OK, the end of the 2016 Road season has come and perhaps you’ve had a little rest and recuperation? But now is the time to start training for the 2017 season and obviously you want to improve upon the previous year, so maybe it’s time to get a coach?
I was invited to attend a “ramp test” held by Buckley Performance Coaching in order to establish my training zones. Ken Buckley is the head coach and founder, as well as being a fully qualified British Cycling coach. I’d met Ken before at races and have been impressed by his racing standard. Ken is a 1st Cat rider, who seems to be fairly consistent with his results. He is also the human-powered land speed record holder where he reached a speed of 76.59 mph! It’s fair to say, this guy knows how to ride.
Testing is normally reserved for the very elite of cycling, looking to gain marginal advantages. However, Ken believes that testing is beneficial for all cyclists that are looking to improve. It’s also a great way to establish a reference point to aid individuals in reaching their goals.
I was met by Ken at BPC HQ where he explained the protocols for the test. At the same time he transferred the measurements from my road bike to the static Wattbike trainer. Basically the test involved an easy warm up preceded by 3 minute steps of 20 watts…
At the end of each step up, Ken measured my blood lactate level and heart rate. This is a maximal test where I’m taken to exhaustion. I managed the step to 400 watts, helped by the encouragement of Ken. During the last 3 min step at 400 watts my power was dropping ever so slightly. Therefore the next step of 420 watts was not possible. I gave it everything I had.
I completed a warm down. Happy with my effort, I packed up my equipment, and headed home. I’d been home only 10 mins and I’m alerted to an e-mail. It’s from Ken, he’d already analysed my data and provided a detailed professional report with all my training zones mapped and suggested tweaks to my training! That was super quick. I will definitely be putting these into practice and I’m sure next season will be better than last.
In summary, I was sceptical at first, but I’m happy to report, I found BPC an excellent service. Ken’s approach is to listen to the needs of the client, tailor a training plan, or provide advice, based on the individual’s ability, limitations and needs. He works with all levels, from sportive riders through to elite athlete’s and has some very happy clients.
For more information and client testimonials check out Buckley Performance Coaching.
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