Q&A with Emily Rosemond & Michael Jordan of Track Cycling Academy

 

Oceanway Ride’s partnership with Emily Rosemond and Michael Jordan at the Track Cycling Academy has seen a 12-week program produced specifically for our rides in September. We had a chat to Emily and Michael to find out more.

 

Cycling has been a huge part of both of your lives for many years. Why would you recommend people to take up cycling and sign up for one of the Oceanway Rides?

Emily: For those who are already actively participating in Cycling at a recreational or racing level, I’m sure I don’t have to do too much convincing around some of the major benefits that cycling has to offer (such as the tremendous scenery, fresh air and health benefits). 

However, for those who are little more on the fence about whether or not the ride is worth pursuing – I’d say, just do it! The Gold Coast offers such amazing scenery and the weather in September is perfect for riding. The Oceanway Ride (being a recreational ride) will give you a sense of community and belonging with some many other riders participating on the day. There’s always someone to chat to and ride with making rides like these such fun, positive experiences! 

Michael: For me I really like the fact that cycling can feel like accidental exercise. My social group is exactly that. We ride and have reached a level to chat whilst riding up hills, so long as the speed is kept to a sensible level! That’s what taking up cycling can do, whether on the flat or, for some, up a hill. The Oceanway Ride will engender that communal spirit as even if you are riding solo you’ll meet likeminded people on the way. For the advanced cyclist, it is always nice to test yourself on any slope, and the one up to Tamborine is a wonderful place for it. It is a well-chosen climb as it is not so steep a rider new to cycling (and welcome to you!) can’t reach the top with a bit of training and a desire to succeed.  

 

As a former Olympian and a world-class coach, you have both spent months, if not years preparing for certain cycling events! Yet for amateur cyclists, 12 weeks is still plenty of time to get in shape for the Oceanway Ride. What is the most crucial aspect of your training program?

Emily: Recreational cycling events are not like other sports events where large amounts of training are required just to make it to the end. The course itself is very rider friendly offering both challenging and rewarding sections across both the 55km and 95km courses. Getting in shape doesn’t have to be a huge task and any training amount of better than no-training amount and of all the training aspects you can work on in the lead up to the event, we would strongly recommend working on aerobic development coupled with pedaling efficiency (learning to pedal smoothly, and at higher cadences).  

Michael: When I create a programme for people I look to blend the needs of what lays ahead with what a person is able to do at the time. It is like a journey planner. The interval sessions I write are a way of developing the aerobic system Emily describes. It is a way of making the body work to give it greater capacity, to adapt and cope with more next time they ride. In only a handful of weeks a rider can do quite a few minutes of hard riding, as they have built up to it in the programme. That maybe all that is needed to get over a hill and to roll down the other side and so complete the ride. So even if a person has not done a ride of these distances before breaking it up in to achievable parts will make it achievable. And that’s how I write the program to give this confidence.

 

Of course, training has a goal to improve strength and fitness, but it should also be fun at the same time. How can people ensure the 12-week program for the Oceanway Ride is both challenging and enjoyable? 

Emily: The Oceanway Ride training program is self-paced, and offers plenty of opportunity to ride with your friends out on the road, in the comfort of your home on an ergo trainer or stationary bike or at the gym on a spin bike. The sessions have been carefully mapped out by Exercise Scientist and Coach – Michael Jordan so riders will feel fit and fresh in the lead up to and on the day of the ride. Plus, each week, I post a quick video of my own training journey and share in the journey of others training for the ride offering some training feedback and advice. It’s great fun! 

Michael: There is lots of variety in the programme. The rides can be done in many environments as Emily describes, so we’re not going to insist a rider rides on a stationary trainer if they’d rather go outside and ride their bike, and vice versa, if a person can’t get outside but can ride on a trainer at home or a gym that that can work too. There’s also plenty of reminders to ‘just ride’ on some of the sessions. I also encourage people, so long as they feel up to it and don’t hurt any unaccustomed muscles in the process, to buy a skipping rope and skip. It may feel childish, but I think playing as a child is an accomplishment, and never should be a criticism!

 

I’m sure at some stage in your careers you’ve felt like you haven’t had enough time to train, so what do people do if they sign up to the program but have less than 12 weeks until the ride?

Emily: Some training is better than no training – and even if there’s only a few weeks left to start training for the ride, completing some training will definitely give riders a level of fitness before they line up on the day. 

When training for major events like the Olympic Games, I used to refer to the training and performance relationship like ‘the bank’ where training sessions = the deposits, and competition events = the withdrawal. 

The more deposits you can put in, the greater the amount there will be to withdraw, so in training terms, the more training you can do in advance, the better you will feel when you line up to participate on the day! 

Michael: Before each week’s programme I write that if you are starting on that particular week exactly which weeks of the 12 to complete. It means people aren’t jumping in at the deep end and hoping it goes well but that we’ve known this is a likely scenario for many. We know some people will be dusting off their bikes only a month out. My suggestion is frequency is more of a factor than volume. I’d rather people did many deposits in to ‘the bank’ Emily describes rather than attempt nothing other than one or two big rides as that can be brutal for the mind and the body. Take any opportunity to ride, regardless of how brief, and it needn’t always be a hard effort by any means. It all adds up!

 

Emily, will you be going for the Polka Dot Jersey to become the Queen of the Mountain in the Sea to the Summit Gran Fondo at Oceanway Ride?

Emily: LAUGHING… I will be glad to get over the top of the Mountain and ride down the other side! When I was racing, I was more of a sprinter on a Velodrome (so there were no hills in my repertoire). I’m not much of a hill climber at all, so I won’t be racing, but will instead be there to ride and encourage those who don’t favour hills too much. 

Michael: This has created a lovely image in my mind of Emily attacking the start of the Queen of the Mountain section with vigour, then 500m later looking back wondering what on earth she was doing. Seriously though, Emily can still generate enough power to kick start a roof of solar panels and probably power a small village, just not for very long. Emily’s strength is sprinting and it is going against her natural physiology to develop endurance, the aerobic capacity we describe. She has done it before, but not for quite a while! I think this is a good thing though. It reminds, and gives reassurance to those of us who haven’t been in the World Championships, that we are all different, with different strengths, weaknesses and abilities, and with determination and some good preparation we can succeed!

 

Finally, what’s your top tip for recovery after a long ride?

Emily: The 3 best recovery methods are Sleep, Nutrition and Hydration – the rest are 1 percenters, so if you’re feeling it after a big session on the bike, drink plenty of water, eat a nutritious meal, and jump into bed for a power nap! 

Michael: Pale Ale. No seriously the recovery plan begins as you ride, which may sound ridiculous. We use SIS gels as instant food, SIS bars and home-made rice cakes (use sushi rice) are excellent! Staminade in one bottle and water in the other is my preference as simple, plain water in under-rated. We’ll put some nutritional guidelines in the Training Program nearer to the ride date. All the body’s positive adaptations happen when you rest, so sleep, drink intelligently (yep, sorry, a Stone and Wood is best to wait) eat well and do some stretching. And look forward to whatever you want to achieve next.

Register your entry for the Jewel Residences Oceanway Ride here: https://oceanwayride.com.au

Get your 12-week training program here: http://oceanwayridetraining.com.au