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I have known Stephen and Dan for most of my professional career and they have always been ahead of the game when it comes to training. They were both using Powermeters way before they were ‘in vogue’ and have never rested on their laurels, always keeping up to date with the latest methodology. Having spent so many years maximising their physical capabilities, I have no doubt they will put the same effort into helping others reach their sporting goals.
I’d just like to say that the time I have spent with Dale coaching me has allowed me to get into the best shape I have ever been in, so much so that I went on a run of not being out of the top 10 in pretty much every race. I will definitely recommend you to others and will no doubt pick things back up when I return from travelling!
I grew up racing with Dale Appleby. As Juniors, we travelled all over the world racing together; we were even out in Italy together when I first turned pro. He has a lot of experience with different training ideas from different countries and, more importantly, how to train effectively and specifically for different races.
It’s been almost 20 years since I cycled competitively and I have attempted several times over the years to get back on the bike, with no success, due to the motivation and commitment required to race. I got involved with my cycling club again, found out about Dig Deep Coaching and instantly recognised the benefits of a coaching plan. My coach, Ciara McManus, has been brilliant, setting my training schedule according to my ability and goals. The Training Peaks software is excellent. It records all of your data and being able to view your forthcoming training sessions makes life a lot easier. Without a doubt, I can recommend Dig Deep Coaching to any level of rider.
I’ve been enjoying my bike riding so much more recently, which is the main thing. James keeps the sessions interesting and really takes on board my feedback. I achieved a podium position at the Welsh MTB Champs!
Stephen has made a huge improvement to my progression in cycling in triathlons & duathlons over the past year. His structured coaching has brought me results that were well beyond my own expectations and has given me absolute confidence in his expertise. I can’t thank him enough for his support, motivation and advice which have made such a difference in my races.
‘I started cycling 5 years ago and after a year or so I joined a local club. I did a few sportives and slowly got enticed into competing in a few club events. It quickly became apparent that some winter training was required. Following a winter of irregular turbo training, I noticed some improvement and was able to complete in club events, but I thought I could achieve more.
I was introduced to Stephen the following winter. He assessed my fitness and we set some targets for the following season. Stephen developed a series of training programmes aimed at improving general fitness and weight loss. He explained the purpose of the different sessions and described how my performance should improve, helping me to understand how my body will react to the various sessions.
The programmes have given me an all important structure to my training and highlighted the importance of recovery. I find I will try that bit harder when I know the numbers will be analysed.
When Stephen and Dan rode for me on the An-Post team, I could always be sure that they would turn up at races in good shape and be competitive even after a few weeks out of racing. This demonstrated to me that they had a good understanding of training and nutrition. They were always at racing weight. They were riders who conducted themselves in a professional manner and who prepared properly for their races setting targets and training towards specific goals.
Joining Dig Deep and working with Shannon Connolly took the T out of tedious and put back the M for Motivation. I no longer have the mental stress of creating a program where I constantly think "will or won't it work". I trust Shannon to keep me physically fit, healthy and keep my relationships in tact with the flexibility and time management he provides me. Every session is different, exciting and more importantly, enjoyable!!
Over the years I have achieved some pretty good results mainly on a regional level but got close to the top 10 in Elite XC with 2011 being my best year with 11th at the Nat Champs. What has helped me so much working with Dan is to switch my mind off from continually (over) thinking about my training. This has freed up so much mental capacity. Without doubt though one of the biggest positives was keeping me calm when I got ill last year with a manky chest infection that wouldn’t shift. This was right at the time when it seemed like every time I jumped on the bike I was getting a new PB, or smashing a race so to get ill for over 4 weeks was a massive downer. Instead of trying to get through it and keep going, Dan helped me get the right amount of time off, rest and then slow recovery at a time when I would have for sure been “panic training” After a couple of races opening up my lungs to race efforts again I was winning week after week and culminating with winning the Eastern and South Eastern Champs in early December.
Coaching has given me additional motivation and made me train smarter. Ticking off the sessions means I know I have built a solid foundation, and then fine-tuned what talent I may have to enable me to push my limits and perform at a level better than expected. My PBs were both comprehensively beaten this season (by over a minute for a 10m tt, and over two minutes for a 25m tt. I’ve discussed my goals for next year, including a sub-20m 10m tt – something which I would have never thought possible for someone like me!
While I could give a very long explanation, it has worked for me because it takes me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to make gains that I did not think were possible. Moreover, it gave me the confidence to keep trying new training to keep making new gains. At 47-years-old, I am in the best shape of my life now thanks to Dig Deep Coaching.
Coaching enables me to get the best return from my limited time in the saddle (family, work, life….) and puts structure to rides/training. I don’t have to think about what ride I’m going to do each day increasing the likelihood that I will actually ride. I mix up indoor and outdoor and have seen huge gains.
Coaching works for me because I know I’m not over training & at the same time I know I’m doing enough. I have gained speed, when I started getting coached it was for 2 reasons- not to come last in a triathlon and to get my 10k run race down to under 50 mins. I’ve had a good 2015 season and my 10k is down to 45.
One word: confidence. DDC took the time to learn my goals and match me to a coach that would help achieve those goals. The trust in the coach, the well-thought out approach to training and the dialogue have given me the confidence and focus for every race and event I’ve entered.
Coaching helped by giving me the support, encouragement and direction to structure a training programme that was tailored to my own goals and to fit into my lifestyle.
I’ve worked with coaches off and on for the last 8 years – my Dig Deep coaching has definitely given me the most gains in the shortest amount of time. I’m not a strong climber, and the workouts my coach has given helped me hold more power on climbs and stay in a bigger gear longer. In the first 4 weeks I increased my FTP by 4W to my highest ever. Coaching also keeps me motivated and accountable – it’s harder to bag a workout when you know someone is paying attention!
‘It’s the quality of training, and not the quantity that’s important and ensuring that I don’t over train and damage my development or increase the chance of injury that the structured programme helps with. Defining goals with Dig Deep coach Dan Fleeman has tailored a training plan to help me work towards my goals, and we discuss this regularly. It is great to have one to one support and someone to speak to who has only recently moved from pro level racing. I feel really privileged to have the opportunity to learn from Dan and it seems to be working well with a good finish to my MTB XC season and a great start to my Cyclocross season.’