Case Story: Peter Ettles, 3K Pursuit.
Last year I received an email from Peter Ettles from Scotland asking me for help towards the World Track Championships. Peter had 3K pursuit as his main discipline and scratch race and points race as secondary events.
That email had the perfect timing because I at the same time was working intensively testing and optimizing the principles for my e-book, Time Effective Cycling Training.
After a few emails I understood that Peter was a very busy person who was very limited in training time and also limited in training time on the track.
So it was not an easy job, but I thought it could be a really good way to see if my high intensity training principles would work on ‘older’ cyclists. And just to emphasize the power of this test, Peter was actually preparing for the World Championships in his age group. So it couldn’t be a better scene to show how my training concept worked.
Since Peter had the 3K pursuit as his primary goal, I decided to make his 3,5min maximum power output the value we would track his performance progress with.
Getting started with the training towards 3K pursuit
In the first week of the training program he performed 396W with a body weight of only 76,0kg. Riders who have experience with power meter training will know that these numbers are highly respectable. And please remember that this guy was competing in age group 45 to 49.
So it was clear that Peter was already performing really well, but nevertheless, he wanted to do even better.
That was some kind of a challenge for me!
I decided to make a full training plan of 13 weeks with an average training time of 10hours per week (range: 6 to 15hours per week). His training was targeted the physiological skills required for an optimal performance at the track events he was participating in. Though, there was a primary focus on the 3K pursuit, because that was his personal favorite.
When it comes to track cycling, specificity of the training sessions becomes extremely important. So, Peter did a lot of anaerobic and VO2 max intervals in different combinations because it was both time effective training and also very specific towards the challenges he was preparing for.
I would have wished Peter had more time on the velodrome in Manchester, but with a travelling time of app. 6hours it was clear that we had to accept that he wouldn’t get the most optimal training for track cycling.
Here is a snapshot from the training program:
3K time trial
+ 1x20min 260W, high cadence. rpm>100
10min recovery between 1K’s
After 12 weeks Peter entered the velodrome in Portugal shortly after performing his best 3,5min test ever. Peter won the bronze final in World Championships 3K Pursuit, Age Group 45 to 49.
Here is the testimonial from Peter Ettles:
“In 2010 I decided to try to get in shape for the world masters track champs. The pursuit was going to be my main aim. It was not going to be a easy task as I also work full time running my own forestry business. I got a 13 week training programme from training4cyclists.com. First I did a 3.5 min max test to see what sort of power I was producing. I did 396W.
The bulk of the programme consisted of very high intensity intervals varying from 10second sprints up to 5min repeats. The intervals, although being very hard, were a great challenge and really made to look forward to the training as you could actually feel yourself getting better and stronger with every session. At the end of my 13 weeks including a proper taper, I was amazed to find my power over 3.5 mins was now up to 424W. That’s 28W increase! I had also lost a couple of kilos which was an added bonus.
I must say that almost all my training was done on the road or on the turbo as I dont live anywhere near a track,so you can imagine my delight when I went to the Worlds and won bronze. I’m going to give it another go this year (2011) and will be sticking with what I have learnt from Jesper’s interval training. With a few tweaks, maybe I can get gold!!”
So this was a success story of how time effective training principles can be used to compete at international level. Peter did a really great job and I was very glad when he won his bronze medal. That result gave me the final confidence to launch my e-book one month later.
If you want to use some of the principles mentioned above, please make sure to get your own copy of Time Effective Cycling Training.