Like many of you I grew up riding a bike around the neighborhood but once I could drive, biking took a back seat. For high school graduation, I received a ten speed Schwinn. From there, I kept upgrading - to the more advanced Schwinn WorldSport to a Trek 760, and on to Colnago, Tomassini, Cannondale, Klein, Kuota, HED, Serotta, Specialized, Giant, Franklin, etc.
I have logged over 320,000 miles since 1980, averaging over 12,000 per year the last 10 years. My specialty is the individual time trial.
My Achievements Include:
- 2017 Huntsman World Senior Games:
- Bronze in the 5k Hill Climb
- Bronze in the 40k Time Trial
- Cleves Time Trial Series:
- Seven-time Overall Best Time
- Fifteen-time winner of Age Bracket
- The 5th fastest time in the 30-year history of the event (at 21:34, 28.52 mph avg).
- 30+ Fastest Male medals at the Blue Streak Time Trial Championships (Dayton, OH), with 7th fastest time in history of the event; set new PR of 21:08 in 2011, 28.4 mph average for 10 miles
- Ohio State Time Trial Championships
- Fourteen gold medals, five silver, two bronze
- 22 years competing in the event and 21 medals won
- Midwest District Time Trial Championship, 2011: Silver medal in the 45-49
- JDRF Indoor Time Trial Series, 2010-11, 2017-17: Overall and Age Group Winner; 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 Age Group Winner
- Masters Nationals Time Trial Championships
- Finished as high as 11th, and in the top 20 nine times
- Southwest Ohio Senior Games 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018: Gold in the one mile, 5k and 10k time trials
- Miami Valley Senior Games 2013, 2014: Gold in the 10 mile time trial
- Ohio Senior Olympics 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018: Gold in the 10k and 5k individual Time Trial in all years.
- National Senior Games 2013, 2015: Silver medals in the 5k and 10k time trials
- National Senior Games 2017: National Champion in the 5k and 10k time trials
- Michigan Senior Olympics: 2016, 2017 and 2018 gold medals in the 5k and 10k time trials; age bracket records in the 50-54 and 55-59 in both events and course records ridden in the 5k in 2017 and 10k in 2018.
- Indiana Senior Olympics: 2016, 2018 Gold medals in the 5k and 10k time trials
- Kentucky Senior Olympics: 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Gold medals in the 5k and 10k time trials
- Florida State Games: 2016 Gold Medal 5k and 10k 50-54 age bracket; 2017 Gold Medal in the 5k and 10k in the 55-59 bracket and set the course record in the 5k, 2018 Gold Medal in the 5k and 10k time trials.
Personally Ive been coached by some of the best in biking: Hoyt Halverson, Senior Level Coach from Carmichael Training Systems (Carmichael coached Lance Armstrong), Ken Nowakowski at the Major Taylor Velodrome in Indianapolis and Julia Gieschen from CTS. I've been training with wattage for eighteen years with extensive experience with Powertap, Stages, Keiser, iBike and other powermeters. I also worked with Olympic strength coach Paul Bodenbach for three years at the Cincinnati Sports Center.
My Top 10 Training Tips:
I’ve had the benefit of almost forty years of riding with twenty two of those years racing and twelve of them training athletes one on one and also presenting clinics and teaching group classes. I’ve learned a lot about what has worked for me and other endurance athletes in making the most of training time and subsequently achieving goals. Are these tips open to debate? Of course. And for that reason, I look forward to your thoughts.
- Weight training should be part of your training and should be year-round: Endurance athletes have to get past the idea that strength training is somehow going to make them slower or heavier. Studies show that neither will happen but we will switch fat for lean tissue. Strength training is also critical to cyclists (and runners) who specialize in using select muscles in our sagittal plane (right-left) in less than full ranges of motion. A properly designed program will have you working outside this plane and in extreme ranges of motion. Strength training will prevent the muscle imbalances caused by many hours in the saddle with closed hips and that ten pound melon that we call our head leaning over the bars that places stress on our back and shoulders. Strength in the off-season only is really a waste of time. Its take several weeks to get acclimated to this training and the benefits are gone a couple of weeks after we stop. It’s better to give up an endurance ride or two and keep two sessions of at least thirty but ideally sixty minutes in your weekly schedule.
- Static stretching never, dynamic stretching forever! When I see an athlete doing static stretches before a race I always hope they’re in my bracket. Nothing like tearing cold muscle fiber before a race! The same full range of motion noted in number 1 is critical here. When stretching, use deep squats, lunges, upper body rotations, etc. I start every strength training session with weight free or very light weight exercises designed to get our muscles ready for the weighted exercise just ahead. Static stretches before or after a ride simply do not prevent injury or assist with the delayed onset of muscle soreness. Other than improving range of motion, which is also accomplished with dynamic stretching, the static stretch has little benefit. I am in favor of Yoga and Pilates for these same reasons.
- If you live in an area with winters that don’t allow efficient outdoor training, you really have to get used to the indoor trainer. I’m convinced most of even the most ardent opposers to this could still get in an hour of good training a few time per week without going too crazy. I actually enjoy the indoor trainers, as odd as that may seem. I’ll even knock off a few indoor centuries over the winter. I’ve read about some professional triathletes who live in northern climates who regularly spend five plus hours on the bike. The key in my opinion is to have the proper distractions whether its music, a movie, books, etc. When not deep into an interval, I need something to occupy the time. I’m usually just concentrating on riding in the designated wattage zone. While I don’t use them, the options with training apps like Zwift and others should be more inviting that ever for entertaining indoor training. And, it can be some of your most efficient and easily comparable training given the controlled environment.
- Speaking of training, make your hard days hard and your easy days easy. Sounds simple but having worked with athletes now for twelve years as a coach, I see just the opposite. Athletes are afraid of the pain of riding really hard and they think going too slow or easy is taking a step back. I’ve been on group rides where I want to ask the group to either pick up the pace and go after it or slow it down so we can talk. Riding in that very mediocre zone will make for a very mediocre rider.
- Off days/recovery days are the most important days in your training. And a recovery day isn’t recovery if you head out and decide to go after a Strava segment. Its ok to ride really easy! Or, even take a day off and skip training altogether. More isn’t always better. Learn to relax every so often.
- It’s really critical to train specifically for your event. My specialty is the individual time trial so drafting in group provides little benefit. If you need a big sprint preceded by a three to four minute steady state, build your training around those power profiles. If you’re going to do a two hundred mile ride, I wouldn’t settle for my longest ride being one hundred. You or a good coach need to evaluate your goals, assess the demands needed to reach your greatest potential, and design a plan that will give your best chance of success.
- Training alone is necessary. Seems simple enough but I’ve coached plenty of athletes who truly can’t do a ride alone. It’s very unlikely that your ride partner(s) have the same goals as you. I don’t assign many intervals based on them workout being done in a group. Self-motivation is important. Being able to challenge yourself and push yourself to meet and surpass previous goals can be the difference between you and your competition.
- Peaking is an art. We need to learn how to peak for no more than three key events each year. When peaking, we want to reduce volume but maintain intensity. Reduce volume….I know, counter-intuitive for endurance athletes but truly necessary for your best effort. And, its tough to be at your absolute best for all thirty of the races you’ve scheduled. Pick you’re A events and tailor your schedule so that you peak for them.
- Don’t skimp on a good bike fit. You should have a qualified bike fit specialist check your position if not every year at least every other year. Our body will change from year to year, and even month to month during the season. I start the season with my saddle height slightly lower than it will be once I’m into the heat of the season. I also know that with age things change. A thorough bike fit will test range of motion throughout your body. As we know, just a little change in saddle height or bar stem length can make a huge difference. Don’t make the change just because someone on your group ride said you should. We’re all built differently. Get it checked by a pro before you make big changes.
- We need to make the most of what we have. Its easy to get caught in numbers. There are some forums out there where you can join in on the endless discussions about Normalized Power, Average Power, Intensity Factor, CTP, FTP, ATL vs CTL and on and on. I love training with power and love the data but in the end we need to realize that our VO2 is likely about 95% as good as its going to get in that its 50% genetic and 50% trainable (I’m assuming most of us are pretty well training) but we can get the most out of that engine by training our lactate threshold. I like the analogy of two car drivers, one with an off the showroom floor Toyota and one with Corvette Z06. If the driver of the latter doesn’t know how to handle that car, the Toyota driver can completely school that driver in a race. What we’re born with can be a huge benefit, but not if we don’t train it. The athlete who gets the most out of what they have can have great success in their sport.
My goals have always been to ride for a long time, do well in my races, and stay healthy so that I can enjoy all of the things I like to do when I’m not on the bike. I hope these tips help you as they have helped me.
Training With Power Meters
In the 1980’s, endurance athletes were introduced to training with heart rate monitors. For nearly twenty years, the heart rate was the best way to determine the effort you put forth during training and racing. While tracking heart rate is still a very valuable tool and should be incorporated into all training programs, the advent of power meters has taken training to a new level. Your power, or wattage output, is a better measure of effort for a number of reasons. While heart rate lags behind and extends beyond the effort at hand, power is instantaneous. Heart rate is affected by the weather and your current physical state, power is always consistent. The analysis of power output can aid in determining a rider’s strengths and weaknesses so that areas in need of improvement can be highlighted in training and areas of strength can be further capitalized on.
As Ohio’s first USA Cycling Certified Power Based Training coach, I can help guide you in the purchase, use, and analysis of the data from a power meter. We’ll calculate normalized power, evaluate training stress scores, and design wattage zones along with heart rate zones for your training program.