Elite Cyclist and Cycling Coach, Kyleigh Manners
Kyleigh Manners is a former Welsh Open Team Sprint and Team Pursuit Champion and won a bronze medal at the 2012 National Masters Sprint Championships. Kyleigh now focuses on coaching world class cyclists through his company, 42 Degrees Coaching and has helped riders achieve National Victories, International rankings, UCI placings, World and Paralympic Gold medals.
How did you get involved in cycling?
I had a BMX from a young age and always loved being on a bike. In my teens I used to Slalom Kayak and in between competitions riding a Raleigh Activator used to keep me active. As competitions became further afield, cycling took more of an active role and I fell in love with it Mountain Biking, riding in all disciplines. I used to race cross country Mtb then joined a local club who were big into Road Time Trials and found that I also enjoyed that side of it. I moved to Newport and a Velodrome was built there…. Then the Track Cycling bug hit me and I’ve never looked back.
Growing up, who was your all time inspirational athlete?
Mike Tyson - I enjoyed various martial arts and heavy weight boxing was a spectacle. Mike Tyson had a ferocity and a need to win which I had never seen before in any sport. I still admire his utter determination. In October of this year. I was lucky enough to see his show in Las Vegas and he didn’t disappoint one bit. The term ‘Legend’ is used a bit too easily nowadays but I consider him one.
What advice would you give to a young, aspiring cyclist?
Ride your bike, any bike, just ride your bike. Too often the very youngest of riders want to win everything as soon as they start competing which is fine, but it’s more important to establish good bike handling skills first. When you’re older it is so much harder to get those basics back. Learn to track stand, wheelie, ride no handed, pick a bottle up off the floor, change a jacket whilst riding … all the basics. When you ride with others in a group they will appreciate it and you certainly will too. If you are new to cycling, look for a Go-Ride affiliated club, these are set up to help you with exactly this. Then obviously contact 42 Degrees Coaching when you want to win races.
Best cycling achievement so far?
I have had a mixture of achievements on the bike … I have been Welsh Open Team Sprint and Team Pursuit Champion. A bronze medal at National Masters Sprint Championships was also nice and for 2018 I am planning on bettering this by a couple of positions. Socially I’ve also ridden LEJOG in 5 days which was to raise money for the Royal Gwent Hospital SCBU ward.
From a coaching point of view it’s very hard to pick a favourite … 42 Degrees Coaching has introduced hundreds of riders to the velodrome and track cycling. I’ve helped riders achieve National Victories, International rankings, UCI placings, World and Paralympic Gold medals. Being a Sprint coach for a Sprint ID programme is incredible and allows me to pass my knowledge and develop the next generation of sprinters. Working with China and the provinces was exciting and seeing them now racing in the World Cups make me very proud. Ultimately any rider that can say “thanks for that” means the same to me at any level…. I love what I/we do and more people riding bikes at all levels is what motivates me.
Aspirations in cycling?
I’m touching 40 so Masters racing is probably where the goals now lie as these flipping 18 year olds are a bit quick. From a coaching point of view there is a multi-platform goal. Getting more people into cycling and racing is always at the forefront of what I do. Empowering riders with the best coaching and up to date advice available is essential to stay ahead and push the boundaries. To make 42 Degrees Coaching a global brand is the next goal and to already be seen as synonymous with excellence is really exciting.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you?
My Mum wanted to call me Kyle and my Dad wanted to call me Lee. It was put together as Kyleigh which I think is pretty cool and very smart of my Dad when dealing with my Mum.
Can you give us an insight into your pre-race routine?
Hydration, nutrition, music choice! - Porridge with peanut butter, Blueberries and Manuka honey and 1 x Beet It Sport shot - I stretch while listening to an audio book - A light squash in a bottle to sip on and another Beet It Sport shot for pre-race - Manuka gels and a protein bar to take with me.
Music wise I’ll put my iPod on shuffle and once I’m in the velodrome my headphones are on and stay on. I’m not very sociable when riding so prefer to not be bothered and noise cancelling headphones do the trick nicely (I’m very nice generally by the way).
What are your top three sport nutrition tips?
1) Enjoy your food. Everything in moderation, no one is perfect but do the best you can.
2) Food is fuel. If you are looking for athletic performance then understand how carbohydrates, fats and proteins work for you.
3) Nutrients matter. Aim for nutrient dense foods such as salads and vegetables. Super-greens are also great and these can include Kale, Spirulina, etc.
How did you hear about Beet It Sport?
I had tested beetroot juice years ago and struggled with drinking the sheer volume needed. Then I saw Beet It Sport being promoted through social media and thought I would give it a try and honestly, the product is incredible. Not only does it taste great but it also delivers nitrate rich benefits with little fuss. I also love it can fit in your training bag so easily.
Why do you use Beet It Sport and how has it helped you?
I use Beet It Sport in training and competition to help keep pushing on for one more set. I also recommend my athletes use it. I love data that has strong supporting and evidence and it’s been found that at least 400mg of Nitrate has proven to be of benefit to both endurance and sprint athletes. Beet IT Sport is a natural product with a great taste and results, why wouldn’t you want to use it?