Born in Africa, growing up in Portugal, spending many years in the UK and now living in Alberta, Canada, Paulo Stroud-Baranda of bikedna is truly a global coach. He has the athletic experience to back it up, too, competing as a triathlete in the Olympic distance for Portugal and racing UCI road races.
It is clear Paulo brings a high level of experience and knowledge to his coaching. Read below to learn more about him and his coaching philosophy.
Tell me about your cycling background. What sort of riding have you done, for how long, etc?
I am passionate about everything cycling. I was a professional long distance triathlete and competed as a triathlete in the Olympic distance for Portugal and raced UCI road races.
My certifications are as follows: MSc Engineering, MBA, British Cycling Certified Coach L1/2, British Triathlon Federation Certified Coach L1/2, Canadian Competition Swimming Coach, Coach Canada #1230324, Oxford College UK, Diploma Sports Performance Coaching and Personal Training, Stages Cycling Master Educator (ME).
When and why did you begin coaching?
I’ve coached triathletes and cyclists and worked as a group fitness indoor cycling instructor since 2009.
Every coach has particular philosophies which define their methods. How would you describe yours?
I am truly committed to improving the health and well-being of individuals. I approach my work with a high level of initiative, reliability, empathy and determination. Above all, I strive to apply a high level of scientific training principles in my sessions and coaching in a way that is practically possible and understandable for everyone.
Do you use Zwift personally, and if so what for?
I use Zwift with my training and also most of my athletes use Zwift-prescribed workouts on a daily basis as part of a training program.
Zwift enabled workouts are a must when living in Alberta, where winter can last for several long months. I also teaches a Group Zwift Class every Sunday morning at Mount Royal University on the fantastic Stages SC3 Indoor bikes.
How is Zwift a useful tool from a coach’s perspective?
In my opinion and experience, Zwift allows coaches to prescribe the correct amount of training to the individual athletes at any given moment; also the athletes have the advantage of performing the workout at their convenience and in a social environment.
I have established a partnership with Today’s Plan, and all athletes have access to an individual calendar where the training is directed. They also have the option to download the workout files for the day in several different formats including a file they can upload to Zwift to perform the workout there. On top of that, every single athlete upon finishing the workout either in Zwift, other platform or outdoors will upload the files automatically, and I provide an individual ride analysis via email.
I also favor working with SmO2 values to understand better and further develop my clients.
If you had just one piece of advice you could share with all Zwifters, what would it be?
Use Zwift as a fun tool for improvement avoiding overtraining.
“I have been working with Coach Paulo for almost 6 months now. I can say without a doubt I am a better cyclist than I ever thought I could be because of his extensive knowledge and dedication. He analyses every ride to the point that he can tell me how I felt and see even the slightest gains. He has more to offer than just telling me what to do everyday. It has been an education on many levels and I am very happy to have found him and look forward to seeing where he can take me.”
~Bill Clark, USA
“Paulo is a great coach, always pushing me and introducing new technologies, turning something that sometimes is quite boring into exciting moments! He also really know how to plan a workout, including important details as where to increase or decrease the power, how long to stop and much more. He is always in touch, and is very attentive and courteous.”