Frequently Asked Questions

Should you get a cycling or running coach?

If you are any one of these:  a) serious about a cycling or running goal b) crunched for time or c) don’t want to worry about whether you’re doing the right thing, you should get a coach.

Coaches help you target specific goals, optimize your limited training time, and use the best available research, knowledge, and understanding of you as an athlete to create training plans that work. 

Hiring a qualified, experienced coach is an investment in you as an athlete and person.

Frequently asked questions about cycling and running coaching

How should cyclists over 50 years old train?

Cyclists over 50 and age-group runners should train roughly the same as their younger counterparts.

The two big differences are the need for more recovery and more strength training. Endurance training for cyclists over 50 should include long, slow days, short, fast days, lots of strength training, and yoga for recovery.

Strength training for cyclists over 50, especially women, should include heavy weights.

Why do you use Athletica.AI?

I've been using the adaptive training platform Athletica.AI for several months now and really like the progression of workouts, its responsiveness, and the variety of training. I like the Workout Wizard, the analytics, and the new responsive coach mode. It's a great program that uses the best of the HIIT Science textbook created by Dr. Paul Laursen, a renowned sports scientist.

So now I'm also using it as a coach. Athletica builds plans for my athletes and I coach them through the plan and add yoga and additional strength training.

Here's a video to get an idea of what Athletica is all about.

Do you specialize in gravel and cyclocross racing?

Yes, while I’ve never been a pro at either, I love both disciplines and do a lot of both. Now, as an endurance coach, I can support cyclists, especially cyclists over 50, prepare for gravel races or cyclocross seasons. 

All of my training plans, whether custom or semi-custom, include strength training for cyclocross racers and gravel racers, and yoga.

Do coaches just provide training plans?

With me, you can get a personalized semi-custom training plan, or you can hire me as a full-custom coach where I talk with you often, make daily adjustments, provide information about your race, create a long-term plan, work on nutrition and sports psychology, and encourage you on as your biggest cheerleader. 

We can provide cyclocross-specific, gravel racing-specific, and trail running-specific training plans for everyday and masters’ athletes. 

Plus we provide customized training plans for cyclocross, gravel, trail running, and other endurance sports. These plans are personalized exactly for your needs. 

All of our training plans including long endurance training, high-intensity (HIIT) training, strength training, and yoga.

Why shouldn’t I get a pre-made training plan from one of the big companies?

Or why not just go to Chat GPT and ask it to create a plan for you? 

Both of those, honestly, will work.

To a point.

You just don’t know, though, if it’s right.

You don’t know if the plan will get you over-trained or under-trained. 

Plus, it can’t help you adjust to life situations. 

That’s what a coach can do: Individualize your plan for your life. 

This morning, for example, I got a text from a client who’s doing a half-Ironman this weekend. She said her HRV was yellow, and she was a little tired. 

Her schedule had a light brick (ride/run) workout to prime her for the weekend, but if she did it, she might fatigue herself more.

So we decided to take the day off and just do some yoga recovery. 

Another client, who’s pretty new to regular training, needs to build a bit of speed and power to improve his results in mountain bike races. 

If he asked Chat GPT, and I did, it came up with a plan that would probably break him. 

Instead, we are doing targeted HIIT work, which I’ll carefully monitor to make sure he’s not digging too deep of a hole for himself.

Why not hire a former or current professional cyclist, triathlete, or runner as my coach?

Most former or current pros I’ve known are great coaches. 

But here’s the catch: 

Most former or current pros are genetically gifted. 

They got to the top levels of the sport because of their hard work AND because they have the genetics to do so. 

I don’t have the genetics. Plus with my asthma, I was always one step behind everyone, even when my legs felt great. 

I had to struggle for every bit of performance I could find. 

That experience of working for every bit of speed and performance is what I bring you. 

That and a lot of reading, podcast listening, and question-asking to learn about exercise physiology.

Why not choose a sports scientist or someone who has a degree in exercise physiology or something similar?

Those people can be great coaches, and I consult with them often. 

But for many of you, a generalist is what you need. 

You need someone who has enough knowledge and understanding of physiology to help you do the right workouts at the right time. 

And you need someone who has the life and athletic experience to encourage you when times are hard. 

Sports scientists are able to coach elite athletes because they have the knowledge to get athletes to the top by squeezing out the last five percent. 

What you need is to get the first 90 percent with me.

If you’ve reached that level, move up with a sports scientist coach!

Why do you include yoga in all of your plans?

Yoga is really mobility work so that your joints move in different planes than just running or cycling. 

The way that I teach yoga is that we inhale and relax the pose, then exhale and deepen the pose. 

This kind of progressive stretching movement allows the muscles to lengthen and become more pliable. 

So yoga can relieve pain, loosen tightness, and speed up recovery. 

We do yoga as recovery or as strength training, and all of it can improve your range of motion and keep you feeling limber and awake! 

Yoga for cyclists and runners over 50 provides even more benefits to keep us mobile for longer events.

Why do you include strength training in all of your plans?

Strength training is incredibly important for cyclists and runners.

Strength training, obviously, helps you build stronger muscles, but that in turn allows you handle more training stress. 

I provide personalized strength training for endurance athletes of all ages and abilities.

Strength training for older cyclists should include lifting heavy weights to build bone density. 

With a stronger core and stronger hips, cyclists and runners are able to do more training and stay injury-free. 

Strength training for athletes over 50 and older riders and runners (masters cyclists and age-group runners) helps you stay healthy and strong. 

Strength training for cyclocross and gravel racers, in particular, helps athletes prepare for the unique demands of their sports.

What other questions do you have?