Testimonial: Darran Bennett, Time Trial Specialist

Darran Bennett
I had seemed to hit a plateau with my cycling and results in TT events and I really wanted to achieve much more so I set about the task of finding a coach.  After emailing and chatting to Kevin I decided to go with a months trial and to be honest I have never looked back.
Kevin sends me over my structured training plans for the week through training peaks and initially I was saying to myself that there wasn’t any rest days! I started the training riding some days for only 50 minutes but the sessions Kevin has given me over the past two months have helped me achieve my first sub 20 minute 10 mile TT and the belief I have now with Kevin’s continued training plan is a sub 50 minute for 25 miles is a real possibility.
Kevin and I live at opposite ends of the country and have never met but with regular contact by email, texts and phone calls we have made this arrangement work.

Result: François de Vinols, IRONMAN 70.3 Pays d’Aix

François de Vinols IRONMAN 70.3 Triathlon

Congrats to François de Vinols on his fantastic result in challenging conditions at the IRONMAN 70.3 Pays d’Aix. After only taking up Triathlon 2 months ago François de Vinols completed the course in 5 hours 6min. His first Triathlon and 70.3 which was in horrendous conditions on a mountainous course. Just watch this guy go over the coming years!

The Power Training Revolution with Hunter Allen

Another first class podcast episode in the VeloNew Fast Talk series, this time with power guru Hunter Allen who gives a thorough and detailed review of how measuring and analysing power become so important in cycling and triathlon training.

Stream now at Soundcloud

First, we’ll touch upon the history of power, and how it has fundamentally changed the sport of cycling and, more importantly, how we train. When did the use of power meters and power analysis first appear? Which athletes were the first to use them? And how did the pioneers of power revolutionize training methods over time to create the many sophisticated metrics we take for granted, like TSS, FTP, and performance management charts?

We are joined by Hunter Allen, a veteran coach who, along with Dr. Andrew Coggan, wrote the original book on training with power in 2006: “Training and Racing with a Power Meter.” That book has now been translated into 20 different languages and has recently started selling throughout Asia.

First, you’ll learn about the sports science conference in 2000 where the first seminar on training with power was given. This is when all the big names in power first got together, including Allen, Dr. Coggan, Dean Golich, Dr. Allen Lim, and Kevin Williams. It is the origin story, per se, of power and training.

Next, we’ll discuss how this group pulled together their expertise to develop ways of analyzing power and the original power-based training software. From there, we’ll move on to the pros and cons of training with power versus heart rate. Finally, we’ll touch upon where the next revolutions in training may happen.

In this episode, we’ll also hear from Dean Golich, a head coach at Carmichael Training Systems who has worked for years with world champion and WorldTour-caliber cyclists. For his master’s thesis, he conducted some of the original research using power meters outside of the lab.

Results: Track, Time Trial, Triathlon & Duathlon!

Matti Dobbins

There have been a host of Blackzone athletes who have achieved excellent results recently – congratulations to all! Here’s a quick summary:

  • Rachel Hunt of Glasgow Triathlon Club  won first female in the hilly Loch Katrine marathon
  • Young Matti Dobbins came out tops following conclusion of the Scottish Cycling National Track League as well as 5th overall & 1st Junior at the Reivers road race
  • Kate Richardson took Bronze youth in a very close sprint finish by the leading 3 athletes at the British Duathlon Championships at Bedford
  • Nathalie Jones took 1st Female Vet at the Stirling Sprint Duathlon in her first race of the season
  • Julie Fitzpatrick grabbed a 2nd at the Dooleys Cycles 2up TT teaming up with a strong Deirdre O’Reilly
  • Nicola Naven (on standard road bike) achieved the 2nd female time at the Law Wheelers 10mile Time Trial
  • Great first win of the season by Luke Mcmullan of Ballymena Road club winning the BRC Sheddings road race
  • Darran Bennett took 2nd overall at the E&DCC Time Trial at Cambridge


Hunter Allen Certified – Peaks Coaching Power-Based Training Course

Peaks Coaching Group Power Coaching Certified

Kevin recently completed Hunter Allen’s Power-Based Training Course, run by Peaks Coaching Group. The course provided Kevin with a greater understanding of the fundamentals and advanced techniques of power training with cyclists and triathletes.

Hunter Allen Power-Based Training Certification - Kevin Henderson

Hunter Allen’s status and reputation needs little introduction: co-author of Training and Racing with a Power Meter (along with Dr Andrew Coggan), founder and CEO of Peaks Coaching Group and co-developer of TrainingPeaks WKO software, Hunter is a legendary and highly respected coach and an expert in how to effectively coach cyclists & triathletes using power meters.

Hunter Allen

IRONMAN 70.3 World Champs Race Report – Stephen Hogarth

After a successful result in the IRONMAN 70.3 UK Exmoor event, Blackzone triathlete Stephen Hogarth set his sights on delivering the goods at World Championship level. Read his full race report below:

My goal this year was to try and qualify for the World 70.3 Championship. I hadn’t really thought about what would happen if I did. After my qualification event in Exmoor on 25th June, all I really wanted to do was have a rest, especially after a really tough year of training driven by Kevin at Blackzone Coaching.

That rest would have to wait! A few recovery sessions and my training was just starting to ramp up. With only nine weeks until the World championships in Chattanooga Tennessee we had a lot to squeeze in to try and peak again. Six weeks of this was going to be floating in the Atlantic Ocean at work, which left 3 weeks on dry land. Kevin wanted to use this time like a training camp which sounded great. I’d been to one before in Lanzarote and it was really good. The Scottish version did not produce the same feeling with rain every day that eventually starts to wear you down. The physical side of the training was intense but it was the mental side that nearly broke me.

I started to struggle to do some of the session once I was back at work offshore and the goal of competing in the world championship just wasn’t enough to keep me motivated. After almost a year of training harder than I have ever trained in the past all I wanted to do was STOP. A couple of conversations with Kevin and a few adjustments to the plan soon had me back on track and the excitement of what we were training for beginning to build.

I’ve never thought of myself as a top age grouper in Triathlon even though I’m always in a respectable position in every race. This event was going to show me what I was really made of. I had no idea of where I could possibly finish or what I would be happy with. I’d already achieved my goal of qualifying and all I really wanted to do was enjoy the event and atmosphere that comes with Ironman.

“Let’s just see what happens”

The morning of the event was very relaxed with a 9:20 am start time. It was still an early start as there was still the pre-race ritual to go through and transition area closed at 7. It was good to be a spectator for a while and watch the pro’s start as well as a few of the age groupers. As the start time grew closer my stomach was starting to churn, the toilet visits started to increase and the multiple checks to make sure I had everything. A quick kiss and good luck from my wife and it’s off to the start line for a quick warm up. Although we were the last age group to leave it felt like a race on its own with 340 athletes lining up. Like lambs to the slaughter we slowly made our way into the starting pens to get our race underway.

I’m always glad when the swim is over and this would be no different. The majority of the swim was either across or upstream in the Tennessee river. 37 minutes is not a time to brag about but it could have been worse. 2 days earlier it was a non-wetsuit swim but thankfully the temperature dropped by 1 degree on race day to bring a smile to many a face.

IRONMAN 70.3 World Champs Bike - Stephen Hogarth

With the swim behind me and lying in 238th position in age group , it was time to get the legs spinning and try to move up the field. Transition was good and I soon settled into the bike immediately catching lots of people. I had my instruction and prescribed Wattage to follow. The first climb was only 6 mile in and I probably got a wee bit carried away. The bike felt good with the new disc wheels playing their part. With no fatigue in the legs it was easy to push above the planned watts . When I reached the 20 mile marker I remember thinking is that all I’ve done. So a quick sense check and stick to the plan was drummed back into the brain. The cycle route was really nice with great roads, awesome decent and a fast flattish finish. 2 ½ hours on the bike and the 56 mile was done. 2 down 1 to go.

IRONMAN 70.3 World Champs Run - Stephen Hogarth

So after a textbook dismount it was a quick transition. Unlike one I had earlier in year when I went over the handlebars. I always know early on into the run if the legs are going to be good and today was going to be a good day. With such a late start time it was now 12:30 and the next 1:30 hours was going to be hot. I had decided that I was going to stop at every water station and take on some fluids. Only hindsight will know if this was the correct tactics. The course was hilly and I was never going to be able to do consistent split times but I was able to run at my target pace. The support on the course was great from spectators to fellow competitors. The locals with their garden hoses set up to cool you down and the cold wet sponges at all the feed stations were amazing and gave you a few seconds of relief from the heat. The first lap passed quite quickly and there was no sign of my pace slowing, so I kept to my strategy and after the last hill I started to stretch the legs and push for home. I felt really strong at the finish and crossed the line with a variety of emotions. I was glad it was over, thankful to be in one piece, chuffed with my performance  but most of all I was just enjoying where I was and taking in the buzz you get when you finish an Iron man event with the corridor of noise that greets you. It doesn’t matter if your first or last you’ll never forget it. The finish area was full of athletes from all over the world. Every one of them smiling, laughing chatting to complete strangers and congratulating each other on their efforts.

IRONMAN 70.3 World Champs - Stephen Hogarth

So a big thank you to Kevin from Blackzone coaching who not only got me to the World 70.3 Championship but also got me over another finish line, in 35th place, in the World, in my age group.

I think I’ve done okay but this time I’m going to take that rest and enjoy it !!