Sunday, 12 June 2016

Mid Season Reviews

At the beginning of the season we got all our riders to write down their aims for the year and what their strengths are but more importantly what they wanted to improve on. Reviewing the common improvements all riders wanted to achieve we have built these into our team ride outs and training sessions and have covered a variety of advanced skills, from sprint training to cornering to thru and off to echelon riding etc. we have also used locations like Harvey Hadden which is a great facility ahead of the Regional Youth Championships the club promoted to ensure our riders were confident at what this circuit could throw at them.
This focus and approach has seen riders who were convinced they couldn't sprint in January now win races in a group gallop, we have also seen riders very focussed on a goal and have achieved them already.
As we approach mid season it's time for a review as we can all become consumed by racing and just roll from one event to another without an eye on your goals which become lost in the melee of travel, race, rest, train. Look at what you set out to do if you have ticked some off the list then look to raise the bar a little higher, if you still have goals to achieve reassess how you can achieve them, have you spent enough time on the areas you wanted to improve are these still relevant or do you need to change them to reach that target. Make sure you also keep it relevant and fun, when it stops being fun take a break, a few of our riders have done this and come back stronger for it. Try something new our MTB skills session has been the most fun event we have done so far most of our riders are not mountain bikers but all came away with new skills they can use across their own disciplines.
Dare to dream big as the 'Boss' says you can achieve everything you want to and we are here as a team to support you all, here to more success for the rest of the season

Friday, 25 March 2016

Ronde van Vlaanderen hosted by oovoo

Thursday nights regular roller training session delivered via oovoo seen 7 riders taking part and this weeks themed session was based around Ronde van Vlaanderen to prepare riders mentally and physically for our upcoming trip to ride the sportif and watch this famous race, riders were buzzing before the session.
A madcap idea I sent to Mike for this interval session was transformed into a visual interpretation of this race by the wizards technical IT skills. Riders felt like they were in the depth of the race as we hit the famous bergs of the Koppenburg, Paterberg, Oude Kwaremont to name but a few with some excellent video footage shown on screen, intervals were based around race efforts, the race for the bottom of the climb go hard onto the climb high tempo effort getting to the top full gas ,Cancellara has attacked, over the top coast down the other side and await the next berg which came thick and fast, finally to finish the session riders visualised being away in a small group and start a final sprint interval 300 meters out sprinting against the big belgy legend that is Tom Boonen crossing the line under that famous gantry to win the Ronde
It's sessions like this that not only train the riders but also inspire them to achieve greater things but more importantly build that passion for cycling that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. I for one will still be getting goose bumps when standing at the side of the road watching my heros race by
Geoff and Mike

Today's Investments is Tomorrow's Results

Sunday 20th March seen the team get together for another group training ride this time hosted by the Lightfoot's who took us around the roads of the famous Cicle Classic through the village of Owston and onto the first part of the ride a hilly 35miles that seen us challenging the riders over some technical terrain around Launde Abbey before a nice cafe stop at Wymondon Windmill.
Our rides are based around the old skool values Mike and I learnt from our early riding days, solid group rides, great camaraderie, a cafe stop for rider bonding and throw in some technical skills that will serve our riders well in their future years. It was great to see the bond starting to form as they laughed and joked together at the stop a real pleasurable sight to behold.
Part 2 was briefed in by Mike at the cafe and would see the rider practising their sprint and jump (Mikes secretive tips worked) riders who thought they could not sprint really surprised themselves and took loads of confidence away from this, I think it was harder on a Mike, Jim and I trying to keep up with them all.  Afterwards all the riders practised a thru and off session the skill and speed was amazing after an already hard ride finally two teams practised a lead out for our chosen riders Callum and Lotta, each team well balanced and having to get to the finishing point as a complete unit. A total of 55 miles with some excellent skills thrown in was completed and a few weary riders returned to the Lightfoots for well deserved refreshments.
Riders whilst you felt weary and drained (most raced at MK bowl the day before as well) remember it's not about how you feel right now it's about the positive training investment you have put in that will be results rewarded in the months to come.
Onwards to the next session time trial training on Easter Monday
Geoff and Mike

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Daring to be Different

Training is all about having fun and not making it feel like training, the evenings are still dark and we have been working on getting the riders together using alternative methods and have looked to modern technology to connect our team in a mid week session
So tonight seen us run our 4th virtual quality roller session by connecting riders up using oovoo, for a full 50 minutes they were practising race skills with our intense interval session, short hard efforts max rev out each time a great way to increase leg speed which is a core requirement to have in your armoury in any youth race.
Six riders in total connected and a great session was run by our coaches, hope you enjoyed it, Finn, Jack, Josh, Ed, Callum, Harry looking forward to next week. What a great way to spend a dark dull evening from the warmth of your own home.
Get it done and showered within an hour.....

Published by; Geoff & Mike

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Holiday training camp

The words holiday and training camp don't really sit well together, training is always seen as hard work and holiday is sat on a sunbed. Time off school though is a great opportunity to get some quality sessions in during daylight hours and still have the rest of the day to enjoy what kids do best and play. Jack Brough thought a sleep over and a few days with his mate Josh would be just putting their feet up and playing computer games all day and a little bike ride thrown in. The 'little' bike ride turned out to be two real quality sessions for the lads and familiarising them with race drills and efforts

Day 1
2.1/2 hours quality, warm up over the hills around Ilkeston to our training circuit at Coxbench, this consisted of thru and off (count to 30 on front then swing off) keeping high tempo on hills rather than blasting them, onto our 5km circuit we did one lap steady continuing thru and off, 2nd lap ramped it up to race pace and above 22-25mph with a headwind one way tailwind the other, rest for a lap then repeat twice so at the end of session we had done race distance, on the third and final lap we did 1.1/2 laps and lead Josh out for the 30mph sign as the finish, I did man 1 Jack man 2 Josh then nailed the finish, throw in a steady ride home and a quality session done

Day 2
2 hours in wind and rain what I call a proper Belg day so we headed out south over to the small lanes around Aston on Trent looping backwards and forwards keeping away from traffic. Today it was echelon riding a real craft to master I was trying to get the lads to understand the fine art of this task and show how little road you really needed to use, these efforts were long hard slogs into the wind round and round till we could take no more, this is a manoeuvre that practise makes perfect. Steady ride back over a few hills to really pummel the legs and build strength.
These are sessions you can practise on a club run or gentle family ride, it's about how you carry out these manoeuvres, keeping them smooth and controlled NOT about how you can smash everyone, leave that to race day

Learn To Love The Wind
You may love or hate riding into the wind, this is something you need to get used to, keep positive imagine your slicing through it, don't let it get the better of you as it plays with your mind, if your struggling take shorter turns, keep tight on a wheel for protection, use your gears wisely, drive into it then off the front for a rest.
Imagine what the Dutch feel like wide open flat roads no trees for protection just wind wind wind,

Friday, 19 February 2016

Making Them into Bike riders

Sunday 14th February was our first specific Go Ride coaching session using the new Harvey Hadden cycle circuit which was amazing very flowing, smooth and great surface, the weather was good and circuit bone dry even after the frosty mornings. A steady ride out from Ilkeston via Cossall seen the riders having a nice warm up and finding their legs before the planned session at the circuit. Whilst the riders signed in the coach checked out the circuit and the riders were eager to get started, after briefings and bike checks they were away riding in a nice tidy formation and practising the drill through and off and riding close on a wheel. Once warmed up they were split into two teams older riders and younger riders for part 1 sprint lead outs, cones were set up for a finish area and drop off markers for lead out riders. Each rider had there turn at sprinter whilst the other three lead them out whilst dropping off at the appropriate marker, this session was packed with skills and coaching tips, gear selection, following a wheel, communication, riding in formation, etc to name a few, all riders coped well really loving it. Part 2 was jumping a gap a few riders were sent ahead to form a break whilst the others formed a bunch behind, designated riders had to surprise the others and get across the gap, there were some amazing efforts from all riders. We finished off with an expert cornering tutorial from our road National Champion Mike Twelves all riders learning a lot about cornering coached from the sideline by Geoff, 90 minutes later we finished up having run over by a bit but all were buzzing. We all finished off the day with a 30 mile lumpy ride on a loop around back to Ilkeston taking in some grippy 'Bergs' around the area, there were some very weary bike riders but all feeling the benefits of a great day in the saddle, some of the younger riders surprised themselves by surpassing their max miles ridden.
Onwards to the next session before racing is upon us in March
Geoff Giddings - Coach MI Racing Academy