Regular assessment, feedback and mentoring are integral and crucial to improving performance in all aspects of our work and personal development.
The SMART approach to achieving your goals utilised by Better Cycling is well recognized and a successful method of achieving improvement in performance.
- Specific – state what you want to achieve / what are your goals?
- Measurable – how will you demonstrate to what extent your goal is achieved?
- Achievable – the goal must be within your ability to attain
- Relevant – identify the goals that are most important to you
- Timely – setting start and finish dates for timely goal completion
Cycling performance is no different! Although ‘training hard’ will improve performance it will not achieve the same results as an approach based on data obtained from testing your ability at regular time intervals. Reliable predictions of your long term potential for improvement and ultimately achievable levels can be made from baseline fitness assessments. Knowing your current and predicted achievable performance capabilities allows a structured and individualised training program to be written for you that can be tailored to your specific goals.
Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is the key measurement for cycling fitness assessment and to base successful training plans. It is simply defined as the maximum power that you can sustain for one hour and is measured in Watts(W). In practice this is usually measured during a twenty minute test and then a five percent deduction made to reliably predict the one hour value (for example a 300W average for 20 minutes would then have 15W deducted to give a resulting FTP of 285W). The FTP can then be used to calculate power training zones. For those without access to a power meter a similar but slightly less reliable and accurate calculation can be made using the same test but with heart rate as the parameter measured rather than power. This is called functional threshold heart rate (FTHR) and can be used for calculating heart rate zones. However, unlike power, heart rate has the disadvantage that it is also influenced by factors other than effort such as ambient or core temperature, fatigue and caffeine intake or diet.
The translation of your measured FTP to an optimal, individualized and specific training plan is where your cycling coach becomes essential.
More information is in the two videos at the bottom of this page.
An incremental protocol performed using power measurements. This takes you to maximal effort and allows calculation of maximal aerobic power (MAP) test, power to weight ratio, training zones (power and heart rate). This allows the physiological profiling of an athlete and the setting of aerobic and anaerobic thresholds.
Ramp Test & 8 week plan – £99
During exercise lactate is produced as a product of carbohydrate metabolism (aerobic). As exercise intensity rises a point is reached where metabolism becomes anaerobic and the levels of lactate in the blood rise significantly – this point is known as ‘lactate threshold’ Substantial increases in effort above this lactate threshold are not sustainable for anything other than a very short period of time. Lactate threshold is recognized as the best predictor of endurance performance. Structured training allows an athlete to exercise for longer at higher levels before they reach their lactate threshold. In simple terms this allows a cyclist to cycle at a higher power output before their threshold is reached.
Lactate testing allows accurate determination of optimal training zones. Structured training based on lactate threshold prevents both over training and undertraining and delivers optimal progression in an athlete’s development.
Lactate test & 8 week plan – £129
Initial full fitness assessment, ramp test and Coaching Consultation with an 8 week training plan.
Understanding a rider’s history (including injuries, work and family constraints) is a crucial step in helping them develop and reach their potential. Athletes will be asked to complete a questionnaire prior to their consultation to allow the necessary information to be collated for the baseline assessment. After a musculoskeletal assessment and full body composition analysis a ramp fitness test will be performed. Data from the these will then be used to develop an individually tailored training program with identification of mutually agreed specific and achievable goals.
Initial fitness assessment, ramp test and Coaching Consultation – £185
Initial fitness assessment, ramp test and Coaching Consultation & bike fit – £299
Nutritional Analysis and Support
Nutrition is a key component of attempting to loose weight or for an athletes training program. We offer a variety of nutritional assessment and advice packages that are tailored to the individual clients needs. Please contact us for further details.