With the announcement of lockdown in the UK due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GTC set about launching a range of on-line coaching and training sessions. Head coach Vicky Begg and junior head coach Billy Mitchell have been the leads in creating an amazing programme for members, with the support of other coaches and teachers.
The sessions have been well received and for a donation request of £5 each week, payable through the GTC booking system, members have access to run, spin, yoga and strength & conditioning delivered through various on-line apps. There is also a weekly sports psychology presentation.
We asked members for feedback on the on-ling coaching. Here are some of the responses:
Susan Cameron: I really love Vicky’s podcast run sessions. I have been finding it hard to motivate myself to do anything properly so having Vicky talking to me in my ear, calmly telling me what to do and reminding me about technique, has been great.
I would never make myself work as hard on my own. I feel I should do what I’m told, even though she is not actually there!
I have also been following a plan by Fiona Mauer, which is helping with strength and fitness.
Jacqueline Simpson: I am always in awe of the fantastic efforts our coaches put in to keep us all motivated throughout the year, but over the last few weeks they have surpassed themselves. They are cheery, but still challenging you to do your best. It can’t be easy looking into a camera with no feedback!
The session I have most enjoyed is spin on a Friday (although I didn’t know Vicky could see how hard we are working!).
I think the 5km run and 20km cycling time trials are a great idea, too. They’re a good way for me to round up my week and to make me push myself that little bit harder. I really find running hard and the only reason I’ve kept training during the week is to prepare for the 5km on a Saturday.
I’ve surprised myself that I’ve kept it up – and I was really please last week when I got lots of PBs on my run. I felt motivated and happy after it and I think that’s so important just now.
Like many other people I have had a Covid19 moment when I felt really down, but after my spin session with Vicky and Alistair’s Zoom chat about entering European or world championships, I felt energised and happy again.
I thought it would be hard training on my own but thanks to the coaching and the social sessions you’re never on your own.
Cath Macneil: I think that the range of activities and the weekend challenges offered by the club just now is great. The on-line coaching addresses the need during lockdown for exercise, aids mental health thanks to the virtual social contact and also still feeds our competitiveness with various challenges.
I have enjoyed the strength and conditioning classes. There is no need for equipment because it is all body weight based and this is helpful while we are based at home.
The running sessions are great because they are recorded on a podcast. I like that Vicky is telling me what to do as a take part in the session and the motivational music in the background is ideal.
The spin classes are on Zoom so we can see the others in their homes and that gives us social contact as well as exercise.
In addition, I like the yoga sessions three times a week with Mark Russell. Each of these finish with a tea and a chat on Zoom, which is a great idea.
Sarah Grant: Prior to lockdown I was training for the Etape Loch Ness and the Half Yorkshireman. I was following a training plan from club coach Billy Mitchell. The Etape is postponed and HY cancelled, so motivation to continue training could have been poor.
However, the training plan from Billy and the on-line club sessions have allowed me to continue to be in a good place with my training and now looking forward to later events.
I have been doing the S&C sessions from Fiona, running podcasts from Vicky, Zoom yoga with Mark and Zoom circuits with Kate Pearson. They have really helped to keep my motivation and fitness up in lockdown. I’m lucky in that I am working from home so I’ve been able to do lots of them.
I am happy to do distance runs on my own, but not so much with interval sessions. It’s too easy for me to not run as fast as I could if there is not someone watching over me, or to miss out that last rep. Vicky’s encouragement and music keep me going until the end of the set, corrects my form and pushes me more than I would on my own.
I like both the S&C videos because I can do the S&C whenever it fits into the day. The Zoom spin sessions offer the chance to see other people and knowing they are also doing the session keeps me going.
Yoga has been brilliant during lockdown, too. It helps to ease off muscles from the other sessions but also I’m really benefitting from the relaxation part of the session.
My biggest unexpected benefit from the lockdown sessions is that lack of travel time to get to them. I’m not sure how I’ll manage when I can no longer roll off the yoga mat and straight into my pjs for bed! It also stops my daughters complaining that I’m going out again,
and allows me to work out in the house while my husband is working. or he is out. Usually it’s a one-in-one-out negotiation process as we both exercise regularly.
The Friday night quizzes are fun and the bikepacking chat was really entertaining.
More positive comments from members
Ray Loughran: The S&C videos posted by Fiona Maurer have been so beneficial and Vicky’s recent video on sports psychology was very helpful.
Duggie Mac: I think it’s a cheap deal. Pay £5, and only if you can afford it, for three spin classes a week, S&C training, as well as other great sessions.
Gillian Armour: The on-line training is great and you feel part of something with the club.
Vicky Begg: I haven’t done strength, conditioning or general floor-based fitness work for years. Fiona’s sessions are bringing me back to fitness!
Lawrence Gilmour: The podcast running session was my first real hill session since lockdown and it was great. Although it was recovery week it still felt tough. I enjoyed it.