Getting things right for youth and junior athlete cyclists …. Actually getting things right for all cyclists out there !! ( This will be a good read for entry level 3 or 4th cat riders)

*most important thing is that they enjoy their cycling
* actually ride the bike
* good bike fit with good shoes and a good saddle

 Double champs 2008

Cycling with an aim to chase a dream of competing at a high level is hard, there will be many set backs, there will be times when he/she questions a lot of things and this is when the simple love of the sport is very important. Nobody else but your good self will be there to make you train in the rain or get up and out before school. Only the simple joy of cycling can bring that.

For the month of October/November what needs to be done ??

If I had all the gear choices in the world my first selection would be the following
* fixie bike with multiple ring sizes
* power turbo or Srm of power tap
* Garmin hr monitor etc
* rollers

However I have often asked and been asked, what did Kelly use or Merckx ??

They used their heads, listened to he old boys and rode there bikes. In his later years Roche I believe went scientific with his training, but before all that he just loved to cycle his bike. I have never met the guy so I honestly don’t know. But I know that all the fancy gadgets weren’t around in the time of Merckx and at the end of the day they had to be able to ride the distance!

Rules for the first parts of season training work by time and distance with cadence

So if I ride for 3hrs I ride 90k with an an average of 98 rpm

This means I cover the time in an average of 30k an hour and a good cadence. My target for a Tri or time trial would be 105 rpm

I would limit gear selection for the first 2 months and simply decide to use the road gradients as the workout method. This I might add is good for teaching youths and juniors how to read maps and use this knowledge toward researching races they have never ridden before. I must admit I normally have to ring a friend on this point.

Choosing road surfaces is also a good point to record and an easy way to add resistance to your spin or speed to a session
Good v bad road surface can have a huge bearing/impact on speed. We all know those dead roads from the back of beyond in Mayo or Clare argri roads as I’d call them, but the difference between surfaces has a huge toll on the body. You will always see it year after year in the Ras. The foreign riders will lead along the good national roads and the Irish riders will hang on for dear life until the roads turn on to the back roads and the foreigners don’t know what to do! well except the Belgians

Goals in this first phase
8 weeks
*stay healthy
* slowly build mileage and time on bike
* work on flexibility for 10mins either side of training session
*1 x core session per week of 45mins
* week 4 and week 8

1 x 40min 140 to 145 hr distance test or if you have any of the gadgets mentioned above we can do power file
The distance test is to be performed on the same stretch of road or loop every time and you must record your gearing for this ideally stick to just the one gear. A set cadence of 95 is also applied. Important to note this test are just to monitor progression don’t be getting work up over them.

What does a typical week look like ?? Realistically speaking sat And Sunday are the days when you are going to have the majority of time to cycle the bike! So organisation around these days is always key
Monday: rest an recovery day/ week planning and week prior evaluation day
Tuesday; turbo or rollers sub threshold development work- single leg drills etc
Wednesday: core flexibility and mobility day
Thursday; turbo rollers week one to 4 just steady riding with 2 x 10 sec seated high rev intervals every 5mins high revs not high power!
Friday: stretching day
Sat: club rides 2 to 3 hrs
Sunday; club rides 2 to 3 hrs

Basic time on the bike is important don’t be chasing victories in oct/nov the goal is to establish a platform to be a competitor off of.

Some questions to ask?

Am I a cadence chugger or an Rpm goat?

What does this mean, some folks just can’t spin it to win it. They have certain over developed muscles types and will alway find it easier to stick it in the big ring and grind it out. Versus the Lance and Millar approach of spinning to win it. High cadence is harder on the lungs but better on the legs. So to make that simple ullrich or Armstrong (I’m sure I could find 2 non convicted dopers for my demo but hey they are best known)

Will it benefit a chugger to spin it?

Yes it will, however no matter no he/she will always return to chugging come racing season however if you think of it this way some things could change…..
Learning to spin at a higher cadence can help chugging a bigger gear at a lower cadence before fatigue sets in.
But you could do this
throw at 58 tooth ring on the front and …. Win a world title like Tony Martin

Turning chiggers into spinners is hard, any human physical change has to come with a mental one.

Cadence turbo sets or roller sets

These will feel like nothing sets to a chugger! Set the gearing right however and they will struggle.

Another question

Can I squat??

Most of us can’t do it right, so don’t be lying to yourself spend some time on YouTube and learn how to do it with a broom stick

Do I know how to do a plank

Like above but know you need a solid lower back/glutes and stomach and core muscles to chase victory


I had a coach once who told me :look at the 1% improvements across all areas of like and I can promise you, you will soon find 10%

a mans limits are set by himself : aim higher why not chase your personal finish line

Train Smart ; Train Happy

Train smart – train happy



STL cycling coaching: Im into winning… you can take everything I own but the Trophies and the memories.

Not the greatest of riders, he has ridden the Ras, Won a National champs (Irish student road race champion) Ridden a world champs -Student games in Holland, a county champs(tt-l), a Munster champs(tt), ridden as a development rider on the track for Ireland and been injured a lot, made bucket loads of mistakes but asked advice from some of Irelands best, good friends with Ciaran Power, David O loughlin, Paul Brady(u23 Irish TT champ), Mark Quigley(U23 Irish rr champ, 2011 national c champ) Stephen Delany Ras winner and Former Pro. Stephan has learned the hard way about how to do and how not to do things.  He has views on most things but belief in only hard work and common sense. ( Fathers quote of my TALENTS )

I dont know what these guys saw in me, but I think being stuborn is a great talent. It took me 3 attempts to win a National title, albeit a student one, Gary Mckeegan said it best… I think you would have stayed in college until you won that title. Paul Brady’s quote I Personally prefer… you did what you were told!!

Realistically, a personal assesment of my achievements…. 0 …. yup you read that right, all the above does not mean much when you are at the start line of the next race!!

l1 cycling coach & Running, L2 coaching Tutuor,L2,Tri coach,L2 swim coach, Physical Therapist and complete believer in chasing dreams


see if you can spot 2 olympians and a world champ in this pic….


Club Rothaiochta Na Sionainne : Coaching update from STL

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