My Training Week: Irish champ’s short sharp winter sessions

Posted on: December 11th, 2016


Beth McCluskey is a former international cyclist and runner and has developed a particular expertise in nutrition. She’s the reigning national cyclocross champion and that hasn’t happened by chance. She’s a dedicated and committed rider who holds down a full-time job. And getting the training to fit around her schedule is one of her biggest assets (Photo: Dany Blondeel)


By Brian Canty

Reigning Irish cyclocross champion Beth McCluskey is busy preparing for the nationals which take place in one month.

The Rathfarnham woman looks like the standout favourite for the event given her strong performances of late – though plenty more are capable of challenging.

Most recently she was a comfortable winner in round 9 of the Ulster Cyclocross Series in Donard Park, Newcastle, last weekend. And her success hasn’t happened by accident.

The former elite mountain-biker outlines her training week here in detail. She works in Dublin Institute of Technology and commutes 13 kilometres each way every day.

That means leaving the house around 8am and not returning until around 7pm. Below, she gives us the breakdown of what happens in between those hours.


Riding for her club Scott-Orwell Wheelers at An Post Rás na mBan in September (Photo: Sean Rowe)


Beth McCluskey’s week


“I’m usually pretty wrecked after racing and travelling at the weekend so today is a rest day.

“After work I sort out the muddy gear and bikes from the weekend and also try to sort out food and gear for the rest of the week.

“I do things like laundry and shopping and maybe I’ll get a gym session in during lunch at work. I try to do some stretching and foam rolling to help with recovery but it doesn’t always happen.”

Tuesday – Wednesday – Thursday

“I try to get to the gym in work at lunch time and do a Watt bike session every Tuesday and Thursday.

“The session is usually 30-45 minutes depending on the time I have available.

“If I don’t get to the gym at lunchtime I’ll do a session on my commute home on the bike.

“On Wednesday evening I cycle into work on the ‘cross bike and spin home via our group cyclocross training session in Cherrywood which is usually 90 minutes in total.

“I’d try to do some strength stuff in the gym on Wednesday lunchtime if I have time, and I do a really good strength session with my physio every Thursday night after work.”


“This is usually a rest day after the hard week and in advance of the race at the weekend.

“Sometimes I might go to the gym and do some core and stretching, if I have time.”


“Today is always a long spin on either the ‘cross bikes or the road bike with the gang.

We try not to do too many hills, especially if we’re racing the next day but that doesn’t always go according to plan!”


“I’m racing most Sunday but if not, I’ll do a long hilly spin, usually on the mountain bike or the ‘cross bike.”