Lockdown Q&A with Howard Shaw (trainSharp)

This lockdown Q & A is with Howard Shaw who races for the trainSharp team, is a full time builder and his last race was a hardriders in East Sussex where he was third

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Lockdown Q&A with Howard Shaw (trainSharp)
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Q: Your last race was and how did it go you?
Howard: My last race was the ESCA Hardriders, a time trail around a rural East Sussex. I bagged the 3rd spot so a decent result for me on a sporting course. I basically modified my road bike for the race as my TT rig has a 1 x 60 tooth front chain ring and 11-25 gearing on the back, so tactically I think it was a wise move to get me over the steep bits.

Q: With racing cancelled, what’s a typical week training wise for you?
Howard: We got me race ready for early April, which coincided with the official word from CTT that all events were postponed. It soon became obvious that we would need to come off the gas and maintain fitness, so we have shifted back a couple of blocks of training with the provision to change things with newer information when we get it. IE: to target race dates. So for now it’s pretty much threshold pushing efforts or Z3 with cadence work. Plus a long ride endurance ride on a Sunday.

Q: How long have you worked with trainSharp, how has your training changed and what are the best things about having a coach?
Howard: I’ve been coached by trainSharp for a little over two years during which my riding has come on light years from where I was prior to coaching.
Having a performance assessment at trainSharp HQ made me see that genetically I was at quite a decent level, so structured coaching from them was definitely going to get the best out of me, and it definitely does.  The best thing about having a coach, well in my case Connor, is that I tell him my A race and what I’m trying to achieve and BAM! He takes care of the rest. I don’t have to worry if I’m doing too much/too little as the plan is in motion all the way to race day. And he has always delivered top results for me.

Q: Is the coaching just about number and efforts or other parts of the training/racing?
Howard: The coaching for me is the whole package. anybody can copy and paste an online plan. Believe me I have, but when it comes to pushing the envelope, you need that one-to-one contact with your coach for them to look at perhaps why you’re not hitting the numbers or maybe you’re going very well early season and need to back off. It is definitely a balancing act and it’s good to have a professional set of eyes on the situation. I think we all have the tendency to do too much and not hit top form at the right time, that’s where a coach is worth their weight in gold!

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Q: Enjoying the turbo or avoiding it like the virus?
Howard: Enjoying it. Over recent years, I have learned to love the turbo. I think it is such an important part of the arsenal and if you’re not doing big structured turbo sessions as a time trialist, then you’re missing a trick!

Q: What’s the hardest thing for you about the Lockdown
Howard: Honestly, just being locked down. I’m a builder so I’m used to being out in the open all day in all weathers. I’m finding staying in at home a real challenge. Luckily enough the weather has been kind to us so far.

Q: Besides cycling, what’s your biggest distraction as lock down continues?
Howard: Definitely keeping my kids occupied. Spending more time with them is definitely a huge positive to all this madness.

Q: What’s the bike that gets the most use by you and why what is the best thing about it?
Howard: My TT rig, the Specialized Shiv TT. It’s either on the turbo trainer or with me at a race, or if the weathers good enough, I’ll take it out probably one weekend every month for a long ride to keep me honed in on my position. There isn’t only one thing I like because the whole bike is a masterpiece!

Q: What’s the weirdest thing you have seen since this crisis began?
Howard: Everyone acting like they won the lottery if you got yourself some toilet roll, myself included!

Q: Finally, where you do you enjoy riding the most in this country or abroad?
Howard: Abroad, absolutely no doubt about it. If I had to pick a favourite place I’d say Calpè in Spain. It has everything you want from a cycling destination and my early season training camp has been there the last two years. Can’t fault it. Epic coffee to!

Thank you Howard, good luck during lockdown and stay safe… 

If you need further guidance or information about anything training related, please email paul@trainsharp.co.ukWebsitehttps://www.trainsharpcyclecoaching.co.uk/


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