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The PBscience team recently contributed to the book Performance Cycling: the Science of Success, edited by Dr James Hopker and Dr Simon Jobson. Dan and Helen co-authored a chapter entitled Training with heart rate and power while Helen also contributed a chapter on Coach-athlete relationships. If you want to learn more about the PBscience coaching philosophy this is a good place to start.

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Member plan (£75 per month)

The PBscience Member Plan is based on the same principles as our elite 1-2-1 coaching but with less coach contact time and 'other services' such as lab testing and event support not included within the monthly subscription

We do have a small number of essential pre-requisites (see below) that we ask for before you sign up for the Member Plan. These are not intended to appear restrictive in anyway, instead they reflect they ensure that we can deliver a high level of service

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Individual training plan

Based on your initial consultation your training plan will typically be delivered in three to four week blocks through the Training Peaks online diary. You'll have the option to ask questions via email and can expect a debrief at the end of each block on the phone (or face to face if practical) and a discussion about the following training cycle. File analysis is available on key files at the end of each block but the onus is a little more on the rider to flag up problems and ask questions. If you want more regular interaction with Dan or Oli then the Elite 1-2-1 coaching plan might be more sensible.

Initial fitness test

science for coachingUpon signing up, you also have the option of undertaking an initial lab test for benchmarking of your current level of fitness. You will undertake a battery of tests to establish key physiological landmarks so that your coach can set accurate training zones and establish your individual strengths and weaknesses. Following the tests we will have time for an in depth discussion of your goals for the coming season (and beyond!) and some of the strategies we might use to help you meet your goals.

To cover this initial consultation period the first month of the Member Plan is charged at a higher rate than the basic monthly rate. The costs of the first month are therefore £250, reflecting the extra cost incurred in laboratory consumables, data analysis etc.

Member Plan Pre-requisites

In order to guarantee a minimum level of service and to ensure that our Coaching Philosophy is protected we do have a small number of 'must-haves' for the athletes we work with. These are mostly to aid in the communication between coach and rider and to ensure that your training plan can be accurately completed.

Minimum Requirements

Downloadable heart rate monitor

The reasons for including this are twofold

  1. The workouts in your training plan are set using your individual training zones. In order to ensure you are completing the workout as intended by your coach it is important that you can monitor your heart rate during each session.
  2. The Training Peaks online diary is crucial to the communication between you and your coach. By downloading your training files and uploading them after each session, your coach can keep an eye on your progress as well as keeping an historical record of your training.

There are many brands that offer reasonably priced downloadable heart rate monitors but all of the PBscience team use products from Garmin and most of the PBscience coached athletes also do too! For cycling, the most popular version tends to be the Garmin Edge 510 while for running the Garmin Forerunner 210 is most popular. These products are ANT+ compatible so they also have the benefit that other accessories such as cadence sensors and power meters are compatible with the computer if you find yourself adding these items at a later date.

Highly recommended

Power meter

This is included for the same reasons as using a heart rate monitor. A power meter (when used in conjunction with a heart rate monitor and 'feel') is, in our opinion, the ultimate tool for monitoring and analysing your training and racing. By uploading your files to Training Peaks your coach can see data from every pedal stroke from your latest training session. For more information on this subject we have made the fact sheet entitled 'Ways to Guide Training Intensity' available to non-members. Power meters are becoming more accessible to amateur cyclists - if buying is not an option then consider renting one from www.cyclepowermeters.com. PBscience members can get great discounts - more details available when you sign up!

Cadence Sensor

The PBscience coaching team often make use of workouts with structured cadence targets to help develop efficiency and pedaling skill across the cadence range. These sessions are difficult to complete unless you know how fast you are pedaling! This feature is often included (or is a relatively cheap addition) with most of the major heart rate monitors or power meters so is generally fairly easy to accomodate.