John is a busy family man and a REALLY busy Business Man. His days tend to be filled up quickly with 'life'. This may mean several flights in a week, taking the kids to several sporting events, long commutes into the City (3hrs in a car a day!), and numerous other tasks that come with the several 'hats' JF must wear.
On top of this, in 2007 after getting used to life after 'the big 4-0', JF decided that instead of 'rolling downhill' into a less active life that he would take up cycling. No previous cycling experience, let alone Mountain Bike Racing. After a year or so of playing around he connected with me through a local shop, which we both frequent (The Epic Ride in Orangeville).
After a meeting to make sure that our philosophies matched we got down to work tackling one limiter at a time, learning new things in each workout and trying to fit cycling into his busy schedule. Some bike fits and Fact Tests helped to optimize the process along the way but many of our successes came through bike skills and learning new concepts in Personal Sessions, as well as during workouts that provided an opportunity to learn about the goal race intensity and how JF would respond in that situation.
By some standards JF's progress is not astounding as he has moved into Sport from beginner in 2007. Then crept up towards the podium over the next couple seasons in a competitive Sport Category. Going by position alone he actually is back to where he started in 2007! BUT, with all honesty, I can say that this is not reflective of the GREAT improvement in skills/fitness/mental aspects. Worth Considering is that Master aged athletes and their competitors can be tough to track-compare quantitatively due to fluctuations in their life (recovery and time to train). I believe that this last seasons improvement is reflective of improved focus and perspective (moving towards racing for self vs. against others) and also in improving skills greatly.
By Quantitative Analysis (Results-Tests)
*Kelso Ocup - different courses, similar profile except 2009 Prov. up hill 2-3x vs. 1-1.5x
2007 - 28.12km -18.35km/hr - 3rd Place - 97% win ( Fact Test / LBP = 140-150w)
2008 - 29.39km - 16.96km/hr - 12th place - 89% win (LBP 180w)
2009- 24.71km - 16.62km/hr - 7th place - 93% win (LBP 160-180w)
2010- 27.9km - 19.29km /hr - 9th place - 89% win (Lbp 200w)
2011- 28.1km - 18.35km/hr - 3rd place - 97% win (LBP 220w and lighter weight then ever)
By Qualitative Analysis - 2010 and 2011 were the busiest seasons of all for JF at work and family life with children getting older was important too. With this increased stress / decreased availability we had to alter our 8-10 hour weeks down to 2-6 most weeks. Here is quick run down of how we addressed this:
1) Running and Strength, as it always had, provided some maintenance fitness while he was away
2) Spirotiger respiratory training also helped provide some stimulus when biking was not an option on business trips. (*JF's respiratory system was suspected as limiter from a FaCt Test at Crossfit Orangeville so this was conveniently targeting a potential limiter of on bike performance).
3) Bike Skills & Intensity = With the bike time JF did have we focused on moving intensities to race specific and offroad to ensure any bike time was similar to racing and always working on the skill element that will limit most late adopters of cycling.
4) Nutrition - As with any travel, especially for business, nutrition was an issue presenting itself in cramps, body composition, mood, sleep and adding stress to an already potentially over stressed situation. Working towards healthier choices for meals (ie. eating breakfast, more protein, better quality everything, any alcohol is pure vs. sugary-wheat based)
Kelso was just another step but one worth stopping to look around at the view I think.
Thanks JF for sticking with the program and letting me share this story that may give an idea of how we look at things and train as Smart Athletes with the different situations that life provides .
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