Variations on a Theme: Threshold Work for Cyclocross

If you've been racing all summer, your power at threshold has declined as you focus on racing and recovering. Click through to read Coach Christian's suggestions to increase your FTP for the CX season.

Bills, Bacon, and Beer: Mastering the Extracurricular Skills of Cyclocross

Cyclocross racing is different. And we don't mean just the dismounts, carries, and bunny hopping.

Using a Power Meter in Cyclocross

Cyclocross has a unique set of demands, and it's almost impossible to hold a steady power during a race, but your power meter is still an invaluable asset this season.

Racing and Riding in the Rain

Rain changes things, but it doesn't have to keep you off your bike. Coach Marianne shares some tips for those rainy days.

Three Common Racing Mistakes and How to Fix Them

It's hard to win. And in all our efforts to win, we make mistakes. Read about three of the common errors made in racing, plus tips on how to avoid them.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Guru Photon- Hunter's new Custom ride!


A custom bike. Made specifically for me, my body, my riding style and the way I want it. It’s a dream come true. I have always wanted a custom built bike, not that I have thought that I needed one, but because I knew that it would be better, faster, lighter and more importantly make me more efficient and economical. My new Guru Photon is everything that I have ever wanted. It’s a dream come true. I like it so much, I even keep it in my office! (all my bikes are in the building of course, but the Guru has elevated status finding it’s home in my office).


Why exactly is my custom Guru Photon so great? First off, Stu Waring, PCG coach and co-owner of Parvilla Cycles in Maryland custom fit me on the Guru DFU machine to find exactly the correct size. He spent hours tweaking and refining my position on the Guru DFU, using the Retul system and getting my hip, knee, torso, etc. angles just right. Once that was done he then sent the measurements off to the Guru headquarters. They quickly sent me back a CAD diagram of my frame based on the exact measurements. Here, I got to change, tweak, adjust anything that I wanted(within certain parameters of course). I wanted a bike that handled well on descents and in cornering, but wasn’t a ‘crit bike’ with super steep angles making it twitchy. I also didn’t want a ‘touring’ bike with a laid back seat angle and head angle that makes the bike comfortable for long rides, but slow in cornering. So, again, finding a balance was what I was looking for in my custom bike. The initial CAD drawing had the seat tube angle at 74 degrees and a head tube angle at 73.5 and I knew that was going to be just too twitchy for my riding style. I had them change the seat tube angle back to 73.3 and move the head tube angle back to 73, so that I could be more relaxed for my longer rides, yet maintain the quick(not twitchy!) cornering capabilities that I wanted.





I live in a very hilly and technically exciting area for bike riding. We have big mountain passes, curvy, steep descents and tons of small country roads that are all ‘ups and downs’. This means that I spend a lot of time out of the saddle climbing and accelerating. The Guru is magic in this department as well, as when I stand up on the pedals, it GOES forward. I have ridden many bikes over the 35 years I have raced and many that I have ridden have just felt ‘dead’ when you stand up on the pedals and accelerate. They don’t give you the sense that you are accelerating quickly nor efficiently. The Guru is stiff, but lively. It’s hard to describe and unless you have ridden a ton of different bikes, you won’t know what I mean. But, when you stand on the pedals, you feel your power transferring directly to a forward movement, but it’s not harsh like some super stiff frames I have ridden, nor does it feel like you are losing energy with the bottom bracket wagging all around down there. The frame is effective and that’s what I want. I want all of my energy converted into watts without loss!

I am not a weight weenie and haven’t worried too much about that over the years, but do appreciate what a lighter bike means to your economy and results. The Guru Photon is the lightest bike I have ever had. It’s 14.36 lbs. and that is downright amazing. I am not a small guy at 180lbs and 5’ 11” and my sprint is solid with my Peak 5 seconds at 1340 watts, so I am accustomed to having a bike that’s a bit heavier in order to hold up to my big watts! This bike is lighter than any previous bike I have ridden and it holds up to my watts. It’s held up so well, that I recently just cracked out my best 5 seconds EVER at age 43, with a 1418 watt (peak sample 1640w) sprint in my Spring Blue Ridge Training Camp. I am super psyched.





The next installment of my Guru Photon custom bike will include more details about long rides, possibly some race data and I am going to do a ‘head to head’ wattage comparison between three different bikes up the famous Peaks of Otter climb here in Virginia!

Stage 4 ATOC- Sonora to Clovis- Ian Boswell's power analysis

Stage 4 ATOC

ROUTE DETAILS
Day: Wed, May 16
Start: Sonora
Finish: Clovis
Miles: 130.2
KM: 209.6

Rider: Ian Boswell- Trek- Livestrong Team
Power Meter: SRAM Quarq Red

Power Analysis Software: TrainingPeaks WKO+


DOWNLOAD the WKO+ file HERE


Coach: Hunter Allen

Finish: 46th place –Front group


It’s a saw tooth route that keeps on coming at you. Nothing crazy, but climb after climb finally takes its toll and wears you down by the end of the day. Ian rode well today, tried once to get in a big early move, but that was caught and then he just sat in the peloton, ate , drank (18 bottles!), rested and stayed out of trouble. With Jens Voigt at the front of the peloton pretending he was on his own personal training ride, the peloton was content to let Jens pull and enjoy the scenery.

Interestingly, even though the route didn’t have one major obstacle, it was selective. The length of the stage(130miles) and the amount of cumulative climbing(9491 feet of elevation gain) definitely took the toll as the front group again was right around 50 riders with 48 riders on the same time at the finish. Ian’s stats for the stage are: 270 TSS, 4277 kJ’s, Normalized power- 293, average speed 23.9. When Ian accumulates 270 TSS for a stage, it means that his body accumulated the same amount of training stress as nearly 2:45 minutes at his FTP. 100 TSS = 1 hour at FTP, so every 100 TSS you accumulate, your body feels like it has the same amount of training stress as an hour time trial.

Ian’s best 20 minutes today happened in from mile 16.5 to 23, as the pace ramped up at the front going over the first short climb up the Moccasin road. For this section, his normalized power (power he would have done had he pedaled continuously and smoothly) was 394 watts with the average power at 365 watts.

The finish was fast and Ian got to the front to help one of his teammates for the sprint and that last 2k was fast at an average speed of 33.5mph!







Ian should do well in the Time Trial on Stage 5 in Bakersfield and I am not sure if we’ll get a power file or not, but hope so!
Ian writes in his Post Race notes:

On 05/16/2012, "GRINDER". Hot long and day of grinding. I went on one early group but it was too big and was caught after a few km. Then the climbing began, a group of 12 went away with all pro tour teams and the pace behind in the group ramped shortly after. Today was never hard and in selective but it was just a day of grinding as Jens Voigt smashed the front the group. After 4 hours I had averaged 245 which it high for a race. We then had a long downhill to Clovis I helped the sprinter at 10km to go and then got out of the way with about 4km to go. Today hurt, my legs are tired but a TT tomorrow and I will recover tonight. And will recover tonight. Lots of food and water on the bike today. 18 bottles. ***


[Downloaded from TrainingPeaks WKO+ software and uploaded into TrainingPeaks.com 5/17/2012 5:49:59 AM]

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Stage 3 ATOC- San Jose to Livermore- Ian Boswell's power analysis

Stage 3- ATOC- San Jose to Livermore


Day: Tue, May 15
Start: San Jose
Finish: Livermore
Miles: 115.3
KM: 185.5


Rider: Ian Boswell- Bontrager- Livestrong Team
Power Meter: SRAM Quarq Red


Power Analysis Software: TrainingPeaks WKO+


Coach: Hunter Allen


Finish: 47th place  –Front group




On paper, a tough stage for stage 3, with the massive and classic climb up Mt. Diablo coming in the middle of the stage and then near the end, the ever windy ride up Patterson Pass, to finish in Livermore.  The windmill farms on the hills of Livermore are always an indicator of a stiff wind and stiff winds at the end of a long stage can make for some hard, hard riding.  Ian was up to the challenge though and rode very well, again making the front group of riders, only 49 strong today.


The stats for the entire stage 3 are:  Time-4:53, Work-3768kJ, TSS- 227,  Normalized Power-286, Distance- 116miles, Elevation Gain-7189 feet, average speed-23.8mph.     While overall this on paper seems to be an easier stage, the tough crosswinds made it hard in the end and threatened to really shred the field and put Ian in a ‘bit of bother’.  


Even though the end of the race was hardest from a racer perspective, the numbers tell me that the first ten minutes were the most intense from a wattage perspective.  Ian’s PEAK 10 minutes for power occurred in the first ten minutes as it appeared that there were quite a few people trying to get into the breakaway of the day.  He averaged 404 watts normalized for that first ten minutes, so that made the start quite a ‘wake-up’ call.  After the break was established, the pace really cooled off and in the next hour and 38 minutes, Ian averaged only 219 watts normalized, which is below his active recovery pace!  Sleeping on the bike?   Not quite, but still an easy pace. 


Mt. Diablo, while a tough climb was done at just barely tempo pace for Ian, so that was great to not have to race up it.  I impressed upon Ian that it was really important to eat on the climb and right after as it’s easy to forget to eat while climbing and that can hurt you in the end.       The hardest part of the race was the final climb up Patterson Pass and the combination of the cross-wind before it, the Garmin Team on the front and the climb made it tough on Ian.  He got dropped from the front group and definitely hurting in the cross-wind section before the climb, but fortunately the actual climb up Patterson Pass was a headwind, so the group came back together.


The final run-in to the finish was pretty basic with all the sprinters getting ready to watch Peter Sagan kick their butt again, and Ian stayed near the front to help out their teams sprinters and to stay out of trouble, so he’ll be ready for Stage 4.





Ian wrote:


On 05/15/2012, Ian Boswell wrote Long Hot day. I felt okay today, did a short easy spin to help open up for the first KOM 5km into the race. That didn't help much I was in the box but made it over the top with the bunch as did almost everyone but kittle. The race then settled in and I started to feel better. Diablo was a very fun smooth steady climb we went mellow and all went over the top together. After the climb I stopped to pee and had to make a little effort to catch back up. From there to 25 km to go I rode near the front to help our sprinter, it was windy so I burnt a few kilojoules extra but not too many. With 25km to go things blew up the road went up and we were hammered with cross wind. The group split and I was in the dog house of pain and was in the 2nd group but thankfully the climb was head wind and I was able to rejoin the group. You can see on the file that there was a good bit before and on the climb that was hard. After the climb it was downhill to the finish, I helped the boys a bit but with 5km to go they told me to sit in and rest and they did their thing. Looking at the file from today the stage was similar to the past two but I did not feel as good. I ate a lot and drank but maybe not enough. Long day tomorrow 209km Eat and rest up!! ***


[Downloaded into TrainingPeaksWKO+ and uploaded into TrainingPeaks.com 5/15/2012 8:55:17 PM]

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stage 2 - ATOC- San Fran To Santa Cruz- Ian Boswell rides strong again!

Stage 2- Amgen Tour of California


Day: Mon, May 14
Start: San Francisco
Finish: Santa Cruz County
Miles: 117.1
KM: 188.5


Rider: Ian Boswell- Trek- Livestrong Team
Power Meter: SRAM Quarq Red


Power Analysis Software: TrainingPeaks WKO+
TrainingPeaks WKO+ File hosted here


Coach: Hunter Allen


Finish: 61st place 5:02 –Front group


Stage 2 from San Francisco to Santa Cruz was all about conservation of energy along the coast and then riding near the front on the climbs toward the end of the stage.   Empire Grade is a climb to be respected as Bear Creek.  Both average 6%  gradient, but Empire grade is much longer and Ian climbed it in the front group of elite pros in 31:30, averaging 11.9 mph, 367 watts (normalized) and 85 rpm.   


Stage 2 was very similar in difficulty for Ian as compared to Stage 1.    In the jaunt from San Francisco to Santa Cruz, Ian scored 252 Training Stress Score points, did 4031kiloJoules of work (about 4400 kilocalories burned), and his normalized power for the day was 296 watts.   Oh, that 296 watts average?   It was for 5 hours and 2 minutes….   Just remember that when you go out on your next training ride!



Ian is riding superbly right now, has good form and can be in the hunt for a stage win and possibly a top position for the best U23 rider as long as he time trials well. On the climb up Empire Grade, only the first ten minutes were hard(401watts Normalized) , but even for Ian this was under his Functional Threshold Power(FTP), again confirming his excellent condition as it’s always great when you can ride at the front and be under your FTP!



One of the things that I have been impressing upon Ian is that stage racing is a game of energy conservation and the riders that can save their energy throughout each stage will be stronger in the latter stages as this energy conservation accumulates over the race and rewards the smarter racers in the final stages.  Ian made me proud today as he did a great job at “NOT” pedaling, sitting in the peloton, coasting, resting his legs and allowing the peloton to suck him along.  He did NOT pedal for nearly an hour of the 5 hour race!   He coasted for a total of 53 minutes or 17% of the stage, and this is right above the magic 15% number that the winning-est road racers exhibit time after time in their power files.   



In the run-in to Santa Cruz, Ian clearly felt strong but lacked a bit of confidence as he followed an attack half-heartedly by Rory Sutherland and even though he didn’t give it his all it took the charging peloton nearly 3 minutes to catch him.  Wait.  Ian followed an attack, but did so half-heartedly in the final 4km before the finish with the Liqui-Gas team in full lead out mode and they still didn’t catch him till about a k and half to the finish???   Watch out.  If anything, that should build some confidence!  Next time, he’s got to go for it full gas and see what happens, but at the same time being careful to finish within the pack when you are going for a top 10 overall placing is a smart play too.


Stage 3 should be another good stage for Ian with Mt. Diablo and then Patterson Pass towards the end.  Mt. Diablo is no joke, but it’s very far from the finish, so doubtful that it will be a deciding factor in the stage finish, and Patterson Pass, while closer to the finish, is more open and gradual, so easier for a team to control the race.
--------------------------------
Ian's Comments from his TrainingPeaks WKO+ file notes:


On 05/14/2012, Ian Boswell wrote Hard Start and took me a bit to warm up but felt better as it went on. On the first big climb-Empire Grade, I felt better as we got further on and went over the top in the front and rode the climb at the front, the start of the climb was hard then it became more steady. After a ripping descent, we started the 2nd climb it was harder but I felt good and rode at the front. I wanted to attack but Garmin was riding the front. Over the top we were in group and on the back side I went in an attack and you can see the efforts but it was short. We were brought back. On the final at 3km to go Rory Sutherland attacked and I went put after him. I opened a 10sec gap and was about 5 sec behind Rory. I made the mistake of looking back and feared being caught and thrown off the back so as you can see in the file I did not kill it. Maybe I should have but I also could have lost time. I was caught about 1.5km from the finish and finished in the pack. Ate a lot today 6 bars 3 things of chews and 2 gels. Helped in the end. Felt good when the race went hard and am looking for a win one of these days ***


[Downloaded into TrainingPeaksWKO+ Software and uploaded to TrainingPeaks.com 5/15/2012 6:34:06 AM]


Amgen Tour of California Stage 1 Power File analysis- Ian Boswell

Some background on Ian Boswell....

All about Ian>Click Here



I have been coaching Ian since the fall of 2011, and he has been a great athlete to work with.  We spent the winter focusing on getting his body balanced from a tough season of hard racing around the world.  He started doing Yoga 2-3x a week, along with some basic weight training and core work.  He moved to Chico, Calif from his hometown of Bend, Oregon in order to be able to train more consistently throughout the winter in the good weather.   He really made it a great winter with some excellent long road rides, mountain bike rides and tandem rides with his girlfriend.   His focus for the 2012 season was to place in the Top 3 at one of the spring classics, finish in the Top 10 on GC at Tour of California with a possible effort for a stage win and then give it his best at the Tour De Avenir this last summer/early Fall.   Ian has been right on track and been progressing well over the early season, showing many great signs of improvement.  Ian is an admitted ‘power junkie’, watches his Performance Manager chart closer than I do sometimes, knows how to estimate TSS within 5 points of what he actually scores and loves reviewing, understanding and analyzing his data.  Ian is sharp, clear headed and asks great questions that allow me to not only coach him, but teach him how to be a better cyclist, racer, athlete and person.  He will go very far in this sport and already has the makings of a future star.
Now, to the race analysis of Stage 1- ATOC


Stage 1 Santa Rosa, California
ROUTE DETAILS


Day: Sun, May 13
Start: Santa Rosa
Finish: Santa Rosa
Miles: 115.9
KM: 186.5


Rider: Ian Boswell- Trek- Livestrong Team
Power Meter: SRAM Quarq Red
Power Analysis Software:  TrainingPeaks WKO+
Coach: Hunter Allen


Finish: 53rd place 4:42:35 – Front group


Ian had a great day in the saddle on the first day of the Amgen Tour of California.  Ian has been riding very well this spring with a fine 2nd place at the U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege event earlier this spring and his form has been building throughout May, with and great hand in hand teammate 1-2 finish with Lawson Craddock at the toughest stage of the Tour of Gila.  Ian is definitely ready and has been knocking out some big wattage numbers here in the most recent weeks of training, so I am excited that he is racing one of the most prestigious and toughest stage races in the US.


Stage 1 of any stage race is always a bit nervous with every rider poised to attack at the chance to get any advantage.  This typically means some crashes and some fast racing and this held true with a fast start at an average speed of 28mph for the initial three and half miles, but then once the breakaway was away, the pace slowed a bit, as many riders knew that the mountains coming later in the stage would be tough and saving energy would be critical.   Fort Ross Road at 68 miles was the first test and it actually wasn’t too tough for Ian, and he was able to stay under his FTP of 415 watts easily at 370 watts.  The hardest part of the stage came later on Coleman road, where Ian created his “Best 20 minutes” of the day at 407watts normalized(375 AP),  while this was close to his FTP,  Ian commented, “We hit the KOM with 25 guys, so yes, it was hard, but I felt good and under control.”    At this point, with the peloton reduced to 25 of the strongest cyclists in the race, Ian was passing the stage 1 test with flying colors.     The fast descent into Santa Rosa wasn’t fast enough as at least 25 more riders joined with the front group to make 56 man peloton at the finish where Peter Sagan sprinted past everyone for the stage win.



In Stage 1, Ian scored 258 Training Stress Score (TSS) points, did 4041kiloJoules of work, averaged 303 watts (normalized) for the entire 4:53 stage at an average speed of 24.3mph.  Ian’s power was certainly up there in the same range of any major international stage race, so it’s great to see that he handled it so easily and proficiently.   As he continues to excel throughout the ATOC, I’ll bring you more behind the scenes information along with sharing his power files with you as well.   Hope you enjoy!
Hunter
-----
IAN'S comments on the Stage 1 from his TrainingPeaks WKO+ file.


On 05/13/2012, Ian Boswell wrote TOC Stage 1. Good day felt okay. Tried once to go to the break hit 1231 watts then the break rolled and we went easy. I stopped 3 times in the first 2 hours to pee. Then the Garmin and RadioShack went to the front to start closing the gap. All was together over the fort Ross road. Felt okay and a very on/off climb. Then the pace on the ocean ramped again as we closed in on Coleman valley. I started far back my bad and made a big effort to make it to the front but yes I went over the top with the lead group of 20-25. Felt good!! Then sat on as rabo worked hard. With 5 km to go a big group rejoined us from behind and then just before 3km to go a crash happened at the front splitting the group. I made it through but had to come to a stop and was the last rider to make the winning group you can see that from 3-2km to go I worked hard to catch on to the quick rolling group.


[Downloaded into TrainingPeaks WKO+ software, uploaded into TrainingPeaks.com 5/14/2012 11:33:40 AM]

Saturday, May 5, 2012

GURU PHOTON - The Perfect Fit

By Tim Cusick


Bike Fit Part 4 – Looks like the 2012 new bike fit (and new bike) project is at an end. For those that have been following and commenting on my journey to return my bike fit to a more normal this will be the final part (but the best)!


First, comments on the position. If you read the first three articles you know I worked with Stu Waring at Parvilla Cycles utilizing the fantastic Guru Dynamic Fit Unit (DFU) and Retul. Parvilla Cycles is the one of the VERY few fitters in the country to have this combination and man, it plain works. The DFU is a computer driven fitting bike that adjust while you ride it. Check out this video of Hunter Allen and Scott Moninger working with Stu on the DFU machine, gives you a good idea of how it works.



So, now to the heart of things; the fit was a big success and not only cleared up my knee problems but has improved my long term comfort and endurance. One of the added benefits was improved bike handling as the new position allowed me a little better balance on the bike and improved my handling and descending.

The MAGIC came about when Guru Cycles stepped in and offered to design Hunter Allen, Scott Moninger and myself the perfect dream bike using the DFU machine; Brand New Guru Photon’s! SaaWeet! Hunter, Scott and I packed up the old Peaks Coaching Group travel bus and headed down to see Stu and the team at Parvilla to do the fitting and start the process of designing the bikes. Here is a little video about Guru:


Once we completed our fitting, all measurements were shipped off to Guru and within 48 hour we had first draft drawing of our Photon’s. This is where the super cool custom benefits begin!! Each one of us used the sizing dimension to make sure fit was correct but we were each able to tweak design and layup to not only have a custom fit, but to customize the bikes to our desire. Since reviews are coming from Hunter and Scott I won’t tell you what they did (yet) but I built mine around a taller, beefier head tube (something very tough to get off shelf for a rider that typically rides a 50-51cm size frame) to build more sprint stiffness, beefed up the bottom bracket and slightly stretched out the length by adding a little trail to give some better descending capabilities. Add some custom Peaks paint and this is amazing frame! Now, a frame of this quality needs some tasty part and thanks to our friends at Quarq / SRAM bikes were outfitted with brand new 2012 RED groups and 2012 Quarq Red Power Meters add a set of versatile Zipp 303 Firecrests and you have a 13.5 lbs DREAM BIKE! (Picture below with Enve Wheels, Zipps came later)



13.5 Lbs of Speed!
Guru First Rides!
The Line up
So, let’s get to the DATA! Been ridding the bike for two week hard now so here is the review:
FIRST RIDE: So, we received our bikes on the first day of our Blue Ridge Camp so this meant that we would be testing the bikes “out of the box” at a weeklong – 400 mile+ camp setting. I have to say, I was more than a little nervous about this. Jumping on a new bike and riding that many miles in the first week can be a recipe for disaster. WOW! You begin to fully understand custom the moment you get on a custom bike; it fit perfectly! It really blew me away that I was able to jump on the bike, ride 400 miles and make NO…yep that is right, NO ADJUSTMENT! Riding the bike the first time was like slipping on an old pair of shoes, it fit that well. I did bring my old bike and was expecting to ride it to help “buffer” the change, but it sat in the basement all week (sorry old bike). ROAD FEEL: – For me, the first thing I measure in a bike is road feel. Over the past few years I have had a lot of bikes including a Prince, S3 and EVO and none of them can match the road feel of the uber light Guru. For me, when you start getting to bikes that build under 15 lbs, you do have a trade off as most begin to feel “lite” on the road and change the way you handle the bike. Not the Guru, it has an amazing solid feel on the road (very similar to the Prince at about 3lbs lighter). After two full weeks and plenty of miles, I can tell you this rock solid feel also translate to great handling. The bike cruises along and is the type of bike that everything feels so solid it sort of disappears under you and control, steering and handling just “happen”. One slight “con” is I would love to have seen a little more focus on the “aero” approach by running the cables internally. POWER: For a lite bike, this thing is super stiff and after a week of hard camp, still hit some sprint 5 second max’s (spoiler alert, so did Hunter Allen). This came as a surprise as I have done little to no sprint work this year. Where I was even more impressed was it “handling” under load. I am a sprinter that likes to work through a crowd and having a bike that can really handle while the power is down matters. There is little to no flex under full power and the well balanced machine really allows you to push the bike forward with intent. Pointing it at small opening and line breaks really gives you a good feel of why this bike is special. DESCENDING: A rock! Hunter measured a new top speed off the Peaks of Otter (his lifelong training climb / descent) and I have have noted a big increase in my descending speeds. Remember, I designed a little extra trail into this bike to help me here (not the best descender) and it really works. The bike is stiff and solid but it was the ability to customize the design into exactly what I wanted was the difference maker. For me, a big win by design! WHAT IS NEXT: Over the next few weeks Hunter and Scott will also be posting reviews and Hunter and I will be conducting a series of POWER COMPARISONS to really put the facts to the feeling. Keep checking the blog for updates. FINAL NOTES: DO IT, yep it is that simple. I have been riding my bike for more years then I am willing to post in a public blog and this was the smartest thing I have done, period.  If you have questions on how to start the process or want to talk about my results email me at Tim@peakscoachinggroup.com or call Stu at Parvilla Cycles in Edgewater Md (443) 949 - 7130

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Reason I Coach!

Scott Moninger, Master Level Coach, forwarded this testimonial / thank you from a client with an AMAZING STORY:

Twenty years ago I was a 17 year old category 2 cyclist who used to race with the Juniors in the morning (which included future TDF rider Jonathan Vaughters) and the Cat 1-2/Pros in the afternoon. Then I set my bike down and went to college, medical school, followed by a PhD program in physiology then residency followed by a full time career as an anesthesiologist. During the last 20 years, except for a short stint in collegiate cycling, I didn't regularly exercise and I did not eat well. As a result, I found myself leaving residency at a whopping 292 pounds and in the worst physical shape of my life. I bought a bike and read a book about "modern nutrition" and decided to ride myself back into shape.

Justin - 283 Lbs
State Crit Championship
Unfortunately, I tried to apply 25 year old training techniques and found myself very burned out very quickly. Having a power meter and a wealth of information didn't help me one bit because I had no idea how to interpret the information that I had. It was painfully obvious that despite my 12 years of higher education in the medical field, I had absolutely no idea how to eat and train effectively and make any measurable progress.

I floundered around for about 4 years trying to figure out how to make my come back into racing. My weight fluctuated down sometimes to 30 pounds lighter, but I never felt good and I had no energy to do really quality rides. I also felt hungry almost all the time. Multiple times after losing this weight, I would quit riding and eating well and find myself just as heavy as before. On group rides I struggled to hang on during the warm up and was always blasted out the back within minutes of the pace being picked up. Last year I entered the state criterium championships at a whopping 283 pounds and finished dead last after being lapped by the field several times (see photo). I decided that day that I had to do something dramatically different to make any future progress. I decide that I would hire a coach.

Like anything I do in life, I spent hours researching various coaching groups and nutrition programs and found that without a doubt Peaks Coaching and Nutrition was going to work the best for me. Scott Moninger called me and after our conversation, I quickly decided that he was the right coach for me. What has amazed me most from the start is that even though my fitness was so poor and my weight so dramatically high was that Scott offered so much encouragement from the very beginning. Scott also referred me to Anne Guzman, Peaks Coaching Nutritionist. Anne helped me learn how to eat well and get enough energy for quality rides while still losing weight.

Justin - On Form and Racing for Peaks Coaching Group!

The results have been truly amazing. My weight has fallen 70 pounds while my power has risen from an FTP of 220 watts to over 360 watts. I have more than doubled my power to weight ratio and it is still climbing. I entered the same state criterium championships this year and placed 7th. Instead of being blasted out the back within 1 minute of the start of the race last year, this year I was making attacks and sprinting at the front of the group at the finish line. I have just upgraded to a category 4 and I am already making top 10 placings. The group rides where I used to be blasted out the back, I am now riding off the font and getting to the county line sprints in first place! Working with Scott, I realize now that what seemed unattainable before is now easily reachable.

Justin Meschler, M.D. Ph.D.