Eva Callinan – British Cycling Team Apprentice Programe  and (Admiral LivAWOL RT) 

 
I worked with welshewe coaching for about a year and a half before being selected to train on the Great British Cycling Team Apprentice program.  When I first contacted Tracy about coaching I was looking for help with organising training and more direction in what I was doing.

I first met up with Tracy in Richmond Park with my dad to talk about what training and racing I had previously been doing and my future goals for the coming season. As Tracy was my first coach I had never really looked at my training in detail or though about specific goals so when Tracy introduced me to training peaks it was a clearer way for me to see upcoming races and easily keep a training diary. I didn’t start with Tracy straight after this meeting as we had both agreed that the best time to start working with each other would be the start of the summer holidays.

A couple weeks into starting with Tracy and we had our first catch up where she came round and we discussed how I was finding the training and then we looked tactics for my next race, this is something I hadn’t ever really done before and it made a massive impact to my confidence going into the race. It’s small things like this that I overlooked massively before but through Tracy I was introduced to things such as strength and conditioning, race plans and even how to organise a kit bag for a race and through this I learnt that racing was only a small part of being a racer. It was definitely hard work at first but I knew if I was ever struggling with anything Tracy was only a phone call or text away.

In my first season working with Tracy I started to see the hard work pay off especially in some of my best results including becoming 2x national age group TT champion and finishing top 5 at a national series but I also learnt how to learn from performances. For example I would catch up with Tracy either over the phone or in person about a race and we would figure out ways of improvement and include this in my training helping me go from strength to strength as each race came and by the end of the season I felt like a completely different racer all together.

Alongside coaching me to become a better cyclist Tracy also helped me organise and prioritise goals outside of cycling. For example I was asked to join the regional school of racing session run by British cycling around the same time I started my GCSE courses and I found the new work load a lot to cope with. However Tracy helped me step back from it all and figure out what the best way for me to work at being a competitive cyclist and also studying at school was, doing this proved to be great for me personally as I could approach everything with a new mindset. This especially helped me when I got invited to more opportunities such as the national school of racing and eventually the apprentice program as I knew how I best coped with new workloads and expectations.

I’m now excited for the season ahead as I will be racing for Admiral LivAWOL race team after being offered a spot on their youth development squad and to continue training on the GBCT apprentice programme as I have confidence Tracy has prepared me well for all the new challenges that lie ahead!

Matt Owen – 1st Cat Road Racer (WORX FACTORY RT )

Half way through my second season of racing and having gone from 4th to 2nd cat in my first year, I thought it was time to try and take things more seriously as I hunted for my 1st cat license.

Riding for the London Dynamo RT and racing against the Nuun Sigma boys, I had heard a lot about this WelshEweCrew…I met TC riding back from a Wednesday night Crit at the Olympic park, where I had been pipped to the win by one of her riders, I immediately warmed to her, as she clearly new a LOT about racing bikes and somehow even though she’d actually been racing (and winning) at the same time as my race had been happening, she knew exactly why I hadn’t won. I immediately knew that if I was going to fulfil my potential I needed TCs help.

We started working together the next Monday, and almost immediately her sessions, tactical help, and genuinely being there 24/7 to answer any questions, give you a bit of encouragement when needed and stern word when that was the right approach paid off.

I won a Nat B at hog hill and we started planning how I would get the final 25 points I needed to get my 1st cat and the reset ready to have a big year the next season.

Sadly a couple of weeks later I got taken out lapping a third cat back at Hog Hill and had to have a couple of major surgeries on my hand. It meant 10 weeks off the bike and the chance to gain my 1st cat gone. That was gutting and if it hadn’t been for TCs positivity I’d have probably just thrown in the towel and got fat…but she didn’t let that happen. And together we planned a solid winter to get me back to my best and ready to have another crack at that first cat.

We’d ride together, doing countless intervals, she’d beast me in the gym with her famous (and horrible) Russian sessions and we’d talk tactics and what races would best suit me to get those 200 points.

I came into the first national road race of the season in good shape and that was all down to TC. With her shouting commands at the side of the road (as she often did through the season…) we got a decent result just outside the top 10. That was a good spring board and in the end I managed to get the 1st cat half way through the year.

Having had to work hard to get back to fitness through the winter, it already felt like a long season and I’d achieved all I’d wanted, so after a big win for my WORX FACTORY RT at the Tour of Sussex I hung up my cleats for true year.

Having achieved all my goals with TC always there to help. She’s a brilliant coach, and an amazing person. I’d recommend her to anyone wanting to take their cycling to the next level.

Barnabas Purbrook – Elite Road Racer (Nuun-Sigma Sport RT) 

I started training with TC in August 2015 having only just started racing. As a newbie to the world of bike racing I felt I needed a coach to not only do the right strength and conditioning required to be competitive, but also for support on race craft, bike handling, and which races to enter. The personal approach that TC provides as well as the combination of physical, mental and nutritional coaching are exactly what I was looking for.

The first few weeks were like learning to ride a bike again! Starting with the basics of pedalling technique we worked on everything from core strength, to cornering ability to sprint training. In the first few months of working with TC I made huge developments in the gym and on the road; winning a few crits and getting a top 10 at a National B road race. I also managed to move up to a 2nd Category License holder.

In my first block of off-season training TC supported with me with programmes, nutrition advice, and the all-important motivation required to nail those early morning turbos and freezing cold endurance rides. Thanks to the rigorous structure TC provided over the winter my first full racing season has been fantastic and I achieved my Elite Category race license in August. The regular feedback and race debriefs have meant that throughout the season I have been able to work on specific areas to fine tune aspects of my performance. TC has also helped me manage my recovery through a heavy race calendar.

On a personal note the points where TC’s coaching has been the most instrumental to my performances on the bike have been at the low points in the season; when results haven’t gone my way we’ve sat down and talked about what the issues are and how to resolve them.

For those interested in numbers I have seen an increase in my 20 minute threshold power of 37%, an increase in my max power of over 40%, and weight loss of nearly 20kgs. Welsh Ewe Coaching works!

Tom Hargreaves, Elite Road, Track  Racer (Nuun-Sigma Sport RT) – 

Tom joined Welshewe Coaching in 2015 as a 2nd Cat who was looking to focus on improving his training, nutrition and fitness and race craft. Through specific goal setting, benchmark testing, off season gym programmes, video analysis and a lot of hard work through the off season Tom achieved Elite status and was offered a place on Nuun-Sigma Sport RT

Darren Yorston, Road Racer, 2nd Cat  (Saddle Drunk Race Team) 

I heard about TC long before I had the chance to meet with her, with other riders at races asking if I knew her, or if I was working with her.  When I asked why, the feedback was awesome.  Tracy was a coach who everyone wants to work with. With this knowledge and being an inexperienced rider/racer, I was looking for the opportunity to meet with her and hopefully get the chance of working with her.

I knew a couple of things, the first being Tracy was selective on who she took on, the second being all of her “RACERS” were competing, placing and winning races. After a couple of consultations, Tracy agreed to give me go and a six week plan was devised.  I set about working as hard as I could to making the “complete change” to everything I thought I knew about racing.

Four weeks in and the results started to come. TC’s training methods, structure, nutritional advice and most importantly her accessibility have helped me become a more rounded rider on every level. Other added benefits include the “close bond” between all of her riders and “group training sessions” on a weekly basis, it’s not every day you can say you train with elite riders. I have developed a huge amount in five months and can’t thank her enough.

Laura Moody, UCI World Cycling Tour Amateur Finals  

In June 2015 I qualified for the UCI World Cycling Tour Amateur Finals, being held in Denmark in September. I’d only been riding for 14 months so it was a big surprise and I decided if I was going to go to Denmark wearing a GB Jersey, I had to do myself proud and therefore I needed a secret weapon to help me: a coach.  I was recommended to TC by an excellent rider who said she’s the best female rider he knows!  Plus her credentials were impressive. Ex Commonwealth Medal winning rower, switched to cycling 10 years ago and still riding at women’s elite level.

TC took me through 11 weeks of intense training to get me to Denmark and she has transformed my cycling. A mixture of road cycling, turbo training, rollers and weights and balance exercises have turned me into a hugely better cyclist.  But it’s been a deeper learning experience than that. TC has a clever way of doing a mental deep dive to help prepare you emotionally so your head is in the right place too.

11 Brits in my age group competed in Denmark (I was 40 mins slower over 85 miles than the fastest in the qualifying Tour of Cambridge race).  There were 39 riders in my category competing in the world finals and my goal was to come in the top half at least.

So how did I do?….. I came 17th, but 3 seconds off 12th (doh!). I was 3rd Brit across the line and only 2 seconds behind the GB rider who beat me by 40 mins previously.

The most exciting thing is that this is just the start of my journey and TC will be coaching me all the way. I aspire to be as good as the gutsy, driven and talented rider who is coaching me! TC has given me far more than I anticipated and I know there is so much more to come. Next step is TT and lots of racing next year.  I’ve already signed up for the Tour of Cambridge road and TT races in 2016 to try to qualify for the worlds in Perth and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the winter training regime in preparation.

Jason Parish, Triathlete Ful-on-Tri 

I first met TC in early 2015; she was introduced to me by friends from my tri club. I had reached a reasonable standard in triathlon, qualifying for European age group championships, but I felt that there was room for improvement in my cycling and wanted to take it to the next level.

I had never had any technique coaching on the bike before, and TC really took me back to basics. We did one on one sessions on the turbo, on rollers as well as in the gym working on core and leg strength.

I have a busy life with kids and a fairly demanding job, as well as trying to fit in an age group level training schedule and some kind of social life! TC took the time to understand my goals and my life, and worked with me to build a training schedule that worked for me.

And the results have certainly come through! My threshold power has increased significantly. Amongst other achievements I came 7th in the Hyde Park Triathlon, winning my age group, I qualified for the world triathlon championships in Chicago, and I smashed my 3 lap time for Richmond Park!

As well as the pure training side of things TC has helped me with nutrition, race tactics, rehab etc, no detail is too obscure or small to be discussed! TC is also always there for a chat, and for me one of the best things about having TC as my coach is knowing that I have someone with that level of energy and enthusiasm on my side! I cannot recommend her highly enough.

Ruth Purbrook, Triathlete, Ironman,  Ful-on-Tri 

I was introduced to TC in October 2014 as I was coming to the end of my first triathlon season and was looking to make improvements. She came highly recommended and very conveniently also lived very close! When we first met I was in 2 minds as to whether I could justify spending money on any sort of coaching, but that initial meeting quickly made me believe it would be some of the best spent money in terms of improving my times.

Tracy worked with me on everything, from technique to strength sessions and brick sessions, and even got me to a point of liking the rollers (which I had previously thought were some odd torture device!). She was flexible on session times, and would show up with a big smile on her face even at 5.30am! She always has time for me to chat as well as train, and is a great positive influence.

Tracy took me from being a fairly average triathlete, to coming 3rd in my age group at the European Duathlon championships, qualifying for the World and European Triathlon champs, with the 2nd fastest bike split, and qualifying for the World Amateur Cycling Championships. She has been the driving force behind me managing to take triathlon to the next level and I cannot recommend her as a coach or sports masseuse highly enough.

Dominic Masters, Triathlete, Ironman, Ful-on-Tri 

I met TC in mid 2014 when I bought my first road bike and was looking for some general advice on triathlon training. As a former amateur rower I know how important it is to get decent coaching as soon as possible, especially if you want to avoid making mistakes, wasting time and picking up bad habits which are hard to lose.

TC took the time to understand me, my hopes, my ambitions and what I was capable of. She then created an appropriate realistic and personalised training programme which I have been able to stick to. However coaching is more than just training advice and TC has genuinely gone the extra mile to help. We have had some amazing one-on-one sessions which have really focused on improving my technique, and probably most importantly of all, she has been there to give me the psychological support when self doubt has crept in.

We have worked really well as a team and without her I wouldn’t have got as far as I have; and I know there is more improvements yet to come.   Now at the end of my first season of training I have qualified for the Age Group GB team in two European and two World Championships – that’s four championships and four times I get to represent my country – Thanks TC without out you I wouldn’t have achieved any of this!

Sophie Curle, Road Racer, Les Filles Queen of The Mountains RT 

When I met Tracy I quickly realised that behind the pretty face and disarming smile that she was tough as nails, knew her stuff and meant business. It was such a relief to be in the hands of somebody who could give me the direction I needed, a complete training plan including nutrition advice and also who was as invested in improving my cycling as I was.    In a nutshell my FTP increased 30% in 6 weeks which is astounding. She has helped me with my pedal stroke through detailed technique work, my hill climbing technique, racing skills such as corning and riding in a pack as well as a lot of tough interval turbo sessions.

I particularly liked that her weekly plan worked around the races I was doing and my weekend rides with my husband. She also gave me valuable advice on the racing scene, how to prepare for races, which ones to focus on and tactics during a race. Tracy has done all this before at the international professional level so having her as your coach is like having secret weapon.

Since working with Tracy I have won 4 races and placed top 10 in many others. I credit this to the tough, comprehensive training plan and the racing advice but also to the fact that she changed my mindset. She believed in me so much that I started to believe I could be better as well.

Stuart Spies, Road Racer, 1st Cat Road Racer – CHAINGANG Racing Team

TC is amazing! Its not always the best idea to train your partner, or yell at them for not eating correctly, but who better to use as a test bunny for various techniques and ideas? Well thats me, the test bunny.  In short I am a long-in-the-tooth 2nd cat road racer and battle scarred mtb endurance specialist, training me is like trying to pacify a grumpy dinosaur whilst making it quicker and more disciplined, in a nutshell, not really an enviable task.

TC has helped me define my goals better, focus on the objectives, structure my training and essentially keep up this facade of racing people half my age and actually beating them!Most notably I said I hadn’t won a race in 5 years, that job got six weeks post test bunny startup!   With an average wattage of around 307 for a 40min effort I built up a lead of around a minute, helped having another TC coached team mate in the race! Not bad for an old fart.

Carolyn Greensmith – London to Paris 2014

I have been cycling for many years, although without any structure to my training and have participated in a number of sportives achieving good times within my age group. This year I secured a place in the Hot Chillee London to Paris event, which is a 3 day stage event covering over 500 kms in 3 days in speed seeded groups. This is further and faster than anything that I have ever done before and I realised that I needed some help with my training to get the right balance between speed and distance training and to ensure that my training built towards the event.

Tracy was recommended to me and we immediately hit it off. She understood the balance that I needed to achieve between my family (3 children) and putting in the hours on the bike. Tracy produced weekly training plans, which she adjusted each week depending on my other commitments and we met weekly for a core session. This was vital as it also gave an opportunity for me to ask any questions and get regular reassurance from her. As well as the training plans she gave valuable advice on nutrition and race preparation. Tracy also gave me the belief in myself – I have never taken part in any racing and had no idea what I could achieve – her enthusiasm is infectious! With Tracy’s help I finished as the 2nd woman overall, which was beyond anything I could have dreamed of. Thank you!

Steve Wood, Cyclocross, Road Racer 

I’ve been racing on the road and doing Cyclo-Cross in the winter for the last few years. I never managed to score any points in the road races, typically I would do a few races at the start of the season and then give up as it seemed a waste of time and too soul destroying. Last winter I did 2 or 3 of the Imperial winter series at Hillingdon, getting closer to the top ten but still no points.   I decided I needed to change something, or carry on getting nowhere.  I spoke to a team mate of TC’s and then within a couple of days a meeting at TC flat was arranged.

I knew TC from a previous club and always remembered her as being super friendly.  I wasn’t looking for someone to tell me to do 1000 squats to get success and it was quickly apparent that TC’s approach was what I was looking for. I won’t go into what TC got me to do, as I’m sure it is tailored to the individual, however, everything she told me I could achieve has happened.

TC told me I would be able to ride on rollers no handed, she told me she would change my riding position (not my bike set up) the way I actually sit on the bike. And most importantly of all she gave me belief, she not only told me I would get points but also that I would win a race. I would smile and think ‘’I wish’’ when she said it. But it happened. I won a race in June and the next race I entered I got 5th, at the age of 52. TC is so positive I cannot recommend her enough.

 Kieran Allen – Haute Route Alps, Ful-on-Tri 

My main reason for coming to Tracy was that she’d worked with several members of my club and came highly recommended.  My main objective was to get ready for the Haute Route Alps 2015.  “Epic” is an often over-used term in cycling circles but I can safely say that is a fair way to describe the event; one for the bucket list for sure.  I knew I needed structure and focus in whatever training regime I was going to get in to.  I also needed someone who was going to act as my conscience and check in on me, someone I had to report to!!

One of my friends described one of the best things about Tracy as feeling as if you just had someone “on your team” which I think is a really good description and what probably differentiates her most from other coaches; the real personal touch.  Tracy gave me the structure I needed and was always someone I had to “report to” but she also met me every week (which I looked forward to hugely), looked at the “holistic athlete” with core exercise videos, nutrition monitoring and technique coaching.  Above all, her experience as a racer at the high levels in cycling and sports massage background meant that she was able to really understand what I was going through and what I needed.  And of course, there’s always the irrepressibly bubbly nature that Tracy has to keep you going when times are tough!

My only regrets on working with Tracy are that I didn’t start sooner and I didn’t get a power meter!!  Whilst I would have probably gotten over the Alps without Tracy, I wouldn’t have done so nearly as close to my full potential as I did it and, tough as it was, there were no “dark nights of the soul” on the Haute Route for me and I think Tracy’s got a lot to do with that!