Lockdown Q & A: Sally Turner (trainSharp)

This lockdown Q & A is with Sally Turner, mother of five, who’s cycling discipline is time trialing and she races for the people that coach her, trainSharp

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Lockdown Q & A: Sally Turner (trainSharp)

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This lockdown Q & A is with Sally Turner who’s cycling discipline is time trialing and she races for the people that coach her, trainSharp. Sally works as a PE Teacher and lives in East Sussex with her partner and five children.

Q: Your last race was and how did it go you?
Sally: My last race feels like a million years ago! It was the national circuit championships at Thruxton (Hants) in October 2019. The racing there is always hard but also always a lot of fun and a great way to end the season for me.
I finished 11th senior lady so not my best race finish of the year but in terms of times, it was an improvement over previous years. My focus for the year had been for the month before at the World UCI Chrono (age group) where I won the Silver medal so everything after that was for enjoyment really.

Q: With racing cancelled, what’s a typical week training wise for you?
Sally: Training week is a mixture of turbo and out on the road while it is still allowed. The weather has been amazing so far and helping to keep motivation levels up in this difficult period for everyone. I ride six days a week making sure I give the legs at least one day’s break.

I have to juggle a new way of working; setting lessons for my pupils at school and home schooling our children. I am perhaps doing more core workouts and cross training then I ordinarily would. This allows me to do some training that the children can join in with too. We enjoy the Joe Wicks workout on a weekday and also look to do some of the HIIT YouTube videos that other trainers have loaded.

Q: How long have you worked with trainSharp and how has your training changed?
Sally: I have been with trainSharp and my coach Chris McNamara for about four years. Previously I did triathlon but two years ago I changed to focus purely on time trialling. The set up at trainSharp is amazing. They understand I am busy and prepare my workouts to fit round this and are able to peak my performance for the right race. Last year their structured coaching helped me to PB in 10, 25 and 50 mile time trials and win the Silver at UCI Chrono finals.

I had a bike fit with Connor Murphy (trainSharp) which has helped enormously with my results and also helped me to understand a little more about the bike and how I need to ride it. I feel much more engaged with that process than previously as the team there involve you with discussions and feedback. They are also extremely patient with me and some of my questions!!

Conveniently, the trainSharp HQ is only a few miles away so getting the bike over for work or set up is not a problem. They help advise with what equipment to consider and what gains can realistically be expected from them. Having Jon Sharples expertise and passion has been invaluable. Whether I am there for a scheduled meeting/test or I drop in on a training ride, there is always a warm welcome.

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Q: Is the coaching just about number and efforts or other parts of the training/racing?
Sally: When trying to measure performance and improvements, having the numbers explained and targets set is important. Chris can look at my sessions and see what is happening and if I am struggling when I shouldn’t be, then he will adjust the session or switch them around.

Aside from that though, the training for me is about starting the day in a positive way, getting my mind and body ready for the day ahead. As a PE teacher and Mother, I would hope I am a good role model to the children in the lesson of resilience and commitment to a goal. My coach understands this and part of his job is to find out what makes each one of his clients tick. He has the measure of me!”

Q: Enjoying the turbo or avoiding it like the virus?
Sally: I am happy on the turbo as long as it is not more than two hours. My sessions are engaging and can be broken up into chunks for me to focus on. This way the time goes quickly. Some sessions lend themselves to being done on a turbo.
You don’t have worry about cars and roundabouts and can just get your head down and go for it. I do try and mix up the indoor and outdoor sessions to keep a variety and there is no substitute for assessing bike positioning tweaks than on the open road.

Q: What’s the hardest thing for you about the Lock Down?
Sally: The hardest thing for me sits outside of cycling. Yes, it is frustrating not being able to race as I have put a lot of pre-season work in like so many others have. But the bigger picture is far more important than my personal frustrations.
My parents are nearly 80 and like most people their age, they have underlying health issues. I worry about them a lot. I imagine that most of my other worries are shared by lots of other people too. Things like work, health, the economy and how much cake I seem to be getting through!

Q: Besides cycling, what’s your biggest distraction as lock down continues?
Sally: I am not very good at sitting around doing nothing. I have started redecorating the house, painting the sheds, clearing out the loft, endlessly cooking for the insatiable appetites of the children. I also seem to somehow be involved as the focus of the kids TikTok videos. I am not sure if that is good thing or a bad thing!

Q: What’s the bike that gets the most use by you and why what is the best thing about it?
Sally: I love my S-Works Shiv. I have owned it for around five years or so now and it has been everywhere with me. I have raced it in Triathlon and Duathlon at the Worlds in Canada, America and Mexico, the Europeans in Germany and Spain. The UCI Chrono in France and more recently in Poland.

It has never missed a beat. I had a nasty crash in Spain a few years ago in the European Duathlons as the heavens opened and turned the fresh tarmac into an ice rink. It took me awhile to get my confidence back and so I have learnt to ride on that bike twice now. I may retire it one day but will never get rid of it.

Q: What’s the weirdest thing you have seen since this crisis began
Sally: It is a scary time for many, and you have to keep that in the back of your mind when passing comment on others behaviour. But I think the strangest thing to witness was the initial panic buying that was taking place. TV reports of people physically fighting each other over toilet roll and pasta was hard viewing.

Now that that has settled down, I have really enjoyed how people have taken their already strong support for the NHS and other key workers to the next level. These people are heros and I hope are never taken for granted again.

Q: Finally, where you do you enjoy riding the most in this country or abroad?
Sally: Cycling abroad wins this hands down! I have been lucky enough to cycle in the French Alps riding some of the brutal iconic climbs of the TdF. The consideration the drivers abroad give is a lesson to the drivers in the UK!
The roads are smooth and fast, and the weather seems to be much better. Most recently I cycled in Calpe (Spain) with some experienced riders. This gave me the opportunity learn more about things like bike handling and set up, nutrition for during and after the ride and to also see where I am in terms of ability.

Thanks to Sally for an excellent read and good luck for 2020 on and off the bike

If you are unsure about any aspect of your training then why not drop paul@trainsharp.co.uk an email. He can then put you in touch with one of their coaches.


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