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 !!

Dawid Nowak – Professional Fighter

Blackzone Coaching welcomes Scottish professional Muay Thai and kick boxer Dawid Nowak to help improve his performance during fights.

The main focus is to improve Dawids endurance , especially in fights that go the distance. Blackzone will be working alongside Dawid’s Technical Coach and his Strength & Conditioning Coach to develop Dawid into the ultimate fighter.

Dawid is currently Scottish Champion K1 75kg and has other titles in his sights. This guy is an inspiration to train and pushes his limits every session.

Dawid Nowak
Dawid Nowak
Dawid Nowak
Dawid Nowak
Dawid Nowak
Dawid Nowak
Dawid Nowak
Dawid Nowak

Testimonial: Jonny McDonald

Tough Mudder Scotland 2017

“I knew what I wanted from my training and I knew I was going to have to focus to reach my targets, and whilst I was making steady progress on my own when I was recommended to Kevin at Blackzone training I thought I would give it a bash and see how it would affect my progress. It has been four months since I joined and I have been amazed by the progress, I find myself spending less time training but when I am training the structure and intensity of the sessions give me more gains for less time input, this has given me more free time and more recovery time whilst progressing. In the four months I have been focused on training but have still managed to get a new running PB after two years of stagnating in pace, took a high profile 40 mile OCR win improving from 9th place the previous year and took the win accompanied by a cash prize at the inaugural Scotland’s Tougher Mudder. I joined Blackzone with an 8 month goal to coincide with an event later this year, I never imagined I would have come so far in half that time and can’t wait to see what can be achieved in the future.”

Jonny McDonald

Race Report: IRONMAN 70.3 UK Exmoor 2017

Stephen Hogarth - IRONMAN 70.3 UK Exmoor 2017

Race Report from Stephen Hogarth who  came 1st in his age group (45-49) and 21st Overall at the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Exmoor:

Not a bad day at the office but the Journey started 9 Months before this event.

This was my 5th year of Triathlon and as the years have passed I have been improving every year. After recently moving in 2016 from an onshore work place to being back offshore on a 3 weeks away and 3 weeks at home rota I had no idea how to be able to train properly after working 12 hours every day.

I entered Exmoor 70.3 in 2016 and only had a few months of offshore life to maintain a good level of fitness that I had. The course should have really suited me and I finished 3rd in age group. I was pleased with result but not with performance as I knew I could have done much better. I also missed out on a qualification spot to the World Championships by 1 place. So I had unfinished business in Exmoor and decided for the first time in my Triathlon Career that I was going to an event with a specific Goal.

“I want to qualify for the World 70.3 Championship’’

With no idea how to train properly offshore I decide I needed a coach to help. I looked at many different options from online to personnel trainers and finally came across Blackzone Coaching. A couple of things stood out in his webpage when doing my research.

1. If you are looking for an easy fix you won’t find it with Kevin, but if you are serious about your goals and willing to commit to his guidance you will achieve what may have previously eluded you as an athlete.

2. Kevin has 100% success record with his athletes reaching their goals. (’’Bold Statement’’)

I started working with Kevin in September 2016 and the fresh approach to training gave me a new lease of life. He was very quick at knowing what I was capable of and the training programs are constantly changing which helps enormously with motivation. During my offshore Rota he has been able to adapt the training to get the most out of a Watt Bike and Treadmill with High intensity, Short duration workouts. (If you call 1 ½ hours on a treadmill short) at times of high fatigue he can quickly adjust the programs to get me back on track, I honestly feel at the age of 48 I am fitter now than I have ever been in my life.

Next step is Chattanooga on the 10th September to put myself up against the best the World has to offer. I have no idea what to expect or what I would be Happy with. I will continue to follow Kevin’s training plans and try and execute the race to the best I have to offer and see what comes from it. Most importantly I’m going to enjoy the whole Experience.

Finally, Thank you Kevin for being a big part in the Jigsaw in helping me achieve my Goal.

Stephen Hogarth

Stephen Hogarth - IRONMAN Exmoor Finisher Certificate

Race Report: Tough Mudder Scotland 2017

Tough Mudder Scotland 2017

Congratulations to Blackzone athlete Jonny Mcdonald who won the Tough Mudder Scotland 2017 event held at Drumlanrig Castle! He completed the challenging obstacle course in a time of 1:32:12  – read his full race report below:

I started mid pack to hold myself back from pushing too hard to early but once the pack broke I found myself sitting fourth after about 400m and I saw that the three front runners were grouped and only going about 4:10per km.

With cash prizes first second and first I decided to push through the middle of them and pull away and see how much they were willing to push, only one of them came with me which surprised me, only 16-17km course there wasn’t much time for pissing about. Within 2km then one that came with me started dropping off. He was slower on the obstacles than as his technique wasn’t quite up there, and this seems to knock him as his pace seemed to be dropping as well so I push away to put a good distance between us and try and get out of sight to stop him chasing me and I decided to scrap my three lap plan and push hard and try to take a podium at least.

He came and went behind me until about 12km where him and another boy caught me on one of the many hills but I had just finished an obstacle that they had to still do so although we were only a few metres apart I had about a 30/40 second advantage and seeing them I pushed away again starting to think at this point that a good strong finish could get the win, they both stayed behind by about 40 seconds which was ideal as I was out of sight for the majority of the last third of the race and with about 1500 metres to go all I had to do was ensure no penalties on the last two obstacles which I managed to do and finished around a minute ahead of 2nd and 3rd in 1:32 five or take a minute.

Took my first cash prize of £500 and ended up still going ahead and doing my three laps anyway, delighted with the win against racers I have never beat before and feeling good about having managed to get a good solid 50km training day in over around 9hrs in total which really what this weekend was all about.

Thanks again for all the help I still keep amazing myself at how far I come on race day, it’s hard to see it in training but this makes it all worthwhile.