article by Anthony Walsh
I’m asked all the time by guys/girls who are under prepared but fast approaching a key event for some quick tips.
In general the answer to how to get faster at cycling is the old, unglamorous answer of consistency. The best session to do is ‘the session you don’t miss’ but……there is no fun in that!
So i’ve put together 3 fast and easy hacks to get you moving a little faster on race day.
For 5 day leading up to your target event take onboard 500ml of Beetroot juice per day. The nitrates in the beetroot juice have been shown to improve exercise performance by improving muscular efficiency and aiding oxygen mobilisation. Be warned though – your piss is likely to turn a bright purple (just like Barney the Dinosaur)
Get aero. When Team Sky hit the scene a few years back with their philosophy of ‘accumulation of marginal gains’ people were laughing. However, Sky’s practises were routed in science. I’d recommend you change from traditional shorts/jersey combo into a skinsuit, from road helmet into an aero version and cover up those shoes with an aero shoe cover. These gains can add up to over 40 watts when travelling at 40kmph – that’s some serious free speed.
Hack # 3
Make the most of a bad situation. Even if you are working late and don’t have time for a massively long session, jumping up on the turno and doing as little as 20 minutes can make a massive difference. Here’s a great 20 minute session you can try out.
Session: 20 minutes Zone 2 (55% of TH/THR) with 2 x 4 minutes (4 minutes recovery between efforts) as 20 seconds full gas, 10 seconds recovery, repeated for the duration of the 4 minutes.
So there you have it, even if you are massively unprepared and your target event is looming don’t despair. Add in these 3 hacks and you’ll be on your way to going a little bit faster!
Anthony Walsh is the founder and Director of A1 Coaching.
He grew up in a house enveloped by a love of cycling and it became a core part of his life from an early age. Anthony’s father was a bike mechanic and his apprenticeship began at an early age, working on bikes long into the night in a makeshift garage in the family home.
Anthony’s father was also a true fan of the sport and Anthony absorbed a love and appreciation for the sport that would one day turn into his profession.
Initially the bike was a tool of utility for transport. As a child, it allowed Anthony to explore beyond the boundaries of his local neighbourhood and expand his horizons. This, in time, led to summer-long romances and life-long friendships. The initial tool for transport would later morph into a means by which Anthony would earn his living.
Anthony took up cycling competitively in his early 20s as a student in University College Dublin (UCD) – a string of injuries had ended a long soccer career that included an All-Ireland Winners’ medal with Bohemians Football Club.
After a degree in Economics, Anthony’s academic career changed focus and he turned his attention to Law. He earned an MA in Law and a Barrister at Law Degree from The Honorable Society of Kings Inns.
Anthony excelled on the domestic cycling scene while balancing the demands of full-time study and his performances acted as the springboard to a professional career. He would go on to compete for the Irish National team and sign contracts in France with Division Nationale Team, Super U; in Canada with Jet Fuel Coffee, and in the US with Astellas Oncology Pro Cycling.
Anthony’s academic background gave him a particular perspective which helped him to learn within the professional environment. He fostered relationships, worked with top coaches and respected directors, and interacted with some of the world’s top riders against whom he competed. He soaked up the knowledge gained from these experiences while also studying everything he could find on up-to-day scientific training methods.
The analysis of all this input, viewed through his academic lens, gave Anthony a unique perspective and insight into top athletes’ successful training and conditioning regimes.
By 2011 Anthony had begun to advise friends in a structured way on how to prepare for events. Word soon began to spread about the successes gained on the back of his advice. In this way Anthony had, unintentionally, made the first steps in establishing a professional coaching service.
As the demand for his services grew, Anthony envisioned a coaching and mentoring approach based on the best available scientific evidence, combined with a high-level of practical experience and common sense. This would be blended with sensitivity to the unique physiology, ambition and life circumstances of every individual, and also respect cycling’s rich heritage, culture and handed-down wisdoms.
When his professional career ended due to injury, Anthony set aside his legal career to establish A1 Coaching based on this vision, and to return to domestic racing with his old UCD club.
The results were nothing short of astounding: National Road Racing Champions and Triathlon Age Group Winners as examples. He has advanced the career of every athlete he has touched and riders in his stable are achieving their ambitions and winning races all over the world.
As the business grew, Anthony recruited a team of coaches which would bring as broad a spectrum of expertise and experience as possible. While each coach brings a particular perspective and unique experiences, each shares the vision and approach that Anthony articulates for A1 Coaching.
You must be logged in to post a comment.