Featured Athlete - Marcus Holmes
Aug 16, 2017
16-year-old Marcus Holmes is a young up and coming English MTB and Cyclocross rider who has had 2 podiums in the British Youth XC series & 3rd in the National Championships and has a big focus on the upcoming Cyclocross season.
Marcus works closely with Dig Deep Coach Ian Field and this wealth of experience and detailed training has seen him step up in performances in 2017. Read more about Marcus here and why and how coaching has helped him in his ambitions...
How do you feel Structured coaching has helped you over the past 3 months?
It has added focus to my training, it is much more specific than what I used to do, I also know that what I am doing will work rather than hoping it will help. I have huge confidence in my coach Ian Field, as an elite athlete he knows how to get me onto National podiums.
What has been the biggest change from the training you have done before?
Working to power (with Power Tap pedals) and heartrate thresholds has been the biggest change. I used to do timed efforts but I didn’t know if I was pushing it hard enough and couldn’t gauge the effort very well. I can now measure the improvement. The improvement has also translated into great race results.
What is the biggest benefit you see with working with the Dig Deep Coaching team?
The biggest benefit has been two national podiums at mountain biking and winning regional events with a healthy lead. In addition, I feel well supported with my coach taking an active interest in my training and race results. Flexibility to train on both MTB and road/turbo has been great, the sessions have been tailored to my race and exam schedule.
What is your short term and long term aims in both cycling and outside of the cycling world?
Short term I aim to get on some podiums at the local Cyclocross League and to have strong results at the 2017 National Cyclocross series.
Long term I would like to race elite level mountain biking, both marathon mtb races and xc mountain biking. I would also like to race elite level cyclocross as it is a great discipline and is great fun when it gets muddy!
Outside cycling I am waiting for my GCSE results before hopefully studying Maths, Physics and Accounting at A level. My career will be a base to support my racing ambitions!
Your favourite training spin and why?
My favourite training session is anything on my mountain bike, efforts or skills as I like riding my local trails, they are great and push you to go fast on an xc bike. Hopwas Woods is my local MTB area, it contains mostly Enduro type trails so an xc bike is often pushed to ride the trails there. My favourite part of a training session here is riding a small section very fast and trying new line. I find this improves my descending skills for when I am racing. My training schedule has been built to include this type of training in addition to road/turbo, this has been key to maintaining my enthusiasm to train hard and regularly.
However, my ultimate training location would be Les Arcs in the French Alps, where you have amazing technical and scary descents and as much climbing as my body can cope with!
What motivates you to train when you’re tired/cold/late at night?
I am motivated by wanting to constantly become better and faster as a rider. I want to be the first to the top and the fastest on the way down, I like getting smoother and faster on descents and then putting in a fast time on the climb. I am also motivated to push harder as I know the people I race against are training hard so I want to keep stepping it up to try and stay in front.
Your favourite Pro race of the year you look forward to watching and why?
The Downhill World Champs is my favourite pro race to watch. It is always technical and extremely fast, the riders push the kit to the limits and often beyond which results in very tight racing. It is generally won by less than three seconds, this makes it exciting to watch.
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