After retiring from rugby and allowing my fitness to “drift” I took up triathlon as a motivator to get back in shape. I quickly found that although I enjoyed all three disciplines, it was cycling that I most enjoyed. I was working with Simon Beldon at the time, who suggested I give time trialling a go, and that was it. Over the next few years, with Simon as my guide/coach/mentor, I developed a much deeper understanding of cycling as a sport and the nuances associated with time trialling.
Over the coming seasons my times for 10 and 25 miles started to improve and I eventually made the elusive 20 minute “10”. My improvement got me into the team for the Emergency Services national championships and I came home with winners’ medals in the team 10 and 25 in successive years. The key to this success was Simon helping me analyse and assess my training and understand how it translated to performance. This approach is the foundation of my coaching style.
As a means of keeping fit over winter, cyclocross was the next discipline that got the analytical treatment. The same approach saw me develop a new skillset and improve race on race and season on season.
My story is not one of a super talented athlete who has won everything out there, but of someone who has achieved their individual goal to be the best that they can be, within the constraints of the demands of everyday life. In many ways, knowing my limitations has made coaching more valuable. Effective coaching along the way has provided the structure, guidance and motivation to push myself further than I thought possible.
When I retired as a police officer, I had the opportunity to formalise my knowledge and completed the Association of British Cycling Coaches qualification. I have a keen interest in the science and psychology of sports performance, which ensures I am up to date and informed about the latest developments in this area and can apply this to help others fulfil their potential.