Being time-smart is, in our experience, one of the great keys to hitting training and racing goals.  We took the subject of being time-smart and time-wise in training to Spoken Coaching’s Blair Taylor.

RC:  First of all of all the reasons people give about why they won’t race or get a coach, how highly does the issue of not enough time to train rank?

Blair:  We all have time restrictions and possibly that is an even better reason to get a coach if you have specific goals you are trying to achieve. When we train an athlete one of the first questions we ask is how many times a week do you ride and how much time is that weekly. Training has to fit into everyday life and not everyday life fit into training in my opinion. 

RC:  Tell us a bit about how balancing business, family and training/racing works for you.

Blair:  Honestly life is pretty busy, two business, 3 kids and a wife that has the same values around fitness as myself means really being time efficient. I train/ride at least 3 times a week and a good week 4.  For me though this means getting up at 4am on the bike at 4:45am and home by 7:30am.  It’s the time I have, and between my riding and Seah my wife doing her stuff, if I miss a session well that’s just the way it goes.  It keeps me motivated I guess though and having a group of mates to train with makes life much easier.

RC:  We hear every now and then about the monster training rides and training weeks that some of the professionals tackle and it can feel extremely intimidating.  In the average person’s reality, however, how much time is necessary on a weekly basis to be well prepared to tackle some of NZ’s big events like Taupo, K2, Gravel and Tar etc?

Blair:  Again this just comes down to a few things, how much time you have weekly and what your goal is.  Being realistic is important and that works with us as coaches back to the athlete also.  What I have found personally, if I ride ride 8-10 hours a week doing specific training I can see improvements; anything less and I am not really moving forward. Events like K2 etc, the 8-10 hours a week or no big rides have come back to haunt me so I leave those now.

RC:  If you’re limited for time to ride it can be tempting to think that with not much time I’ve got to make each ride a high intensity one; cutting back on the recovery rides.  How good/bad an approach is that?

Blair:  It’s about making the most of your time, if you are riding 4 days a week and having every second day off you’re probably more likely to be able to handle a bit of intensity.  In saying that short hard efforts can be hard on the body if you haven’t done these before so it’s about sitting down and finding out what you want to work on and what you’re trying to achieve.

RC:  Can you give us a few tips to make the best use of limited days in the week to ride?

Blair:  My tips are: consistency, riding 3-4 days a week 8-10 hours means you really can’t afford to take many days off.  Getting key sessions done are a must and if you miss a ride make it a recovery ride.

RC:  Can you give us a few tips to make the best use of limited time in a single ride?

Blair:  This is a hard one, it all depends what you are aiming for.  If your ride is something like K2 I’d be heading into the hills and making the most of the couple of hours you have riding hills than just tapping around on the flat. Make the training specific to what your goal is.

To find out more about Spoken Coaching check out their website here.


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