Towards the end of last year I got talked into
taking part in the Volta Pro Tour, N2 Challenge. A five day ride, cycling the
length of Portugal, north to south. Five hundred miles and 30,000ft of climbing
meant it would be a tough few days.
I had ridden some endurance events but always at my own pace which was fairly sedate. It soon became apparent there would be some very fit riders taking part in the challenge so I started to get a little worried about being left behind.
I was introduced to Dave with five months to go. With time running out he explained it would be hard work to improve my speed and endurance, but with a little dedication I could make significant gains.
My work pattern varies weekly so my schedule was changed to fit each week and included short high intensity Turbo sessions and longer rides. It was a tough programme which pushed me to train harder than I have ever done, but seeing the results steadily improving is a huge motivator. The amount of data Dave analyses is incredible. For those who are interested it's all there to see, but I was content to keep an eye on the headline figures and let Dave point me in the right direction so I could concentrate on the rides.
I completed the ride two weeks ago and as predicted it was tough. I'm pleased to say I kept a respectable position in the group, which can only be attributed to the training. If I had been left to my own devices I would have been finished after day 1.
If you are questioning the benefits of an internet based training program, this is much more than that. Dave is constantly tweaking the programme and monitors your sessions every day, explaining how it's going and what elements are on target or need more work. This to me was priceless as time was short and I needed every session to count.
It certainly wasn't a walk in the park but it works and that's what counts. As a result my chosen event was completed and made more enjoyable because of my improved fitness.
Having had a health scare towards the end of 2016 and in recognition of how my hobby of taking part in Ironman races had been getting increasingly difficult in recent years, I decided it was time to get some coaching for my planned race in Lanzarote in May 2017. It was around this time I learned that Dave was taking up coaching full time and having spent many a Sunday morning desperately (and generally unsuccessfully) trying to cling onto his bike wheel, I contacted him to find out more.
Dave explained that his approach to training was pretty high tech in that it focused on monitoring power during the cycle and heart rate for the swim and run elements of the triathlon training. He demonstrated the Training Peaks software that he uses to drive and monitor each of his athlete’s training programme and it was all very impressive but actually pretty simple once it was explained. Essentially, Dave will set you a set of training sessions each week and for each one he will provide you with a target or targets. When you complete the session, you press ’stop’ on your Garmin and details of your execution are automatically loaded so that Dave can see exactly how you performed and you then swap feedback with one another on how you felt, how you might differ your approach next time if it was a struggle and most importantly of all, to give you praise when it was due.
We agreed to start a comprehensive training programme in December and by the end of the first month I had lost a stone and had noticed I was already going considerably faster in all disciplines without necessarily increasing the effort. The training schedule gradually picked up but I never once felt that I was being overloaded and continued to see continuous improvements to the extent that people I was struggling to keep up with on the bike before I started the structured training were now being comfortably dropped on hills!
Like most people trying to juggle a career, a family and a full-time job that involves lots of travelling, I was unable to hit every target and execute every training session - on more than one occasion I discovered that the advertised ‘pool’ of a hotel turned out to be little more than a hot tub! Despite this and throughout the journey, Dave calmly adjusted the training programme to accommodate the many changes life’s priorities forced on us.
Come race day, I was as prepared as I have ever been for an Ironman race and was confident that if I could master my open water swimming panic attacks, I would nail the race. As it happened, things didn’t go according to plan due to a schoolboy error I made 10 days before the race by trying out a brand new pair of running shoes for a long run, which caused severe bruising on the soles of both feet. That said, I was delighted with my performance on both the swim, during which I conquered many demons, and the incredibly tough bike leg. I have no doubt that had I not done something so stupid and broke every rule in the book by trying out new shoes so close to race day, I would have completed the race and in a time that I would have only dreamed of without Dave’s expert advice.
I cannot praise Dave’s services enough - he is a terrific coach for anyone wanting to improve their cycling and / or triathlon abilities, but is also someone you strongly feel has your back and understands. Thanks Dave for all your help - I am truly sorry for being an idiot with the shoes or this testimonial would have had a happier ending!
I knew about Dave and his coaching having met him a few years back when cycling and he had coached my friend Simon.
Last year I attempted to complete a ride from Falmouth to London in 24 hours but unfortunately I fell just short so it became unfinished business for me.
I contacted Dave because I knew how highly Simon had spoken of him. Having decided to go down the training with power route to make the most of my training I contacted Dave and signed up!
Since signing up things have gone so well it's brilliant! Dave is very thorough, understanding when work & life needs to be balanced and my cycling has come on leaps & bounds, my team mates are all saying I'm a different and much better cyclist!
So if you are thinking about getting a coach look no further than Dave.
Shaun Amor (Built better by Dave)
In the summer of 2015 I went on a cycling trip to central France, despite thinking I was more than fit enough, it soon became apparent I wasn't. I was overweight and smoking and thought I could blag it...however, there is no hiding place on the open road!
Upon my return to the UK I enlisted Dave's help to get fit and get myself ready for 2016's challenge of riding the Col de Tourmalet in the Pyrenees. Dave gave me a ten week program to get me started, it involved running and cycling, starting gently and gradually increasing the pace and effort.
It was flexible enough that I could work it around my job and home life, yet it was also regimented to provide particular training to my specific needs. Within ten weeks I had lost a stone in weight, stopped smoking and was noticeably quicker running and riding.
Six weeks before my trip to the Pyrenees I received the next phase of the program, this was geared purely to get me to endure the Haute Catergorie Col Du Tourmalet. When the big day arrived, I was extremely nervous as I embarked on the climb, but it soon became apparent the training had been perfectly tailored for me. While it was still a challenge, and a tough day in the saddle, I was perfectly prepared for the climb and completed it with no real problems!
I'm indebted to Dave for making me the cyclist and runner I am today. I have now ridden in the Alps and Flanders and am a fairly accomplished runner.
I would highly recommend Dave's Coaching for amateur and professional athletes alike. I find him, courteous, motivating and knowledgeable. Whatever your needs I'm sure Dave can fully accomodate you and improve your fitness.
"I was very unfit when I first met David & wanted to lose some weight as well as improve my fitness. The heart rate based program he gave me was very daunting at first but I was determined to give it my best shot, I couldn’t always do the planned sessions because of work & family stuff but his flexible plan worked around all that and after 6 months I had lost nearly 8 kilos, was a regular at Park Run & completed my first sprint triathlon! I’m pleased to see he will be taking his expertise & passion for fitness into a full time role!”
I found out about David’s coaching through social media, I had agreed to do a charity bike ride & not just any bike ride, London to Paris!! I hadn’t ridden a bike in over 20 years so a friend of mine recommended I spoke with David as he was a coach & had done some very big bike rides. Right from the start we got on well, his program & support were great, it started very gently but progressed to the point where I was doing 100km rides without too much trouble, needless to say after 9 months of hard work set by David I completed London to Paris and was always one of the first to finish each days distance. I have stayed with David & he has convinced me to start training using a power meter to get me even fitter as I have decided to do next year’s Etape Du Tour, onwards and upwards!
I have used a training plan devised and monitored by David on two occasions as I wanted to get my cycling fitness to a level where I could cycle the French mountains as I had a trip planned to the South of France & the French Pyrenees a year later. I used a heart rate monitor to train in the zones set by David. I must admit I was a bit sceptical at first as I felt I was going really slowly during the initial zone 2 rides but after a while my speed increased naturally as I got fitter and my heart rate dropped, I lost weight without dieting and the plan helped me tremendously on my 2 trips. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend anybody who was thinking of using David’s coaching services!!
Dave has been great, I got hooked on cycling a couple of years ago after my wife convinced me to join her in one of her spinning classes, I loved it but the realisation of how unfit I was back then was a real wake up call, after 2 months I went and bought a bike and since then I can’t get enough! Dave has really started to move my cycling on, I bought a stages power meter and started working with Dave in December 2015, we decided on the amount of hours I could spend each week training then a program was devised, I followed the program pretty much to the letter with only the occasional missed session due to family commitments and have had a tremendous season; my FTP has increased over 20%, I am a much better climber, did my first sportive and the time around my 25 mile testing loop has come down by 16 minutes!! How is that for improvement!! We have big plans for next season when I will be trying TT’s and maybe even some road racing! One thing I would say about Dave apart from his obvious experience & expertise is his passion for the sport and for getting people fit, it is infectious!!