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Q&A with Ciara Horne: Training Smart

Tell us about yourself and your sporting background:

I started swimming aged 7 with my brother. I joined a swimming club when I was 10 years old because I wanted to be able to do “tumble turns” and wanted to go as fast as the other girls who were swimming there. I loved swimming but unfortunately stopped competing competitively aged 16 as a result of shoulder surgery. Following that I started triathlon for a bit but hated swimming so much slower than I used to (as a result of the shoulder injury) and didn’t enjoy running at all! In November 2009 after a year away from sport, I started cycling. I felt lost after all that time away from sport as I didn’t feel myself and missed the training and racing! I've never looked back since! 

What made you get into cycling?

Initially it was a conversation with my Dad. As a swimmer I was always more leg dominant being a breaststroke swimmer... He suggested why not try cycling? I thought.... Why not! I joined a local cycling team and fell in love with the sport. 

I started doing road racing initially and then had a go at Newport track league. I loved time trial on the road (and still do) but funnily enough hated the track initially! 

Ciara Horne on Wattbike at home

Why have you chosen Wattbike as a training tool?

High intensity sessions are an essential part of my training for racing on the track and by using the Wattbike I can complete these sessions at home and completely empty the tank without the dangers associated with being out on the road. I can train at specific powers and cadences which relate to my race and well as keep an eye on my pedalling technique as being smooth is so much more efficient and this is an important part of team pursuiting. 

What is it that you like most about the Wattbike?

I like that the Wattbike feels just like riding a bike in real life plus I have all the data on the screen in front of me. I can easily analyse this data after a session as well as looking at it in real time which also helps a session go faster as there is plenty of information to keep me engaged. 

What is your favourite Wattbike session?

My favourite session is the max 3 min test. I love pushing myself to the limit and this is a great test to assess your fitness after each phase of training. 

Why do you enjoy most about being part of the team pursuit squad?

I love being part of a team and constantly pushing myself to the limit to get the most out of myself and then come together as a team and see how fast we can go over 4km! 

What’s your best advice for someone who wants to get into cycling?

Enjoy it! That's the most important thing in anything you do in life. 

What’s your best advice for amateur cyclists who want to improve their performance?

Train smart. If you have to train hard- go hard. If you're told to go easy- go super easy. I also think that consistency is absolutely key. 

What is your proudest achievement so far?

World championship bronze medal this year in the team pursuit. We didn't have a good qualifying race; so to come back stronger for the final and get the bronze medal with a new British record was absolutely awesome! The fact that it was in front of a home crowd made it extra special! 

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My parents. Without a doubt! They are incredibly hard working and have always been there for me. 

What is the best advice you were ever given?

"The harder and smarter you work; the luckier you get".