Coached Rider Profile - Bryn Griffiths
Feb 19 2017
In this Coached Rider Profile you will hear from Bryn Griffiths, who has been coached by Ciaran O'Grady since 2015. Here is his experience of coaching!
What made you look at starting a coaching program?
I started cycling in the summer of 2015 having done very little in the way of exercise in 2 years. I used to run and play football but was suffering from two meniscus tears in my right knee. I started swimming and a friend got me out into the Kent lanes on a bike I used to commute on. As a teenager I was massively into BMX and commuted on my bike in London for many years so I was no stranger to riding bikes. It soon became very apparent that I was very unfit. I had a bike built up and got a fit carried out at Cadence. From there I took part in evening WattBike classes and then started going out on the Saturday rides. A few of the club riders were organizing trip out to France to take part in The Marmotte and asked if I fancied it. I didn’t think I’d be able to take on such an event, especially given I was weighing in at 110kg, so I declined. A couple of other riders who I thought were not too far ahead of me in terms of fitness said they were doing it so I thought if they can do it then so can I!
I entered and a couple of days later I sprung out of bed in a blind panic! I had 8 months to prepare for the event and figured that given my work schedule the only way I’d ever be able to prepare for such a daunting event was to enroll on a training program at Cadence Performance.
What has surprised you about the coaching program?
The thing that surprised me about the training program was the relatively short sessions on the Watt bike. I had envisaged hours and hours of riding on the open roads but it soon became clear that training on the Watt Bikes at Cadence following program set out by Ciaran gives you a great deal of ‘bang for your book’. I was training 4 times during the week on the Watt bikes and then a ride on a Saturday on the roads. It didn’t take long to see a marked improvement in my performance.
What are your goals and aspirations in terms of cycling?
For me its not just about cycling as I also do a lot of swimming. My goal is to be as fit as possible and maintain the new way of healthy eating that I have embraced. For me its now a lifestyle choice rather than something I feel I have to do. I do really enjoy cycling and love to see the improvements in my performance on the bike. As far as aspirations are concerned I’d like to be able to pick several European sportive events a year and pitch myself against the clock or other riders. This year I am taking part in the Amstel Gold sportive and the Marmotte and I hope to better my previous time by an hour!
Tell us a little bit about what your 'usual' week of training is like?
I usually do 4 indoor training classes a week and follow 3 of these with quite a tough swimming session. These indoor sessions are very regimented and the intensity of these depends on where I am in the 4 week training cycle. There are two build weeks before a peak week which contains some very high intensity sessions. These sessions really push you to the limit and not only test your physical conditioning but also your mental strength as it is so easy to stop and get of the bike. After this tough week there is a recovery week which is all about rest with some low intensity sessions. I used to make the mistake of pushing harder than required here as its easy to feel that you are not training properly unless you are flogging yourself in each session. I soon learned though that this week is vital in order to let the body benefit from the hard work it had been through in the preceding 3 weeks.
How has the coaching support and sports science testing helped your training?
It provides me with a strict routine to adhere to. I very rarely miss a session. There are times when I really don’t want to train but the training program relies so much on consistency and its a great feeling once you know you have completed the days session and done your work. Once you start to see the benefits of the training program you start to have real faith in it.
What advice would you give to riders who were thinking about starting a coaching plan?
If you really want to see improvements in your riding then I’d thoroughly recommend embarking on a training plan. Its a very time efficient way of improving your fitness and performance on a bike. It really encourages you to carry out the required number of sessions in the week and also prevents the common mistakes some riders make of over training. The science of training in power and heart rate zones can be very daunting at first as there is so much information to take on board. Embarking on a training program does a lot of this work for you so you can spend your time training rather than learning how to train.
Most memorable cycling experience whilst you've been on a coaching plan?
I think the most memorable moment for me has been cycling up Alp d’huez in the Marmotte passing riders that had passed me earlier in the day. I felt that all the knowledge gained through training in the 8 months leading up to the ride had allowed me to understand how I needed to ride the Marmotte in order to pace myself. Other great moments have included going out on club rides with Spanish riders and being able to hold my own up some pretty tough climbs in their back yard!
Finally, just for fun; favorite & least favorite parts of training and why!
I think my favorite training session is sweet spot sessions as they really feel like they are having the desired effect. I also like any sessions that requires me to get out of the saddle.
The least enjoyable part of training though is the lactate tests that are required very 3 months. I never look forward to these but they really do show what gains have been made in the 3 months leading up to the test!
Book a FREE initial consultation with one of Cadence Performance's coaches and we'll help you assess you current approach to training and give you some great tips to maximise your time on the bike. Initial Consultations last for roughly 40 minutes and take place at one of our locations or via a Skype call. To reserve your consultation, select a date and time from the calendar below.
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