Ethan Hayter’s week in train­ing

Week: July 16-22, 2018 Lo­ca­tion: Manch­ester Pre­par­ing for: Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships

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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 [2014] 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

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