Niels Brouzes: “With Sorius… we cycle, not count”

Niels Brouzes is the founder of the platform Sorius that offers next-generation coaching at an affordable price. The former professional returns to the foundations of his philosophy which he duplicated through this project that is emerging today. As a memory, Niels Brouzes was a professional cyclist in the team of from 2002 to 2010. Stéphane Javalet – Large Mat -Auber93† Champion of France in the category of hope, winner of the Tour du Finistère in the French Cup among professionals, he has advised many professional and amateur runners for over 10 years using his method of support.

Before planning a training session, it is essential to know the athlete you are working with. What is provided for this in the Sorius platform?

Niels Brouzes : There is room for that on the platform. It makes it possible to collect the essential data for good coaching. In this way we get to know our runners better to determine their levels and intensities at which they should train with maximum pleasure. We will then talk about objectives adapted to the availability of each.

What is implemented in the platform to determine the subject’s potential?

NB : An accurate questionnaire makes it possible to determine the profile of each runner with its characteristics. We then adapt to our competition or personal goals. The aim of Sorius is that all runners enjoy their activity, so we are going to help them with that. On the other hand, it is our responsibility to tell him that he is embarking on a project that will go against nature for him and that he may not enjoy it! For example, if a pure sprinter engages in the stage of the Tourwe know it won’t necessarily be enjoyable after a while.

A goal should be attainable, but too often sports magazines and platforms for the general public forget it and format a preconceived workout. How does a digital platform like Sorius overcome this?

NB : It is indeed not the easiest, but it is essential for our community. Again, the number of hours allocated to training is a determining factor in delineating opportunities. The same applies to the duration of the preparation. Under three months of training, it will be difficult to materialize real progress and get real satisfaction from it. But our method is based on sensations. His latest will help us refine our coaching and be more honest.

How do you quickly determine a runner’s potential?

NB : Our philosophy is of course to offer training, but to refine them through their feedback, that’s what I call adaptive coaching. The latter find a meter, classified from 1 to 10, with which they can indicate how they felt on the bike, indicate their psychological feelings, their desires for the day and the quality of their sleep. This allows us to measure whether the training is above or below the physical and psychological capacity of the runners. Thanks to this meter, we try to find the best possible education! There are of course physical limits, but also mental ones.

It is not easy to define a user’s cognitive overload via a platform. How do you try to overcome it?

NB : From the feedback we’ve already gathered, many of the runners don’t measure the importance of recovery. For many, not driving for a day is a waste of time. But rest is part of performance. Physical rest has a link with mental recovery and vice versa, this is the first deal. The more regular and accurate the feedback from the riders will be, the better we can prevent the signs of mental overload. For example, the quality of sleep is a good indicator of mental fatigue.

In order to draw the outlines of an ideal planning, some coaches think it is necessary to draw the stages from the end to the beginning, that is, from D-Day to the first day of preparation. Isn’t that the best way to get into the wall?

NB : It’s a way to go further, but it remains very theoretical. I’ve been training professionals and elite runners for years and the unexpected constantly changes what was planned. This is reinforced if you are not a top athlete with a daily job and a family life. My mission, despite this, is that regardless of the runner’s level, I must bring soul into the training. This requires a weekly diagnosis of the activity. The story Sorius is not a coach dictating the activity to the user, but an interaction between two individuals. The Sorius logo consists of two overlapping discs for a reason. I wanted to symbolize the coach-athlete association.

Adapting, very well and as quickly as possible, also perfect, but how do you train the runners so that he can respond as accurately as possible to his feeling?

NB: This is also an important point for the success of our platform! Admittedly, we’re not live on the phone with the athletes every day, but technology is a great resource because they’re almost continuously connected these days. It’s up to us to message if returns from them are late. Three returns a week are ideal. The greater the interactions through a Sorius Academy coach, the faster they will feel things. We have also put a service online that answers various questions about training. It is important not to be left with unreal questions when exercising.

In sport, the sanction is the result. This ultimately determines whether it was a pass or a failure. Isn’t that the biggest mistake?

NB : At Sorius we prefer to talk about performance level and satisfaction in sports, which is psychologically healthier. I am aware that delineating a progression is more difficult for a rider who will have less competition or event than a rider who calibrates himself every Sunday through a race. I’ve put aside the power meter training, which is certainly a good tool, but can be misleading at the real athlete level. To measure physical progress, we offer them to test themselves on a very specific segment, always the same and regular satisfaction surveys. Twenty minutes of effort for a roller is an ideal example. It is the improvement over time that validates the progress. And here too be careful, it is important to operate the measurement after a certain training time depending on the profile. For a rider who is going to ride very long races, it is good to perform this test with an already decent saddle time. Again, it’s up to us to adapt to the rider’s profile.

Popularization of the science side of training, is this one of the goals of your platform?

NB : That’s part of it, yes indeed. For this I changed the codes of the ESIE scale which I do not criticize, but which are difficult for many people to understand. The latter divides the intensities into seven categories and that is too much for me. For example, if you have to be in the recovery zone, I’ll tell the riders, “Today we’re going on a bike! It is concrete, expressive! We’re going to cycle, not count. Again, fun should be the common thread everywhere. Discipline driven by pleasure: that has always been my line of conduct as a coach.

At a time when coaching has become a significant investment in a budget, attractive prices offer you access to detailed training. What’s the idea behind it?

NB : Just to democratize education! A power meter is a significant financial expense that I avoid for runners. Admittedly, we are not going to train with the watts but with the currents of the heart rate and it is very effective, believe me! Today most coaches use the power meter as a work base and I’m not criticizing it, they learned that in school, but on the field it’s something else, I guarantee we can do it differently. At least today I can offer access to quality coaching to people who cannot afford a personal trainer and the associated sensor. A subscription to the Sorius platform starts at 9.90 euros per month and I am really proud of that!