Most of my riders have come to me via personal recommendation from others I coach. I'm always delighted that my riders would recommend me to their friends and club mates. Here are a few (repeatable) things they have said about me.
I started working with Rich Smith at the age of 65. I’m not an athlete by any means. I’ve been riding bicycles off and on all my life, but had never raced and was always the last guy up the hill. I was at the point where I was riding alone because I was too slow and too worried about not being able to finish group rides. I just wasn’t enjoying cycling anymore.
On my 65th birthday, I finally decided to try and do something about it. Rich took me on and has worked enthusiastically to help me get stronger on the bike. He’s led me through a customized training program, adapted to my abilities, that has helped me gradually increase my power. As a side benefit, this program also helped me lose a bunch of weight. After 2 years of working with Rich, I’m a lot stronger and have dropped 40 pounds. I’m no longer the last one up the hill, and I’m enjoying cycling again. Rich even got me to the top of the Col du Tourmalet last summer!
If you’re thinking about getting into better cycling shape, here’s my my message: It’s never too late to start training, and having Rich as your coach is the best thing you can do to help yourself be successful. He listens carefully, thinks deeply, and adapts quickly. He’s encouraging and engaged - the perfect coach. I have total confidence in him, and I would recommend him to anyone who’s considering embarking on a cycling training program. In fact, I already have!
One of the valuable things I’ve learned through this process is that structured training suits me. I must also say that you have helped me tremendously in terms of reversing my declining fitness and loss of confidence in my ability, and I don’t think that I would have ever recovered from whatever it was that laid me low 3-4 years ago without your input. So, thank you!
Chris, Endurance/Sportive rider (67)
'I have been coached by RideFast since Nov 2018 with the initial goal of gaining my Cat 2 Race Licence in the 2019 season. In February, a new goal emerged, and Rich had only 5 months to get me ready to ride the entire 2019 Tour De France route, one day ahead of the professional men’s peloton with a team of women I had never met before. All I can say is that Rich got it absolutely, 100% spot on. He prepared me, not only physically but mentally and thanks to his knowledge, guidance and encouragement, I nailed 3460 km, 50, 000 m of climbing over 21 gruelling stages. Rich is more than just an awesome coach, he is a mentor, a motivator and a total cycling inspiration. I’m already excited to see what we can achieve together in 2020 😊'
Lucy Ritchie, Cat 3 and InternationElles Team Rider
I’ve been with RideFast Coaching for nearly two years. Prior to working with Rich, I was an endurance road cyclist for 10 years, participating in a number of long distance sportive and grand fondo events in the UK and Europe. However, while I was a doing ok in these events, I was not seeing any significant improvement year on year, no matter how much training I was doing. However, since working with Rich, my performance has improved, and continues to improve, way beyond my expectations. Rich builds structured training plans that provide varied sessions which I enjoy following, and the improvement is amazing - I’m now finishing in the top 10% in events I enter, whereas I used to just be in the top 25-30%. Rich’s training plans are detailed and very understandable. They are also well balanced, and while they push you to reach your goals they also ensure you recover properly, which is something I was not good at doing myself.
I’m located in Scotland so I work remotely with Rich, and it works very well. Rich always makes himself available for a chat. He is very knowledgeable and passionate about his cycling and I feel very motivated after our conversations to get out on the bike. Additionally, Rich is a quick responder to email, text etc. I would recommend Rich without hesitation; he has been one of the best investments I’ve made in my cycling.
Now the Time Trial season is over I would like to thank you for the last year of coaching.
Even though I am almost 70 years of age and suffer from Ischemic Heart Disease my performance this year 2019 as seen significant improvements in power output over distances of 10, 25,50 and 100 mile Time Trials.
I look forward to working with you next year when I return from Thailand
Best regards and thank you
Rich has been coaching me since my first world champs in 2011 (Göteborg, Sweden). Since, he’s coached me to five world championships (Transplant Games cycling), racing against ‘normal riders’ in national track omniums, time trials, road races and crits. We have been able to transition my training from indoor turbo sessions to riding the rollers and doing specific sessions for my TT and road races out on the road based on power and heart rate.
Rich knows what it takes for ‘special population’ riders to increase their fitness, speed and confidence in order to progress and attain their goals whilst dealing with on-going health issues.
I cannot recommend RideFast Coaching enough. Rich continues to inspire me with his knowledge and guidance from his own continued professional development in all aspects of cycling. His feedback after training and races to help continue to develop me is second to none. 35 golds in 35 Transplant races and I’m very excited to see what I can do with RideFast Coaching’s support in the years to come.
Ottilie Quince, GBTx Captain
Rich started coaching me two years ago. I’ve used “generic” training apps before, however the constant analysis and feedback, adaptable plans based on real life goals, and encouragement from Rich have kept me motivated and improving more than I could have hoped.
Great oral communication on what works, why, and how to apply it using long experience of doing it, and shares that as context. Listens and analyses what you mean instead of what you say, confirms then replies to that. Always bears in mind that most of us juggle bike training alongside life, work, family, everything.
And, of course, the immortal
If you need someone to tell whoever to go and get f*cked, you can rely on RideFast Coaching.
Declan, time trialist
I’ve been trained by Rich for about three years and throughout that time I have seen steady and injury free improvement in my performance. I am impressed with the time that he takes to get to know his riders so that he always knows what your goals are and what your strengths and weaknesses are. He also quietly and discretely monitors performance so that he is able to change a training plan at very short notice if the general pattern of performance requires it, or in order to accommodate life events, or if you just decide to do something different (who doesn’t sometimes skip a turbo session to go for a ride with their mates or decide to slot in an event at short notice?). That flexibility keeps my training on track and keeps me motivated. Rich works in a way that leads to consistent and measurable improvements over time and I don’t think anyone can expect more than that.
Gary, road racer.
After a very poor (cycling-wise) end to 2018 and start to 2019, but with some tough challenge rides ahead of me in Summer 2019 I signed up with Richard in April. My 20-min FTP score had slumped to 235W and I weighed 87kg - a, for me, feeble 2.7W/kg.
Richard guided me through a superbly crafted 5-month plan (late-Apr to early-Sept) which produced some startling results. At my key 'events' in September I performed at 335W for 20 minutes (79kg by then, so 4.25W/kg). My goal had been to get to a 'lifetime best' of 4W/kg.
Richard produces training plans and provides rider feedback which are both perfectly aligned to the rider's goals and 'personal style'. He clearly has a forensic understanding of the 'science behind the numbers' and knows exactly how to dose & ramp up training intensity to get the rider to their target level in the most efficient way. His engagement with the rider seems to be nicely tailored - not too much for those of us who 'get it' and don't crave lots of 'pats on the head', but more direct involvement with riders who prefer a more regular dialogue. Any one-off questions, requests to make a small programme amendment or similar are always promptly & constructively dealt with.
With a structured approach to my training and on hand advice; I’ve managed to improve on my 16 year old Personal Best for a 10, with more still to come. I’ve gone from doing mid 23 minute 10 mile time trials last year to doing mid 21 minute this year and have now set a brand new benchmark of 20.21'.Rich has understood that real life sometimes gets in the way, and we’re not professional athletes with unlimited time. He has been able to adapt my training (sometimes at extremely short notice) to fit around my work and family commitments. I'm looking forward to more improvements during the rest of this season...'
Del, time trialist