Based in Woburn, Massachusetts, Shayne Gaffney is a USA Cycling Level II coach who is also a licensed Physical Therapy Assistant holding a degree in biology. (It’s always assuring to know your coach has the background to understand how training effects the body… check out Shayne’s blog for useful tips like core workouts which apply to every cyclist.)
Like other ZwiftBlog sponsoring coaches, Shayne uses Zwift (he’s been on since the early beta days), and he couples that with the coaching expertise needed to get you to your peak fitness and beyond. Read below to learn more about Shayne.
Tell me about your cycling background. What sort of riding have you done, for how long, etc?
I started cycling in 2006 when I got into triathlons after being burnt out from middle and long distance competitive running. I have done road, cross, TTs, and mountain biking, but my forte and passion lie with road.
When and why did you begin coaching?
I began coaching in 2012 after a friend said she needed help running a Computrainer Program and thought I would be a great match from my background (and she would pay for the license and testing fees! SCORE! ?). So, I took her up on the offer and have truly enjoyed every minute since.
Every coach has particular philosophies which define their methods. How would you describe yours?
My philosophy is quite simple: Fitness = Consistency over Time, or, F=C/T. Nothing changes without a consistent stimulus!
Do you use Zwift personally, and if so what for?
I do use Zwift personally and have been using it since the Beta testing phase! I use it for a myriad of things like training, racing, social riding, and satisfying the competitive aspect of my brain via the various jerseys.
How is Zwift a useful tool from a coach’s perspective?
In three ways:
- It is visually, socially, and competitively stimulating, keeping the athlete engaged longer
- The workout creator is better than any other, bar none
- It gives the athlete the ability to receive the greatest benefit from their time invested in their training, especially with the smart trainer becoming more widely used. You can literally change, swing your leg over the top tube, and be doing structured workouts in 5 minutes!
If you had just one piece of advice you could share with all Zwifters, what would it be?
Whatever you do, do it consistently! It is far better to ride shorter multiple times a week than to ride longer a couple of times a week.
Mike Heck from Hutchinson, KS
For several years I have had the desire to complete a multi day long distance ride. I have always felt that my interests were more towards endurance riding than racing. After some health setbacks in the last couple of years, the stars finally aligned and I picked a ride. This ride was no small goal for me, it included about 400 miles and almost 30,000 feet of climbing at altitude over 6 days.
I talked with Coach Shayne about helping me prepare for this event. He had some great ideas and so we worked together to get prepared for the big week. My goal was to not just finish, but finish strong.
Coach Shayne’s workout plans, encouragement, and an appropriate amount of pushing was instrumental in my completion of the ride. He tailored the workouts to meet my schedule and he was always available to provide advice and the encouragement that is needed when things seem to not be going well. I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone, especially, someone that is just looking to get started or has a specific event in mind. I was very impressed with his knowledge and ability to help me meet my goals.
Dan Shinnick from Rowley, MA
– The A group, the fast ones on the Saturday ride.
– A sub 5 hour century.
These were my goals and they had eluded me for years because, I now see, I didn’t really have a plan for achieving them. I began working with Coach Shayne Gaffney in January of 2015 through his Pure Power (P2) classes looking to finally crack them. I came away from the P2 class seeing a remarkable increase in both my power and confidence. Recognizing the clear benefits structured training had for me, I asked Coach Shayne to coach me through the rest of the 2015 season and I began to consider racing. Having never raced before I was incredibly nervous. But working with Coach Shayne only continued to improve those two facets and as I approached the first race of the season at Mt. Blue, I knew I was ready. Through the season as my confidence and ability grew, each race became more fun than the last.
Thanks to Coach Shayne being so generous with his time and knowledge, I achieved my original goals, grew to set new ones and achieved those as well.