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.