Meet a cycling personal trainer

Becci Skelton Mountain bikes for women
Becci Skelton with her mountain bikes
Sometimes all you need is a little motivation to help you become your best as a cyclist, so cycling trainer Becci Skelton explains more.

Becci is a cycling personal trainer who knows what it means to start from nothing and end up a champion. She started her riding journey aged 28 and is offering to help one lucky winner help and advice to achieve their goals this year.

What is your background in bike riding?

I’ve always been able to ride a bike but I was mainly into team sports back in the day: football, netball, hockey and a fair bit of athletics. It wasn’t until I reached the grand age of 28 before I really took an interest in riding. I bought a hard-tail mountain bike when my mates at home were off on a biking weekend to Dalby Forest and I didn’t want to be left out! So that’s where it started really.

Doing trail centre rides, I realised I enjoyed the downs a lot more than the ups. So from there I started to get into more gravity-orientated stuff. I say downhill, but I lived in Lincolnshire, which is the flattest place in the world so hills are pretty hard come by!

We had a local spot called Hamilton Hill, and I entered a mate’s downhill race there. The run was only about 30 seconds long and I came second…out of two, but I was only a few seconds away from a girl that competed in Nationals so I thought I can’t be too shabby.

From there I entered a few more mates races, did well in those, picked up my first sponsor, entered some bigger races, and got another sponsor. I then podiumed at some Nationals and it all went from there really.

What are some of your highlight achievements?

In 2019, I won my first Elite National race, followed by a second win, and was on the podium for the rest of the season. The graft and consistency paid off when I was crowned British DH Series Overall Champion. As we didn’t race last year, the trophy is still at my house…I might claim it for 2020 as well? Ha ha!

Why do you ride?

I just love it. There’s no deep, meaningful reason to it, I’m afraid. I just like riding my bike

Becci Skelton races mountain bikes for women

I love the challenges it sets me, even when it’s scary and daunting. I love how it makes me want to constantly better myself. I love doing well and making my friends and family proud. And I love the places bikes take you and the people you meet through it.

You normally combine your riding with gym or at-home training. How has the balance changed (if at all) during the lockdowns?

The balance hasn’t changed too much to be honest. I stay consistent with my gym work at home, doing what I can with the equipment I have. I recently splashed out on a full weights rack and that has been the dream, although I don’t have a front room anymore!

I’m pretty lucky where I live to have some very cool riding spots within pedalling distance from my house. I’ve tried to keep riding relatively chilled (the NHS don’t need my broken body on their hands), but it’s a blessing to be living in the Welsh hills right now!

How can cyclists benefit from indoor training?

All cyclists should really be doing some kind of strength and conditioning work off the bike. It will make you a stronger, fitter, more confident and therefore faster rider. It also helps when the inevitable happens and you end up on the floor – having a bit of muscle mass helps no end in making yourself a bit more crashproof!

What type of cyclists do you train?

I think I’ve had everything going. I try not to focus solely on one discipline or level. I’ve got elite DH and Enduro riders, casual racers, non-racers that just want to get strong and fit to beat their mates or partners on a ride, folk that are just starting out riding, and then people that are looking at losing a bit of timber to better their welfare.

All my programmes are tailored to the individual; their discipline, current level of fitness and how often they can (and will train) per week.

What do you enjoy most about personal training?

Seeing results and clients’ goals reached. It sounds cliched but it’s so true. I invest a lot of time in my clients and try to make their programmes and interaction with them as personal as I can, so to get feedback that they’ve just got their first podium, can now get up a savage climb, beat their boyfriend, managed a full pull up, had a crash and didn’t die and so on, I totally love it!

If you had one piece of advice you could give to every cyclist, what would it be?

Press up, squat, lunge and don’t neglect mobility work! And get your head around enjoying training – there is nothing worse than doing a session that bores you or you’ve been dreading. OK, that is five pieces but let’s say it’s a package deal!

Becci Skelton training plan for cyclists