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In our most recent featured athlete post we talk with 19yr old and Welsh climbing sensation Kieran Wynne-Cattanach, we speak with him on his work with Dig Deep coach Jessica Allen and how it has helped him step up his preparation and performances along with his ambitions for the future. Kieran is currently a member of the '4 Star Racing Team' and has recently returned from the UCI 2.2 Tour of Rhodes stage race in Greece, last year he finished an impressive 4th in the British Hill Climb championships and 3rd in the Welsh Championships.
The student in Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Chester is looking forward to a great 2017 and beyond. Let's hear what his favourite training ride is, what has changed in his training since working with Jessica and why he loves the Giro d'Italia.
How do you feel Structured coaching has helped you over the past 3 months?
Over the past 3 months, I’ve definitely been more consistent with my training, which has meant that I’m seeing improvements in my fitness and in the efforts I’m doing. It’s also meant that my fatigue is managed more, I used to be quite good at hammering myself for days then paying the price for even more days. But working with Jess has meant that fatigue never gets out of control and I am arriving at races fresher and more prepared than before.
What has been the biggest change from the training you have done before?
The way I’m dealing with all the other things I have going has changed a fair bit. I’ve got to juggle the training with university coursework, exams, a bit of part time work and also personal life. Jess has been great at making sure I can get all the training in around everything else. I used to end up stressing a lot about trying to keep up the training, but it’s a lot easier knowing we’ve got a plan. I’m also doing new types of sessions I’ve never done before, which has been interesting and mixed things up a little.
Dig Deep Coach Jessica Allen, current Orica-Scott professional and Australian Criterium Champion
What is your short term and long term aims in both cycling and outside of the cycling world?
In cycling, I basically just want to see how fast I can get. Having just experienced racing abroad for the first time in Greece, I’ve realised I also want to travel to races all over and see some new places. For this year, I’m aiming to get some decent results in road races for myself and for my team, and then I’ll be targeting the hill climb season up to the National Hill Climb in October. I might also race some cyclocross after that if I have any energy left after a long season.
Outside of cycling, I hope to do something useful with the degree I’m studying for in Sports and Exercise Sciences at the University of Chester. Performance analysis of various sports is an area I’m pretty interested in, so getting some experience in that soon would be ideal I think.
Your favourite training spin and why?
Any sessions that mean I can ride over lots of terrain are great. And in North Wales I can get the coast, rolling countryside and mountain passes all within a 3 hour ride, so a session that utilises the long and short climbs for long and short efforts are probably my favourite. It’s usually pretty great riding in North Wales, so as long as the weather is good and the wind isn’t crushing, I can enjoy most training sessions around here. Hills are almost a necessity too, just to keep it interesting.
What motivates you to train when you’re tired/cold/late at night?
If I’m really struggling on a ride from being knackered or some brutal weather, I usually try to get some good music going, that can really change my mood on a ride and distract me from the tiredness. Anything upbeat and optimistic usually works, although sometimes some more serious beats are needed for tough intervals. I’m also keen for a cheesy tune every now and then.
You favourite Pro race of the year you look forward to watching and why?
The Giro d’Italia is probably my favourite, the routes are spectacular and the climbing is always brutal. I’ve always loved watching the pure climbers battle it out on the climbs and lots of teams seem to have a go at the Giro which makes for good viewing. I also love the passion of the Italians for cycling and the heart they put into it, it’s a great race that would be ace to experience for myself someday.