Mike, Jilly, Dave, Gemma
In August 2017, 9 riders cycled non-stop from Geneva in Switzerland to San Remo in Italy over 7 of the longest and highest Cols in France, for the length of the Alps. This was the inaugural Wolf Pack ride – taking in a whopping 513kms and more than 11,000m of elevation over 28-hours. There was a lot of pain, sure, but there was also a lot of training, logic, logistics and knowledge thrown at the challenge ahead of time. Precision preparation is what allowed the riders to go Above & Beyond what any of them dreamed was possible to achieve.
As the Three Wolf Pack veterans pooled their knowledge and experience to offer the dedicated ultra-endurance Above & Beyond camps throughout 2019, they have been joined by Gemma Sampson, an outstanding Girona based nutritionist - sharing this gold mine of ultra-endurance training and preparation experience with anyone wanting to take their performance to the next level.
As a team
We offer you a uniquely qualified coaching team, whose combined experience and knowledge are sure to help you attain new levels of performance and confidence in your ability to take on 'extreme' challenges. We bring the Above & Beyond within reach. Your time with us will yield fresh perspectives on your own journey to the next stage of your athletic life, on topics such as training structure, diet, or training/life balance. We’re also loads of fun to be around!
Mike Duff- @haloveloproject
A British Cycling qualified cycling coach for sportive riders and young racers, Mike has stood on the podium and placed top-ten in several European sportives. He runs La Bruguera de Púbol and the Halo Cycling Project, and knows the roads of Girona inside out. At La Bruguera, he has worked for 2 years to create an ideal location in which to immerse yourself in cycling, with all your needs catered for, at no cost to the earth. There is nothing Mike likes more than showing the Girona, Baix Empordà and Costa Brava area off to cyclists - oh, and finding the nastiest climbs to train on for Wolf Pack-type events - at night.
Jilly Coppack -@jilly.bloom
Jill is a Sports Nutritionist and Strength and Conditioning Coach. She has optimised the bodies of athletes completing epic endurance events, such as cycling from Cairo to Cape Town, as well as IRONMAN triathlons, on/off road cycling of all distances, and of course the Wolf Pack Team. She’s also a multiple IRONMAN finisher herself, and an avid cyclist who travels everywhere with a bike in case there’s a Col to climb or single track to descend. Jill is passionate about helping athletes fine-tune their bodies to reach new athletic peaks.
Dave Smith - @DAVEffflow
Dave has coached a huge range of cyclists from Olympic medallists and Tour de France yellow jersey holders to chubby executives and 24 hr racers who have full time jobs. He has also designed nutrition programmes for F1 drivers and core training sessions for polo players.
In terms of ‘ultra’ distance cycling Dave has slept in stinking bus shelters and eaten cold chips off the road. He’s used socks as gloves, worn bin liners as jackets and fixed his gears with a stick. He contends that his ability to lie to his own brain can be taught to others. You get the idea.
Gemma Sampson - @gemmasampsonnutrition
Gemma is a Sports Dietitian and Performance Nutritionist. She has optimised the bodies of athletes completing epic endurance events such as Race Across America, IRONMAN triathlons, multiple marathon attempts and cycling events of all distances. An IRONMAN finisher who fell in love with cycling, her bike travels everywhere with her as she fuels an adventurous life. Gemma is passionate about supporting athletes to fuel their bodies for optimal performance.
In 2019 Gemma is working as a nutritional advisor to Team Dimension Data, ensuring that their athletes are provided with optimal nutritional strategies for racing, training, recovery and health.
The people have spoken
“After a couple of years of relatively little on-bike action, I needed a training plan to help with my preparation for two editions of Rapha's Cent Cols Challenge, one in the Northern Alps and the other in the Cevennes. In the Spring (peak training period), I was short of two things - time and motivation. Mike put together a daily training regime that meant I could regain the necessary level of performance with a much reduced number of hours actually on the bike; the focus turned from time to intensity, so more spinning classes and fewer objective-free 6 hour training rides. Just what I was looking for! The results, and hence the motivational levels, improved during the programme allowing me to perform well (and even enjoy!) both events. THOROUGHLY RECOMMENDED”
“I had taken on 4 challenges back to back. An 11,000km cycle from Cairo to Cape Town, a week later The Cape Town Cycle Tour, a week after that the ABSA Cape Epic MTB 8 day Stage Race (known as the ‘Tour de France of mountain biking’) and a week later IRONMAN South Africa. This was new ground for me and recovery between challenges as well as keeping niggles and injuries to a minimum was crucial. I approached Jilly to help me with a nutrition and strength training program leading up to and during the 5 month challenge and she supported and guided me through every step of each challenge. There were a few people in my team who were absolutely crucial to my success in completing each challenge and Jilly is one of them.”
“As someone on my 3rd plan from Dave this year I can measure my progress by inches off waist, neck, hips etc. I just feel bloody marvelous. First time I have ever found someone who could fit a programme around my life. I’m still lost for words on the scale of the impact the training and nutrition plan Dave sent me has had. I spent a lot over the years on bike equipment etc but this has been the best money I’ve ever spent on my cycling.”
“I have worked with Jilly for over 5 years and I can’t recommend her highly enough. I achieved one of my life goals recently and I can honestly say I wouldn’t have been successful without the nutritional, personalised training and at times psychological and mental support that Jilly gave me along the way. She has a unique ability and skill to understand what it is that makes her clients tick and how to get the best out of them, not to mention making sessions fun and entertaining.”
"Listen Dave, I want to say a big thank you. Your program was really life changing for me. I wasn’t a big or fat bloke before, but no matter how much training I did I never lost much weight or toned up a great deal. In 10 weeks I dropped 6 kg with no loss of strength or power. The opposite in fact. I’m much stronger, leaner and faster as a result of the plan you sent me. I’m absolutely flying on the bike as a result. On club spins I have to hold back as I’m flying up the hills. The diet has been the big changer though, the fat just melted away and I’ve had to buy a whole new wardrobe, slim fit shirts, trousers etc!"
"Mike's coaching helped me turn myself back from a runner into a cyclist in only a few short months. Having not ridden over a mountain or gone further than a hundred km for the last five years, I had no idea how in 4 short months I could get in shape for a 500km ride with more than ten thousand metres of climbing. Thankfully, Mike did have an idea! A combination of smart sessions with some good psychological insights as to how I could draw on my wider experience managed to get me to the start feeling relatively confident, and over the finish line feeling great.”
Kathryn Bertine is a writer, athlete, activist and documentary filmmaker. Her combination of activism and cycling is right up our street, at A&B. On the bike, she’s a 3x Caribbean Champion, 6x national champion of St. Kitts and Nevis (SKN) and former professional cyclist.
She raced her final season with 2016 UCI World Tour Team Cylance Pro Cycling, and previously for U.S.based BWM/HappyToothDental (2015), the U.K.'s Wiggle-Honda (2014), and U.S. Team Colavita/Fine Cooking (2012 & 2013). Bertine has garnered two top 10 and six top 20 UCI finishes, and has competed at eight world championships.
When she retired from professional racing in 2017, she continued her tireless involvement in cycling and equality activism, and founded the Homestretch Foundation, with the objective of levelling the salary playing field between genders in professional sport. In its first year, the foundation is proud to have helped 24 athletes, across 5 different sports.