Matt Moran

How to ride a sportive 40 minutes faster than last year!

Posted by Matt Moran on Jun 27, 2011

How to ride a sportive 40 minutes faster than last year!

We love to hear how people are getting on with their Wattbike on Twitter and it's always fantastic to see the results people are gaining from their training. When I saw the tweet below I just had to find out more...

We believe 100% in the product we have created and we know from personal contact with elite athletes that the results from training on a Wattbike are unquestionable but it still brings a huge smile to all of our faces here at Wattbike HQ when we see the improvements and successes of people who are not lucky enough to focus and train 24/7 on their chosen activity (i.e. most of us!).

Ryan is one of those people, dedicated to his next challenge (and there are a few as you will see) but having to fit training around his work and in Ryan's case, as a retained fire-fighter, his training is curtailed by the fact that he needs to be within 4 minutes travelling distance to the local fire station when on call. Training on a Wattbike enabled Ryan to better his Wiggle New Forest 86 mile sportive by some 40 minutes this year. Wouldn't we all like to experience that?!?

I asked Ryan to give us a bit of background to how he came to find out about the Wattbike, why he bought one, what kind of training he does on it and what his upcoming challenges are...

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself and your sporting background.

My Name is Ryan Scott, I’m 28 and from Wiltshire. I'm an electrical engineer and a retained fire-fighter. I played rugby while at secondary school, both for the school team, a local rugby club and for the county. On leaving school I started training in a local gym but once my training partner moved away my motivation quickly waned. About 5 years ago I bought a road bike and after a change of job was persuaded to enter a sprint triathlon by a work colleague.

Q. What kind of events have you taken part in, in the past and what are you looking to take part in, in the future?

I've competed in a number of sprint triathlons over the last 3 seasons. I also take part in dualthons, both on and off road, sportives and running events. I like to keep things varied, entering events like the Hellrunner and the South Downs mountain bike challenge. This season I'm tackling my first Olympic triathlon and hope to compete in a 70.3 distance event next year. I'm also entering my first adventure race in September which is something I'd like to do more of.

Q. Where and when did you first hear about the Wattbike?

I first saw an advert in a triathlon magazine about a year ago and was intrigued. This was followed by hours of investigation on the internet and the Wattbike website.

Q. Do you own a Wattbike at home or are you using one in a local gym?

I own my own Wattbike

Q. What was it that made you make that final decision to buy a Wattbike?

The decision to buy a Wattbike wasn't taken lightly. My friends thought I was mad to be spending such a large amount of money on a bike with no wheels. However I was convinced it was right for me. I'd been looking at a way of upping my cycle training for sometime and considered returning to the gym and a turbo but settled for the Wattbike because of its professional appearance and the feedback available. I was also impressed with its ability to challenge me even as I improved, with its wide range of settings and numerous training options.

Q. Are you following a specific training plan on the Wattbike?

When I first got my Wattbike back in September '10 the triathlon winter training plan hadn't been released, so for a month or so I followed the level 2 sportive plan. Once the triathlon plan was up on the website I started following that until April this year. Now I’m racing I use the Wattbike for active recovery following a race, warm and cool down following a run or cycle session and for interval/brick sessions. Once the race season is over I'm either going to follow the triathlon plan again through the winter or try sportive plan level 3/4.

Q. And how often do you compliment these sessions with outdoor work?

I try and get out on the road at least once a week, but with two other disciplines to train for this sometimes gets dropped or shortened.

Q. What has the Wattbike allowed you to do that otherwise you wouldn't have been able to achieve?

As a retain fire-fighter I often have to stay within 4 minutes of the fire station so having the Wattbike has allowed me to continue my cycle training without leaving the house. I also work shifts and using the Wattbike when I get up from a night shift allows me to get an hour of quality training in before returning to work. During the snow this year I was able to complete long structured rides concentrating on power output, heart rate and form and not worry about cold fingers or ice patches. I feel the Wattbike has given me a focus, I am able to go out to the garage knowing what I what to achieve and achieve it. So often when riding on the road or mountain biking you ease up to wait for other people or keep stopping for junctions, with the Wattbike I am able to sustain a given output and push harder.

Q. What kind of improvements have you noticed since using the Wattbike?

I'd been following the triathlon plan since last October and was feeling a little lost with the long easy rides. It seemed almost too easy. However, once the weather improved and I got out on the road the improvement was visible instantly. I felt stronger and smoother and had an improved awareness of the effect of cadence. My climbing had improved greatly and I felt more confident. I had already entered the Wiggle New Forest sportive and was going to use this to test my improvement. The sportive followed the same route in virtually identical weather and I rode the same bike, however this year I knocked 40 mins off my net finish time. I also saw an improvement in my total time for the South Downs Way MTB challenge which I competed in last year, knocking an hour off this year.

Q. In a single sentence what would you say to somebody who is deliberating over buying a Wattbike?

Triathletes often talk about speed or time gains relative to money spent, I believe the Wattbike has provided me with the greatest gains in both per pound spent than any other purchase.

Thanks to Ryan for talking to us, pretty inspirational stuff and it’s great to see how a Wattbike can really work for those who have very limited training time. We’ll be catching up with Ryan later in the year. If you have a great story to tell then just drop us a tweet or leave a comment below.


cycling, mtb, recovery, sportive, training, triathlon