Over the next few weeks we will be sharing our athletes Q&As covering the 2020 season, future goals and why they like working with peaks.
First up we have Head Coach Andy completing the Q&A.
Seeing I am asking many of our athletes to do it I thought I better had. Most of you know plenty about me already of course! But there are a few things you may not know. So hopefully this will fill in some gaps!
Here are Andy’s answers to the 10 questions;
1. Tell us about your sporting background. What Sporting achievement are you most proud of?
I have always cycled, for fun mainly and dabbled in some MTB racing as a teenager, but far from anything serious. Come University the allure of the Football team saw me playing first team throughout university in my favoured position as Goalkeeper – I HATE running. A few years working odd hours in retail and sport went by the by, but in 2000 I moved to work Mon-Fri in ASDA head office, joined the gym and got back into cycling. There I met some very good friends into triathlon. Remember what I put above about running? Well I gave it a go. I could not swim crawl, taught myself from a book. Came 2nd in my first Tri the Chester Deva standard distance. I was hooked. I set the insane goal of qualifying for Kona there and then. 3yrs later, after 5 Ironman I lined up on that Kona start line in 2004 and achieved my goals. I was a terrible runner so was getting disillusioned with tris and decided to give TT a go.
I raced a 25 TT in Yorkshire and was 2nd or 3rd and thought, this is alright! Over the years I just raced in Yorkshire originally and did pretty well winning everything in the county. In 2015 with Team Swift team Mates we won Gold in the National TTT event and repeated with a silver the year later. I was predominantly short distance with my ‘highlight; being 5thin the 2015 National 10TT with a PB of 18:02 and 419w.
In 2016 I targeted the World 6-12-24 to win the 6hr, it looked doable seeing what the previous winner had done. On the run up I won bronze at the UK national 12hr and then won the World 6hr.
2017 I returned to California and won the World 12hr. I decided then to give 24hrs a go. In 2018 at first attempt I won the UK 24hr with 531.8m, one of only 5 guys (I think , then) to have gone over 530miles.
In 2019 target was UK 12hr , I won, and World 24hr, which again I won with 528m.
The fact I have won the 6-12-24hr at the self proclaimed ‘Worlds’ I am most proud of. I honestly don’t think anyone will do that again.
2. Where do you live? Do you do most of your training indoors or outdoors?
I live in Yorkshire in the middle of the Pennines, so not ideal TT training territory! I’m often sked why, as a flat TT racer I have a double ring and 30T cassette on my bike. Simple answer, I could not get home from training otherwise! I do a mix of in and out, I love both, indoors is so specific and time efficient. Outdoor is about ‘craft’ perfecting power execution, handling and aerodynamics.
3. What was your race or training highlight of the season and why?
PASS! What a terrible season! A crash in the UK 12hr whilst defending 10hrs in sort of summed it up! If I had to pick one it would be bronze in the VTTA 50m TT, I rode good 50 for me that day.
Honestly this season seeing what some of the athletes has achieved has been WAY more exciting for me than anything I, myself, has done.
4. With a lot of races cancelled, what’s a typical week training wise for you? How many hours a week do you typically train?
Typically probably 12-18hrs, a mixture of Z2/3 border work, critical to long distance racing, FTP ‘push’ via sweet spot work, LONG endurance running into key events and high end FTP work to keep the top numbers high. I am a big believer in the FTP ‘Pyramid’. PUSH the FTP up from below, PULL from above and create large endurance zones below, then focus on the % of FTP you can work at for long periods. This for me, is a critical key to long distance racing success.
5. How do you balance home life, work and training?
Errr Pass! I am not great, despite what I preach! I usually try to be up early, walk the dogs and / or train and try to maintain a normal 8-6 work day. With the nature of my work I often work Saturday’s doing bike fits which usually means 6 days weeks. But I like it!
6. What’s the bike that gets the most use by you and what is the best thing about it?
Racing my Cervelo P5 six, I love it – and have bought an identical one to replace the crashed one! I also love my Peaks Sports Branded road bike, Its just such fun to ride, responsive , great climbing ratios and Disc Brakes. Its awesome!
7. What type of sessions do you most enjoy?
I’m a masochist! Long hrs pushing a high % of FTP either just straight out hours and hours or long’ish intervals. 3-4hrs at 320w is one of my favourite. Mentally so hard – but fab when its nailed! Although, knowing my limitations and weaknesses I have been pushing by doing things that are horrible to me – TTT on Zwift, and high low Tabata style intervals.
8. What area do you think you’ve developed most whilst working with Peaks?
A difficult on for me! I suppose here I have tried to coach myself ‘remotely’ as I do my athletes, focus on the race goals and the need o achieve these. Considering that since I started Peaks I have won 2 x UK National Tittles & 2 x World Titles I think it has gone ok!
9. What are your key targets for next year?
Pass – honestly I have not targeted anything specific yet, but do fancy a change from charging up and down a dual carriageway chasing fast times, watch this space!
10. What’s the best thing about being with Peaks?
I will answer this differently to most obviously! What I would say is when I set up Peaks I wanted to take the best of all my own coaching experiences, align this with my own managerial skills and people management skills taken from years in the corporate world. Then try and bring a new dimension to bike fitting, offering something that I don’t see, and what clients tell me, something that they don’t get form many others, in a total solution and great after service.
My aim was to be:
– Responsive to my athletes
– Pass on my wide experience racing at all levels and round the world
– Inspire from crazy challenges
– Prove you could combine a busy career, home and sporting life & be successful
– Make it fun and remember that 99% of us are amateurs we need to be flexible and overall get satisfaction ad fulfilment form what we do NOT see it as another chore and stressor
– Value for Money! For me Peaks is a vocation – and I love it!
We cant wait to see what Andy achieves next!