15 years of coaching experience including coaching roles at the Canadian National Performance Center and Colorado State University cycling team, manager of Team Rio Grande, and CEO of Fast Talk Labs.
While I take a very science-driven, analytic approach to training athletes, my focus is on communicating the purpose of training and cultivating a balanced perspective on training as a whole. I always want to make sure athletes understand the “why” behind everything they do. This allows an athlete to be flexible and make good decisions on the fly. Every week there is a recovery goal to hit, and achieving the balance of the week outweighs any one workout. Athletes can hit the metrics and interval sessions in a week, and still get off track. Adaptation happens when training is rooted in purpose and recovery is prioritized.
When I coached the CSU cycling team we finished the season ranked no. 2 in the nation with a big win at mountain bike nationals and 2nd at road nationals. It’s not the results that I’m most proud of, but the fact that we were a club team matching fully-funded varsity teams. And we did all of this while having a lot of fun and riding as a team—we had no heroes.
Adam, who placed second at road nationals, didn’t factor into the “riders to watch” ahead of the race. He was C rider with no race experience when I began working with him, but he ended up on the podium.
Most underrated metric: Recovery
The most underrated metric isn’t really a metric—it’s the recovery level of the athlete. Cyclists like to assess their training by how hard they work. Ultimately, it’s the balance of training and recovery that build success. This is why I prioritize recovery as a metric in my training plans.
Most problematic metric: Chronic Training Load (CTL)
CTL is actually a very useful metric/training tool that I have found surprisingly accurate at times. However, I’ve recently moved it into the “problematic metric” category as a result of how athletes approach it—they equate a higher load with better performance or strength. CTL is increasingly seen as a goal, but simply put, that isn’t how it works. Unfortunately, in the hunt for higher CTL numbers many athletes end up off-track or in an over-reached state.