I have been an athlete and competitor my entire life. Rugby was my college sport until a career-ending, separated shoulder (twice). Some initial success in regional bike racing led to a full time pursuit as an amateur cyclist for four years in the continental US and Canada. I won the Virginia State Road Championships, qualified for the US Olympic Trials and the US Nationals championships; I raced the Red Zinger Stage Race and other top road and stage race events. An off season construction accident resulted in a compressed vertebrae and ended my cycling career. After several years off, (marriage and kids), I was ultimately able to return to competition racing as a Master 35+. I competed most years locally, regionally, and occasionally nationally. My palmares include over 60 wins, 16 state championships (in road, criterium, track and cyclocross), 3rd place and several top 10 finishes at US Masters Nationals, spread out over almost 40 years (including 2015 VA State Masters Criterium and Cyclocross champion).
After watching one of Hunter’s athletes go from towing the pack around and then getting swamped at the end of races--to riding away from the field, then winning a US Masters National and a World Masters Road Championship, I became hooked on the potential of power training and racing. I started cycling coaching with Peaks Coaching Group in 2008 after meeting Hunter Allen at a power workshop. Over the last 9 years of my coaching, I coached athletes to 10 national championship titles, on road and track, and scores of State, regional, local championships, podiums, top placings and category upgrades.
With good coaching, any athlete can and will improve. I have coached scores of athletes, from fitness enthusiasts who want to lose weight and improve their times in Grand-Fondo events, to serious top amateurs and professionals aiming to upgrade categories and win major titles. Working hard, but more importantly being accountable and working smart, will lead to improvement; communication between athlete and coach is essential. Goals must be realistically set, accessing and evaluating in terms of current strengths and weaknesses; then a custom plan is made designed to achieve those goals. Life events have a way of intervening in the best laid plans. As a coach, I help the athlete make necessary adjustments so that the athlete will continue to progress toward their goals. Proper training (and racing) should bring fulfillment and joy to the athlete; it should lower stress, not increase it. Life balance is a therefore a key philosophy.
Here are some of my core tenants of coaching:
- Athletic performance is improved by a comprehensive approach: i) executing a consistent, specific and progressive training program, ii) improving on-the- bike technique and racing strategy, iii) mental training , iv) excellent nutrition (including timing), v) proper rest, and vi) minimizing stress levels.
- Everybody can improve their sprint. After years of insisting on the importance of maintaining a consistent (and ideally increasing) power and speed for 12 seconds in the final sprint (the length of the energy system ATP-CP), the concept of Fatigue Profile at PCG was born. Weekly Sprint practice, done properly, naturally recruits fast twitch muscle fibers, testosterone and human growth hormones as well as prepares the muscles and the mind to execute what it takes during the race to close an important gap, or at the end of a race--to win!
- Strength training can be done year round, and done explosively, to maintain and build muscle mass that is normally lost each year due to aging (sarcopenia). As a certified personal trainer and RKC™ Kettlebell instructor, I have designed a unique, efficient and effective strength system specifically for cyclists. Many cycling athletes have benefited in strength and explosive power gains utilizing my Kettlebell MAX™ dynamic strength training system.
- Learn and apply race strategy and tactics.. One of the best uses of power files is to analyze and review (coach and athlete together) what happened in a race, how to improve next time, but more importantly, how to modify training and mental composure, to improve race performance.
- Sports nutrition and its timing are key; we become what we eat and when we break down our muscle fibers in workout exercises, we have to feed them properly and timely to take advantage of our post workout nutritional “timing window”. For best results, we need to have daily macronutrient goals corresponding with our workouts, (protein, carbs and fats, but in particular protein targets), steering away from-- junk foods, GMOs and other harmful toxins-- towards organic grass-fed, wild caught, free range, highly nutritious foods. And, to stay hydrated!