Clare Leaver, Oxford
In November 2010 I
decided to take cycling more seriously and joined a club. After being dropped a
few times, I realised that I needed to introduce some structure into my training
and so I contacted Tom. The initial assessment on the static bike brought good
and bad news: I had a decent VO2 max but I was not able to use it effectively.
And I had no power! We talked through my goals (at that time, to stop
getting dropped on club runs and, perhaps, to try a few women’s races in the
spring), as well as the time constraints that I faced with work. Tom explained
the basic principles that would guide my training, and emphasised the
importance of knowing when to rest. A few days later my first training plan
arrived. It was tailored to me, and fitted really well around my full-time job.
Tom kept in regular contact over the next few months, which was
extremely helpful; knowing that he would be emailing to ask how I got on with
each session gave me an extra incentive to stick to the plan. Plus, week
by week, I could see my threshold power increasing, so I knew that his plans
were working. When the racing season started, he was there to offer advice on
tactics, and to help diagnose what went wrong (and sometimes right) after each
race. With Tom’s encouragement, I began to revise my goals. Rather than aiming
not to get dropped on club runs, I began to think about being competitive in
women’s races and even to try a few men’s races. By the end of the
season, Tom had me thinking and racing positively and I even made it into a few
Tom’s coaching has helped me to exceed my goals. I
would recommend him to anyone looking to get more out of their time on a bike.