It’s been a manic few months training but I’m really starting to feel the benefits and starting to get fitter each week. I started training again on November 1st 2017 and have been building back at a nice rate. I've got a clear goal of what I want to achieve; the first target I've set myself is trying to win my age group at the World Masters Time Trial in Varese, Italy. I am also aiming for the National championships of 50 and 25 miles as my other key events around this. More than anything else I want to enjoy the process of racing my bike again.
After losing my mum it’s fair to say I was lost and I struggled to deal with the loss. Nothing can prepare you for this but I started to find comfort in riding my bike and started loving the process of hurting myself again. So after finishing my last triathlon in July 2017 I started to just focus on the bike. I have no regrets making the transition and it enabled me to learn from the sport and offer the world class coaching we can give our triathletes. Personally for me now I feel the time is right to race again at a high level. Having turned 40 last year it gives me loads of opportunities to compete in different events. While I have nothing to prove I have to say I've never been more motivated. It’s a strange feeling when you’re in that zone - it’s almost like you don’t feel any pain!
For 2018 I’ve really tried to think of making every gain possible with my bike and also my body. I've worked really hard with a new strength and conditioning Coach, David Clarke, and I've really focused on my nutrition working with Renee McGregor. For the bike element, both Bob Tobin and I are working hard together. He knows how to push me harder than anybody else and he knows how my mind works so I'm really loving this process. A big thanks also goes to my wife Kate - it’s fair to say when I get like this I’m not the easiest person to live with!
But I can certainly say that I’m excited and I’m pleased at just how consistent I have been with my training. The only sessions I have missed was following a collision with a car! I’m carrying some nice scars and still suffering with my back but mentally it’s certainly not holding me back.
With all this in mind I thought I would share my top tips for getting faster in 2018:
1 - Set yourself a clear plan of what you want to achieve for the year. I always work on a three peak plan. Then have small stepping stone races to get me to my targets.
2 - Build the training gradually and don't ramp up the rate of training too hard too soon - panic training never works! So the key is to set the goals and plan backwards.
3 - Be realistic with the time you have available accounting for work and family. Most athletes with full time jobs and family should be able to get away with training 6-10 hours a week.
4 - Always work on the rule of 60% quality 40% of basically enjoying riding and getting the miles in. If you’re short on time you really need to focus on quality rather than just getting junk miles in.
5 - Think outside the box. Riding a bike fast is just one element to it, it’s looking at every fine detail from training, bike and your body.
6 - The mind is a powerful tool so don’t forget to train it. You will always have lows and highs but the key to success is learning from the lows, so if the training does not go the way you planned, learn from the mistakes.
7 - Not one person has all the answers to your problems so make sure you listen and take advice from specialists in their field. I love looking at all the elements of making our athletes faster and stronger.
8 - Remember there’s no winning formula. Just because your mate did one training programme that worked for them, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Every athlete will adapt differently to training so the key is to look at your power profile and previous training history then focus on your mindset.
9 - Fuel the body in order to keep the consistency in training to ensure you hit your key sessions.
10 - Listen - Learn - Apply. And you will succeed.
If you are interested in taking your training to the next level and want to invest in some one-to-one coaching, or even just one of our one off Performance Reviews, then MBPC is the place to come to. Our dedicated coaching team work closely with their riders to ensure that they are working on a bespoke plan tailored to their individual strengths, weaknesses as well as being goals specific.
If one to one coaching is not in your budget then a Performance Review is the next best thing. This involves you visiting our offices where Matt and our performance analyst will go over every aspect of your current training and from this, set your training levels for you to take away with you and advise you on how to progress in your future training. You also get a bike and equipment set up analysis to help you find the gains you require, plus so much more.
For more information on our coaching or our one off Performance Reviews then please get in touch at www.mattbottrillperformancecoaching.com and we will be happy to help.