What We use
Here you will find more details on what we use and how we use it
Power-based race planning software
I never let my athletes go off to race an important race without having a race plan. And an integral part of this is their pacing strategy for the bike.
It is one thing to have done the training and be in top-shape, but getting it all out there and tapping into all of your potential on race day is quite different.
Best Bike Split takes the incredibly complex, multifactorial problem of bike pacing and spits out race power plans that result in new best bike splits time and time again. Never again do you need to get a new all time best average power, only to see on Strava that your frenemies that outrode you by 10 minutes actually used less power than you did.
Best Bike Split has a free account option that is a great way to get started with the platform, and it allows you to do most of the things you'll want to do. The premium tier comes with more bells and whistles (like adding more bikes, more race plans, omparing race plans directly, etc.). Note that Best Bike Split relies on you or your athletes having a power meter.
As a coach, Best Bike Split premium is one of the lines on my expense sheet that I would never get rid of, as it allows me to give my coaching clients so much additional value from being coached by me.
Advanced training analysis (for coaches)
WKO5 is a tool I love and use pretty much daily alongside Training Peaks when analysing my athletes' training and progress.
I want to make clear, however, that I don't necessarily recommend it for athletes, unless you have a lot of extra time on your hands. But I can't recommend it enough for my fellow coaches.
WKO5 has use cases across the board in swimming, biking, and running. But cycling is what it was first developed for, and where it really shines. Most of the most useful functionalities (in my opinion) require a power meter, but not all.
To give you an example, WKO5 can model an athletes's entire power-duration curve and give a very good estimate for their FTP. Often, I don't need to give my athletes a new FTP-test, because I can see from WKO5 what their actual FTP is currently, based on the number-crunching the software does after every single workout.
If you or your athletes are using Stryd, all the more reason to invest in WKO5. A lot of the really cool analysis Stryd allows you to do (like looking at Running Effectiveness and Leg Spring Stiffness charts) is not yet implemented in any other software than WKO5. This includes Stryd's own Power Center and Training Peaks.
Training planning and analysis platform
If you've followed my content for a while, you know that I prescribe to using data to drive effective training planning and decision-making (not at all at the exclusion of qualitative inputs, to be clear).
Training Peaks is hands down the best and most all-round tool to use for any triathlete that wants to use a data-driven training approach. A lot of the data that is now de facto standards in endurance sports (like Training Stress Score, Chronic Training Load, Training Stress Balance, Intensity Factor, Normalised Power, etc.) were first implemented in Training Peaks. Which is perhaps why no other platform has immplemented these concepts anywhere near as well as Training Peaks.
With Training Peaks you can effectively plan your training on both a macro (annual training planning) and micro (workout-level) level. You can analyse your workouts to see what went well and what to improve for next time. You can track your Peak Performances, your training load, and get a ton of other (often very relevant) training metrics. In a nutshell, Training Peaks gives you all the tools you need to plan your training effectively, check if your training is progressing well, and change direction if needed.
Training Peaks comes with free and premium account tiers. The free account is a good one to get started, but if you really want to benefit from the platform, you should upgrade to the premium account. It is an invaluable investment
STAC VIRTUAL WIND TUNNEL
Next-level aerodynamics improvement
Almost 90% of the power you use when cycling on a flat course is spent fighting aerodynamic resistance. The revolutionary Virtual Wind Tunnel technology by STAC makes aerodynamic testing quick, affordable, and accessible anywhere.
This kind of testing has previously only been available at a massive investment of time and money by going to a wind tunnel. With the VWT tech (based on a 3D-scanner attached to an iPad), it can be done in your living room in 5 minutes, at a fraction of the cost of actual wind tunnel testing, but with as reliable results within a 2% tolerance.
Want to know how a potential change in position will change your aerodynamics and your speed over your next race? Or how much you could benefit from buying an aero helmet, race wheels, or change the position of your water bottles. Easy, with the Virtual Wind Tunnel.
I am a provider myself of the Virtual Wind Tunnel service in the Uk and wherever I may be travelling which is a lot, just take a look at my Instagram page.
82% of female athletes reported that they never discussed their menstrual cycle with their coach
Despite the growing recognition of the significance of the menstrual cycle as a driver of performance in female athletes, barriers to awareness and education still exist. Our recent global survey of active females, conducted in partnership with Strava and St Mary’s University Twickenham revealed that:
· 74% reported their menstrual cycle negatively affected their performance
· 82% had never discussed their menstrual cycle with their coach
· 72% received no education regarding exercise and their menstrual cycle
We found that the lack of discussion is often driven by the fact that there is little education for athletes and coaches about the menstrual cycle or how it relates to exercise and well-being. Female physiology is unique, and training and nutrition can be adapted to optimise performance.
Why the Menstrual Cycle?
Ovarian hormones travel in the blood and can influence a range of physiological processes throughout each phase of an athlete’s cycle. They can affect response to training, metabolism of food, general wellness and risk of certain types of illness and injury. For example, the risk of ACL injuries is increased when oestrogen peaks just before ovulation. These changes can alter the requirements for an athlete’s training, nutrition and recovery.
As part of our female athlete programme we developed FitrCoach – an education and monitoring platform for coaches and their support teams to understand the different stages of the menstrual cycle and help advance the way female athletes train in order to sustain peak performance at the highest level. FitrCoach is used by world-class organisations around the world
Overtraining leads to injury, illness and diminished performance. The body can endure just so much continual physical stress before it begins to break down.
So how do you know when to train and when to rest? By using ithlete the answer is heart-rate variability which measures the time-gap between your heartbeats when you’re resting. The heart, in fact, speeds up when you inhale, and slows down when you exhale. The difference is known as heart-rate variability (HRV). A healthy, well rested body will produce a wider gap than a stressed out, overtrained body.
Most endurance athletes are familiar with heart-rate monitoring during training and racing. But measuring your heart-rate variability is something you do at home, usually right after you wake up. HRV is not unlike the morning ritual of taking your resting heart rate to determine fatigue, overtraining or approaching illness. But measuring and tracking heart rate variability presents a more precise picture of your overall health.
A high reading combined with a normal resting pulse is good news– you can train hard that day. A low reading means you should take it easy, providing you with a guilt-free rest day. And while your body is in recovery mode, your muscles are busy getting stronger.