"I’m not a big review kind of guy, but once in a while there’s a compelling case. Grant runs cycle for fitness with a clear passion for what he does, backed with a deep knowledge of what it takes and how to apply it. My experience over the last 12 weeks has shown me the value in his services (and I emphasise value) as the gains I’ve made from a cycling fitness perspective are impressive for an ageing enthusiast! But more than that, it’s the way Grant runs things; organising / helping with tech, encouraging and responding at every turn, giving useful context to the stream of information and data and understanding the ebb and flow of life! I’d thoroughly recommend Grant to anyone of pretty much any level - if they want to both improve their cycling fitness and enjoy the process too. In fact, I already have to a close friend. Thanks Grant and I plan to be back again with another target!"
Phil W, Stoke Pogues, November 2020
ithlete - Know when to train, how hard to train and when to rest
The UK Government, and others across the world agree that a population that is active significantly impacts the outcome of health related conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, respiratory diseases, certain types of cancers, and mental health issues. Building on my post from a few weeks ago, I came across a US study that shows that there is a direct correlation between changes in the time gaps between our heart beats (called heart rate variation) and the leading causes of death.
I have been an advocate of monitoring heart rate variability (HRV) for over 2 years, using this as a means to identify trends in my own health within the context of readiness to train.
On days when my HRV reading are high, this indicates that I am well rested, my stress levels are low, the levels of muscle soreness are low and that I am ready to train at a high intensity. The converse is also true, on days when my HRV is decreasing, this can indicate an imbalance in my nervous system, usually caused by lack of sleep or overdoing the training (when doing particular hard blocks of exercise), or perhaps my immune system is taking a hit and I am at the beginning of the the onset of a cold....or worse.
Given the research, the impacts we see of Covid-19, plus my own experiences of monitoring HRV, I am now adding HRV monitoring as default into my coaching services.
When you sign up to any of my online coaching programmes or services, I will set you up and work with you during the programme to ensure that understand your baseline HRV and monitor it throughout the entire course. By measuring your HRV every morning, we will know whether you are ready to kick that workout out of the park, or take a more relaxing day if you need greater recovery time...or simply to reflect on what impacts you most in terms of quality of sleep, diet, stress levels, training load, etc.
If you'd like to know more, or sign up for ithlete's HRV then follow this link below:
Age is never a limiter to health and wellbeing
"I’m 65 years old and bought my first road bike three years ago. This year I bought a brand new Canyon. I learned to cycle when I was 55 which coincided with our move to Mallorca, an amazing place for cycling. I soon realised that I didn’t just want to go to the same places I wanted to climb hills and see the island, I needed to improve but I’d no idea how. I wanted to train smarter not just harder.
I came across Grant whilst reading stuff on Facebook. I got in touch with him and we got cracking immediately. I was fortunate to already have a smart trainer as just after my training started so did the COVID19 lockdown so I’ve spent a lot of time training in doors and feel like I’m getting somewhere although the proof of the pudding will be the results I see once we can cycle outside.
Working with Grant has been easy, everything I need to do appears in my training plan via my phone. It’s simple to understand. I’m using Zwift software as recommended by him. The training is challenging but fun. Grant has never set me workout that is too much, too long or boring. I’ve enjoyed every session and am looking forward to reaping the benefits once we are able to ride outdoors, watch this space for!"
Gwyneth Smith, May 2020
The Prince's Trust Ride Across Britian
For the third year running, we are delighted and honoured to be chosen to support #TeamPrincesTrust riders embarking this September on one of the greatest cycling challenges going; 969 miles in 9 days in support of the Princes Trust and their work to help and empower our youth get into jobs, education and training.
If you like long descents
Then you will love this video
of one of our favourite from the hillside town of Guia De Asora to the sea in Tenerife.
Cycle For Fitness Supporting Janet's challenge to Cycle Across Costa Rica
"Following major surgery on my hips and having been unable to exercise for 6 years I decided to take up cycling to improve my fitness and finish off my rehab. I set myself a challenge to do a charity bike ride across Costa Rica and got in touch with Grant as I had no idea how or where to start. He has been instrumental in me achieving my goal - measuring my fitness levels, giving me programmes to work on, suggesting all sorts of tips from shoes to gloves and nutrition to hydration, updating programmes and routes as I improved and generally being encouraging when I was convinced I would never do it. As a result, the ride was beyond what I hoped for and I had the time of my life. I can thoroughly recommend his coaching and am looking forward to pushing on to the next level and beyond with his support." Janet McCay, Cornwall
The Fan Zone
One of the main complaints we get when we exercise using an indoor trainer is the problem of overheating. When we overheat, we sweat bucket loads, we feel terrible and the result is significantly poorer performances; I am convinced this is the main reason we dread the prospect of the indoor winter training months.
To give you some context of why we overheat, when riding outdoors at say 15mph on the hoods, the cooling airflow you get is about 9,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM), whereas the average fan that people use in their indoor setups will blast you at a measly few hundred.
For me, I have been using a tower fan, and even at (a generous) 1300 CFM, was not keeping me cool, resulting in pools of sweat on the floor, my clothes and body soaked and the feeling of being totally drained after just a modest workout. Something had to change. See our latest Blog
for our review of the Wahoo KickR Headwind training fan.
Autumn is Around the Corner !
Are you worried about losing the hard earned fitness that you built up over the summer ? I do not want to be a harbinger of doom, but the nights are starting to draw in already, the days shorter and will begin in just a few weeks to become autmunal once again. However, this is a fantastic time of year to go our riding, enjoying the colours of the changing season and the quieter roads. To keep you fresh and motivated, we have developed 8-week blocks of training that is tailored to maintain your summer fitness levels before you have to succumb to the dreaded winter sessions (usually on an indoor trainer). We have options to purchase additional blocks as you maintain your fitness levels. By taking one of our plans we will work with you to keep pyou motivated nd injury free, help to monitor your fitness and ensure you emerge in 2020 fitter, faster, stronger. What's not to like ? Click here
for more details.
Over-50s Endurance and Conditioning Plans (TrainingPeaks)
Developed using world leading techniques and science backed research from market leaders, this plan gives you road-based endurance sessions and high intensity workouts (road or turbo) to build VO2Max, plus strength and conditioning exercises to help you retain muscle mass. We also offer yoga videos to help keep you supple and hence more resilient to injury and soreness. You can review the plan here
Cycle for Fitness chosen for second year running to support The Princes Trust's Ride Across Britain riders.
For the second year running, we are delighted and honoured to be chosen to support #TeamPrincesTrust riders embarking this September on one of the greatest cycling challenges going; 969 miles in 9 days in support of the Princes Trust and their work to help and empower our youth get into jobs, education and training.
Customer Testimonal Video
We were delighted to help Sean regain his fitness with a plan tailored to his specific needs, and avoid his usual propensity to become injured when training. The video
captures his thoughts having completed our programme, and you can tell it comes from the heart, making it all that more special for us to be able to help.
October Cycling Breaks (inland from Costa Blanca)
Four nights cycle break in private and intimate Villa located on the outskirts of Beniarres, inland from the Costa Blanca in Southern Spain.
We specialise in catering for riders who cycle for fitness rather than competitively. The rides are inclusive of all abilities (our support vehicle is available as and when you need it, or to start you above the steepest climbs). If you have a good level of fitness and are comfortable on a road bike then this is for you. We tailor the rides to those below the “competitive cyclist” level, for example the average club rider or the cyclist wishing to become fitter for their season of sportives and other cycling enthusiasts’ events.
We have four long weekender breaks available, however can cater for cycling clubs...contact us for special requests. Imagine quiet and unspoilt routes in classic "La Vuelta" cycling country. A luxury villa, swimming pool, tapas and mountain stews, accompanied rides, coaching, cycle fitness training; all in an intimate and stunning lakeside setting, just one hour from Alicante Airport (transfers included).
Want to ride faster, then learn technique
A recurring theme that I hear from clients, friends and other cyclists is an obsession about what speed they should be going and how they can get faster. Now don’t get me wrong,if you are wishing to be a competitive cyclist, or ride with a club then sure I get it, you need to train to improve your performance, ie to be faster.
But for mere mortals, i.e. those of us that might like to join our buddies on a mid-week ride or Sunday “ride to the cafe” jaunt, or we ride purely with an intent to improve our fitness and wellbeing, by concentrating on speed without understanding the need for the accompanying bike handling skill is tempting fate.