10 signs of a cycling obsessive!

Wicklow 200 announces Panache Coaching as official coaching partner

We are delighted to team up with former pro cyclists Ronan McLaughlin and Philip Deignan of Panache Coaching who will be sharing pro training plans, nutrition advice and plenty of other hints and tips between now and the event on 7th June. Both Ronan and Philip are well known on the Irish and international cycling circuit and have achieved tremendous success throughout their careers.

Ronan is a former international cyclist and raced all over Europe with the An Post Sean Kelly team and Irish squad for 6 years. In 2014 Ronan moved home to Ireland and moved into a coaching role. Ronan setup Panache Coaching with the goal of passing on his experience and knowledge through his own coaching philosophy and ethos. Throughout the years Ronan has continued his racing, now based at home with one of the top domestic teams. He has also been involved in both organising and participating in many sportives across the country and has coached numerous riders to be at their best for these events.

Philip is a former professional cyclist, who rode professionally between 2005 and 2018 for the Ag2r–La Mondiale, Cervélo TestTeam, Team RadioShack, UnitedHealthcare and most notably Team Sky. Philip is also a former Olympian having represented Ireland in Beijing 2008. Philip was Ireland’s first grand tour stage winner in nearly two decades when he won stage 18 of the 2009 Vuelta a España, going on to also finish in the top ten in the general classification. Having retired from professional cycling in 2018 Philip has now moved into a coaching role and enjoys the new challenge of helping other riders achieve their best.

We are looking forward to working with the guys over the coming months!

7 cunning ways to get your friend to sign up to cycling challenge with you!

You know that you always feel AMAZING after completing a physical challenge like a cycling event. So, you want your mate, other half or loved one to get that buzz too. Or maybe you just want someone to suffer a little with you as you train. Either way, here are 7 tips to help you persuade, cajole – or let’s be honest – manipulate them into joining you on your journey. Use them wisely!

1. Sell it to them!

Bring your buddy out on an easy walk, run or cycle – but one with incredible views. Make sure it’s a nice day. Then bring them to a cosy pub with great food so they get to experience that incredible satisfaction of treating yourself when it’s well deserved. Then raise the topic of a weekend away that would bring that experience to a whole new level. Do a bit of research in advance, focussing on restaurants and bars you might visit after your cycle. Finally introduce the notion of Wicklow, letting them know that there are two routes to choose from 100KM or 200KM

2. FOMO is your friend

Show your mate the photos of you with that huge grin on your face when you crossed the finish line. And boogying to the DJ while scoffing your post-race grub. Nothing like a bit of FOMO to ‘persuade’ a reluctant friend into doing what you want.

3. Make a bet

Little is more effective than bit of friendly competition to light a fire under your best pal’s behind.

4. The age-old tactic of reverse psychology

Tell them you’ve signed up for an amazing cycle but that you think it might be a bit too tough for them. Lay it on thick by suggesting that they might be too soft to tackle a hill in the elements.

5. Bribe them.

Offer treats, coffee, money, babysitting…do whatever it takes.

6. Romance could be the key!

If your buddy is single, explain to them that cycling is seriously friendly and a genuinely brilliant way to meet new people. With all the post-exercise endorphins flowing, Wicklow 200 has a brilliant party-like atmosphere at the finish. If that’s not an opportunity for romance, then we don’t know what is. And it’s an especially exciting opportunity if you’re sick of trying to meet someone on Tinder. Or if your idea of a soul mate is someone who occasionally likes to do something at the weekend that doesn’t solely revolve around drinking pints.

7. Go rogue and sign them up for a race.

If all else fails, just go ahead and sign them up for Wicklow 200. Give it to them for their birthday and tell them, “I’ve told your family and friends you’re doing it! No need to thank me! Let’s get training!”

Wicklow 200 takes place on Sunday 7th June 2020 and is open for registration

6 top tips for the novice cyclist

If you are taking up cycling for the first time or returning to the bike after many years, it can be daunting. Follow our top cycling tips to help you ride better and safer:

1. Gear
Cycling is like any sport in terms of gear, you get what you pay for. It is worth investing in the essential items for cycling. This includes:

2. Get a proper bike fit
Regardless of having a new or old bike it is important to get the bike set up to fit your body. Having a bike that fits properly allows you cycle more efficient and help avoid soreness after a cycle.

3. Know the rules of the road
Always cycle with the traffic and obey the traffic signs. Be alert to car and never cycle with headphones on.

4. Hydrate and fuel-up
Drink and eat a little and often to avoid dehydration and a drop in energy levels. When cycling you burn a lot of calories. Carry dry snacks such as granola bars, bananas and plenty of water.

5. Rest
After an intensive training session ensure you give your body time to recover and repair before your next training session. List to your body, if you are sick or injured take a few days rest from the bike. Taking a few days off from a training programme is better than been forced to stop for months due to injury.

6. Join a cycling group
You can get lots of tips and advice from other cyclists. In addition, cycling with a group can help you stay motivated on a long cycle.

Wicklow 200 Ireland's Premier Cycling Challenge