Thursday, November 13, 2014

Right now I'm All about that Base, You know, 'cause Coach Says So!

Last week I posted a short list of stuff I'm stoked about, that rocks my world and has made me faster/makes me enjoy every ride more. Somehow I left off possibly the one thing that has had the most impact on my cycling, my coach.

I resisted the coaching thing for a long time. I guess I took pride in the idea that I could be fast by just goofing off and not formally training. I didn't want to be that person who can't play because I had intervals, and there is a stigma about having a coach in the group of guys I ride with. Then I started getting more serious about racing. I started doing the US Cup races and XCTs. I found myself rattled by not really knowing what I was doing, in training and right before and during a race. Then, in August 2 years ago, a friend told me about how great his CTS coach was, and the idea was like a seed in my mind.
A picture to break up the words :)
Last year in Feb I took the plunge and signed up for coaching from CTS. They found me an awesome local coach, Matt Freeman, and it was like night an day within a week of working with him. Having someone in your corner who knows what they are doing, who can give advice from race nutrition to how to make the most of commuting, and who is just a text message away is huge. I immediately felt more confident in my training and race prep. I noticed huge gains in my fitness within the first few months, and it made the whole season way more fun because I was seeing improvement and was able to keep my motivation up all the way to August (when the season started in Feb, that's a long time to be invested in racing bikes)!
Coach even rode bikes with me once because I thought I was slow at descending!
I think maybe the most important benefit for me is that I am prone to over train, and Matt has convinced me it's a good idea to take a few days off the bike each month (well, almost convinced me). I've actually really enjoyed adding some structure to my cycling, and even in the off season I feel like coach is making a huge difference in helping me keep my head on straight/still have fun riding and not killing myself (or Carl). So I guess my greatest piece of advice to anyone who wants to be faster/have more fun on bikes, try the coaching thing out! 
Even Brendan is on board with coach's core routine! 
What product/bike/component are you using that the whole world needs to know about?

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