Hi, Jarlath Flynn here, I am the coach for Edinburgh RC’s u18 junior race squad.
With the race season starting in a couple of weeks it is now perhaps a good time to give an update on what the squad have been doing this winter
Firstly some good news regarding previous and current ERC Juniors. Congratulations to Calum Johnston making the jump to the u23 Zappi race team based in Italy and Stuart Paterson moving to RT23. Joe Agnew also continues his progress with a bike deal from Red Chilli bikes.
Sean Flynn, (British Champion at everything!) of ERC and British Cycling continues to show face on the international Junior scene. Good luck Sean, the club is very proud of your achievements.
So to the 2018 Juniors
Firstly let me introduce the squad.
This year we welcomed a few out of towners to the squad. Christopher and Alison joined the club from West Lothian Clarion, Ciaran from North Berwick , while Logan has come from Stirling.
Our winter programme began In mid-October with the squad meeting as a group on Tuesday evenings for 90 minutes around Arthur Seat.
The purpose of this session was to get the riders together as a group and to bond a s team.
Last summer I was part of the Scottish Cycling coaching team that took a the Scottish schools Cycling team to the National School games. I saw how there was a big gap between the “best” and the “rest” when it came to racing. Looking back at the races I realised that the main difference was raw speed. The riders that were winning were used to cycling faster in training than their peers. With that in mind a large part of our Arthur’s Seat session was to incorporate fast speed drills. The idea was for me to act as a derny and build up speed approaching 50kph with the riders drafting and attacking at high speeds. In Jan and Feb. we have moved the speed drill to the Innocent railway tunnel where the riders can hit 60kph over 400 meters.
Our winter training program also involved rides getting a physical check-up by Team Sky’s Morgan Lloyd at James McCallum’s M.E.T.A facility. This was to ensure that the riders had no under lying issues that would stop them taking part in our winter strength and conditioning program.
Now that we are 16 weeks into the gym programme it’s great to see how the riders have become stronger and more co-ordinated.
Over the past few years we used to have twice monthly group rides but for 2018 these have been mostly ditched so that the riders could experience the speed of the weekly club runs from the Commonwealth pool. Getting to know club members is also a large part of being part of a club and building up a social network can only benefit the riders going forward.
Some of our juniors also managed to get on Scottish Cyling’s iDevelop sessions which were held once or twice a month and involved group riding, track and roller sessions.
With some of our team unable to make the weekly session due to their out of town locations we have inclusive Skype chats to discuss training, nutrition and anything else the riders needs advice on. To be honest though, we mostly talk about when the next kit order will be
Over Skype we have planned our target race schedule which involves regional and national races as well as the annual trip to the Junior Tour of Ireland.
Later this month, level 3 coach Andy Kirkland is lined up to give the riders a talk over Skype about what it takes to be the best you can be.
So it is with excitement that we look forward to see what thrills and spills the 2018 race season brings.
Thanks for taking the time to read about what has been happing with the Edinburgh RC u18 race squad. Do keep an eye on this bog , @EdinburghRc on Twitter, @jarlathflynn on Twitter and other social media for updates on how our season is progressing.
Bye for now and as always thanks to the ERC membership and our sponsors that support our young riders.
Lets cycle faster then the rest!