Testimonials from clients.

(Thanks to) My road cycling coach Tom Kirk was thoroughly preparing me for TT, writing training plans and testing my performance, discussing and explaining anything and everything I have asked about. Tom thank you so much this would not be possible without you.

Josef Metelka, double Paralympic Champion Rio 2016 and multiple World Champion.

Thanks to Tom my lofty cycling ambitions are now a reality.  Under his expert tutelage I have progressed two categories in little under a season and am still improving.   He has helped me to achieve this through his expert knowledge of both sports physiology and bunch racing.  

Tom has successfully maximised my physical potential through a series of monthly training programmes.  These have always been meticulous pieces of work that have aligned beautifully with my non-cycling commitments, current state of health and cycling objectives.   The workouts prescribed are both varied and challenging.  An approach that has worked wonders for my long-term motivation – especially during the tedium that is winter training.  In addition to this, Tom’s feedback is only an e-mail away. This allows for a very agile training programme that caters for changing variables such as: improvements in fitness; adjusted work commitments; unexpected injuries; etcetera.  I love this feature and am, consequently, very confident that I am always making steady progress to achieving my season’s objectives.  

Ultimately it takes more than just a bespoke training programme, albeit essential, to excel as a competitive cyclist.  Racing nous is another important piece of the puzzle.  As an accomplished cyclist himself, with an extensive knowledge of bunch racing, Tom has really accelerated my learning curve. I am now much more adept at reading races and developing race strategies to suit.   This facet of Tom’s coaching is a real value-add and makes him an ideal candidate for any aspirant cyclist seeking out a proficient coach.  

Make no bones about it: if you want to achieve in road racing, Tom’s coaching services deliver!

Christiaan Smith, Northampton.

 

Tom's advice has helped me to work on my weaknesses and plan out my training for short and long term goals so that I can make the most of my time when training and compete at a high level whilst studying at university.  

I have also taken on a new style of training over the last two years which I have found more effective even though I have trained for less time.  I have seen my threshold power gradually increase over the last two years as well as every other facet of my cycling ability.  I also become ill less frequently which has allowed me to perform consistently.

After a shoulder operation in November, Tom helped me make a comeback plan starting from January, targeting goals beginning in May.  With Tom's help I started to perform well in April including taking a 9th place in an Elite National Semi-Pro race in France, and I am now in a good place to reach new highs this season despite starting from scratch in January.

Jack Kirk, Hyeres, France.

 


Tom has been coaching me since the start of the year and has proved to be an expert in his field.  Initially a detailed assessment was carried out, comprising an exercise test on a watt bike to check power and fitness etc.  A detailed questionnaire was completed to check my goals, strengths and weaknesses and along with the results from my test he put together a monthly training programme.

Tom is hugely supportive, an excellent communicator and gives clear and comprehensive plans.  Nothing is too much trouble and his guidance is invaluable.  He clearly possesses comprehensive knowledge and expertise and is able to tailor this to the needs of the individual.

Dom Jelfs, Madison Genesis.

 


I have been coached by Tom since November 2010. It started off with some fitness tests on a static bike and then a conversation about my future goals. 2 days later I had my first training plan. Over the winter months I had allot of communication with Tom and he would adapt my training plan according to how I felt.

Before having the training plan I was recording 15th place at National events and generally about 15 minutes behind the winner. This year I have recorded a 2nd place and 1 minute behind 1st and also been selected to represent Great Britain in the UCI Mountain bike world cup.

Tom has been a great coach as well as teaching me the importance of the right nutrition and learning to train effectively. I now believe a coach is crucial when trying to get the most out of your body and would recommend Tom to anyone. 

Ben Sumner, Berkshire.

 

In November 2010 I decided to take cycling more seriously and joined a club. After being dropped a few times, I realised that I needed to introduce some structure into my training and so I contacted Tom. The initial assessment on the static bike brought good and bad news: I had a decent VO2 max but I was not able to use it effectively. And I had no power!  We talked through my goals (at that time, to stop getting dropped on club runs and, perhaps, to try a few women’s races in the spring), as well as the time constraints that I faced with work. Tom explained the basic principles that would guide my training, and emphasised the importance of knowing when to rest. A few days later my first training plan arrived. It was tailored to me, and fitted really well around my full-time job.

Tom kept in regular contact over the next few months, which was extremely helpful; knowing that he would be emailing to ask how I got on with each session gave me an extra incentive to stick to the plan.  Plus, week by week, I could see my threshold power increasing, so I knew that his plans were working. When the racing season started, he was there to offer advice on tactics, and to help diagnose what went wrong (and sometimes right) after each race. With Tom’s encouragement, I began to revise my goals. Rather than aiming not to get dropped on club runs, I began to think about being competitive in women’s races and even to try a few men’s races.  By the end of the season, Tom had me thinking and racing positively and I even made it into a few winning breaks.

Tom’s coaching has helped me to exceed my goals. I would recommend him to anyone looking to get more out of their time on a bike.

Clare Leaver, Oxford.

 

I can only speak positively about my experience with Tom (customcyclecoaching).  I have seen a clear improvement in my cycling performance due to carefully considered plans giving suitable progression and realistic challenge (which take into account my own personal circumstances with work, family and two other sports to juggle!). The online encouragement, interest and flexibility that Tom shows also helps to ensure a really productive coach-athlete relationship.

Paul James, Oxford.

 

 




Tom's knowledge, expertise and advice has taken me from a haphazardly training cyclist to a structured and organised racer winning National level events in under a year. His detailed approach to planning training and races has ensured I don't have to miss sessions due to work or any other commitments. My weaknesses have always been addressed, sometimes even before I realise they were a weakness! My power has improved across the board, as well as my pacing and race tactics. Tom's communication is great, and his guidance is invaluable. I would recommend him to anybody, especially those looking to maximise the benefit they get from their time spent on the bike.

Dan Bigham, Banbury.





I am really happy with the coaching I have received from Tom. The sessions were challenging but varied and tailored to me to ensure progression. The improvement I saw in power numbers has been impressive, with a corresponding improvement in race performance. Thanks Tom.

Ben Rowe, Yorkshire.






I've been coached by Tom for the last 6 months...I had previously tried training plans, and big coaching organisations, but neither were really working for me, they lacked the flexibility to build in multiple events, and felt very "cookie-cutter". 

Tom also goes beyond a normal coach...as well as the training schedule, he;s a great source of advice for nutrition, race tactics and skills, and techniques. I always think it's a good sign you're doing the right thing when your normal riding partners complain you're getting too fast, and I've been hearing that a lot recently!

Pete Ganderton, Reading.






I first got in touch with Tom in December 2013. After filling in a detailed questionnaire to establish what my goals were and how much time I could commit, I was sent a training plan with training zones which were clear and simple to follow. Based on a two year plan, my three main goals were to achieve better pacing in time trials, win my club’s hill climb and finish above half way in the placings for the cyclo-cross league in which I ride - my main discipline. 

In the eighteen months of being coached by Tom I have gone from having a 01:11:07 pb for a 25 mile TT to 01:00:37. I am sure I will break the hour soon. I did my club’s open 10 mile TT with a time of 23:05 and won the club trophy. My pacing in TTs has improved greatly with consistent wattage throughout my rides. I came 3rd in my club’s hill climb - 2nd best in the club. In the 2014 West Midlands Cyclo-Cross season I consistently finished in the top third of the field, with around 100 riders taking part. In the West Midlands Cyclo-Cross Champs I finished 24th overall and 11th in age category. I also won my club’s trophy for best over 50 category. I know my success would not have been achieved without Tom’s guidance and continued support. 

If you are serious about improving any aspect of your cycling, regardless of age, I recommend Tom as a coach, without hesitation, and look forward to continuing working with Tom in 2016.

Adrian Leach, Redditch.

I have been receiving monthly training plans for the last 10 months from Tom, that have been tailored specifically for me, from the testing that Tom carried out at the beginning of the winter.

Tom is helping me to develop my engine as a bike rider. This includes both on bike work and whole body core exercises, to develop as an overall athlete.

Tom is a super coach; as I am based in the SW, contact with Tom is through email. Tom is great at keeping in regular contact, at least on a weekly basis, generally more frequently. He is alway quick to reply to any queries I have. Also, Tom is very good at adapting training plans to the inevitable changes of everyday life: family commitments, social events, illness etc.

I would definitely recommend Tom as a coach, I have benefited massively from his coaching, and hope to continue to.

Alex Sheehan, Somerset.


I've been working with Tom this season and have been really pleased with Tom's coaching and my progress. Being relatively new to the sport he's really focused on building my sustained power and endurance on the bike. This has given me the base strength to confidently step up to 2nd category, with a handful of pleasing results along the way! Tom is really thoughtful about putting together a programme that fits around a fairly busy life. He keeps things interesting and I'm always confident he prescribes sessions that are hard but achievable, which has kept me motivated and committed. As a medic, I find his background in exercise physiology and understanding of the scientific basis of the sport very reassuring. 

I'm looking forward to working with Tom again for the 2015/16 season and am confident I will continue to improve under his guidance.

Jamie Franklin, Winchester.



I have been coached by Tom for the last 3 years and under his expert guidance I have developed from a total novice with no confidence to a 2nd cat road racer looking to win races.
Through regular lab testing and feedback, Tom has identified my weaknesses and tailors each plan specifically for me. This has seen me get stronger each year.  I trust Tom implicitly.  His plans are highly personal, clear and interesting, and they have certainly kept me motivated. 
Tom's standout qualities are his support which is just an email away and his friendly style.  Tom is great at keeping in contact and modifying plans if necessary.  I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Tom.  He is the ultimate professional and his knowledge and skills as a coach are outstanding.  I look forward to developing as a rider under Tom in years to come. 

Heidi Viles, Somerset.

I've been coached by Tom for two years. In December 2012 my wife and I had a wonderful life changing event at home with the birth of our baby girl. In anticipation of this, one of my main goals for 2013 was to combine being a top Dad with my road racing.

I was concerned about how I would achieve this given I would have fewer hours in which to ride,  in addition I would have less flexibility about when I’d be able to ride.

Tom and I had a good chat about this, looking at every possible aspect of my new lifestyle such as the hours and times of day I could commit to training, before Tom came back with a newly formatted training program.

I've now been racing for a few months, and I’ve been delighted, this is the best form I’ve ever had since I started racing over two years ago.  I’ve competed in a mix of road races, including a few at the longer end of the scale at over 120kms. To be competitive in these has demonstrated the training has been spot on, the endurance work and top end work have clearly both ticked the box! 

At times, we have had to change the plan where something has popped up at the last moment. This is where Tom has also stood out. In an instant, Tom will quickly adapt the training plan around these unforeseen events meaning that my training is not compromised in any way and will fit with my revised availability.

Happy riding!!

Ossie Assem, London.

The service and training regimen set by Tom is top notch for any athlete, regardless of their chosen cycling discipline.  Within a few short months Tom was able to transform my chaotic cycling style, refine it, and proceed to make me faster, stronger and significantly increase my aerobic endurance.

With Tom’s help I was able to complete my first Ironman in a very respectable time, as well as podium in a shorter distance race.  Tom has a unique ability to combine multidiscipline sports in a way that will maximize your allotted training time frame and will end in the desired results.

Tom is notorious for being available to answer your questions in a fast manner. When problems arise regarding family, weather or other life circumstance, Tom was right there to modify you schedule to make sure that you stay on top of the conditioning.  This friendly style, combined with a kinship centered on the bike, makes Tom more than just a coach.  He is the person you can trust to get you through those hard training days, and to the end of the race.

I have no qualms recommending Tom as a coach, and look forward to the future when we will work again.

Jeff Mitchell, Idaho, USA.

 

Tom has provided me the guidance, coaching, feedback and at times motivation I need to drive me to my goals. 
Through constant feed back we have improved and tailored my plan to fit into my week but with an eye on the end event goal.
In 2015 I will be riding the Paris Brest Paris and the coaching has been instrumental in getting me ready for this ride.

Thanks Tom - lets plan for the next ride. :-)

Chris Blackmore, Oxfordshire.

 www.customcyclecoaching.co.uk  Email: customcyclecoaching@gmail.com Tel: 07890782329