I’ve had a life long love of cycling, with well over 30 years on the bike. I never had the ‘engine’ or raw talent to really succeed in racing, but am extremely proud of what I did achieve. As a junior I rode for Devon and Cornwall division and later made the squad for the student World Championships before a knee injury halted my progress. I never did wear that famous Polka dot jersey at the Tour De France but I was King of the Mountains (the Cotswolds!) at the Chedworth Road Race. After a little time out of racing I returned, eventually achieving a top 10 in the National Masters Road Race Championships and I’m particularly proud to have earned 2 top 10’s in the Masters World Championships on the track.
I had to get every ounce out of myself to achieve what I did, through hard work and training ‘smart’ with specific targeted training, focussing not only on the physical, but also the mental, technical and tactical aspects. It is only with this holistic approach that we can get the best out of ourselves.
The breadth of my cycle coaching, instructing and leading experience and qualifications is unrivalled with almost 20 years experience of coaching, leading and instructing groups and individuals.
I’ve worked for many years delivering cycling in schools and clubs, for District and County Councils, cycling charities and National Governing Bodies, with children and adults aged 4 to 74! I’ve worked on the whole spectrum of cycling, from teaching children and adults to ride a bike, to improving adults confidence through ‘Cycle to Your Hearts Content’ to improving riders skills and the technical aspects of their cycling, providing individuals with individualised race training prescription and teaching others to be cycling coaches, ride Leaders and instructors.
I started out coaching as a British Cycling Level 2 (Club Coach), subsequently qualifying in BC Level 2 Road and Time Trial, BC Level 2 Track and BC Level 2 Cyclocross. Furthermore my British Cycling Level 3 Road and Time Trial qualification means that I am fully qualified to prescribe coaching to individuals.
I have worked for British Cycling since 2007 as a Coach Educator, tutor, assessor and mentor, so I have trained up many of the coaches who are around today!
While it was all about Heart Rate zones when I was racing, things have moved on and measuring Power is now seen as the way forward. Power is an incredibly useful tool – but only if you truly understand how to use it. Merely seeing how many Watts you can produce may be interesting but doesn’t really tell us much. It’s important to understand the numbers, the numbers behind the numbers and what they all mean. To this end I have spent the last few years learning as much as possible about how to get the best out those magic numbers, going on courses, reading just about everything ever written about training with power and attending Training Peaks University.
As well as my cycle coaching qualifications, I have qualifications in instructing and leading which are very different things. I am a Mountain Bike Leader, Level 2 Ride Leader, British Cycling Ride Leader Instructor and Tutor, a National Standards instructor and Instructor Trainer. I was involved in the initial development of both the British Cycling Ride Leader and Bikeability courses and I have worked for British Cycling and others delivering Ride Leader, Sky Ride Leader and Bikeability courses to potential instructors and leaders.
There can be no denying that as well as the physical side of things, technical, tactical and mental aspects of preparation all play an important part what we achieve and how we perform. With my degree in Psychology and Diplomas in Stress Management Training and Sport Psychology I am well placed to offer in depth advice and strategies to improve your confidence, motivation, focus and ultimately your results.
I continue to work as an ‘X-Bike’ (UCI approved) indoor cycling instructor and am qualified in Advanced Cycle Mechanics, with up to date Outdoor First Aid, and enhanced DBS checks (formerly known as CRB checks) – and most of all I still love riding my bike and helping people to get the most out of themselves and their cycling.
Chris Jackson – Ultra Endurance cyclist
Multi day, solo, endurance riding is a tiny, niche, aspect within the global sport of cycling. Few coaches will have had any experience with working with such athletes so
You are going to need a coach that is genuinely interested, understanding, adaptable and truly prepared to really think about what you’re trying to achieve.
He recognises that coaching is an art and that every athlete is unique with differing strengths, weaknesses and goals.
Martin has 20 or so years of coaching experience, is highly qualified and a pleasure to work with.
He focuses flexibly on what you need at any given time rather than any hard and fast preconceived agenda of his own.
Ben Fitzgerald – Mountain Bike Rider and Marathon Runner
Martin clearly made use of the data gathered via my Garmin device to see if I committed to the session and tailor future sessions.
For me the regular communication (mostly through Training Peaks) was key, I had stop on reflect on each training session and think about how it went.
Martin’s encouragement and advice made it easier to prioritise the next session, focusing effort where it mattered.
8 weeks training for a first marathon is not normal, Martin and I did discuss the risks of doing this.
Through out the whole time Martin was supportive and provided the focus I need to achieved my goal.
Read about all of Ben’s 2017 season here
Darin Dodd – Time Trial and Sportive rider
I‘ve had a couple of coaches over the past few years as there is no doubt that having a coach does bring focus, accountability and a different perspective –and ultimately makes you go faster.
I’ve been working with Martin for the last 12 months and have seen definite improvement in certain areas.
He got far more involved in what I was trying to achieve than some other coaches I’d come across and the tweaking made a real difference.
He did some simple video analysis of my position and set a plan which involved training much more in the aero position. He suggested different sessions than I’d done before to work on the specific areas that I needed to improve.
It definitely worked – I went under the hour for a ‘25’ for the first time and knocked almost 3 minutes off my PB!
Darin Dodd – pictured before we worked on that TT position!
Michele Radant (National Standards Cycling Officer for Torbay Council)
Martin is an amazing coach with a wealth of experience in several cycling disciplines.
Whether it’s beginners, experienced riders or trainees on the Coaching or Ride Leader courses, Martin pitches all his sessions at exactly the right level.
He brings out the best in everyone with his patience and expertise.
His calm supportive manner is especially good with children and less confident riders, whilst his own racing background makes him the ideal choice for the more experienced riders who are looking for an experienced coach to help them improve and fully develop their skills. Martin recently ran a beginner’s cyclocross course for women and encouraged them to enter some events. Comments received after the course were that
Martin is both inspirational and motivational.
I would recommend Martin for all your cycle coaching needs.
“Just a note to say thanks for the training plans. I have been following them and have enjoyed the various plans. It has made training so much more interesting and I am not so tired”.
Derek Symington – Dartmoor Classic training plan user
“Thanks Martin for the 1:1 coaching session”
“I asked specifically for a cornering, hill climbing and standing in the saddle session and from the moment we met…”
“…you delivered focused and well-planned exercises with explanations of everything we were doing”
“You made me feel relaxed and I was able to ask questions and have them answered in a professional and concise way”
Regarding the Dartmoor Classic training plan…
“Your training programme has given me confidence and belief in myself that I can tackle rides which I would have previously thought too difficult for me”
Diana Flint – writing about a 1 to 1 personal coaching ride, and the Dartmoor Classic training plan