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triathlon events – events in which cycling plays a very important part,” he explains. According to Cole, the club’s large

customer base includes 200-plus members working specifi cally towards peak performance events, such as triathletes, endurance athletes and Olympians. Strength and conditioning exercises are an important part of their training programmes, he says. Where needs demand, gym members

are encouraged to train in the club’s hypoxic chamber, which offers the equivalent training conditions to those experienced at an altitude of 8,000ft. “If the body is forced to work when starved of oxygen, it creates massive fi tness rewards – a boost to the CV system when back at sea level,” Cole explains (see also HCM July 08, p36). “To complement this chamber, we also

use Turbo Trainers [metal frames to which bikes can be clamped, allowing you to pedal without moving] to measure speed, distance and time – data we need to start gearing members’ personal fi tness programmes towards endurance events.”

peak performance When Eric Dunmore, CEO of The Third Space, decided to take part in the 540km London to Paris bike race earlier this year, he approached Cole 18 months before the event to help him achieve his fitness goal. Cole explains that personal trainers

need to treat each client as an individual when working towards a fi xed date


event, by working out a needs analysis of the event and what has to be achieved in order to plan ahead. “In other words,” he says, “you end up working up to the event by working backwards, so you can tick all the boxes required along the way.” Once the event needs have been

assessed, Cole says the focus then turns toward the athlete. “I put Eric through some VO2Max testing and analysed his posture for muscular imbalances – both on and off the bike. I also checked his cycling style, from an economical point of view, so I could build a picture of him and what he needed to achieve by racing day. “The London to Paris bike race

requires the body to cycle over a long period of time, as well as having to wake up and do the same thing again the next day, so it was important to build a really big aerobic base to enable Eric’s heart and lungs to produce energy effi ciently. This was achieved by gradually increasing his mileage on the bike while perfecting his technique.” Cole adds that other key areas of

preparation were a carefully worked out nutrition plan, for on and off the bike, and setting good sleep patterns so Dunmore could get the most from his training. As the race date approached, Cole

then mimicked what Dunmore would be expecting his body to do during the race itself. “He would be expecting to cycle about 160km a day, so we made sure he could manage a 160km cycle on any given day and then started to double up the days,” he explains.

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strength and conditioning Within the gym environment, Cole’s objective was to develop Dunmore into an endurance athlete, requiring slow twitch fibre strength and endurance-based exercises. There were also a lot of pelvic spine

strengthening and stabilisation exercises, as well as strengthening the gluteus maximus, quadriceps and hamstrings – the large muscle groups that would be taking the strain on the bike. However, Cole says that by far the best way to increase Dunmore’s riding ability was to get him on the bike. “There’s no secret really – you just have to put the hours in and be on the seat for long periods of time,” he adds. “Eric’s target was to train between

nine and 12 hours a week, which equates to about three to four sessions in the gym and a long ride on the weekend. I was also able to keep in touch with his speed, distance, time and heart rate via downloads from his Garmin GPS tracker device and Suunto watch-based heart rate monitor, which allowed me to track his progress while he was one the road,” Cole explains. As part of his training regime within the

gym, Dunmore was able to attach his own bike to the spinning fl ywheel on the Turbo Trainer, which allowed Cole to coach him while he was in the saddle. “We try to take into account outside elements such as the wind in the face, traffi c issues and stopping and starting, but the Turbo Trainer is a good training tool to transfer immediately onto the road,” Cole says.

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