Test Improve Perform

Morten Grimsgard

Norwegian athlete Morten who came to use late 2014. His qualified training peaks coach has improved his power output by over 15% and he is pictured here after his recent race win at the “Tour of Sandjeford”

Norman Blisset

“I started working with Sunsport November 2014 at the end of my first season of racing. I’d trained hard over the summer but couldn’t manage to get top 10 places in Cat 4 races. My aim is to get to cat 3 and beyond.

Stu immediately got me focused on losing weight, improving flexibility, increasing core strength and reduced the riding intensity over the winter months. After a few months the intensity steadily increased again with some hard focused sessions as the racing season approached.

The training sessions are uploaded regularly into Training Peaks with clear instructions, varied and a good mix of turbo and outdoors.  I speak with my personal coach every week with emails and texts in between.

The result is I’m now within touching distance of cat 3 after two 5th places in cat 4 crits, my ftp has increased and I’ve lost over 10kg giving a massive boost in watts/kg. The season has got off to a great start with lots more to come – watch this space!”

Norman has gone from strength to strength and after recent field testing he is in great shape and close to 3rd category after some recent British Cycling top 10  race finishes!!!

Alison Crellin

Pictured here at Clumber Park-British Duathlon champs 2015-after receiving her bronze medal

In May 2015 Alison also secured her place at the European and World sprint triathlon championships.

Training is going extremely well so watch this space for future results.

Nick Walsh

I started road cycling in April 2012 and bought myself a second hand bike from Ebay. I didn’t have a clue about training so I just went riding several times a week for 20 miles or so. In the months I spent doing this I don’t think I over took anyone.

Of course it was the bike I told myself all these people that fly past me have a carbon fibre one. So I purchased one and a load of other bits and pieces and entered the Cheshire Mini Sportive on the 17/02/13 30 mile course. It took me over 2.5 hours and was very painful, “what’s going on here?” I thought; expensive bike, training for best part of a year and still rubbish. I then entered the Jodrell Bank Sportive on 10/03/13 50 mile course. This nearly killed me losing every bit of energy I had at 35 miles. The last 15 miles being the hardest thing I have ever done, the cold and the pain were unbearable When I eventually got back to Poynton Leisure Centre I saw an advert for cycle coaching and training just what I needed. About a week later I went over to Manchester and met Stuart and David Percival and had my first test. I was asked how many hours a week I had available to train and a training program was built for me using my test results. Then the hard work began. Using the program and with Stuart’s help and encouragement I can honestly say that although the workouts are hard, the whole experience of getting fitter and faster has been thoroughly enjoyable. Stu is only ever a phone call away if any help or advice is required. What I like most about being coached is that every workout is benefiting me whereas before I would spend hours doing the wrong training and wasting my own time.

On the 27/06/13 I entered the Jodrell Bank Summer Sportive run on the same 30 mile course as the Cheshire Mini that I completed in February. This time I did it 38 minutes faster I was doing the overtaking and other riders wanted to be on my wheel. At this time my weight was down from 91kg to 84kg.

I am retested every 4-6 weeks and new training programs are written for me based on my new improved fitness. This is something that I couldn’t do myself and it’s always good to see how much I have improved and that all the hard work has paid off.

I am currently at 79kg fitter than I have ever been in my life and looking forward to the 2014 sportive calendar, watch this space!

Katherine O’Sullivan

After joining the club and after almost 2 years of cycling I found that I was not improving or achieving any significant changes in my times for my sportive and duathlon events, despite all my best efforts and training.

My cousin suggested that I may need a little help and gave me a coaching web site address, it all started from there setting up my first performance test with Stuart and David Percival in the Manchester test Centre in February 2013. Tests were completed, results explained, nutrition addressed, training plans were built by Stuart and myself with care and attention based on the coming events for the year ahead.

The training plan was initiated, my life changed, I had structure with plans, commitment and accountability. Retested in April and the results showed a remarkable improvement in body fat, Vo2 Max, Aerobic base, Aerobic threshold and weight, also I was not feeling tired and had energy. I was delighted and amazed at my progress, Stuart advised me for my sportive in May and gave me a race plan, I completed the course in less than 4 hours, very pleased with that. In September I knocked 20 minutes off my previous time for a hilly sportive route, In October 18 minutes off my previous year’s time for a Duathlon. Absolutely delighted, the training and plans have given me a clearer understanding of HR zones, AT, AB, nutrition, how the body responds to training and also confidence in my own ability, every question I asked got answered.

I am always looking forward to the next step from Stuart so that I can keep improving, I still have a lot to learn (it’s a dynamic process). Great credit is due to Stuart for his coaching knowledge and personal commitment with detailed training plans and information. I always enjoy my retesting day in Manchester with Stuart and David. My group club rides are great and I am keeping with the bunch and all my events for the year were fantastic!

Andy Ashurst

Having taken up cycling about 5 years ago mainly doing Sportive events in both the UK and abroad, I felt that it was time to try my hand at road racing.

I was pretty much self- coached and did a lot of reading on the subject and used some of the knowledge from many years involved with athletics.  I was firmly of the belief that the only way to train was ‘hard’ as I was limited to the amount of time I could commit to cycling.  That is why I searched for a coach to give me a specific, structured training plan that maximised the results from the time spent training.

It was obvious from  my first meeting with Stuart and the  test results, that whatever I had been doing in training had given me a good foundation to build upon.  The first test results showed that I had a big weakness in my flexibility and core strength and Stuart immediately prescribed a specific plan to work on these weaknesses as well as taking me back to basics with the training load. To my surprise, most of the training within the first 3 months was well within my comfort zone, but I had great faith in the methodology of building a solid base to prepare properly for the harder workouts and interval type training that would inevitably be introduced as the race season approaches.

Throughout the process, we have been regularly retesting and adjusting the workload and I have seen substantial improvements in the power I am able to produce at a given heart rate.

Combining this with advice on good  nutrition and  recovery strategies, Stuart has been able to put me in a position prior to my first race season where, at the age of 49, I feel fitter than ever.

I download all my training files and have regular chats with Stuart about how things are going and why we are doing certain sessions.  Stuart has also helped to explain why sometimes sessions don’t go as planned and gives sound advice, based on his experience of both racing and coaching other cyclists. Stuart knows that, important as it is to reach certain fitness levels, there is still the unknowns of actually being able to ‘race’, but I am absolutely confident that I am being coached by someone who can provide valuable advice in that area too…

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