At Pillar, we have the pleasure of being able to sit down with some of the industry's most exciting talent; from cyclists to nutritionists; all legends in their field. We started the Pro-down to bring you some of that knowledge and inspiration that we all love, so that we can all strive to be at our best. What better way to start the series than with Katie Scott!
Hey, Katie! It's great to meet you. We've been watching you as you progress from strength to strength this season, and it's exciting! Give us a quick introduction for our readers.
Hi! My name is Katie Scott, I’m 22 years old and I’m from Highworth, Wiltshire.
How did you get into cycling?
When I was 7 years old, my brother started at the local triathlon club in Faringdon and I, of course being the younger sibling, was dragged along for my first session and have been on a bike ever since! I started off horse riding so wasn’t too keen on it to begin with, but once I fully switched to cycling when I was 14 I’ve never looked back.
What has been your main achievement or proudest moment so far?
A standout moment was definitely racing the final stage in the 2022 Women’s Tour of Britain on my training roads through Oxfordshire, and through Faringdon, the town I grew up and went to school in. Through every town and village I heard my name being shouted and having my family at the end in Oxford was really special to me.
I can only image how special that must have felt!
Have you come across any challenges along the way?
Like most athletes have, I’ve had my fair share of challenges! Missing out on major championship selections, being injured and getting concussion and having to balance a physical job with training and racing are some of the biggest challenges. However, I know that when I do win races and achieve my goals, the victory feels even better.
What are your goals for this season and beyond?
My goals for the year is to further develop my race fitness with a tailored training plan, to then go on and achieve results and hopefully progress higher in the women’s peloton. I am planning on going back to my roots and compete in cyclocross this winter. I stopped during Covid due to financial reasons and I have really missed the atmosphere, especially when racing over in Belgium - nothing beats the unpredictability and toughness of the racing and afterwards watching the final race of the day with warm frites in hand!
What have you got coming up this season and how are you training for it?
I've got a relatively quiet season on the road, hopefully will be doing a couple of stage races abroad, but the majority of races will be the national road series. Hence why I’m moving my focus onto the gravel and cyclocross scene more, to give me some clear goals and motivation for the months to come!
How have you benefited from polarized training?
I’ve never really done polarized training before working with my current coaches, Jamie and Ifan, but I have noticed a big difference in how I feel when training. I feel like I am more energised for the higher intensity sessions, so put out better numbers, as I'm not fatigued from riding hard the day before. It also helps me with feeling more focussed on the sessions as I know I’m only doing that sort of intensity 2-3 times a week, as opposed to “kinda hard” every bike ride.
Where is your favourite place to ride and why?
My favourite place I’ve ridden is Calpe in Spain. I’ve been on multiple training camps here and I always love seeing friends out on the road and the beautiful views. They also have some really good cafes, what’s a long endurance ride without a delicious piece of cake and coffee!?
Finally, what would be your top tip for someone who is starting out on their cycling journey and wants to get to competition level?
First of all, find a local group who you can go on social rides with and learn the etiquette/skills of racing, the British Cycling website will show you the local clubs in your area. Secondly, it’s good to follow a plan for a bit of structure. Of course, Pillar is definitely the way to go if you’re looking at improving fitness and becoming stronger! It’s so affordable too, as I know it can be difficult to pay £100+ for a coach, so 100% download Pillar if you haven’t already! Lastly, if you want to start being competitive, cyclocross is a really good option to start with. It improves your bike handling skills, as well as fitness, and it is safer than open road racing as it’s traffic-free.
Katie, thank you so much for this chat. It's been so great to get to know you, and we can't wait to see what the rest of 2023 and beyond brings you!