Date: March 10 to March 16, 2014
Location: Newport, Wales
Jon Mould is a former British Cycling Academy rider and former European Madison U23 champion and 2013 national Madison champion, who now rides for NFTO Pro Cycling.
As well as his multiple titles on the track, Mould also won a round of the 2013 Tour Series. Here, he speaks to Cycling Weekly about his week in training before the two-day Tour of the Reservoir, while keeping one eye on the Commonwealth Games this summer.
Monday March 10
One hour easy to the cafe, a recovery spin after the Jock Wadley [Memorial Race] the day before — nice and easy in the little ring, with a nice stop enjoying the Welsh sunshine.
CW says: After a race or very hard bout of cycling, it’s important to rest and recover. However, a lot of cyclists believe that you must refrain from exercise completely in order to maximise recovery, but this isn’t always the case, as Mould demonstrates. If you want to ride your bike after such an intense bout of cycling, make sure it’s light and puts little to no stress through the body. Low levels of exercise may actually enhance the recovery process, by easing muscle tension and soreness.
Tuesday March 11
Three hours’ steady riding to get going again, tried to stay in zone two for most of the ride. Stopped for a coffee at the end of the ride and met team-mates James ‘Tank’ Lewis, Hugh Wilson and Sam Harrison. We played rock, paper, scissors for a round and Hugh Wilson lost so had to pay, which hardly ever happens!
CW says: At a coffee stop, always get the other person to pay. Nice work.
Wednesday March 12
Three-hour track session with 4x25min blocks behind the motorbike. Two blocks included taking laps and the other two included sprints. It’s important for me this year to stay in tune with the track, as the Commonwealth Games in July is the main target of 2014. I’m trying to stay on top of cadence work throughout the year.
CW says: Wednesday is when Mould really pushes his body. This is a big workout, and more importantly, it’s specific to what he wants to achieve. As Mould mentions, the Commonwealth Games is one of his main goals this year, so he has to train for it by performing sessions that replicate what he wants to race and compete in.
This is known as specificity, the principle that training should be relevant and appropriate to the sport which the individual is competing in. It makes sense and is something a lot of amateurs fail to understand. In order to improve in a specific area, one you’re possibly weak in, you must train specifically to become better in that area.
Thursday March 13
Three hours today with 3x15min blocks of zone three. I ride on power so it was a solid effort keeping on top of the gear and staying as still as possible through my upper body.
CW says: Another day, another extremely tough session. Mould pays particular attention to his riding position, trying to keep still while pedalling hard. Keeping the upper body still provides a platform for his lower legs to work from. The more a body rocks, the more power is lost, and for Mould, this is hugely detrimental to performance.
Friday March 14
I had a day off planned, but as the weather was good I couldn’t help but get out on my bike. I did 20 minutes to the cafe and met Sam Harrison after he’d done four hours in the mountains.
Saturday March 15
Josh Hunt came down on Friday night for a good weekend of training, so we did four hours today with a 20-minute max effort. I was trying to do a good block over the weekend so I kept in zone two for most of the ride. The weather was good so I made the most of it.
CW says: While zone two isn’t the most strenuous of intensities, riding for four hours at such a steady pace does require a bit of effort. This is off the back of two hard days’ training, so you can forgive Mould for not going hell for leather. This steady ride will keep his body ticking over, getting miles in the legs.
Sunday March 16
It was the 111.1km- long Betty Pharoah Memorial Race in Cowbridge today. It started at 10, and we had no real team orders other than just to make the most of the racing and get as much out of the distance as possible. I didn’t feel amazing and was away with Graham Briggs for the last 25km before we got caught with 300 metres to go. It was then chaos with riders everywhere; I ended up fifth. I then rode home back to Newport to make my total distance for the day 170km.
CW says: Mould states that he didn’t feel great — which may have something to do with the fact that he didn’t give himself much time to rest from the previous day’s riding — yet he still managed to put in a performance.
While the race probably wasn’t high on his list of priorities, it was still a valuable part of his training and build-up towards his main goals. Cyclists can train as much as they like, but nothing beats actual racing and cycling in a competitive environment. Not only does it prepare the body, it also prepares the mind, reacting to situations that are thrown your way, something that can’t be replicated on solo training rides.
Returning from a back injury, world-class sprinter Jessica Varnish is training in preparation for the 2014 World Track Championships, where