Thomson Tales

Training. What’s Personal About it And How Not To Make It A Mystery.


There’s often a lot of myth, mystique and over-expectation around how to train correctly.

These can translate into confusing training do’s and don’ts, the need for a degree in math or bio-physics to understand what you have to do, or the wrong idea of how much time is actually needed for you to see any improvement in performance.

We’ve recently partnered with CCNS, a coaching and nutrition company run by Aidan Charles, that will tailor a training plan around your life and your objectives.

We’ve had a lot of questions and requests concerning training for Thomson trips over the years and we felt it was time to provide you with some options you can actually follow.

Peter’s Training Story

Peter has known Aidan for a couple of years now but only recently found time to travel to his base in Connecticut and actually do some tests and set out a plan.

Now Peter’s been a naturally strong rider all his life, training the old-school Bernard Hinault way – get out and ride. Everyday. And lots.  However recently, he’s been having an increased workload and hasn’t been able to find all the time he’d like to get out and ride.  And Frankly, he’s felt he’s been losing his edge.

Working with Aidan, he’s been analysing everything from VO2/CO2 gas analysis through lactate thresholds to riding position and come up with a day-to-day training program to help boost his explosive power output in the limited training time he has.

The results have been astounding.  From going our 5 times a week for 3 to 5 hour rides, Peter’s been doing much shorter daily rides combined with specific interval training, and he’s seen a marked improvement in just a few weeks.

“The main difference is the feeling of freshness I’ve recovered.  I felt like I was peddling in mud for a while.  I could go the distance and keep up fine, but I’d come back pretty tired.  I’e always been skeptical about working to a specific plan, but being coached by Aidan at CCNS has been an eye-opener for me.” Says Peter.

Aidan’s Take On Peter

Coach Aidan Charles from CCNS“Peter’s someone who rides a tremendous amount. He paces himself well over the course of leading long rides, but in his training, he is benefitted by improving his ability to oxidize fats as fuel. Like anyone else, what he can target as his “all-day” pace or speed, can be increased by training his capacity at aerobic threshold. This is done with easy endurance rides at the correct intensity!

Secondly, to make sure he can tap into his full potential during epic rides, we are working to dial in his nutrition and ride-fueling plan. Quite often, what athletes perceive as fatigue is actually under-fueling and dehydration! Another focal point of his coaching is making sure he is resting enough. With Peter’s busy schedule, both on the bike and traveling the globe, this can be tricky! Scheduling the timing of meaningful rest is just as important as the timing of training and intervals. Then, I make sure Peter is himself confident about that timing. If an athlete is not confident about taking rest, likely that rest won’t be as recuperative as it can be. ”

Free Consultation Through Thomson Bike Tours

If you’ve signed up for a Thomson trip, you can have your own free consultation with the coaches at CCNS.  A 30 minute conversation is enough time for them to orient you on the basics. You can then decide if you want to go a step further and sign up for a more comprehensive plan.

Beyond the initial consultation, CCNS offer three possible coaching plans:


If you’re confident in your own knowledge and personal discipline, this is a fantastic place to start with a personalised training plan based off your schedule and long-term riding plans.  There’s a monthly check-in to see how you’re doing and make any necessary adjustments.


With bi-weekly consultations by email or over the phone, this advanced program helps with focus and confidence, coupled with options for performance testing as needed and advice on nutrition.

Full Custom/Complete

If you’re interested in covering every possible angle of your training, then this is the plan for you.  Unlimited consultations, full nutrition analysis including body composition analysis meal suggestions and more; all inclusive performance testing like Peter went through; and bike fitting and bio-mechanical review at no extra charge.

It’s pretty simple really:
Sign up to a trip.
Call CCNS.
Improve how you ride.
Blow yourself away on the trip.