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Ride and Q&A with Performance Coach, Luke Watson

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Welsh Triathlon is inviting our triathlon community to join our Performance Coach, Luke Watson for a virtual ride and Q&A session on Sunday 24th May.

The ride will take place using the Zwift platform from 8 am onwards, and the Q&A will be hosted live via the Welsh Triathlon Instagram account at around 12:00pm lunchtime. Read on for more details of how to get involved.

During his racing career, Luke represented Great Britain at two World University Championships as well as competing at three World and European Championship events as a guide for visually-impaired para triathletes Iain Dawson and Dave Ellis.

Since ending his competitive career and moving into coaching in 2014, it would be an understatement to say Luke has been somewhat less active than he once was. However, he has recently got back into cycling, mainly using Zwift, and during this current lockdown period has been working his way towards completing all of the routes on the game. This Sunday he takes on his final route, which is also the longest - the 173km PRL Full loop in the London.

Here is what Luke had to say about his recent training and the ride on Sunday:

“When I stopped competing, I really had no motivation to carry on training, as I didn’t have a goal or purpose. I’ve basically done very little exercise and put on a huge amount of weight over the past few years. However, these last few months have been a real difference. Riding on Zwift has given me a focus and a routine, and the improvement in my health (both physical and mental) has been massive, especially during this lockdown period with all the stress and changes going on.

My best advice for someone either starting out or getting back into exercise after a break would be:

  1. Start with small goals – I began with 30min at a time, just trying to see if I could make my power higher than my heart rate(!). At that point I definitely hadn’t even thought about doing these long rides. You can build from there when you find something you enjoy.
  2. Make it social – whether that’s by using online platforms such as Zwift or Zoom, or as we start to return to safe, socially-distanced group activity. Most of my most enjoyable rides have been with our Centre athletes or fellow coaches just chatting/messaging to get each other through it.
  3. Make it a routine/habit – everyone has different preferences and circumstances, but try to find a daily/weekly routine that works for you. I always like to get my rides done first thing in the as it definitely sets me up for the day - I’ve hit 40 days in a row now so something must be working…

This ride on Sunday will be a bit of a challenge – if you told me when I retired that at some point I’d be thinking about doing 6hrs indoors then I would have found that pretty funny. If anyone fancies joining for an hour or two (or longer) and having a chat then please do get involved – see you there!”

Joining the Q&A

Our Head of Performance, Louis Richards will be interviewing Luke on Instagram Live during the ride – we are aiming for this to take place just after the halfway mark at around 12:00pm on the Welsh Triathlon Instagram channel. If you have a specific question you want to be answered or are looking for advice on anything from coaching, training, athlete development, paratriathlon or just triathlon in general (he is a self-confessed triathlon geek), you can:

  • Email it in advance to: admin@welshtriathlon.org with subject line – “Question for Luke”.
  • Type it in the chatbox on the app during the session

If you can’t make the session at 12:00pm but are joining Luke at a different time during the ride, he is happy for you to send him a Direct Message via the Zwift Companion app.

Joining the Ride

Luke will be starting his ride at 8am, and riding ~2.5W/kg to give an ETA in the region of 5.5-6hrs (~1.30-2pm). The route itself is 11 laps of the ‘London Loop’, so you are welcome to join him for as much or as little as you wish, and you can also join for a period mid-ride – he will be glad of the company!

To join the ride, you will need to:

  1. Follow his account – Luke Watson [NTPCW].
  2. Log into the app and get to the home page
  3. Make sure London is selected as the ‘World Choice’ (the specific route doesn’t matter)

  1. As long as you are following him, you should see his name in green in the list of people available to join (in this example we have used NTPCW and Welsh programme athlete Issy Morris as a demo):

  1. Click his name and then click ‘Ride with Luke’ in orange at the bottom of the screen.

  1. Be ready to pedal as the app will drop you right in where he is currently riding, but will only give you 5s of pedaling assistance to get up to speed.
  2. Ride for as long or as little as you want to!

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