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Real Riders Blog - Alan Murchison

We spoke to Matt about working with Alan both on and off the bike!

"I’ve had the pleasure of working with some great athletes and very motivated athletes in my time. But the longest standing one is Alan Muchinson.

I can remember starting up my cycling coaching business back in 2014 and being contacted by Alan. He said he was looking for some duathlon coaching, specifically wanting to make some gains on the bike and could I help?

After completing a duathlon in 2013 I knew how hard these races were so knew trying to build a consistent training programme would be key. Between us we managed to build a great programme and his rivals that were scared of his running could not believe the form he built on the bike but also optimising training, pacing and aerodynamics he made his running perform better. Since that time I’ve also found that a lot of mulitisport athletes we work with find the same gains. It’s down to optimising training, and pacing really makes a difference to efficiency.

After winning the European champs we got a real blow with Alan no longer being able to run down to knee trouble and would need surgery but in order for him not to have a knee replacement would mean no running!! It was a hard blow for both of us but we hatched a plan to smash it on the bike.

So we had to make the decision to focus on the cycling. Mental at first I could see Alan struggling he was missing the running but also gave it a bit more free time with not having to complete two sessions everyday!! But once we got in to a new routine and Performance Chef was launched. His time was filled and the progress he made on the bike was amazing.

Performance Chef is now into full swing and Alan works with a number of our riders basing food plans around training. The results we’ve achieved over the last few years have been a testament to how we both just love making people laugh. I always laugh with Alan how our personalities are the same. Working crazy hours but always trying to get our training completed.

If you're looking to make some gains with your nutrition definitely send him a message and check out his website

Alan's turn!

Tells us about performance chef? What made you set this up? Performance Chef is a business that I set up after I fell out of love with running restaurants. I wanted to combine my 2 passions (food & sport) and look at providing the practical application of sports nutrition to progressive athletes as I recognised there was a gap in the market. My first foray into this space was helping out Gwen Jorgensen & Pat Lemieux prior to Rio Olympics, these guys gave me an insight as to what the food requirements were of a truly world class athlete who had a very challenging training schedule, this helped me out hugely. I was then really fortunate that Matt had just left the Post Office and was setting up his coaching business. He introduced me to some of his first coached athletes who I learnt a lot from, Simon Beldon, Lee Morgan & John Dewey were some of the first paying clients I had on board. I learnt a lot from working with busy cyclists who also had lofty performance driven goals. Now I have in excess of 30 Olympic athletes I advise across a number of sports, athletics, cycling, triathlon & rowing. Also work with British Cycling as Team Chef which is pretty cool as I cover all major cycling events and also doing a number of key training camps with the track podium squads, that is kind of the dream scenario to be honest as it means I can still look after my ‘normal’ clients whilst working and learning from the best cyclists in the world.

You have had some outstanding results over your career. What are your three biggest highlights? Crickey this is a hard one as I raced a lot as a runner when I was younger & had some decent results back then. First international vest running for Scotland was pretty memorable, I have still have that kit under my bed somewhere. The best race I have done in recent years was retaining the World Duathlon Championships title in Pontevedra, I lead the race from gun to tape and never felt like I would lose. Ran a 15.20 first 5k as I knew this would hurt all the true cyclists, put the hammer down on the bike and never saw any of my competitors again. Perfect race really! Riding 48.15 for 25 miles this season was kind of cool, as I was was not expecting it. Spent the next month thinking about where I could find 16 seconds (the sign of a true tester). Your have just launched your own book? What’s this all about and where can we buy this? The Cycling Chef cookbook will be published by Bloomsbury on the 7th of March 2019, it is available for pre-order on Amazon & initially will be published in the UK, Australia & USA, in summary I am using my 25 plus years of cooking experience and knowledge of working with cyclists across all abilities and putting that content into a really nice book that covers all the basics and ensures the readers understand how to enjoy food for performance & pleasure. I will also be selling books directly from our website.

We know you as the Perfomance chef but you're also a Michelin star chef how did you get into this? Kind of fell into cooking, I was a little ‘troublesome’ at school and initially wanted to go into the parachute regiment however I had a knee problem and could not sign up, got a job washing up in a kitchen and things escalated from there. Worked in my first Michelin starred restaurant at 18 after winning Scottish Junior Chef of the year and never looked back, spent over 25 years working and owning Michelin starred restaurants.

What’s it like working with Matt? Actually love it, have been coached by Matt for what seems like a long time now and still making progress, initially I was doing multisport (duathlon) then got seriously injured with my dodgy knee again, then had a year of underlying illness and the last 12 months it has all kind of come together. Matt kind of gets how I tick and is hugely supportive of my ever changing goals and sometimes spontaneous training and racing plans. When I am about to do something crazy, I always think “what would Matt do?’ Haha always a recipe for some fun. In my opinion the key to any progressive coaching relationship is understanding the needs of the rider, I am not one of these data nerds and like to ride my bike, I like to train, I like to race and if I am feeling good I will think nothing of just riding my bike all day (literally). Matt first and foremost is a bike rider and understands the big picture, for me it can’t just be about chasing numbers, Matt completely gets this. Tell us about your equipment and the team you ride for? Ride for Drag2Zero Race in a Endura Encapsulator skin suit and Aeroswitch helmet. Ride a Specialized S Works Shiv, Drag2Zero front end & disc, Roval CLX64 front wheel, Quarq powermeter, all moving bits are all Ceramicspeeded up.

What are your personal best? ( include running 5km and 10km) Running Young lad PBs 5k 14.02 10k 29.47 HM 66.58 Veteran PBs 5k 15.20 10k 31.42 HM 71.00 Cycling, all done in 2018 10 miles 19.05 25 miles 48.15 50 miles 1.41.37 100 miles 3.49.26 (this was a shocker at National 100, lost my legs at 80 miles chasing Dan Barnett)

What are your goals for 2019? Want to race well at National TT events and hopefully win my age group at one of 2. Chasing PBs Elusive 18 miles for 10 miles, we need the V back up and running 46 min ride for 25 Sub 1.40 for 50 Respectable ride for 100, sub 3.40 should be achievable. Ride a 12hr and enjoy it…..

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