“Following a short break after the National Track Champs, it was time to get back into training” writes Barney Storey.
With the Paracycling World Track Champs in February it was time to review the training carried out before the National Track Champs and come up with the new plan, that would take us to the Worlds. Planning these changes and identifying them can be tricky, but with a few years experience on the tandems we knew what needed tweaking and what we should repeat for the new phase. Our GB Paracycling coach Chris Furber is always a help when planning the new phases, as you can rely on him for honest feedback and helpful suggestions.
It never gets away from the fact that you have to work on your weaknesses! Plus with my very own Sports Science genius (the wife!) I was able to come up with a good new phase to the training! Its also important to look at the main goal which is the Paralympic Games 2012, to ensure any changes are also considering the peak of big training cycle.
Barney on the front of the tandem at the British Champs with Neil on the back…
Having built up an excellent base of endurance over the summer, which included the extremely tough Deloitte Ride Across Britain, it was time to look at getting a bit of zap back in my sprinting legs. Tandem sprinting is changing in Paracycling events, which Great Britain are largely responsible for! The speed we are going now is very high and even though our events are over 6 laps (usually 3 laps of a timber 250m track for solo bikes) you really need that top end speed in the last couple of laps.
So the main area I have been working on in this phase has been my top end speed and acceleration. It been really good riding my solo bike on the track for a few weeks and it’s been great getting up to speed. It’s been a few years since I’ve trained on the solo track bike and I’ve had glimpses of my form from previous years, which is always good. The most important thing is the effect this will have on the speed of the tandem and this always remains my top priority, ensuring the sharpness that I can bring to the tandem. It is important to keep changing aspects of your training to keep things fresh and your body guessing, as its all too easy to train the same every year and produce similar results. This definitely doesn’t win gold medals! It may get you close, but we are always trying to get faster and really push the boundaries of tandem racing.
The road riding hasn’t been neglected in this training phase either and I have been spending many a happy hour out on the road in the tropical climate of Cheshire and the Peak District :-) Myself and Sarah have been out on the road together too, which has been good. We have even managed a trip out on one of Terry Dolan’s road tandems. With myself on the front and Sarah on the back of the tandem we had a fairly speedy 90km through the Cheshire lanes. It was the first time I’d ridden a Dolan road tandem, and it handled really well. I’ve ridden plenty of Dolan track tandems which are great, but the road tandem rode particularly well. I’m sure Sarah was pushing me along at some points of the ride too. Honestly, I was trying for the whole 90km ;-) The ride was for a feature in a magazine which will be out very soon ;-)
Tandem training starts again in December, and I’ll be training with Neil Fachie, whom I rode with at the National Track Champs. There’ll be some fairly intense sessions on the track, where we will be looking to push on again from Nationals. Nothing really compares to going full speed on the tandem! I’m not sure what gives me the excitement; whether it’s the speed, or unpredictability of the tandem machine! It certainly keeps me on my toes at all times!
Aside from the training it has been good going to a few different events where Sarah has been speaking. I’m always interested to hear her speaking and I often learn something new about her time in British Sport in pretty much every speech! It is amazing to think that the London 2012 Games will be Sarah’s 6th. That’s a pretty amazing record, plus her enthusiasm is infectious, so it really inspires me too.
That’s it for now….. I’ll let you all know how the tandem training goes and how we’re shaping up for the UCI Paracycling Track Worlds in February.