Sharing Information

One of the best ways to learn is to share information and so I’d like to share with you one of my go to blogs.  Having worked at British Cycling and studied many of its coaching courses I came across Andrew, who was one of the most helpful coach educators, especially when it comes to sports science.

Andrew Kirkland has been a British Cycling coach educator, sports scientist at the Scottish Institute of Sport and Lecturer in sports coaching at the University of Stirling.

Here’s the start of one of his articles.  If you want to read more see the link at the bottom.

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I always try to start my blogs with a wee story and this one is no different. You see, this topic is very personal. One that has affected my life as long as I can remember. That is weight, or body mass to be more accurate.

As a kid I was obese. Not only that, I was born ginger, had a squint eye and I had the motor ability of a starfish too. At primary school I was always getting into fights as I was an obvious target for bullies. The loser of a fight was the first one to cry. I learnt never to cry regardless of the beatings I took. Others learnt that no matter how strong or fast they were, they would never win against me.

In my late teenage years, I discovered the joys of cycling. It helped me escape home life and gave a great feeling of freedom. I’ll never forget Jed Holmyard of the Edinburgh Bike Co-op who sold me my 1st bike. The ride home from Bruntsfield to Musselburgh, a journey of about 12km, was a major achievement. On arriving home, I slept the rest of the day.

Riding the bike had an immediate effect! Weight started to drop off. I cycled further. I got thinner still and people would comment how good I looked. I lost more weight. I got faster on the bike. I got a new lighter bike. I went faster. I lost more weight. One day when out riding with my mate Davie, a girl in a group shouted “hey you… you don’t fall down a drain ya skinny git”. I immediately assumed they were shouting at Davie. After all he was one of the best young climbers in the country. But she was shouting at me. It was the happiest day of my life. After a while, the improvements stopped and I started to get ill loads. This was a warning sign and luckily I heeded it and didn’t push into oblivion.

The environment people are in, either past or present has a huge influence on how they behave, and that relates to weight management too. Many athletes have the capacity to push their physical boundaries beyond what is considered to be normal. That’s what makes them stand out from the crowd but that capacity can have very serious consequences if it’s applied in the wrong direction.

In this Blog, I’ll discuss why weight management is so important within a sporting context, highlighting some of the issues that coaches and athletes should be aware of specifically related to eating disorders. Images are simply to look pretty rather than to relate to the text for obvious reasons. I used the words weight and mass interchangeably for ease of understanding.

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Weight and Endurance Performance

In cycling and running there are two ways to go faster:

  • To become fitter and more efficient
  • To be lighter.

The former comes down to training effectively and consistently… (read more)