April Youth News Update

So... we're back in the real world! It was great to get back to coaching at the start of April, with over 60 kids signed up to our Spring Saturday coaching series, to see our riders again, catch-up with parents and to welcome newbies to the club.

By mid April, we moved up a couple more gears with Sunday road coaching at Winchester Park & Ride circuit and the popular Thursday cyclocross fitness workout at the Sports Centre both restarting to near capacity turnouts.

Things have started happening quickly as lockdown eases and we saw the first club time trials of the season take place on the p164 course at Lyndhurst with two of our U14 riders - Niclas and Iz taking part and posting respectable times... or even better than the parents! Then at Nomansland where Louis, Miles and Niclas tackled the tough p182 course in the interclub TT with New Forest CC.

Southern XC also returned with cross country MTB racing which tempted kids, coaches and parents to make the trip to Checkendon in the sunshine on the first Sunday in April for round 1, then at Crow in the New Forest for round 2 on April 25th.

As if all that wasn't enough, youth road racing is also back too with VC Venta's youth criterium also held last weekend at the Park & Ride attracting big fields and competitors from far and wide and a great turnout from team Sotonia.

Well done everyone - here's hoping for more!




Youth news – coaching returns

After a long three months of lockdown, we are really looking forward to restarting our Saturday youth coaching sessions as restrictions are eased on 28th March.

A big thank you to Jez and Jon for running the twice weekly Zwift sessions throughout the lockdowns, this has been a great way to keeping the youths engaged and their fitness over these times. Our Zwift sessions will end once we return to face-to-face coaching.

Like most of the last year we will be following Government, British Cycling & Active Nation guidelines. Full instructions will be emailed to those signed up to the series, one to two days before each Saturday coaching session. This will detail the areas your rider is allocated to, along with our own guidelines for riders and parents.


Road and CX Coaching

We are hoping that over the next few weeks we'll be nearer to sharing news of our coaching for road, probably at Winchester P&R and also, our Thursday CX/fitness coaching at Southampton Sports Centre.


Dates for your diaries

MTB Racing

Run by southern XC, there are 5 possibly 6 races to be had this year. The first happening in Reading on 4th April. Full details HERE


Winchester Park & Ride Criterium racing

P&R crit racing returns this year with 4 dates being offered by VC Venta and one from Sotonia.

These are provisionally:

April 24th entries HERE

May 16th, June 6th, 13th & 20th


Sotonia Timetrials (over 12's only)
Sotonia does have a full TT program throughout the summer months. These are on open roads and for age 12 and over. Full details of Sotonia's and other local TT's can be found HERE.


Group workouts guide on Zwift

During our bi-weekly Zwift group rides, our riders can also choose to do a workout. This is entirely optional and irrespective of whether they do a workout or don’t, we will all stay together. Even if riders start the workout and decide during the ride that its not for them, they can ignore the on-screen workout prompts and just carry on riding as normal.

If this is something you’re interested in, the following will explain the steps to take...


Step 1 - load the Sotonia Youth workouts onto your Zwift account (needs to be done in advance of the first ride).

  • Zwift workouts are simple ‘.zwo’ files, and ours (Sot Yth) are stored at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ipgKNUp4tiTIbi_tyn4c8DV3IykzJmWJ?usp=sharing.
  • Download all the files to your PC/MAC (at the time of writing there are 4 workouts but this will be expanded), and add to your Zwift workout library by moving them to your ‘Documents\Zwift\Workouts\<<Numeric Zwift ID>> folder’.
  • If multiple Zwifters access the platform on your device, there will be multiple Numeric Zwift ID folders visible. Either copy the files into everyone’s folder (easiest option), or click here to find out each riders Numeric Zwift ID https://zwiftinsider.com/find-zwift-id.
  • If you’re using an iOS device, this article explains how to access your custom workouts folder.
  • Next time you launch Zwift all the Sotonia Youth workouts will appear in the custom workouts menu.


Step 2 – selecting a workout

  • Before a group meet up (Mon & Thurs), we’ll let everyone know what number workout (e.g. W2) we’re going to use that night (via Facebook and/or the invite on the Zwift Companion App).
  • Join the group meet-up in exactly the same way as usual, but whilst you’re sitting on the turbo trainer waiting for it to begin, click ‘Menu>Workouts’ or hit ‘E’ on your keyboard to open the workout picker window.



  • The Sotonia Youth workouts that you loaded in step 1 will be in the custom workouts menu

  • Choose the correct workout, click ‘Workout’>’Back’ and you’re ready to go!
  • You’ll now see the workout plan on the left of the screen, and if you’re using the Zwift Companion App a new option (Workout) will appear at the bottom of the screen.


Step 3 – adjusting the difficulty of the workout (optional)

  • If you feel at any point that the workout is too hard or easy (although remember that the first 20 minutes is a gradual warm-up) you can adjust the difficulty either before the ride, or on during it. This can be done either on the PC/MAC or using the Zwift Companion App
  • PC/MAC - look at the workout breakdown on the left side of the screen. Beneath the list of workout details, you’ll see ‘100%’ sandwiched between up and down arrows.
  • Click on the arrows to either increase or decrease the difficulty of every block of the workout, by as much as 10%. Similar controls appear on Zwift’s blue ‘Action Bar’, which is accessible on your laptop (by tapping your keyboard’s “up” arrow)
  • Zwift Companion App – On the ‘Workout’ option, adjust the ‘bias’ either up or down.



Unless you’ve done an FTP test with a smart trainer/power meter, the value assigned to you by Zwift will not be accurate, but as long as you set up your trainer consistently (including tyre pressure) these workouts should be pitched about right for everybody (workouts are set as a % of riders FTP). However, if you’re finding the workouts consistently too hard (or easy) then this is a sign that your Zwift FTP is either too high or low. This can be easily be adjusted by clicking on the pencil icon under your name and changing the FTP value.



Parents In Sport Week

As part of the annual national Parents In Sport Week campaign,  Sotonia Youth Cycling volunteer coaches and parents spoke recently to EnergiseMe, a charity that has helped our club grow its offering to kids in recent years. Parents in Sport Week looks to increase positive parental involvement in youth sport and, by doing so, improve the experiences of young people across the UK.

This year's aim is to get parents to make the Sports Parents Promise to encourage their child's safe enjoyment of sport – as coaches and parents in Sotonia Youth Cycling, we know how important positive parenting in sport can be!


2019 Spring/Summer Coaching Programme

We are pleased to announce our youth coaching programme for Spring/Summer 2019, running the following sessions...


GO-RIDE Skills Saturdays

Our first series of 2019 Saturday GO-RIDE sessions start next weekend Existing members can book through your Loveadmin portal. Newcomers aged 6 to 16 are very welcome, please complete the new rider registration form before a first session.

Where: Southampton Sports Centre, Saturdays 9:30am-11:00am

Who: kids aged 6 to 16.

Cost: Series consists of 4 sessions, total cost £8.

Dates: April 27th, May 4th, 11th & 18th


Cyclocross Thursdays

A one hour session built around a technical cyclocross element each week but working on improving fitness too. To run throughout the summer starting on 25th April, with a break at half term, then till the end of July.

Where: Southampton Sports Centre, Thursdays 7-8pm

Who: Open to Sotonia U18 members only (Groups 2, 3 & 4)

Cost: £10 for the five week series.

Dates: April 25th, May 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd


Road Coaching Sundays

These two hour sessions focus on the skills and fitness required to safely compete in road and circuit racing.

Where: Winchester South Park & Ride, Sundays 10am-12pm

Who: Open to youth coaching groups 3 & 4

Dates: May 12th, 19th, June 23rd, 30th


For more information, email: coaching@sotonia.co.uk


Youth roller sessions return

With the cyclocross season drawing to a close recently, our youth coaching takes a break from Saturday Go-ride skills sessions which resume in April. For February and March, we are again running a series of coached roller evenings for our older kids in groups 3 & 4.

This week saw a great first roller session at Nursling & Rownhams village hall with the riders very quickly mastering the basics, before moving swiftly on to a few more advanced techniques and finishing off with a game of ‘coach says’ for the Sotonia Youth formation roller squad!

Spaces for upcoming youth roller sessions are limited and given on a first come first served basis, so early booking advised. For those trying rollers for the first time, full assistance is on hand from our coaches. For more details email coaching@sotonia.co.uk


2019 Roller Session dates

Series 1: February 12th, 26th, March 5th

Series 2: March 12th, 19th & 26th


What's coming up...

Keep an eye on our events calendar for details of other upcoming events including MTB rides and road coaching this Spring.



Skills sessions return for Autumn

Thanks to everyone who joined us this weekend for a great turnout of 40 riders marking the return of our off-road youth skills coaching sessions at Southampton Sports Centre for Autumn/Winter 2018.


Want to get involved?

Limited places are still available for the sessions run from 9.30am-11am every Saturday at Southampton Sports Centre on the grass area above the astroturf football pitches and are open to 6-16 year olds, with riders grouped by ability. All riders will need is a well-maintained bike of any variety, and a helmet. Off road tyres are preferable especially during the winter months.

Find out more: https://sotonia.co.uk/youth/about/



Friday night rollers sessions

We are delighted to announce indoor training sessions as a new addition to our coaching offering. Commencing in February 2018, we run our rollers sessions at Valley Park Community Centre, Chandler's Ford. These sessions will be run periodically throughout the year for coaching members in groups 2 and above. See the calendar for details of upcoming events.