‘What’s Today’s Plan James Gullen?

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A look at the trainSharp training strategy for James Gullen (Pedal Heaven RT) who is the fastest ever British rider in a domestic 10 mile time trial

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‘What’s Today’s Plan James Gullen?

Team Sky have recently gone public on how they are using the online coaching tool called ‘Today’s Plan’ that allows coaches to deliver their training plans to their athletes as well as allowing riders to upload their rides so their coaches can analyse the data.

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trainSharp however have been using these tools for a while now and the platform provided by Today’s Plan helps them provide world class coaching across their various training packages so athletes at all levels can benefit from them. trainSharp in fact, have and still do, work closely with the developers of ‘Today’s Plan’ to help bring about new ideas for tools and analytics on the site.

‘Today’s Plan’ gives the coaches at trainSharp a huge insight as to how their rider is performing during training and racing and allows them to tailor training programmes to suit individual athletes and ensure their needs when it comes to training, racing and resting.

One rider who has been using the system provided to him by trainSharp, is the fastest British rider in a domestic 10 mile time trial, James Gullen of Pedal Heaven. trainSharp coached Gullen recently did a 17.09 for 10 miles – that’s 394 watts average for a 68kg rider!

The plan from the start was to ensure James was in good form in the early season races and manage his fitness through out the year.

James’ peak power from the ‘10’ was 953 watts (note this type of course lends itself to a fast start that trainSharp would maybe advise against in a ‘normal’ 10 mile time trial). His peak five minutes was 409W and peak 10 mins was 398W (nice and smooth throughout the race!)

During the season, James has also won a stage of the tough Irish RAS showing that he is far from a one speed athlete and can road race and time trial at the highest level.

James training in numbers
592: hours of training
334: rides
161,845: metres of climbing
18,117: kilometres

His coaches at trainSharp say that consistency has been a key part of James’s season and his success was earnt with lots of hard work throughout the winter prior to racing. Since trainSharp started working with James (and the Pedal Heaven team) in December, he clocked a total of 182 hours between then and his first race of the season in February.

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The UK race scene is extending year on year and the requirements from riders to race early on has ever increased. Regular uploads each day from the rider helps provide the necessary feedback to the coach and is an integral part of the coach/rider relationship says trainSharp.

In 2016, James hasn’t missed a beat with his training, hitting scheduled targets and completing almost every session to the letter or on this case, Watt. Logging a very respectable 592 rider hours of riding his bike since trainSharp started working with him, James has clocked up some very serious mileage, both in training and racing.

The plan from the start was to ensure James was in good form in the early season races and manage his fitness through out the year. For major events, like the RideLondonClassic and the 10 championships, trainSharp have made sure James was not over training so he was fresh for specific events.

James had a number of target goals for the year, which trainSharp planned his training around. Whilst this didn’t totally discount every other race he did, the priority, taper, periodisation etc was focussed around these key peaks:

· British National Time Trial Championships (finished 2nd)
· Isle of Man GP (finished 8th)
· An Post Ras (Stage win, 9th overall)

One question many may have though is because the Time Trial effort and Road Race effort can vary, was the training for James developed around giving him the ability to ride at one speed or both time trials and road races?

trainSharp reply “we have found with a lot of our road riders that they will benefit from time trial type efforts. James was an ‘ideal client’ in that he already had a keen interest in time trailing and something he relished to improve on.”

“This doesn’t always work the other way around (although some road specific efforts do benefit time trialist’s) – and therefore once the National Road series came to a conclusion in July, the attention changed to focus onto time trials and aiming to break the comp record which he did!

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Balancing such a training load which comes with fatigue is a fine art and Today’s Plan provides the tools for trainSharp to produce an effective training programme for an athlete using state of the art data presentation and analysis.

Even if the athlete doesn’t at first understand the science, the coaches at trainSharp can put it into plain English so each day, a rider knows what ‘Today’s Plan’ is for them.

Find out more here:

Video on Today’s Plan:

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