Rachel Pryzbyl­ski

Date of Train­ing Makeover: Fe­bru­ary 2, 2017

Cycling Weekly - - Fitness -

Hav­ing racked up re­sults on the Bri­tish na­tional scene, and with some ex­pe­ri­ence at UCI level, 36-year-old Rachel Pryzbyl­ski took a break from cy­cling two years ago to have her first child. She sought ad­vice on re­gain­ing form on the bike while re­turn­ing to her de­mand­ing job in fi­nance, work­ing for Saxo Cap­i­tal Mar­kets. Matt was con­fi­dent he could help Pryzbyl­ski, work­ing within her lim­ited time frame, to achieve op­ti­mal re­sults.

her goals: 1. To get fit for lead­ing Hotchillee Events in­clud­ing the Alpine Chal­lenge 2. Take part in Saxo’s Ride Like A Pro pro­gramme 3. Re­turn to rac­ing fit­ness to com­pete in TTS

coach’s ad­vice: 1. In­creased vol­ume of qual­ity work (inc. max ef­forts) 2. Fo­cus on thresh­old and fit­ness, not just ‘plod­ding’ and Z3 ef­forts 3. Longer group rides

RIDER Q&A: cw: have you kept to Matt’s plan?

RP: Mostly. Matt put to­gether a 12-week plan for the Saxo Ride Like A Pro group, which I am part of, so we could achieve our goal to do the Chiltern 100. He gave me some guid­ance for achiev­ing my time trial goals as well as the long-dis­tance events.

cw: how have the changes helped you?

RP: Hav­ing the ini­tial FTP (Func­tional Thresh­old Power) test and work­ing with power num­bers has helped me. Also, the big-gear ses­sions and re­ally short, sharp ses­sions have helped in­crease my 20-minute power from a thresh­old of 3.4W/kg — 170W, weigh­ing 53kg — to 4.1W/ kg, hav­ing gained 40W and lost a kilo.

I did the Na­tional 25 and achieved a PB of 1:03 even though it was a re­ally windy day. Given the lit­tle time I have to train, I was su­per­happy to get a PB and I know there were so many things other than get­ting stronger that would have saved me time. So, with a win­ter of spe­cific train­ing and aero trick­ery, I can chase that elu­sive hour mark.

cw: What have you learnt through this process?

RP: That I need to be clever with the ses­sions and make sure the qual­ity is there. I am do­ing well on four to six-hour weeks, with a few weeks, when I can, of 10-12 hours.

cw: have you achieved any of your key goals yet?

RP: I did a 25-minute 10 TT and set a new PB, I com­pleted the Hotchillee Alpine Chal­lenge and the Chiltern 100. I’m rid­ing Lon­don to Paris, and af­ter the re­cent Alpine Chal­lenge and Chiltern 100, I cer­tainly have my climb­ing legs in good form.

cw: What are your aims now?

RP: I have sev­eral 25-mile TTS booked. I aim to do a cir­cuit race but more as a test for how my top end is — or isn’t — and then I may do more rac­ing next sea­son. I have the L’etape Lon­don sportive soon and am con­sid­er­ing a few hill-climbs.

Matt Rowe says...

Rachel rides fan­tas­ti­cally off an av­er­age of around five hours’ train­ing a week — al­beit in­clud­ing some re­ally in­tense ses­sions. When I first met Rachel, her train­ing was very sin­gle-paced — each ride was ‘quite hard’. Hav­ing spent the last 12 weeks in­clud­ing some in­ten­sity in her train­ing, we are now see­ing some real progress. At the Chiltern 100, Rachel was su­per-strong on the climbs, vis­i­bly push­ing on and pass­ing oth­ers.

The key ses­sion that has led to Rachel’s im­prove­ments has been the low-ca­dence, strength ses­sions. Some

women can strug­gle for brute strength, so strength train­ing is rec­om­mended for all fe­male ath­letes. By iden­ti­fy­ing Rachel’s weak­nesses through FTP and ca­pac­ity tests, we were able to tar­get those spe­cific ar­eas.

Hav­ing spent 12 weeks pri­mar­ily work­ing on her strength, the next step

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