Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

KCCX . Totally Legit!

Disclaimer: I'm going to forget to mention things.  Sorry if I leave you, or your contribution out.  As all of us in the house know, everyone was responsible in making this happen.

What does it mean to be treated like a PRO, on a legitimate outfit that is set up for the sole purpose to promote the sport an teach riders the ways of cyclocross?

The 2009-2010 CX season began just prior to Interbike 2008 for director Bill Marshall.  He started cementing deals then and procuring sponsorship to enable all this to happen.  The result: a setup and infrastructure based on sponsors, donors, and personal relationships that rivals any of the professional outfits in the US.

The van and trailer courtesy of Trek Stores KC

If you were to find our "camp" either in Portland (USGP) or Bend it would like a full working bike shop.  3 racks stuffed full of bikes, 3 pop up tents, Sprinter van, and a trailer.  The trailer has and rear quarters act as a changing/ warming room and there's plenty of space to relax.  Just stay out of the way because there's always someone warming up or doing last minute race prep.  Accompanying this is over a dozen riders and excess of 30 bikes, and about 70 sets of wheels.

The tents are full of KCCX sponsor product.  Wheels wrapped in rubber, chic black Scott bikes, Outlaw Earth bags crammed full of Verge clothing.  You name it, it was there.

Sure the "stuff" is cool, but what makes the whole thing run?  An outfit of this size has to be kept organized and spot on.  Enter the true champions of the last 2 weeks.... of the KCCX equipment is maintained by Superman Tom Price.  Tom has played an instrumental role by keeping each and every bike up and running with very little help.  And he takes everything in such great stride.  No matter what "emergency" a rider would have, it would be handled very smoothly and efficiently by Tom.  Oh, yeah.... Tom ALSO went from DFL in his 50-54 race to 4th place.  Watch the videos on his blog, I counted 1:16 from the final podium spot to him on the first lap!

Shadd Smith dominates the Killer B's! The first of many KCCX podium performances.

So that's Tom, what about our fearless leader? Bill Marshall everyone.  He is the reason this whole outfit got rolling and he wore the mantra well.  Bill had everything spot on.  From the airport pick up to the final packing of the bikes in the trailer and sprinter van.  Bill had it DIALED!  For example, Saturday, KCCX had a rider in EVERY race all day.  So what do we do?  Obviously, we relocate the entire "bike shop" operation to the pit for the day.  Obviously.  It just made sense.

Half of the garage.....

The other half of the garage....

As much as everyone would like to say, "it was totally PRO and looked great" the reason for all this was to allow the riders to be stress free and race their bikes.  And race KCCX did.  4 podium spots, 2 guys racing overseas at EuroCrossCamp, and lots of attention.  KCCX has a good mix of veterans and Young Guns.  The Veterans have done it and can keep the Young Guns from getting too nervous.  Also, whenever there's a attitude needing adjustment, it gets taken care of.  However, Veterans realize that the focus of the team is the Young Guns and they realize that to succeed, they need to learn from the wealth of knowledge from the former.  It's a good mix and one that I'm proud to be part of. 

So what's a normal day look like in the KCCX camp?

Night before: Dinner
Bill sits down and lays out the next day's events including who is racing and when (each rider is given a laminated schedule with this information on it).  Tom asks everyone what each bike needs done to made "good" again.  After getting this long list each night, Tom disappears into the HUGE garage packed with bikes to work his magic and doesn't emerge until every bike is working again. 

Next Morning, REALLY early:
Most days, Bill, Tom and Dean were on site at 630am.  Yes, that's early.  Everyone else sleeps in, but they are there all day, everyday for the first person racing to be fully supported.  Imagine that.... The 830am racer gets the SAME support as the 230pm racer.  Oh, it gets better, these guys don't take a "lunch break" like the Shimano neutral support did (what? we have 30 guys needing help?  eh, let's eat).  Oh no, they were at all day like the SRAM guys are when they work races.  Tireless. 

330pm, usually when the last race starts, anyone in the area helps to pack up the van and trailer.  The trailer was secured and locked up while ALL the bikes made the trek back to the house to have Tom work his magic again. 

5pm.  Bill would call everyone at the house with a 5 minute warning.  Be outside to help unload or face the wrath....

7pm.  Dinner.  Bill actually cooked most nights.  Either because he was famished or everyone else was too tired.  Not sure but the food was very good and there was lots of it.  Repeat the meeting and hit replay and that's a day in the KCCX Camp.

 LB and Adam's room.  It was a solid yard sale, but we kept it organized.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lawrence cyclist to race in Europe

December 16, 2009

It’s muddy, vicious, fast, tricky, taxing and technical. It’s the NASCAR of cycling — it’s cyclocross. And 19-year-old Joseph Schmalz is heading to Belgium today to compete in Euro Cross Camp.

“When you go to Europe, you’re racing against the best athletes in the world,” Schmalz said. “It’s a whole different atmosphere.”

Cyclocross is set on a closed, one- to two-mile course, and racers try to do the most laps in one hour. Like NASCAR, the racers have a pit crew to clean and service their bikes, sometimes up to six times per race. Cyclists ride on grass, mud and sand, and often have to dismount their bikes, jump over barriers and get right back on.

“It’s a mix of mountain biking and road racing,” Schmalz said. “It’s the hardest discipline within cycling. You only race for an hour, but it’s the toughest thing you’ll do all week.”

Schmalz is one of 18 cyclocrossers across the country selected to participate in Euro Cross Camp. He will race every other day from today through Jan. 4.

Schmalz raced for the first time at 9 years old and pedaled to a first-place finish in the Sunflower State Games 9-under race when his grandfather, Gary McGregor, saw a flier for the race and signed him up. McGregor owns a bike shop in Atchison.

But Schmalz only started cyclocross in 2006 to keep in shape during the offseason. Since then he’s had incredible success in the discipline. He is currently ranked second in the U-23 division and has been placing in the top 20 in pro races.

“How often do you hear a 19-year-old talking like a veteran rider?” said Adam Mills, Schmalz’s trainer and CEO of Source Endurance, a cyclist training company. “Joe has so much talent, I feel kind of obligated to help him be the best he can be.”

Schmalz rides every day, averaging 10 hours a week. The recent Free State High graduate is taking the semester off to train and travel for cyclocross.

Mills said Schmalz’s success was surprising because of his age. “The thing that makes cyclocross difficult is that you must draw on all of your experience,” Mills said. “It’s rare to find young riders as fast as Joe because they don’t have the experience. It takes emotional maturity to be able to handle this. Joe might be 19, but he races like a 28-year-old, mentally.”

The nature of cyclocross means a lot of pedaling, a little bit of running, a little bit of jumping, and a lot of falling. The object, Mills says, is to make mistakes (of which there are many) at points that won’t be detrimental.

“He just doesn’t get frustrated,” Mills said. “The hardest part for most riders is patience. There are not a lot of ways to win, but a lot of ways to lose. You don’t need to punch guys out, you just wait for them to do it themselves. Wait for them to make a mistake. No one ever rides perfect.”

Schmalz said he looks forward to the intense competition in Belgium, and hopes to eventually ride professionally. His next goal is to make it onto the World Championship Team.

“He’d be bored to death on a float trip down a river,” Mills said. “But some people think that’s fun. Joe would rather be riding his bike at 30 mph.”

Sunday, December 13, 2009

CX Nationals More Top Results

Men 50-54: Tom Price 4th!

Men 35-39: Shadd Smith, 10th!

Congrats to Tom and Shadd!

Friday, December 11, 2009

2009 CX Nationals, Day 1 Results... WOW!

Of course, it's the infamous curse....  The snow and ice curse.  Oh well, let's get to racing!

Men 20-29 "B" race.  Connor Cartland.  Sitting in 3rd place late in the race when a crash K-O'd his bike.  Tough break!  So close...

Men's 30-39 "B" race.  100-ish starters, random call up.  Shadd Smith, 2nd to last row (11th row) to 1st place! Congrats to Shadd Smith!

Men 40+ "B" race.  167 starters, random call up.  Tom Price, last row call up to 3rd place!  Congratulations to Tom!

Dean Parker was also sitting in position for a top 20 in the 55-59 National Championship race when a crash K-O'd his bike.  Oh MAN!  Dean ran 1/3 of a lap, changed bikes and rode from 45th back up to 29th in the snow and ice.  Fantastic ride for Dean, even with the unfortunate luck.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another Week, More Top Results For SE Athletes

Tom Price, Masters 45+: 1st!  Overall: 2nd.

Dean Parker, Masters 55+: 1st!

Tom Price, Masters 45+: 2nd

Dean Parker, Masters 55+: 2nd

Michigan CX Championships
Tom Burke, Men Open: 4th

Missouri CX Champs
Scott Fleming, Masters 45+: 3rd

Boss CX
Scott Fleming, Masters 45+: 2nd
Aubree Dock, Women 4: 3rd.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Stretching. Believer or Non- Believer....

November 25, 2009, 12:01 am 

Phys Ed: How Necessary Is Stretching?

Max Oppenheim/Getty Images
For research published earlier this year, physiologists at Nebraska Wesleyan University had distance-running members of the school’s track and field team sit on the ground, legs stretched before them, feet pressed firmly up against a box; then the runners, both men and women, bent forward, reaching as far as they could past their toes. This is the classic sit-and-reach test, a well-established measurement of hamstring flexibility. The runners, as a group, didn’t have exceptional elasticity, although this varied from person to person.
Phys Ed
Overall, the women were more supple, as might have been expected. Far more telling was the correlation between the various runners’ tight or loose hamstring muscles and their running economy, a measure of how much oxygen they used while striding. Economy is often cited as one of the factors that divide great runners from merely fast ones. Kenyan distance runners, for instance, have been found to be significantly more economical in their running than comparable Western elites.
When the Nebraska Wesleyan researchers compared the runners’ sit-and-reach scores to the measurements of their economy, which had been garnered from a treadmill test, they found that, across the board, the tightest runners were the most economical. This was true throughout the groups and within the genders. The inflexible men were more economical than the women, and for both men and women, those with the tightest hamstrings had the best running economy. They also typically had the fastest 10-kilometer race times. Probably, the researchers concluded, tighter muscles allow “for greater elastic energy storage and use” during each stride. Inflexibility, in other words, seems to make running easier.
For years, flexibility has been widely considered a cornerstone of health and fitness. Many of us stretch before or after every workout and fret if we can’t lean over and touch our toes. We gape enviously at yogis wrapping their legs around their ears. “It’s been drummed into people that they should stretch, stretch, stretch — that they have to be flexible,” says Dr. Duane Knudson, professor of biomechanics at Texas State University in San Marcos, who has extensively studied flexibility and muscle response. “But there’s not much scientific support for that.”
In fact, the latest science suggests that extremely loose muscles and tendons are generally unnecessary (unless you aspire to join a gymnastics squad), may be undesirable and are, for the most part, unachievable, anyway. “To a large degree, flexibility is genetic,” says Dr. Malachy McHugh, the director of research for the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York and an expert on flexibility. You’re born stretchy or not. “Some small portion” of each person’s flexibility “is adaptable,” McHugh adds, “but it takes a long time and a lot of work to get even that small adaptation. It’s a bit depressing, really.”
What happens to our muscles and tendons, then, when we dutifully stretch before a run or other workout? Doesn’t this lengthen our muscles, increasing our flexibility and range of motion?

According to the science, the answer appears to be no. “There are two elements” involved in stretching a muscle, Dr. McHugh says. One is the muscle itself. The other is the mind, which sends various messages to the muscles and tendons telling them how to respond to your stretching when the discomfort of the stretching becomes too much. What changes as you stretch a muscle is primarily the message, not the physical structure of the muscle. “You’ll start to develop a tolerance” for the discomfort of the stretch, Dr. McHugh says. Your brain will allow you to hold the stretch longer. But the muscles and tendons themselves will not have changed much. You will feel less tight. But even this sensation of elasticity is short-lived, Dr. McHugh says. In a new review article of the effects of stretching that he co-wrote and that will be published soon in The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, he looked at the measurable impacts of a number of different stretching regimens. What he found was that when people performed four 90-second stretches of their hamstrings, their “passive resistance” to the stretching decreased by about 18 percent — they felt much looser — but the effect had passed in less than an hour. To achieve a longer-lasting impact, and to stretch all of the muscles involved in running or other sports, he says, would probably require as much as an hour of concerted stretching. “And the effects still wouldn’t be permanent,” he says. “You only see changes” in the actual, physical structure of the muscles “after months of stretching, for hours at a time. Most people aren’t going to do that.”
And most of us don’t need to. “Flexibility is a functional thing,” Dr. Knudson says. “You only need enough range of motion in your joints to avoid injury. More is not necessarily better.” For runners, extremely tight hamstrings and joints have been found in some studies (but not all studies) to contribute to overuse injuries. But somewhat tight hamstrings, as the Nebraska Wesleyan study showed, can make you more economical. Some degree of inflexibility may make you a better runner.
How then to judge your own flexibility? “The sit-and-reach test is pretty good” for at-home evaluations, Dr. Knudson says, at least of your back and hamstring muscles. Using a staircase, sit and straighten your legs so that your feet push against the bottom step, toes upright. Stretch forward. “Try to lay your chest onto your thighs,” he says. If you can reach past your toes, you’re more than flexible enough. (No one yet has devised a way to reduce flexibility, by the way, although some Olympic-level coaches in other countries are rumored to be trying.)
If, on the other hand, “you can’t get anywhere near your toes, and the lower part of your back is practically pointing backward” as you reach, then you might need to try to increase your hamstring flexibility, Dr. Knudson says, to avoid injuring yourself while running, cycling or otherwise exercising. You can find multiple hamstring stretches on YouTube, although you should consult with a physical therapist before replicating them at home; proper technique is important to avoid injury. “You won’t get a lot of change,” Dr. Knudson says, ” but a little may be all you need.”

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Jingle Cross (videos) and other Top Results.

New Website is LIVE!  
New, updated, and awesome:

Breaking News!  The Streak Continues!

It's official, Tom Price is going fast!  Including ALL THREE RACES at Jingle CX , Tom has climbed to the top podium step in 5 consecutive races and 6 times in November.  Want more?  4 of the 6 wins are at national level races, meaning fierce competition from the best within a 1 day drive or around 500 miles.  Still want more?  The WINS are in four different staes!  Kansas, New Jersey, Nebraska, Iowa.  How many riders can say that?  STILL want more?  Tom is at the races all day, working the pits when he's not racing!  Tom has been progressing all season and is right on track for Nationals coming up in Bend, OR in two weeks time.  Stay tuned for more!  

If you see Tom, do NOT mention this.  "Never talk to a pitcher when he's throwing a perfect game."

The Last Kiss CX East Grand Rapids, MI 11/29
Tom Burke. Men Elite: 1st!

Jingle CX, UCI C2. Iowa City, IA.  11/27-29.
Jingle CX III (11/29)

Joseph Schmalz.  Men Elite: 17th
Shadd Smith. Men Elite: 25th.
Tom Price. Masters Men 40+: 1st!
Dean Parker. Master Men 55+: 3rd.

Jingle CX II (11/28)
Tom Price. Masters Men 40+: 1st!
Wanda Simchuk. Masters Women 35+: 2nd.
Dean Parker. Masters Men 55+. 2nd.
Shadd Smith. Men Elite: 18th.
Adam Mills. Men Elite: 25th.

Jingle CX I (11/27) 
Tom Price. Master's 40+: 1st! 
Scott Fleming. Master's 40+: 6th 
Shadd Smith. Men Elite (UCI C2): 17th.

Jingle CX Recap.....
Mud.  That was the theme of the weekend.  Not really mud, but more like horse poop.  Sticks to everything and the only way off is with a power sprayer.  That's where the KCCX Pit Crew stepped up.  All weekend, in multiple races The riders not racing were manning the pits so that KCCX riders would have bikes that went fast and go fast they did.  Multiple top placings including the first win from Alex Edwards racing the 2/3 Men.  Watch him, he's on the move....  Thanks to all the Pit Crew because without them, not a single rider would have been able to race to his/ her full ability.  It was definitely nice to be able to haul ass into the pit, to the handoff, and jump on a clean and well working bike.  Such a luxury.

Jingle CX is probably one of the most fun trips I take all year.  Iowa City is like gem in the middle of... well, Iowa.  College towns are typically like that though.  Groovy.  The races are probably the most humbling of any CX race I do all year.  Sure there are technical parts of every CX race, but this race relentless.  Every year, only the strong AND the one who can drive a bike the best will win.  Having either is not enough.  Also, you absolutely can not be afraid to fall down.  I stopped counting after about 6 on the weekend and I know everyone fell or nearly fell in every race, every day.  Don't lie to yourself.  You're not an infallible bike driver.


 Jingle Cross, the Video.  Thanks to Keith Walburg!

Jingle Cross 2009: Friday Night Cross from Gizmo Pictures on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Website Live! AND Athletes Showing Top Form Nationwide!

New Website is LIVE!  
New, updated, and awesome:

Breaking News!
It's official, Tom Price is going fast!  Including Friday night AND Saturday at Jingle CX , Tom has climbed to the top podium step in 4 consecutive races and 4 times in November.  Want more?  3 of the 5 wins are at national level races, meaning fierce competition from the best within a 1 day drive or around 500 miles.  Still want more?  The WINS are in four different staes!  Kansas, New Jersey, Nebraska, Iowa.  How many riders can say that?  STILL want more?  Tom is at the races all day, working the pits when he's not racing!  Tom has been progressing all season and is right on track for Nationals coming up in Bend, OR in two weeks time.  Stay tuned for more!  

If you are in Iowa and you're reading this, don't tell Tom!  "Never talk to a pitcher when he's throwing a perfect game." 

Jingle CX, UCI C2. Iowa City, IA.  11/27-29.
Jingle CX II (11/28)
Tom Price. Masters Men 40+: 1st!
Wanda Simchuk. Masters Women 35+: 2nd.
Dean Parker. Masters Men 55+. 2nd.
Shadd Smith. Men Elite: 18th.

Jingle CX I (11/27) 
Tom Price. Master's 40+: 1st! 
Scott Fleming. Master's 40+: 6th 
Shadd Smith. Men Elite (UCI C2): 17th.

2009 Mellow Johnnys Classic at Juan Pelotas Ranch. Dripping Springs, TX.  11/ 22.
Bryan Fawley.  Men Elite: 2nd. report here

Jon Toner. Men Cat2 30-34: 5th. 

Indy CX . Indianapolis, IN. 11/21-22
Tom Burke. Men Elite: 3rd Saturday; 2nd Sunday.

Lincoln CX. Lincoln, NE.  11/21-22

Tom Price: Master's 40+: 1st!

Scott Fleming.  Single Speed: 3rd. Sunday.

Dean Parker. Saturday: Masters 40+: 10th,  Single speed: 3rd
Sunday: Masters 40+: 6th, Single Speed: 4th
Dean typically competes in the 55+ category!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Joseph Schmalz invited to EuroCrossCamp 7.0!

A big congratulations to Joseph.  Here's the first line of his acceptance letter....

 "Congratulations Joe, 
 You have been selected to attend EuroCrossCamp 7.0."

Cyclingnews writes:

Joseph is 19 years old competing as the youngest member of the U-23 representatives.   The difference between 19 and 23 years is an enormous difference in physical maturity. Congratulations to Joe, and to everyone else... keep an eye on him.  

Help Joseph get to Europe by donating here.  All donations are to help him offset the costs incurred with this opportunity.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Source Endurance Athletes Earning Results Throughout Continental USA!

Wow.  Just WOW!  Five States, lots of podium steps.  It's always nice to see the culmination of some hard work.  Some folks are just hitting top form for their peak events and it shows!  Congratulations to everyone who competed and check out the athletes that climbed podium steps in New Jersey, Louisiana, Michigan, Kansas and Texas.....

USGP: Mercer Cup- Day 2. Trenton, New Jersey results here

Tom Price: Masters Men 45+: 1st Place. 

Tom Price's hardware.

KISS Cross CX; East Grand Rapids, MI  results here
Tom Burke.  Men Elite: 1st. Place.

Tom Burke en route to victory

Louisiana Trail Run Marathon 50k; Shreveport, LA results here

Jerry Bueno.  Male 1 and Over: 2nd Place, 6th Overall.

KS State CX Championships; Leavenworth, KS results here

Shadd Smith. Men Open: 1st.
Adam Mills. Men 30-35: 1st.
Dean Parker.  Men 55+: 1st. 
Wanda Simchuk. Women Open: 2nd. 
Scott Fleming.  Single Speed: 2nd,  Men 45+: 3rd.   
Mark Cole. Men 3/4: 5th.

Shadd Smith negotiates the slop

Dean Parker shows off the new SE kit

Mark Cole, just as the mud-fest begins.

Cyclocross Scuffle. Austin, TX.

Connor Cartland. Men Open: 3rd.

Connor hits the GO! button.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Source Endurance Takes Stock in Joseph Schmalz

Throughout the career of every successful cyclist, there are others with more talent, more drive, and less means that never have the opportunity.  Through grass roots development and a number of caring individuals and corporations, a pipeline for the up and coming riders has been established thanks to the KCCX/ Verge Cyclo-cross team and Bill Marshall.  KCCX/ Verge has done its part to develop young riders under the guidance of some of the more level headed and upstanding veteran riders I have ever known.

Source Endurance is proud to sponsor Joseph Schmalz for the 2009-2010 Cyclocross season, not because of who he could be or what he could do, but for who he is and what he does now.  Joseph is a true ambassador of cycling in all respects and disciplines.  He understands that cycling holds different meaning to everyone and that ultimately they are all united by two wheels.  Joseph also has been 100% on board with the methodology utilized by Source Endurance.  It does take a certain amount of trust to allow the system to work.  Joseph has done this and in the process, reaped the benefits of his targeted training all season long.  Keep an eye on him because there will be more to come!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

KCCX Fundraiser coming up on Thursday!

The road ahead of us is going to be fast, muddy and painful! We are looking for the support of the cycling community to get our riders to all USGP, NACT and National Championship events for the remainder of the year. Come join us for the 2nd Annual KCCX/VERGE Team Fundraiser on November 12th, 2009. All proceeds will benefit the riders who are representing the Midwest Nationally and Globally. After a successful 2008 at Nationals and Europe we are headed back across the pond! We hope to see you soon at the team fundraiser. If you can't attend and you would like to make a donation please

Thursday, November 12, 2009
6:00pm - 9:00pm
  Trek Store of Kansas City
10412 Shawnee Mission Parkway
Shawnee, KS 66203

More Podium Steps to Climb!

Heartland Park Topeka CX:  Results here

Men Open: Joseph Schmalz, 1st. (pictured)
Women Open: Wanda Simchuk, 2nd.
Women 4: Aubree Dock, 2nd.
Masters 50+: Dean Parker, 2nd.
Single Speed: Scott Fleming, 2nd.

Veteran's CX.  Leavenworth, KS: Results here

Men Open: Shadd Smith, 1st.(pictured); Adam Mills 5th. 
Men 3/4: Mark Cole, 1st.
Women Open: Wanda Simchuk, 2nd.
Masters 45+: Scott Fleming, 3rd.
Single Speed: Scott Fleming, 2nd.

Congrats to all!

Also, a special announcement coming later this week.  Stay tuned!

Friday, November 6, 2009

CX Season Blues. The dawg days of CX? Really?

Attendance are numbers down, and races are still blistering fast; which means the pain and suffering factor is through the roof.  Could it be?  Could the Dog Days of CX be here?  Completely possible.  CX is like any other sport.  Too much of a good thing causes burn out or burn up.  There are few reasons and the rate of burnout varies across any sport but here's an overly generalized shake down of the Dog Days of CX.......

First.  CX is a tough sport to apply any sort of periodization model to because of the compact season in the US.  We're talking late September to mid- December (Natz).  Sure it's different for the guys going to Europe and/ or World Championships; but how many of us is that really.  Seriously, don't kid yourself.  Anyways, because it's so short, any athlete trying to "get in shape during CX" is already behind the curve (which is why Source Endurance ran a CX Promo in August).  Training blocks are not and can not be the typical 3:1 week system that most coaches diligently adhere to.  Any build/ rest cycle must be very subtle and the athlete may not even notice when the 'rest' takes place.  Taking a stab at the CX season without periodization, usually leads to a general decline in performance right when you need to be going the fastest, at the end.  These cycles are all varying degrees of top end and MUST BE MONITORED VERY CLOSELY.  It doesn't take much to overreach an athlete into a slump in a truly CX specific program.  Factor in the shortness of the season and illness or slump could cost the athlete 1/4- 1/3 of the season very easily, or more!

Second, CX is hard.  Plain and simple. CX is all the power and fatigue of a grueling 4 hour road race compressed into about 45-60 minutes of pure punishment.  Sure its short but the mental toll of that much high intensity does wear on most riders.  I've heard lots of talk about TSS and IF numbers in reference to CX.  These numbers are misleading and CX requires a different method of using them.  If you didn't understand the last two sentences, don't worry.  You don't need to.

Third, most of us have already raced a full 2009 road season.  This increases the number of competition days from 20-30 to 45-65 for most riders.  That's a lot of days on the road, eating Subway, drinking bad gas station coffee, and breathing hotel air conditioner air, all of which adds even more travel stress.  And finally, the weather.  October was cold.  Coldest on record in the Midwest.  That makes training tough and racing more cumbersome.  Factor in the thought of doing it for 6 more weeks and people tend to get tired just thinking about it.

Bring it all together and there you have it.  A perfect recipe for the Dog Days of CX.  This is the time of season where most athletes take one of two routes.  Sometimes they choose the path.  Sometimes they don't.  Down one road, athlete either has already topped out in his/ her CX abilities for the season and will now start a steady decline in performance while they expand their repertoire of excuses to explain the slipping form.  Or, taking the other turn, the athlete will seem to "find another gear" and continue to improve, getting faster to the point where (relatively speaking) they seem to be riding on a sidewalk while the others are slogging away on grass.  Either of these scenarios sound familiar?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Source Endurance Clients Continue to Impress!

Dean Parker

Boss Cross  Masters 55+: 1st  Saturday
Sunflower Cross.  Masters 55+:  2nd.  Single Speed: 1st.

Tom Price
Sunflower CX.  Masters: 1st.

Wanda Simchuk 
Boss Cross.  Women Open: 2nd.

Shadd Smith 
Sunflower CX. Men Open: 2nd.

Aubree Dock
Boss Cross.  Women Open: 4th.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Source Endurance Athletes Making Noise in 4 Cities, 3 States, and 2 Timezones.

Derby City CX, UCI C2.  Louisville, KY

Joe Schmalz. U23: 3rd, Men Elite: 20th.

Joe Schmalz. U23: 4th, Men Elite: 24th.
Bryan Fawley Men Elite: 21st.
Tom Price.  Master's 45+: 5th.

Smithville CX.  Smithville, MO
Shadd Smith. Men Open: 3rd, Broken bikes: 1.
Wanda Simchuk. Women Open: 2nd
Scott Fleming. Masters 45+: 3rd.  Single Speed: 4th.
Mark Cole.  Men 3: 1st. 

 Shadd Smith.  KCCX/ Verge

 Wanda Simchuk

Weberville CX.  Weberville, TX

Connor Cartland. Men 3/4: 1st. (pictured left)
Adam Mills. Men Open: 3rd.

Periwinkle Challenge. Houston, TXcharity fundraiser
Brandon Cowart: 1st

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Science of Coaching.

Just start at the 5:35 mark.  It really tells the key to using science in order to drive the coaching process.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Source Endurance Clients Invest in Portable Escalator Construction!

Climbing podium steps is definitely making some tired legs for some SE clients.  So much in fact that we are beginning construction on a mobile escalator unit!

Here they are, and some photos!

Photo by Laura Cossey

BLVD Brewery CX race report here.
Men Open: Joe Schmalz 1st.  Shadd Smith 2nd.
 start of the Men Open Race.

(Thanks to Bruce Edwards).

Women Open: Wanda Simchuk 4th.
Men 50+: Dean Parker 2nd.

Wissahickon CX.  Philly, PA UCI C2.
 Bryan Fawley gathering some solid results!

Granogue CX. Wilmington, DE.  UCI C2 
Bryan Fawley misses a top 10 by a rear derailler.

Capital Cup CX. 
Men Open: race report here. Adam Mills 5th.  (I know there were photographers, but they're all MIA now)
Women Open: Wanda Simchuk 4th.
Men 50+: Dean Parker 2nd.
Women 4: Aubree Dock 1st.

2009 Terra Firma.  24 Hours of Rocky Hill.
3-4 Person Expert/ Pro: Jon Toner of TBD Racing. 2nd Place.  Official results published here.

If you have photos, please send them this way!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dean Parker's Take on the 50+ Chris CX

Dean was kind enough to send a brief write up about his victory in last Sunday's CX race.

Had a good start, Doug Long and I lined up next to each other and were the first off the line. They started the 35's, 45's and 55's fifteen seconds between each group. Doug and I caught the tail end of the 45's by the top of the starting straight climb. 

My goal was to go as hard and aggressive as possible the first lap to open a gap on Doug, it worked.  After banging elbows with him the first few turns I was able to pass some riders and create a small gap. I kept working on that by accelerating out of turns and climbing as hard as possible.
I think I was  much more aggressive in passing than I had been.  Use every little straight sprint then not be worried about crowding them in the turn, make them slow down.
 My favorite moment in the first lap was the double track followed by the sharp left to the mud hole.  I came up on two riders side by side one in each track. I didn't slow down, just took the middle and shouted "COMING THROUGH" and sprinted between them.  Made the hard left and saw five riders lining up single file to take left line around the mud hole.  I had made a point in preriding to ride the right side. Didn't slow down, took the less obvious right line and passed all five at once. FUN!

Over all I felt good, tried to always pedal hard out of the turns and take advantage of any straights and the road where I could turn it up a notch.  I open about a 15 second gap on Doug that I was able to hold most of the race. Although he did gain back some on the last lap.

Over all in the masters I finished 1st in the 55, 4th in the 45 and 11th in the 35.    Fourth and eleventh were less than 10 seconds ahead at the finish.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A wonderful Testimonial!

I know, it's shameless self promotion!  However, part of my job is seeing my clients get stronger, faster and smarter.  It does give me a very large sense of pride to see and hear of these accomplishments first hand.....


I was starting to suspect that I was getting stronger but I did not have the real proof until today. Unfortunately for me a [a couple fast riders were] off racing but we were fortunate to have [other elite riders] show up at our ride. I missed my VO2 max workout because when I returned home yesterday it rained the entire I rode today with 3 days of rest and I decided that I was going to do all my pulls in excess of 4 minutes and at the low VO2 max level (staying over 300 watts).

I was able to achieve the objective but the biggest thing is that I can not believe how much stronger I feel. I put in my best power numbers ever and NEVER felt that I was pushing to the limits!!  I just could not believe how easy the ride was and I had TONS of energy at the end of the ride and drilled some very hard pulls. I easily kept up through the hills and had so much power left over that I sprinted at the very end...I have never done that in my life.

Several months ago prior to joining you I had a similar day where I felt unusually strong, on that day my normalized watts (NW) were 256 and Average Watts were 223. BUT today my NW were 264 and my average watts were 246...But the most surprising thing is that I never felt that I was pushing seemed like a really easy ride and I kept wondering why people were not drilling harder....

This is just unbelievable....

I can not wait for [all the usual supects] to get back and really start drilling the pace up...Thank you so much for all your help, and the time you spent with me on the phone."

Mike Moist
Houston, TX

Monday, October 12, 2009

Source Endurance Athletes Turn in Top Results across the Midwest!

What a great weekend of racing across the Midwest!  Two disciplines, two states, lots of fast racing!

Chris CX (Leavenworth, KS)
Women Open:  Wanda Simchuk 2nd.
Men 55+:  Dean Parker 1st
Men 3/4: Jason Knight 1st, Mark Cole 2nd.
Men Open: Joe Schmalz 1st

Texas Skill Based Road Race Championships
Men 3: Andrew Ennis 8th
Men 4: Jorge Martinez 5th.

Texas Age Based Road Races Champs
Men 50-55: Paul Hurdlow 5th.
Great riding by all!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pre- Race Ramblings

As I sit here, sipping on a glass of 2 buck chuck and watching UT absolutely destroy Colorado in what was a good game (until reality set in) some thoughts struck me and I couldn't help putting them on the blog-o-sphere.

First, I really hope there's some sort of starting procedure in tomorrow's CX race.  Last week we started with 13 guys in the same space meant for 8 wide which meant that only those who are able to push and shove as they clip in are going to get those coveted and rare advantageous spots into the first corner.  The flyers on all the local races say something like, "call up order will be in order of registration."  I'd like to see that actually enforced.  I'm not sure whose responsibility that is but it really can't be that tough to execute.  With the races being so top heavy in talent and ability, along with some decent numbers toeing the line in all the categories, it's about time to get some order on the start line.

Second, I'm really impressed with the officials starting all the races on time the last few weeks.  It seems like the status quo in Kansas was to run every race 20-30 minutes late and that it was, "okay" to do.  I hope this continues to happen.

Third, I'm very pleased with the racing in the Midwest so far.  With the ascension of some younger guys, along with some of the veterans stepping up their game, and some out of towners rolling in, there have been 5-6 guys lining up that are capable of scoring a UCI point on a good day.  The result... and Shadd called it early this spring...this is the fastest and hardest CX year in the KC/ Midwest area.  It makes it worthwhile to stay home and race some quality events, vs. spending the $$ to travel far and away.

Finally, with the increased attendance comes elevated competition. We are all seeing the status quo/ pecking order/ totem pole positions being challenged in every category.  This means some epic battles are in store as the 2009 CX season kicks off.

See y'all Sunday!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sport Specificity: The Power of Cyclo- cross

Sport Specificity- "the principle of training that states that sports training should be relevant and appropriate to the sport for which the individual is training in order to produce a training effect."  When this is applied to CX, it's important to remember that simply using the equipment, or just "riding around" on gravel or grass is not synonymous to CX, but more to road riding.

I've looked through numerous references for the metabolic demands of cyclocross on and off for years from numerous sources like  Bing, Google and scholarly articles.  Each time I'm met with disappointment.   It just seems that there has been absolutely no peer reviewed research published on the subject.  This leads me to believe one of two things.  1) The simply is no research done on the demands of CX.  Or 2) There have been no published studies on the matter.  For the sake of knowledge, I am optimistic that the second is the case.  However, I must admit that it is equally likely that option 1 may be the truth due to CX not being an Olympic sport (note the publish date).  So how do you train for CX? 

My quest begins when I worked for a previous employer (as an intern who went on to become a Senior Level Coach) and had the thought that, "CX must be different than other disciplines when considering preparation."  So I did what anyone else in my position would do.  I asked the "higher ups."  The answer was disappointing, at best.    I was told to, "train them like they're doing a time trial and everything else is gravy."  Gravy? Seriously?  Not only was the answer just plain wrong, but it led me to believe that there wasn't really any sort of method to training for CX.  Below are two pictures.  One of a Time Trial, one of a CX race.  Both have heart and power graphed.  Which one is which?  Just guess......  give it a try.......

Okay, so now we can at least agree that the two events are dramatically different. Back to the first paragraph.... I talked about searching for the knowledge and I've read countless declarations from different coaches, some with backgrounds in Exercise Physiology (which they typically brag about on their web 'profile'), most without any formal higher education , all of which I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with.  This discipline is very specialized and therefore requires a very different approach.  I began to implement some ideas about the execution of a more specific training approach with some clients as early as August and the dividends are starting to pay off.  After talking with a couple different clients early this week, the comments were the same: "I've never done anything like that in training before.  But I'm not complaining!"

Training was able to be focused very differently yet equal in effectiveness for these clients largely because of the use of power meters.  The data these tools yield allow me to pinpoint and improve weaknesses in each athlete's ability. Most clients are not "happy" about the process of improving their weaknesses, but they sure do appreciate the benefits!

I'd love to spend an entire blog post or 2 or 3 dissecting, analyzing, and divulging my findings.  Instead, I'll just let the results of last week's CX race do the "show and tell."

A Recap of results from the Boss CX 1 and 2 Events

Aubree Dock: 3rd Place in Women  4, Saturday.
Wanda Simchuk: 3rd.  Women Open, Sunday.
Dean Parker: 2nd.  Men 55+, Saturday
                     1st.  Men 55+, Sunday
Jason Knight: 1st Place.  Men 3-4, Saturday.
Mark Cole: 1st Place.  Men 3-4, Sunday.
Joseph Schmalz: 1st Place.  Men Elite, Saturday
                          1st Place. Men Elite, Sunday

Friday, October 2, 2009

Old School. They did the best they could with what they had.

With Opening Day of the Cross season having hit nearly everywhere in the US now, I've overheard my fair share of this that and the other about ad hoc training, "proven" training, or excuses to not train and ride/ race. One thing I'll never be able to understand is the rationalization for the comment: "I'll just train Old School, by feel. Because that's what works."

Reality Check!  Old School is just that.  Old and antiquated! 

First, let's take a look at THE cutting edge for the application of modern training knowledge and technology. The Olympic Training Center and their $374.7 million of assets at the end of 2008. Anyways, take a look at the US Olympic Training Center and their Performance Services. Everything is "state of the art, cutting-edge, highest of quality" etc. etc. Not once to they mention, "traditional approach, from the 1980's, or aged technology."  Never.

How about some history of the Old School methodology while we're here.....
Everything is based on a biased and subjective Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale (RPE). This scale was established by Dr. Borg, circa 1970 as a way to measure aerobic training intensity in the field because of an inability to quantify workload or intensity due to unavailability of portable cycle ergometer (pronounced- "power meter"), or heart rate measuring devices (HRM).  Let's also keep in mind that no race or athletic competition has EVER been won simply by doing "tempo."

RPE measures how hard a workout session "feels" vs. the absolute intensity (work output). In one large study, efforts at 60%, 73%, and 86% of VO2 max were all given the same RPE even though the duration was different. Throughout any aerobic training session, RPE numbers trend upwards, despite a constant or decreasing workload which hints that RPE is also linked to fatigue. Therefore it can only moderately coupled with Heart Rate response or lactate production, at best.

Much of the performance training based on RPE research ended in the mid-1980s due to improvement in HR and power meter technologies. As a primary training variable, RPE is no longer used at the Olympic, Professional, or Elite level to dictate training intensities and is only used as a tertiary training variable that mostly measures feedback.

This makes sense as none of us drive our 1986 cars or use that old Comodore 64 computer.  Also, when we think about the evolution of sport, then the application of power meters and more complex physiological measurement/ quantification when compared to the "Old School" method becomes a necessity if one is to outperform the competition.  Sport performance has always used the best that technology can offer to see consistant improvement.  The "by feel" method WAS the best at the time (until the 80's).  Then it was followed by heart rate, which WAS the best way to measure and prescribe training at the time (until the mid 1990's).  Now training with power IS the best method of measuring and prescribing training.  Michael Phelps never jumped in the pool, turned a few thousand "tempo" meters, and then went to win 8 medals. And you can bet Fabian Cancellara doesn't "just ride around" and dominate the field in the World TT Championships.  They both use training methods much more comprehensive and complex.  Why would anyone who is passionate about their sport, or whose job depends on performance, ever settle for mediocrity, especially when the ability to drastically improve is readily available? 

I'm not saying it's a bad method, just like I'm not saying I don't like driving a '69 Impala.  There's simply better ways to go fast.

I'll leave you with this.....

The "gifted athletes" will always be that.  They will always be fast but they may never know how fast they can truly become.

If you spend thousands of your hard earned dollars on a bike, you expect it to go fast. And it should. It's a competent piece of equipment that feels fast and probably is fast. However, a bike doesn't make the rider go faster. Only the rider makes the rider go faster. If one invests countless hours of training with the goal to go that one little bit faster, the best use of that time/ energy investment must also be made.  We all look for a reason why we don't perform at the level we think we should, when sometimes the hard and honest answer could be, "I just am not fast enough."  But, how often does such a hard truth really need to be so?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Source Endurance Athletes Go Fast and Get Dirty!

I always feel a sense of pride whenever I have a client perform at his/ her highest level.  Here are some stories from the weekend.  Have some of your own?  Be sure to let me know!

USGP of Cyclocross!
Saturday's course was fast and furious, and with the best CX riders in the US coming directly to Madison from Cross Vegas, it was going to be tough to crack the top placings.  However, Saturday saw Joe Schmalz come from the 7th row to score a top 20 in a UCI C1 event.  Not only that, but he placed 2nd in U23 Classification, gaining him some valuable USGP points.  That is incredible!  Although, I'd like to say, not unexpected.  Joe has been showing some fantastic improvement across the board throughout 2009 and he's not done yet!  Keep an eye out for more of Joe Schmalz in the near future! 

Joe Schmalz. 2nd Place USGP. U23.

As the story goes, it started raining just prior to the event turning all the bare dirt from the day before into slippery, slimy mud......  Great conditions for two SE athletes, Joe Schmalz and Bryan Fawley.  The mud made the race a test of pure power and toughness.  The result (click on the "Sunday" link)?  Joe 18th and Bryan 19th.  Joe also placed 3rd in the U23 Classification further solidifying his position in the USGP.  Great riding to both!

Joe Schamlz.  3rd Place USGP.  U23.

Diamond Blackfan CX.

Shadd Smith rides away from the competition with Steve Tilford to make it a Tradewind Energy 1-2 in the Men's Open race.  This marks the beginning of the true CX season for Shadd as he is now shifting all his training to be completely CX specific in multiple modalities.  Great hustle from Shadd!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Stretching for Cycling: Brad Huff Style!

This time of year, I get lots of questions about how to make yourself more flexible.  Well, here's the one and only Brad Huff to show us how it's done!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shadd Smith shows how to peak for the Gateway Cup and Beyond!

Photo from "Outside Magazine"

Peaking should be simple right? "train hard, rest, recover, PEAK!" Simple. Well..... not so much. Everyone peaks a little different and the timing of a peak is different for everyone, yet also crucial to the athlete. Without an objective way to decipher how your performance is progressing, peaking becomes a guessing game.

Some people think that peaking happens immediately following a rest. Some can't rest or they'll be stale. Some need to rest, then build into a peak shortly thereafter. Some just think they're resting when actually they're not. Some just.... well, you get the idea. The bottom line: You need to be objective in order to understand how you peak and how to best use that to help you.  Hopefully, that can help all of us avoid that particularly frustrating scenario of peaking just after your BIG EVENT.  I see that happen more often than not... where the peak is missed by 5-10 days.  D'oh!

I'm going to talk about Shadd because deciphering how his peak truly worked and how best to extend it for multiple days challenged me. It took some time, and some combing through power files before we dialed Shadd in... just in time for Gateway Cup! The result: 4 top placings at the premier event in the Midwest, new season Max Powers for all time indices between 35s and 0:02:18. Also, new 2009 season Max powers between 0:4:47- 1:43:27. That's an across the board significant improvement in his ability!  This can be credited with the superb field and hard racing but Shadd still had to be able to produce these numbers or they wouldn't happen.

Furthermore, the final 5 minutes of an Elite Criterium are typically where you'll see the hardest efforts of the day. During those, Shadd produced some normalized powers of: Friday: 364W, Saturday: 443W, Sunday: 371W, Monday: 441W.  Those are definitely "WOW!" numbers and PRO quality. What does that tell me about his form? It means that he's holding his form throughout the 4 day event without any drop off. Shadd trusted me with the responsibility to get him on form and so far, we're both delivering!

Shadd then continued his upward trend from Gateway by notching a win in this year's Hermann Cross: Under the lights.  Keep an eye on him as he mixes it up with the big boys at Vegas Cross!

Obviously, Shadd can tell the story of his 2009 success better than I can.  If you see him, just ask!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hermann Cross: Under the Lights dominated by Source Endurance Riders.

Congratulations to Source Endurance clients Shadd Smith and Joseph Schmalz take top honors in Hermann, MO! 

Opening Day of Cyclocross in the Midwest is in the books! Depending on where you were, how far you wanted to drive, and how late you wanted to stay up, races in Kansas City or Hermann, MO were fun times for all!

At Hermann, Shadd Smith and Joseph Schmalz demonstrated some fine form and gave a preview of what is to come all year as they tested their form for their respective early season goals.  Shadd can be spotted at Interbike racing in Cross Vegas while Joe will be toeing the line in Madison, WI for the first round of USGP series.  Wish them luck and watch their results all season long!

Hermann: Under the Lights
Jeff Yielding put on another fantastic event this year and, as always, I was given a brutal reminder as to exactly how hard CX really is.  KCCX had the entire squad there as we use this event as the chance to showcase the riders, the bikes and the new clothes so the pressure was on to bring the A game.

Personally, I never put any pressure on myself for the first race of the year.  Most of the time the skills are a bit lacking and the equipment isn't quite dialed in so no pressure, no problem.  However, Joe is using his hard earned road form to take a stab at some early UCI points so he should be flying.

Bam!  We're off and immediately I'm reminded that I need to work on the starting process of CX.  However, the pre-riding definitely paid off as I was able to rip the first lap at full speed and close down some of the spots I had relinquished in the first 200m. 

I bridged up to my team mates and their group who was racing for 7-11 within 3-4 laps and we began picking apart the remainder of the guys.  Jeff Winkler had just flown the coup so I missed the chance to ride for 5th with him.  On a side note, Jeff already a very successful day at Swope Cross in KC. 

We jumped the group a few times and managed to set up an island that Bill rode across to giving KCCX 7th and 8th until a mechanical forced Bill to return to the group.  Meanwhile, I caught 6th place and entered into a duel for the place.  In the end, I gave up my only advantage which is the ability to attack while already pushing the limit, and gave the advantage in a sprint finish back to a rider who was bigger and had a better sprint (from a rested state) on a fast finish.  My mistake and he made me pay for it.

In the end, KCCX finished 2nd, 5th, 7th, 8th, 10th. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Jon Toner: Winning while Working the Day Job 40hrs per week (or More)!!!

Coaches and consultants like to brag all day long to whomever will listen about their "Star Athlete" and all of his/ her accomplishments. However, not much is ever said about the "mere mortal" who puts together an amazing day and brings home a "W." One questions tests the true talent of your coach/ consultant: How much has the client/ athlete progressed?

Whenever one of my athlete/ clients succeed, I feel a similar sense of pride by knowing I helped put them in a position to do well. That feeling of success is one I wish for everyone to experience.

Here is a story about a regular guy that just won his first EVER Category 2 Cross Country Mountain bike race!

Jon is a
Mechanical Engineer at a Chemical Plant: Works on rotating equipment, compressors and turbines. His typical work week consists of 40 hrs per week, minimum! On top of that he competes in many Cross Country, 12hr, 24hr, and Cyclo Cross events. Basically, if it involves bikes and dirt, he's doing it.

Just the build up to his early season goals was coming to a point, Jon suffered a tear to the Labrum in his right shoulder (SLAP tear). This meant lots of time off and rebuilding from his pre-season form. We decided to target the Leadville 100 where he finished in 10:09 at 10th place for Texas riders! A fantastic result considering the conditions and altitude.

Following Leadville, we decided that some late season results were not out of the question, so Jon worked very hard to hit some peak form for the fall races. Jon has been working on his ability to repeat the short bursts needed in Cross Country races as well as his ability to start races fast to gain position. Jon has also worked on his nutrition/ hydration for the entire season. It has been a work in progress and he mentions them during the pre-season. It was my hope that Jon would be able to put everything together to have that "perfect race." Enter the Camp Eagle Classic...

In Jon's own words:
"I've never felt that good over that kind of terrain as long as I can remember." Indeed, he was having a superb day on the bike and his result showed.

Camp Eagle Classic - Cross Country
Rocksprings , TX

1st place in Cat 2: 30-39 Mtb race!
First Race win as a CAT 2!!!

Here are some of the answers given by Jon around Thanksgiving 2008 with regards to his 2009 goals. As you can see, he has done a superb job of meeting these goals and I'm looking forward to seeing what 2010 has in store!

During the week how much time do you have on most days to train?

I usually have 1-1.5hr per weeknight between 7:30 and 9:00. Little more or little less, but still have to have enough time to eat/shower/get to bed at decent hour along with workout after the kids go down for the night around 7:30. Usually get up 5:45am.

What do you want out of a training program?
Improve race performance, have training program that provides improvements that can be a source of pride, maintain/improve fitness.

I. Long Term (16+ weeks out) prep for Leadville 100 and fall series. I am not sure of exactly what physiological goals to shoot for in prep for mid term and long term goals.

What are your expectations of Source Endurance and your consultant?

Help me maximize my training time by improving training efficiency. Help to outline exactly what physiological qualities are needed for cycling. Help to organize thoughts with regard to training and race strategies.

What are your strengths and weaknesses as an athlete? Strengths can be physical, nutritional, sports specific, character traits, etc… e.g. cycling hills and good nutritional routine, etc.

Strengths: decent threshold rider, notice that I seem to be able to push a harder steady pace at the end of races compared to competition/peers. Decent climber—seem to gain on the field during climbing sections of races. I think that I am mentally tougher than most people I race against.

Weaknesses—inadept nutritionally for training/racing/recovery; suffer badly when repeated accelerations are called for and/or repeated efforts that require going into red zone (i.e. to drop competitors) and coming back to threshold, at best a mediocre bike handler for technical terrain, in fact, on unfamiliar terrain would likely be classified as a poor bike handler—feel like I typically give up big time to field in technical/twisty sections. I am not a big instantaneous power type of rider. Based on race experience, I usually give up time to the field off the line and spend the rest of the race reeling back in the people who can go out really hard.