How Winter training could hold the secret to your Cycle Challenge success

Entrants to the 2018 edition of the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge have been speculating about the pro's and cons of the flipped route and what the change in profile could do to their race times.

Ironically - it is a less-prominent addition to the iconic almost 100km race that could have the biggest impact on performance. For the first time ever, the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge has partnered with Cycling South Africa, and in particular the Chair of the Coaching Commission, Alasdair Garnett. Alasdair, and his team of accredited CyclingSA coaches have put together plans to specifically tackle the preparation for the new Cycle Challenge.

This is a sound, principled program.

Steve Saunders, Performance Through Science Coach

Speaking to Jenni Green, Sporting Director at the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge, Alasdair Garnett says that program should be treated as a guide, not as something set in stone...

Your training 20 weeks out is going to be different to the last week, or the last couple of weeks.

Alasdair Garnett, CSA Coaching Commission

Speaking through some of the broader principles at play with training programs, PTS (Performance Through Science) Coach Steve Saunders says whatever people do, they need to focus on sustainability; that as you get closer to the event you want to clean your lifestyle up as best you can... with lighter eating and socialising, getting enough sleep.

Find the balance in life to make this work.

Steve Saunders, Performance Through Science Coach

Get on your bike - that is the starting point of any plan. You need to get interaction with your equipment and environment! So if you can start today, go for it!

Steve Saunders, Performance Through Science Coach

In the first of a series of podcasts listen to Cycle Challenge Sporting Director Jenni Green chatting to Alasdair Garnett of CSA Coaching Commission and PTS Coach and former pro-rider Steve Saunders about the importance of a year-long training regime.

In keeping with the explosion of wearable tech devices, this plan can accommodate riders with additional equipment like heart rate monitors.

Cycle Challenge entrants receive an email with a link and voucher code to download the TrainingPeaks app. Then once the app is downloaded, you select the Cycle Challenge plan and add it to your calendar in TrainingPeaks.

This free offer is designed to keep you motivated and on top of your game. Participants get a notification every day detailing what they need to be doing to stay on track for your best Cycle Challenge yet!

People underestimate the value of a 10 minute session. 10 minutes is better than nothing!

Steve Saunders, Performance Through Science Coach

To benefit from this training plan offer, enter for the 2018 Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge NOW at

Alasdair has put together a training page on the Cycle Challenge website to help you decipher training elements you may not understand. As this podcast series is intended to raise the profile of coaching services available to both novice and advanced cyclists, those requiring a more specialist programme should engage the services of a CSA accredited coach. Registered riders are welcome to send Alasdair questions on

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