At Skyhook Coaching Services we can provide you with a number of specialist cycle-specific training services, either directly or through one of our carefully chosen partners. Our aim is to help you get the most out of your riding, whatever level you currently ride at, and whatever your cycling goal. And most importantly, to share the fun along the way.
To help, we have provided responses to a number of Frequently Asked Questions:
Looks very high tech. Is this only for elite riders or people who want to race?
Definitely not. Anyone who is committed to achieving their cycling goal can benefit from this structured training program. Once we have measured your FTP and entered it into our software, all ages, genders and abilities will benefit from our workouts. So whether you simply want to ride your first 50-mile sportive, move up a cat next season, or achieve a PB bike split at your next triathlon, there are so many benefits to a time-efficient training program, tailored to your needs.
I don’t know if I need a coach at the moment. Can I still use your training facilities?
Definitely. In fact, the beauty of the indoor training workouts, is that they are designed and written to develop different cycling strengths and across the course of the year, you will benefit from a wide range of session goals. Once we have measured your Functional Threshold Power or FTP, each workout is tailored to you, so we can help your cycling fitness increase just by having you focus on delivering the target for that session.
What do you mean by “committed cyclists”?
Simple really; we mean cyclists who are committed to improving their riding and attaining their goals. In training there are no short cuts, just more efficient ways of getting there. No matter how structured the training, if the rider does not want to put the effort in, they will not reap the benefits from their training programme.
Can you help me if my goal is simply to get fitter?
Yes we can. Though as with all goals we want this to be a SMART goal, so we may ask you to set a specific fitness goal that we can both measure your progression towards. That way you can see the outcome from your training efforts, and know when it is time to set a new fitness goal for yourself.
What is the difference between Skyhook Coaching’s indoor sessions and spin classes?
Well, let’s start with the similarities; for many of us it’s great to feel the motivation from training alongside others, and in both sessions, you are certainly required to expend energy by pedalling. But that is pretty much where the similarities end. Spin classes can provide good aerobic workouts, however with the tailored programs and CompuTrainers we use, you can be sure you are benefitting from a much more cycling-specific workout. And unlike a generic spin bike, you get a more realistic road-like resistance riding your own bike, fitted with your saddle, pedals and bars, and wearing your own cycling shoes. You will receive real time feedback on our wide screen monitors, showing accurate power output, heart rate, cadence and we can even show you the power you are generating through each leg to make sure your effort remains balanced. Of course one downside is, unlike with a spin bike, you can’t fake it. All of this means you get an effective and efficient cycling workout, specifically designed to improve your cycling performance. Finally, we promise not to shout at you, unless you ask us to!
My personal goals fall outside the normal spring / summer sportive or race season. Can you still help me?
Absolutely! The benefit of working with a coach to build an appropriate training program that enables you to achieve peak performance when it matters is key to our coaching philosophy. Talk to us about your needs and decide for yourself.
How often should I be training to get the most benefit?
Great question, though there is no “one size fits all” answer. A great deal will depend on your specific goals, the time you have available to train, and of course where in your training cycle you are currently. The absolutely critical thing you should always remember is not to focus entirely on the frequency and intensity of your training, but to make sure you allow sufficient recovery for the benefits of each workout to take effect and avoid over-training. Contact us to discuss your specific goals and how our coaching plans can help you.
I have just started cycling again after a few years off the bike. How can you help me?
As long as you have no concerns about your health that would limit your ability to start a training program and have not received medical advice to the contrary, please get in touch to discuss one of our introductory sessions. After an initial assessment, you would be able to jump straight in to one of our training sessions.
How long are the indoor training sessions?
Most Interval and Strength sessions last around 75 minutes, which could equate to around 2-2.5 hours out on the road, so you see how efficient this training can be. We also provide endurance rides at the weekend, over longer courses, and these sessions will typically last at least 90-minutes to help develop the endurance needed for longer events.
My gym has a Wattbike I can use. How does the training benefit differ from using an exercise bike or ergometer?
More sophisticated ergometers like those from SRM, Lode or Wattbike can be excellent tools for testing, and a good option if you don’t have your own bike to train on. But unfortunately neither these, nor the standard exercise bike is fitted to you in the same way as your own bike. Unless you own your own ergometer and can fit your own saddle, bars, pedals, and adjust your position to be identical to your own bike, you will find a significant difference when you move back to your own bike. It’s a bit like borrowing a mates bike to train on, or race on – you do it if you have no alternative, but it just isn’t the same as your own bike, is it?
Is all your cycle training carried out indoors?
No it isn’t, although we will continue to schedule indoor sessions throughout the whole year. For many people, the joy of cycling comes from riding outside, and being on the edge of the Peak National Park, it would be criminal not to make the most of our location. In the warmer months, we plan to arrange group training rides that will mimic the indoor sessions, so that participants will continue to benefit from the structured training. These rides will be open to members only, and will be bookable through the online calendar.
How do the training sessions differ across the year?
Over the course of the year, our macro training cycles focus on developing specific areas according to the normal road or triathlon racing season here in the UK. As each macro cycle is focused on developing specific strengths, the programs available are changed each week to build into a solid development program. We also offer Functional Threshold Power or FTP tests at the start of each phase, so that you are able to gain the most benefit from each new phase of training.
Do you offer any discounts or trial sessions?
Yes we do. If you take a look at the What Are Your Options? tab, you can see the benefits of membership, as well as our non-membership options. From time to time, we also offer time-limited offers, so contact us directly for more details. The Skyhook Sampler Sessions are a great way to get introduced to our indoor training, and provide you with an 8-week programme, in which to see how much you can improve your power output.
What do I need to do before I can join an outdoor training ride?
As safety remains our number one concern for each of our clients, it is important that you complete our Group Cycling Skills course before joining an outdoors training ride. Even if you ride regularly with friends or in a club, each group has its own set of “riding rules” that operate for the safety and security of all members in a group. If you find yourself “on the rivet”, and focussed on the wheel 20cm in front of you, this is not a time to have someone ahead hit the brakes without a warning.
My name is Dave B, and I run a trade team. Can’t mention who. Please can you help my team get better results?
Of course we can Dave, but you know we give priority to our regular members. Your boys left such a mess last time they showed up, we’re still coming across bits of Rapha kit in our lost property box.