Ethan Hayter’s week in training
Week: July 16-22, 2018 Location: Manchester Preparing for: European Championships
Newly crowned European omnium champion Ethan Hayter joined British Cycling Academy at the end of 2016 after a breakthrough year in which he won a brace of junior national titles as well as Kuurne-brussels-kuurne. Success continued through 2017, and this year the 19-year-old has hit the big time. He was part of the winning team pursuit at the 2018 Track Worlds, and two weeks ago won omnium gold at the European Championships in Glasgow.
When CW spoke to him, he was still gathering himself after a crash the previous day: “A car was turning right and only saw me at the last second — it stopped, and I managed to swerve but clipped it and hit the floor. Luckily, I got off quite lightly.”
You started cycling competitively in your early teens. When did you realise you had the talent to make it?
Yeah, I started in 2012, but it wasn’t until a couple of years later, when I was nearly 16, in my last year as a youth, that somehow I just started to perform at a national level and got a load of podiums in the national series. I kept coming second or third. The next year  I got accepted on to what then was the Olympic Development Programme [now the Junior Academy].
You stepped up to the top level in cycling at an age when most are focusing on their education, considering university, socialising with their mates, etc. Did it feel like you were making sacrifices?
Yeah, definitely. Last year I left school halfway through my A-levels, and moved up to Manchester, and then all through the summer we lived out in Italy, where there wasn’t much going on and it was a bit boring sometimes — whereas all your friends back home are seeing each other every day at school, going on holidays… It definitely is a sacrifice but at the moment it’s worth it.
What is it that keeps you motivated?
Success definitely helps. I’d find it hard to do it if I wasn’t achieving success. To get out of bed in the morning and know why I am doing my training and how it’s going to benefit me, that makes me want to do it, too.
You’re with Team Sky as a stagiaire until the end the year. What do you hope to get out of that?
I’m going to be doing a few races in the autumn; the road Worlds and a few other one-day races. I’m just going to go and make the most of the opportunity and experience; I don’t think there’s any pressure to perform. It’s really just an opportunity for me to learn as much as I can in that environment.
Do you have a favourite training session?
On the track, it’s definitely the rolling efforts with a bit of distance to them. They suit me the most. I quite like getting out on the road too. It’s not that I’m slow doing the explosive stuff, it’s just that some of the other [GB] guys are really quick!
What do you do to relax when you have a rest day or time off?
It depends. If you’re tired, you don’t want to do much at all and you’re quite happy with that. I’m living with the Academy boys, so we’re all together; there are plenty of us to keep each other company. Sometimes we’ll just ride to a cafe and sit there for a couple of hours, then ride back, and that’s half the day gone!
Monday AM: easy Road Ride PM: explosive efforts on track
I did a ride in the morning, just an hour. Just getting ready for the track in the afternoon, keeping the volume up. Track in the afternoon was lots of standing start efforts* on big gears. A three-hour session in total with lots of explosive stuff. * BC prohibits riders from divulging precise details of sessions.
Tuesday am: GYM PM: flying efforts on Track
I rode to the track, which takes about half an hour, for a gym session. I always ride to the track, as it takes as long to drive. The gym was quite a decent session — pretty general, keeping everything working and getting stronger. We always do a similar routine — squats, deadlifts and leg press — the exercises all cyclists have to do. In the afternoon we had track, everyone in the team was doing the same: it was fast stuff, but slightly longer efforts, flying efforts, accelerations. We were going really quick; the conditions were good — it was a good session.
wednesday recovery ride
Wednesday was just a short road ride, just recovery, an hour and a half. Just tapping along. We vary the routes; sometimes we just pick a cafe somewhere. I can’t remember whether this one included a cafe stop, but the chances are it did.
Thursday am: easy road ride PM: race-intensity efforts on Track
I did an easy ride in the morning, just an hour. I’m living with the Academy boys, so it depends what they’re doing. Sometimes I go by myself for these morning rides, as I know I’ll be seeing everyone else at the track in the afternoon. If it’s a longer ride, a few of us will meet up. In the afternoon, it was another three-hour track session. We were moving up towards race distance, longer efforts at race pace; it was another pretty solid session. In theory it should be harder but I find it easier, as I seem to favour longer efforts. When we’re doing explosive stuff, everyone batters me!
friday am: GYM session PM: race-intensity efforts on Track
I did gym in the morning — similar session to Tuesday’s but the weight was slightly lower, making it that little bit easier before the track session in the afternoon, as this was the fourth track session of the week, a pretty heavy one. I haven’t been doing a massive amount of gym for very long; we were doing around 10 reps per set. Track in the afternoon was high-speed stuff; we were motorpacing and going really quick, long distances — up to race distance. All the sessions are three hours, usually 2-5pm. It didn’t feel too bad for me, even though it was another double day.
saturday Medium road ride
On Saturday I did a three-hour road ride just to keep the volume in, and a bit of tempo to keep me ticking over. There was a group of us, and it was pretty chilled out. We ended up off-road for a bit; we’d taken a footpath and it kind of ran out. The pace was almost like recovery, just slightly faster — more getting the hours in.
sunday easy road ride
Sunday I did an hour easy, basically as a recovery day. Nice and steady. The Academy boys were doing the same, so I was with them; it was a nice ride. For most of my rides, I prefer to be in a group, so we can socialise and chat, which makes the time pass quicker. This was pretty relaxed to end the week.
Hayter has reaped the benefits of a heavy workload