Welcome to The Science of Cycling! My name is Paddy Harrison and I'm a coach and doctoral researcher based at Loughborough University in the UK. Here's a little bit about my background in coaching and cycling science.
I've been coaching for the last 10 years, working with high-performance endurance athletes across cycling, running, and triathlon, along with elite squash players earlier in my career.
Currently, I coach the Loughborough Lightning Women's Elite Development Team and Loughborough Cycling Academy riders across multiple disciplines, including road, time-trialling, track, and cyclocross.
In 2019, I completed my undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Birmingham in the UK. In Birmingham, I supported research investigating the impact of post-training sauna bathing on endurance performance and heat acclimation in middle-distance runners - sauna bathing is effective for heat acclimation and improves performance in cool conditions!
During my time in Birmingham, I competed on the Professional Squash Association World Tour and played for Coolhurst in the Premier Squash League. Training in high-performance environments has given me first hand experience of what is needed to prepare and compete at the highest level.
After finishing my degree, I moved to Loughborough University to pursue a PhD in endurance performance and physiology under the supervision of Dr Richard Ferguson, Dr Stephen Bailey, and Prof David Bishop.
My PhD is focusing on endurance performance, specifically looking at how we can optimise the endurance training process, with a focus on skeletal muscle physiology.
The main project is investigating the effect of low-intensity training duration on skeletal muscle signalling responses - the molecular processes that occur in the muscle and determine the adaptations you get from training.
I'm also involved with research projects on critical power/W' modelling, fatigue resistance, blood-flow restriction training, and transgender athlete profiling. I co-ordinate the Endurance Performance SIG - you can find some of the talks on our YouTube channel!
My research background has forced me to constantly refine my thinking about training and performance, trying to blend an evidence-informed approach with the real-world art of coaching.
If you have any questions about coaching or any of the other content on the site (I'm always up for talking about cycling science and performance), send me a message here and I'd be more than happy to set up a call and have a chat!