General Performance & Haute Route Compact Pyrenean 2015
Adrian presented to me in July, 2014 as a highly motivated road cyclist of several years. Adrian, 46 had been trained previously by some renowned high profile coaches, but felt that their coaching philosophy and delivery was not productive enough for him. After suffering a road-traffic crash a couple of years prior, Adrians rehabilitation was slow to progress as his programme at the time was lacking the appropriate physiological focus. In particular an incomplete strength conditioning component; which manifested as a disappointing endurance capacity. Both Adrian and myself knew he was nowhere near his potential.
When I assessed Adrian, his critical power profile was moderate at a low weight of 66kg, although his sustainable aerobic power was well below that expected of his physiological characteristics. His lactate power profile highlighted that his anaerobic system was dominating his aerobic function far too much, hence limiting his lactate threshold power. Adrian proposed his goal for the Haute Route (Alps) compact that he was targeting in 2015, having seldom ridden on such challenging terrain.
Armed with data from robust biometric profiling, I designed an effective periodisation programme that would provide long term athlete development for Adrian. Targeting endurance, efficiency and ramp his threshold, while preserving his critical power before improving upon that also.
The lactate comparison graph shows the sub-optimal irregular lactate response unique to Adrian, which after several months of strength and endurance training shifts to the right over a higher intensity and develops a much smoother aerobically efficient curve in April 2015. Significant results were achieved after just several months of specifically tailored interval sessions and targeted resistance work to major cycling mover muscles, core and upper body exercises. Adrian continued frequent physiotherapy treatments, to prepare his muscles for intensive training and benefited from appropriate muscle mobilisation and myofascial release with religious stretching and rolling routines.
Adrian had essentially doubled his AEPF (average effective pedal force) and reported being much more comfortable with a stronger cycling anatomy, and remarkably improved muscle quality (force per mass). This strength translated to endurance gains through power transference and specific conditioning. Before his event we saw his lactate/ power curve improve further still, to almost 3.5 watts/kg at threshold. Adrian executed a solid Haute Route towards the end of the summer, although unfortunately fell victim to an acute asthmatic episode at altitude which disrupted his penultimate day of the event.
Since, Adrian has re-entered a long preparatory period of training for 2016 which has been even more productive with further strength gains during the winter. During which Critical Power testing is used productively to perform personalised interval sessions at to stress necessary energy pathways.
Although Adrians hectic lifestyle has become even more difficult to manage with the start of a new venture and multiple long business trips globally, he has been able to maintain training, with only 5-6hrs/week expendable training time. These include key sessions in the gym, at the weekend, and with the help of programmable virtual training tools to complete indoor sessions specific to his physiological objectives and practical event goals.
“Simon coached me from 2014 to 2017 and took on someone with huge drive and a lot of questions and a healthy list of ‘must do’s’. I don’t know who is more shocked at the improvements that came out as a result of his work. 30% effective gain in lactate ftp over 3 years. His training and coaching methodology is easy to understand and implement even with a chaotic life. He reduced my training load from 18 hours+ to 9 hours total a week and I got stronger and faster. Quality, not quantity was the absolute message. Generous with his time – it’s no surprise that he is busy 🙂” Adrian