Diary Time Again












It doesn’t look like much but in here are the sessions that would have led to a real shot at another Ras win. I was riding for one of the strongest and committed clubs in the country, working part time and believed I was one of the best, if not the best, in the country. Cocky in a reasonably justified way. I was flying. This diary takes us from January 1 to April 17. That Sunday I won a classic league race in Kilkenny. The field was not the strongest but the top 3 if I remember right all had top 4  Ras finishes to their names, so not too bad.  A couple of days later I broke a wrist and an elbow in a nice high speed smash in a mid-week race. Got back some form, 7th in Ras TT plus couple of TT wins, but not where it could have been.  Whats interesting as well is that I was not totally consumed by racing, I actually had a life as well, and while that is obviously redacted it gives context to days training and those missed and how life can affect form.

The information kept was faily basic. No HR monitor so sessions are basically easy, mixed or hard. And Howth. On the northside of Dublin Howth is hill heaven, a 10k loop with 4k flat.


How you might fill yours in is up to you but provided you can remember what it means the system doesn’t really matter. I had essentially broken training down into 2 core needs. The late Bobby Power had told me every session should be for suppleness or strength, truly simple. This came to define a lot of my work at all intensities. I did a lot of training on 1 gear.  Feb 8th for example 1 hour 25, Howth X2 +flat 52X16 all way. This would not have been riden hard but relatively easy, zone 2, but would have been felt in the legs for sure.











Is there a secret in here somewhere. Yes, hard work. There are lots of easy days, and missing days with nothing done, but there are also the back to back hard days and the ones that really make the difference, for example March 23rd  after 3 hours done with a couple of hills passing my house to do a lap of Howth on sore legs.  What stands out is the build, everything builds, duration, intensity, gears, the hills get higher. I even change up the chainrings mid march from 52/42 to 54/45.  And the hills. Late january 6 days in a row over Howth all Z2/Z3. Simple effective aerobic work.


Today one of those sessions might be written as

Turbo 1 hour 30 minutes  Z2 at 90rpm  with 3X 10 mins Z3 at 75rpm with 5 mins easy recovery.

Back then its just a steady ride, a little harder every lap cause its up the hill and float down recovery.


As a coach I look at this every year just as a reminder. As an athlete I would do the same provided I had this info. Thats the real secret. The diary exists. With a bit of background work and a few years shaved off I could drop into this knowing it works.








Day                TimeTraining


Jan-01                30minsRollers

2                50minsflat various gears

Sunday 3    2 hoursvarious gears some efforts flat



4                1h 10mHowth X2 +8k flat high gears

6                 1 45Flat to Howth X2 to flat 42X15 flat 42X19 hill

7                 25            Rollers 42X14

9                 2 30Naul hills 42X19 hills 42X15 flats

Sunday 10     2X 50 mins1st big gears hard       2nd  42X15



13                 1 4552X17   42X17 flat

14                 2 10flat 42X17 hard

15     1 40flat 42X17

16     3 30various 42X17

Sunday 17     1 30 +1 15     1 30  42X17 easy       1 15  42X15 flat +Howth

18                 1 2542X15 hard

19                 1 00low gears  bad winds

20                 1 20Howth +flat 42X15Style coming back, not rocking, position starting to feel right

21                 1 25Howth + flat  42X15/17

23                 2 00Flat + Howth 42X15

Sunday 24     1 30Flat + Howth 42X15/17


25                 1 15Flat + Howth 42X15    3km 52X15 hard

26                 2 20Flat 42X15  HowthX2 42X19/17

27                 2 05flat 42X15 some hard efforts

28                 40 + 50Rollers 42X14

29                 1 45Howth X3 1 in Saddle +flat 52X17Healthier + Stronger

30                 2 00Stop start city low gears

Sunday 31     1 45flat very easy


Feb-01                 45    Rollers 42X14

2                 45            Rollers 42X14

4                 1 30flat 52X17/14 ridden hard

5                 1 3052X16/14 hard

6                 2 10Bray/kiltiernan 52X17/14 flat big gears

Sunday 7     3 20Bray Delgany Various gears

8                 1 25Howth X2 +flat 52X16 all way

9                 15Rollers 42X14

11     40Flat easy

13                 2 00flat 42X16/14

Sunday 14     3 15Kilpedder Scalp 42X16Legs sore

15                 15           Rollers

17                 2 30Nags head Howth + flat 42X16/14

18                 2 30Oldtown 42X16 hard

19                 2 10Flat 42X16 hard

20                 4 00Roundwood 42X16 NMK X22

Sunday 21     2 30dublin hills big gears


22                 2 30Howth X2 52X17 + flat  + 5X600m 52X14 +3X600m 52X16

23                 3 00flat 42X16 to 12k 52X16 max

24                 3 25Rolling 42X16

25                 1 00Easy

Sunday 28     1 40flat easy



29                1 30 mixed easy

Mar-01     2 00Mixed

2                 2 00mixed

3                 1 00Fintans rd (Steep) 42X17 hard laps

4                1 00 Easy

5                Racepark 25laps Khyber 105km    6thRode across to front on own, missed split, left group last lap, lacked speed

Sunday 6    RaceNavan 140km    10thmissed early groups, 2nd half into good group caught most of break, 3rd in sprint


7                 25            Rollers

8                 2 10Nags head + flat 52/42X16

9                 1 50flat mixed

10                 2 15blackhills + flat hard big gears + sprints

Sunday 13     RaceToolin 72mHard  finished in bunch


15                 30            Rollers 54X14

16                 1 20flat 45X15 steady pace

17                 RaceCarrick 55m 2nd2nd of 4 in finish piltown circuit. Very strong.

18                 35       Rollers 45X14

19                 2 00Easy spin

Sunday 20     5 30Various gears steady


21                 2 0040min road fast  20min rollers 45X14 1h road 45X16

22                 35            Rollers 54X14

23                 3 30Delgany finish HowthLegs in bits

25                 1 30Easy

26                 15            Rollers 45X14

Sunday 27      raceDes Hanlon Top 20   2nd group all dayRode really hard, shouldn’t have missed group, blew 5 to go


29                  4 45laragh low gears

30                 1 30Easy

31                 1 00Easy

Apr-01     1 30Easy

2                 RaceGirvan Scotland split stage 65m punctured -7min 16m crit

Sunday 3      raceMountain stage 2nd groupFelt strong

4                  race90m easy in bunchPro controlled bunch

5                 2 00through gears some efforts

6                 1 30easy

8                 1 30Howth + flat easy

9                 RaceWest down gp 85m 14th 6X12m +5X2m   2 man break lap 5 caught end lap 6 really strong just couldn’t get away again

10                 racepark Khyber ciucuit 100km 3rd Won 4 man gallop  again really strong


12                 2 00Steady various gears

13                 1 30Easy

14                 2 15hard

16                 1 00Easy

Sunday 17                Race          Kilkenny 135k 1stCruised through race on easy gears, controlled break, took 1 to finish.


Stephen Delaney – Training Tips and insights

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