Ryan Owen’s week in train­ing

Date: Au­gust 14-20, 2017 | Lo­ca­tion: Manch­ester | Train­ing for: Euro­pean Track Cham­pi­onships (pend­ing se­lec­tion)

Cycling Weekly - - Contents - Re­becca Charl­ton

When sprinter Ryan Owens tri­alled for Team GB in Septem­ber 2015, he didn’t ex­pect to be head­ing to Rio the fol­low­ing sum­mer. Just six months af­ter se­cur­ing a place on the Se­nior Acad­emy and mov­ing to Manch­ester he was named as a re­serve in the 2016 sprint squad.

Mak­ing in­roads this year, the 21-year-old has taken his first na­tional ti­tles and, last month, team sprint gold at the UEC Un­der-23 Euro­pean Track Cham­pi­onships. Here, Owens talks us through a typ­i­cal week at the Na­tional Cy­cling Cen­tre.

1hr re­cov­ery road ride

This was just a short, gen­tle spin. We don’t do too much road rid­ing, es­pe­cially in a strength block. We do a block of road when we first come back from a break af­ter com­pe­ti­tion but it’s good some­times just to get a bit of fresh air, and I en­joy rid­ing my bike. We did a bit of ac­tive re­cov­ery to pre­pare for a big day on Fri­day. To­day was a bit dif­fer­ent, as I was ar­rang­ing a sur­prise for my girl­friend — clean­ing up the house be­fore her friends from Ire­land ar­rived.

2h gym ses­sion

We’ve just got a new strength-and-con­di­tion­ing coach, so we’ve started do­ing some new things in the gym. We’re work­ing on some com­pli­cated Olympic lifts that we’ve not done be­fore. Some of the ses­sion was tech­ni­cal, and some of it was quite heavy. We were test­ing, try­ing to find a two-rep bench­mark for squats. I got up to 200kg. Af­ter that, we had a core ses­sion to work on bal­ance. As a sprinter, you use your core quite a lot, es­pe­cially dur­ing starts.

AM: 2hr gym ses­sion; PM: 1hr track ses­sion

The Fri­day gym ses­sion was re­ally hard. It in­volved a big test, where we had to do as many squats as we could in 10 min­utes at 75 per cent of our max­i­mum (as mea­sured on Mon­day). I think I did 49 reps of 150 ki­los in 10 min­utes. In the afternoon we did fly­ing 100-200-me­tre ef­forts on the track just to prac­tise the sprint qual­i­fy­ing ef­forts. Com­ing through the door that evening, I was pos­si­bly the most tired I’ve ever been.

Track ses­sion: power jumps

This track ses­sion fo­cused on du­ra­tion: it was all about mak­ing the sprint last longer on the track. We did four max-ef­fort power jumps, where you come in at a medium pace and, ex­it­ing off one of the turns, you do an ac­cel­er­a­tion. We did 1.75-lap ef­forts on pretty big gears with the mo­tor­bike in front of us to sim­u­late push­ing that ca­dence at that speed. It’s quite hard to do that un­less you put race wheels on for ev­ery train­ing ef­fort. I saw im­prove­ments from last week.

20min re­cov­ery ride

Nor­mally we’d do track Fri­day and gym Satur­day, but be­cause I had the guests stay­ing this week­end, we moved it around so I had the dou­ble ses­sion on Fri­day and a dou­ble rest at the week­end. It also set us up nicely for the dou­ble day on Mon­day. Two days of re­cov­ery means you can hit the new week hard. I did a re­ally short re­cov­ery ride on the road bike to get some fresh air — lit­er­ally around 20 min­utes.

2h gym ses­sion

We were back in the gym to­day, but not un­til the afternoon, so we had plenty of time to re­cover from the track ses­sion the day be­fore. We did dead­lifts, another ex­er­cise I’ve not done in a while, so I’m not push­ing mas­sive num­bers on it at the mo­ment, about 160kg. It’s get­ting those foun­da­tion move­ments and pat­terns right and mak­ing sure I’m not strain­ing. We also did some split squats and one-legged stuff, just to make sure we’re not overde­vel­op­ing on one side.

Rest day

I took it pretty easy on Sun­day, aware of the de­mand­ing week ahead. A nor­mal rest day is just keep­ing on top of re­cov­ery. I know there’s this big thing around cy­clists not walk­ing when they can sit, but I ac­tu­ally find it quite good to just get out and get a bit of fresh air, go for a walk around town and not spend the whole day shut up in­doors. It can’t be too tax­ing but I’m not one for just watch­ing TV all day, not any­more — I used to be!

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