations of your own physiology. Most fundamentally your VO2 max is genetically determined, and you will reach that ceiling withing a year or so of starting intensive training. Secondly, the degree to which you adapt in response to training is also genetically determined. You might have the best training program on Earth, but if you are a 'low responder' it might never produce that much of a change in your capacities.
    "an original thinker… the intellectual heir of Galileo and Einstein… suspicious of orthodoxy - any orthodoxy… He relishes all forms of ontological argument": jane90.
  • give it a rest Trev, there's so many holes in your arguments that it's just drivel. at least come up with something more interesting or create a new name this week.


    A lot of people get called Trev these days.
  • give it a rest Trev, there's so many holes in your arguments that it's just drivel. at least come up with something more interesting or create a new name this week.


    A lot of people get called Trev these days.

    Yawn. Hi Trevor
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
    Check out our new website https://www.cyclecoach.com
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,256
    give it a rest Trev, there's so many holes in your arguments that it's just drivel. at least come up with something more interesting or create a new name this week.


    A lot of people get called Trev these days.

    especially you, eh Trev.. :lol:
  • P.s. I is also worth noting that despite all the claims made for 'scientific' training, power meters and all the rest, it is debatable that these have actually led to a higher level of performance than in the 'old' days when people just went on winter club runs, enjoyed riding their bikes and raced. For example, although we have vets in their 60's time trialling faster than they did in their 20's, this can be pretty much be attributed to the use of modern aero equipment.

    This explains why Brailsford is now telling Sky and British Cycling that they don't need their power meters, and they should just ride through winter at 15mph stopping for cake after 30 miles every other day if they want to remain the best, most successful athletes in the world.

    It is the training which brings about the improvement in performance not the measurement of the training.

    To get an idea of how little riders fitness has improved over the years take a look at hill climb times where aerodynamics are of little importance.

    A good one is the Catford Hill Climb which has a long history.

    http://www.catfordcc.co.uk/hillclimb/pa ... px?sm=21_5
  • P.s. I is also worth noting that despite all the claims made for 'scientific' training, power meters and all the rest, it is debatable that these have actually led to a higher level of performance than in the 'old' days when people just went on winter club runs, enjoyed riding their bikes and raced. For example, although we have vets in their 60's time trialling faster than they did in their 20's, this can be pretty much be attributed to the use of modern aero equipment.

    This explains why Brailsford is now telling Sky and British Cycling that they don't need their power meters, and they should just ride through winter at 15mph stopping for cake after 30 miles every other day if they want to remain the best, most successful athletes in the world.

    It is the training which brings about the improvement in performance not the measurement of the training.

    To get an idea of how little riders fitness has improved over the years take a look at hill climb times where aerodynamics are of little importance.

    A good one is the Catford Hill Climb which has a long history.

    http://www.catfordcc.co.uk/hillclimb/pa ... px?sm=21_5

    Fastest winning time was 1983.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,256

    A good one is the Catford Hill Climb which has a long history.

    http://www.catfordcc.co.uk/hillclimb/pa ... px?sm=21_5

    Fastest winning time was 1983.

    So you are assuming that conditions were the same each year? There might have been a howling tail wind in 83...
  • BigFatBlokeBigFatBloke Posts: 167
    edited August 2013
    Imposter wrote:

    A good one is the Catford Hill Climb which has a long history.

    http://www.catfordcc.co.uk/hillclimb/pa ... px?sm=21_5

    Fastest winning time was 1983.

    So you are assuming that conditions were the same each year? There might have been a howling tail wind in 83...

    Obviously conditions would vary.

    This is also interesting seeing as you mentioned Sky & BC.

    So a Sky Pro with all today's scientific training is still unable to beat a time set by a a pro in 1981.
    http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/u ... ton-28090/

    Seven-second lead for Downing at Monsal Head

    Elsewhere, Team Sky professional Russell Downing won the 80th running of the Monsal Head hill-climbin Derbyshire, promoted by Sheffrec CC on Sunday.

    On a 675-yard course, Downing won by an impressive seven seconds, but was still more than six seconds shy of the course record, set in 1981 by Malcolm Elliott who was a spectator once again this year.

    Downing, whose best time on the course was 1:18.3 in 2003, was reported to be over-geared, and also had to battle with a headwind which prevented him getting closer to the course record.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,256

    This is also interesting seeing as you mentioned Sky & BC.

    I didn't.
  • Sorry, Luke did.


    When did people start using heart rate monitors? Did that bring about any improvements in performance?
  • This explains why Brailsford is now telling Sky and British Cycling that they don't need their power meters, and they should just ride through winter at 15mph stopping for cake after 30 miles every other day if they want to remain the best, most successful athletes in the world.

    Since when has emulating what the pros do being the best way for a hobby rider to train? To start with pro riders are a very special, self selecting sample who will naturally be able to tolerate high and more frequent work loads. Given the money involved, and the closeness of the competition, it also follows that the use of something like a power meter might well be worthwhile to a pro, no matter how marginal the gain.

    You also have set up something of a 'straw man' with your portrayal of 'old school' winter / club riding. Back in the early 80's most 'club runs' round my way were 80 - 100 mile suffer-fests run off at 18-20 Mph with everyone trying to drop everyone else on every climb, and if we did ever stop at a cafe, no one ate cake and even the beans on toast were ordered without any butter!

    What matters is what a rider needs to do not to remain one of 'the best, most successful athletes in the world', but what they can do to get the most out of their sport. I would argue that getting out on a ride with your mates and trying to hammer each other into the deck at every opportunity will prove to be a lot more fun, and will get you as close to your personal performance ceiling, as any training program based on 'Billy no mates' turbo sessions and solo power-meter directed rides, and even if the latter does give an extra 1%, so what? Unless you are a pro it is all supposed to be about enjoying oneself!
    "an original thinker… the intellectual heir of Galileo and Einstein… suspicious of orthodoxy - any orthodoxy… He relishes all forms of ontological argument": jane90.
  • marykamaryka Posts: 748
    If I were choosing a coach, the one question I'd want answered by the candidates is "how well do your clients do in their 2nd and successive seasons being coached by you?"

    It's easy to say "90% of our clients improve by X% in their first season with us" because pretty much anyone going from doing their own training plan to paying for (and thus being committed to and following the plan more seriously) a coach's training plan is going to improve by a decent amount in year 1. It's the seasons after that when the coach's skill becomes important (imo). You could probably pick any coach for your first season being coached, and improve.
  • Imposter wrote:

    A good one is the Catford Hill Climb which has a long history.

    http://www.catfordcc.co.uk/hillclimb/pa ... px?sm=21_5

    Fastest winning time was 1983.

    So you are assuming that conditions were the same each year? There might have been a howling tail wind in 83...

    Looking at those times, what is most amazing is the consistency over the years, with 'modern' times being only a couple of seconds quicker than the norm for the 1960's!

    That the boom in 'scientific' training, coaching, power meters and all the rest hasn't led to a revolution in performance is also evident in the middle /long distance running world, as I noted earlier.
    "an original thinker… the intellectual heir of Galileo and Einstein… suspicious of orthodoxy - any orthodoxy… He relishes all forms of ontological argument": jane90.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,256
    Imposter wrote:

    A good one is the Catford Hill Climb which has a long history.

    http://www.catfordcc.co.uk/hillclimb/pa ... px?sm=21_5

    Fastest winning time was 1983.

    So you are assuming that conditions were the same each year? There might have been a howling tail wind in 83...

    Looking at those times, what is most amazing is the consistency over the years, with 'modern' times being only a couple of seconds quicker than the norm for the 1960's!

    Like I said - unless you know the conditions were identical for each year, you cannot make that assumption.
  • Imposter wrote:

    A good one is the Catford Hill Climb which has a long history.

    http://www.catfordcc.co.uk/hillclimb/pa ... px?sm=21_5

    Fastest winning time was 1983.

    So you are assuming that conditions were the same each year? There might have been a howling tail wind in 83...

    Looking at those times, what is most amazing is the consistency over the years, with 'modern' times being only a couple of seconds quicker than the norm for the 1960's!

    That the boom in 'scientific' training, coaching, power meters and all the rest hasn't led to a revolution in performance is also evident in the middle /long distance running world, as I noted earlier.

    It is also probable that bikes were heavier in the 1960s & 70s.

    Compare this lack of improvement in times to the improvement over the same time period in 25 mile time trials where time improvements are due to aerodynamics.
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Looking at those times, what is most amazing is the consistency over the years, with 'modern' times being only a couple of seconds quicker than the norm for the 1960's!

    hmm. The fastest 10's time is 7 seconds faster than the fastest 60's time. That is a lot in a 2 minute race. All the 10's times so far are better than the best 60's time.

    I would bet that they were all done on about half the volume of training or less too. Absolute performances are not the only measure of training methods.
  • Team4LukeTeam4Luke Posts: 597
    P.s. I is also worth noting that despite all the claims made for 'scientific' training, power meters and all the rest, it is debatable that these have actually led to a higher level of performance than in the 'old' days when people just went on winter club runs, enjoyed riding their bikes and raced. For example, although we have vets in their 60's time trialling faster than they did in their 20's, this can be pretty much be attributed to the use of modern aero equipment.

    While I'm no great fan of power measuring anyone properly training and of a decent level at RR or TT would drop a group club ride for fun whilst riding in a training manner. You don't need any great use of science and tech, just train in a structured methodical way looking at the needs of your own races and resting is training too which people are not confident enough to do.
    Team4Luke supports Cardiac Risk in the Young
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