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STRENGTH TO ENDURE WORKSHOP AT THE SECT SLC

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Later this month I will be traveling to Salt Lake City to give a one day seminar on supplemental strength work for the endurance athlete at The Sect. Paul Roberts from The Sect will be assisting. We will cover theory, methods, practical applications and technique. The main focus will be on supplemental strength for cycling but many of the concepts are transferable to other endurance sports.

 

The Strength to Endure Seminar will take place on Saturday, February 17 and begin at 10 am. Registration is $100 for members of The Sect and $125 for non-members. Attendance is limited to 20 people and spots are already filling up so if you are interested I highly recommend you act fast. Email Paul Roberts at Paul@thesectfitness.com to get registered. If you have questions you can also email me at Joe@tdlccycling.com .

 

 

Heidi Franz Reports From Rally Team Camp

Sport Director Zach Bell Giving Instructions Before a Ride

Sport Director Zach Bell Giving Instructions Before a Ride

 

Tête de la Course Cycling athlete Heidi Franz is racing for the Rally Cycling Women’s Professional Cycling Team in 2018. She is currently attending team camp in Southern California and sent in this report and awesome photos. Enjoy!

 

Team Camp Report
January 26, 2018

 

It might officially be the end of day six at Rally Cycling team camp, but for me it’s going on day 24 of rolling on the roads of Ventura County in the sunshine. Sorry PNW folk, I made it one sentence before rubbing it in.

 

Rally Cycling was kind enough to put up myself and three of my teammates, Gillian Ellsay, Sara Bergen, and Abby Mickey, in a house in Oxnard before our team camp began on January 21st.

 
Eat, ride, sleep, and repeat was our mantra for the build up to camp, with some intermittent game nights with some of the Rally men’s team. To be honest it was quite heavenly, getting to spend the day climbing my pick of any canyon along the Pacific Coast Highway, and make my way back to the beach along “The Flats of Despair”-not so heavenly. The teammates eventually started rolling in and schedules got dialed, and before we knew it the whole team was dressed in kit outside Pedaler’s Fork in Calabasas, waiting to be introduced to sponsors and VIPs as Rally Cycling for 2018. Then the party really got started.

 

The first couple days of camp have all the glamor. Our media guys were leap frogging back and forth, getting every possible action shot with every possible angle. Our superb soigneur Kelly is busy preparing an amazing lunch for us when we get back, and Zane our wonderful mechanic is ready for anything we throw at him. Even a fender. (Because of course I brought my fender to California.) For us riders it’s just a fun time to get to know each other while we suffer up some canyons. Not everyone is present at camp (Kelly Caitlin and Allison Beveridge at their track World Cups/camps respectively, Emma White preparing for Cyclocross World Championships… I am happy to keep bragging about how awesome my teammates are) but the first couple days are nice for getting a sense for where people are in their training, as we do long steady tempo and go our own pace up the climbs.

 

On our third day, director extraordinaire Zach Bell put together some breakaway/chase drills, controlling and pacing the gap between a small break and then attempting a catch. Sometimes it’s not just about catching the break, but controlling the leash and playing the gap to your advantage. The infamous “Camp Champs” loop in Malibu is where this all plays out. It’s about 10 miles long, along the ridge where the top of Westlake meets Mulholland, around to the top of Encinal and back to Mulholland- if you’re familiar with the area. On our second go around, myself and breakaway buddy K. Maine (aka Peanut) successfully held off a raging chase group of Sara Bergen (Iceberg), Sara Poidevin (Tiny Dancer), and Gillian (you guessed it, Gilligan) for 1.5 laps of Camp Champs- 1,500ft of climbing in 45 minutes over 15 miles. It was a solid day.

 

At this point, we are 17 hours into the week. We hear there is money on the line at the top of a canyon tomorrow, and our legs are getting tired. However, we are busy editing team photo projects and watching lots of Netflix, so hopefully we’ll be well rested for the onslaught ahead of us.

 

Thanks for reading! Be sure to follow along @rallycycling for all the fun.
Sending sunshine wherever you are,

Heidi

 

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RallyCats Roll

 

So many bikes.....

So many bikes…..

 

Super Mechanic Zane Getting All of Our Gear Ready to Roll

Super Mechanic Zane Getting All of Our Gear Ready to Roll

 

Another Canyon.....

Another Canyon…..

 

PCH Rally Cats

PCH Rally Cats

 

 

Logan Owen Reports from The Tour Down Under – Stages 3 & 4

 

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Logan Owen and Brendan Canty try to stay cool in the shade and on top of one of the many team coolers

 

Logan Owen is currently making his World Tour debut with his new team, EF Education First, at the Tour Down Under. Logan has been sending in updates on his race. Here is his recap of Stages 3 and 4:

 

Stage 3 Report: It’s hot.

 

Stage 4 Report: IT’S HOT!!!

 

Seriously though, it has been really hot the past couple of stages, especially coming from a Pacific Northwest winter straight to summer in Australia. The team gave me a really good heat acclimatization protocol which I did prior to coming here but even with that, when the temperatures inch towards triple digits Fahrenheit …. Because of the heat the race organization shortened stage 3 and  for stage 4 they pushed the start up 1 hour.

 

Stage 3 my Garmin was reading close to 50 celsius. We spent most of the day riding what would seem super easy on paper but was actually an uncomfortable pace because the temperature was so high. It’s so hot it feels hard to just breathe. There was one section of road that we rode past that looked like it had melted away. My objective for the day was to make sure that our GC guys were in the front for the final 2 km because it was a pretty technical finish and we didn’t want to lose any valuable time if there were any splits. The entire squad did a great job putting them in the front and none of our leaders lost any time.

 

Stage 4 was the first of back to back days that will decide the GC for the race. My job was to look after the GC guys and deliver them into the final climb in good position. Along with that I spent time getting bottles, which was much more difficult with a strong cross wind for most of the day.

 

Heading towards the climb, Mitch and I were looking after Brendan and keeping him in the top 10. Eventually I hit the front and gave a good turn to drop Mitch and Brendan off a little under a kilometer before the start of the climb [ed note: If you were able to watch the coverage you can see Logan at the front with about 17km to go]. At this point my job was done and I just limped home up the climb in the scorching heat. Both of our GC guys, Dani and Brendan, were active on the climb and ended up finishing in the front reduced group. This shows good signs for the stage up Willunga Hill tomorrow.

 

Thanks for reading. I am going to try and stay cool now…….

 

– Logan 

 

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Lots of water bottles and ice socks for the heat.

 

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A lot of trips were made to the team car for bottles to stay hydrated on another hot day.

Logan Owen Reports from The Tour Down Under – Stage 2

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Logan talking with some fans prior to stage 2 of Tour Down Under

 

Logan Owen is making his World Tour debut this week with his new team EF Education First at The Tour Down Under. Logan will be sending in some brief posts about the race here. This is the second installment following yesterday’s Stage 2:

 

The profile for today was tough from start to finish. Plus it was really hot – 38 degrees C. The break went almost immediately again and Will (Clarke) made it into the move again. Will was able to win both sprint points out on the road which also gave him six bonus seconds. 

 

I looked after the GC guys again today. In the finale, I helped to get everyone into position at the base of the final climb up to Sterling. From that point I just rolled into the finish with one of the Bora guys. Overall my legs were good until it got really hot on the circuits – it definitely felt hard those first few times up the climb on the circuit. 

 

Time now to cool off and recover.

 

Thanks for reading. 

 

– Logan

 

Below is a screenshot of Logan’s file from the race.

Logan’s file from the stage. His peak 20 minute heart rate (highlighted) was 188 bpm and came towards the end of the stage as he was working to get his teammates into position for the finale.

 

Logan Owen Reports from The Tour Down Under – Stage 1

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Logan getting interviewed prior to yesterday’s stage.

 

Logan Owen’s World Tour debut with his new team EF Education First was yesterday at the Tour Down Under. Logan will be sending in some brief posts about the race here. This is the first installment following yesterday’s Stage 1:

Overall it was a pretty chill day. The stage profile was such that it was more than likely going to end in a bunch sprint. A breakaway went very early on the stage and we had Will (Clarke) in it. Will was the last of the breakaway to stay away and was able to win the most aggressive rider of the day as a result. He also was second on the stage’s only KOM.

 

For the finale we just looked out for our GC guys and kept them safe and in position. All in all it was a good day and we were able to accomplish what we needed to on the stage. Stage 2 is going to be tougher. It has a hard finish circuit with constant short climbs on it and a drag that goes up to the final sprint. Anticipate a select uphill group sprint.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

– Logan

 

2017 in pictures – It was a very good year!

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I had the opportunity to ride and race in a lot of different places in 2017. From top right going clockwise: Rolling on the local roads of Kitsap County. Thursday night racing at Seward Park. USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships. Heading to the Col de La Croix in Switzerland. Training race at the Tom Dumoulin Bike Park in Sittard, NL. Turning a few laps at the Olympic Velodrome in Colorado Springs. Getting to race with the athletes that I coach is one of my preferred methods of coaching and plenty of those opportunities presented themselves this past year.

 

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For the third year I traveled to Europe with a group of juniors. This year it was with the USA Cycling Nieuwelingen Trip. Three weeks of bike racing school for 15-16 year old juniors based out of Sittard, NL. The kids raced six kermesses in three weeks and won five of them!

 

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Some takes from the four week UCI Coaching Diploma Course that I attended in August at the World Cycling Center in Aigle, Switzerland. Top Right Clockwise: The after effects of the the UCI protocol watt-bike test – Dr. G. Millet talks altitude training – The fundamentals of bike fit. – Testing aerodynamics on a velodrome. – A ride to Morgins with the WCC Team. – The Final Diploma. I was only the fourth American to ever take the course and I am only the second to earn the UCI Coaching Diploma.

 

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Continuing education was a big theme in 2017. In addition to the four week UCI course I also attended two other important gatherings in the fall, both in Salt Lake City. As chronicled earlier this year, I am no longer affiliated with Gym Jones. A number of former GJ instructors gathered together for a “Wake” of sorts and to discuss how to move forward together – keep an eye out for some joint seminars, podcasts and other really cool things in the future. I also attended a climbing for coaching seminar put on by Steve Bechtel and the crew at Climb Strong. I recently started working with some climbers and wanted to update myself on new climbing modalities. Steve and his crew put on a great three day seminar.

 

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Two of the athletes that I work with stepped up big time for 2018! Logan Owen has signed a two year contract with the World Tour Team EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale and Heidi Franz has signed with the Rally Women’s Professional Cycling Team! I am super psyched for these two and the big things coming for them!

CONGRATULATIONS KID!

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I started working with Logan in 2009 when he was 13 years old. I still remember the first ride that we did together. There was something about this kid that made me decide to invite him out on another ride with me. Then another. Then another…..

He became a regular training partner that winter of 2009-10. He never complained, in fact, he barely spoke at all…But, he always showed up on time ready to do whatever I had in mind for that particular day of training.

That first winter he sat on my wheel. Then, over time, he started taking some pulls. Over time those pulls became longer. Then…they became harder…until the point  where I started spending more time sitting on his wheel.

12 National Championships. 3rd overall in the Junior CX World Cup. 2 fourth places at the World Championships. 3 UCI race wins. The only American to win Liege-Bastogne-Liege….and so many other results that I have lost count – Logan Owen has made it to the the Big Leagues – The World Tour – Fuck Yeah!!

I am so proud of this kid and I am honored that I have been a part of his journey as his coach …. as his mentor. No time to rest on laurels though…the work has just begun.

Onward!

2017 REDMOND DERBY DAYS CRITERIUM presented by TÊTE DE LA COURSE CYCLING & CASTELLI

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WHY I AM NO LONGER A GYM JONES CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR

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Last week John Frieh posted on social media that he was moving on from Gym Jones. For those of you who don’t know John he was the very first Fully Certified Gym Jones Instructor. He was THE O.G. I had decided to move on a few weeks prior but didn’t advertise the fact, until now.

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I posted the piece in the link above in March of 2014 when I became a Fully Certified Gym Jones Instructor. You should read that first.

In that piece I stated “Becoming a Fully Certified Gym Jones Instructor is way bigger than when I got my college diploma.” I meant that then. I still mean that now.

For two years I held the Gym Jones torch high. I encouraged a couple of friends of mine who I knew were cut of the right cloth to attend Gym Jones Seminars. In the Fall of 2014 I traveled to SLC for a weekend of brainstorming with Mark Twight, Shawn Kingrey and Art O’Conner to develop a Strength for Endurance Athlete Seminar to be held at some point in the future. I was all in and very proud of being a part of the Gym Jones Family.

But things change.

The biggest change is that Gym Jones founder Mark Twight left.

Or was pushed out.

Or there was a mutual parting of the ways.

Or…. the main point is that he is gone. And with his departure went the reason why I was drawn to Gym Jones in the first place.

The beginning of the end was when it was “decided” that Mark could no longer post “negative” pieces on the website.

That quickly became he was no longer permitted to post on the website at all.

Why?

Apparently some of the recent seminar attendees (and there had been a lot of them in the past few years) took issue with some of Mark’s posts many of which were listed under a section on the website called Sunday Sermons. It was claimed that he was being too “negative” and that offense was taken by some due to the idea that he was deriding the act of working out in a gym as an end and not the means.

Well, that is kind of the point.

The origin of the Gym Jones project was born from the idea that you trained for an objective. It was born from the idea that in some instances not meeting the objective meant very real consequences. The Gym Jones project was meant as a way to break physical and psychological barriers. It was a place that had an “…expectation that the lessons learned will be applied to something greater than Self, higher than vanity and [ ]expressed outside of the narrow confines of physical appearance and the walls of the gym.”

It was never meant to be a place to get “jacked” or “swole”. It was a place to train – for an objective. If a good physical appearance was a by-product of the training – great – but that was never meant to be the primary goal.

“I’ve said it many times now but I’ll repeat it: the lifting and sprinting and breathing is the easy part. Applying the lessons you learn under that stress or by coming out the other side of it to life outside of the gym or the sport is all that gives the training value. I say fuck training for body composition, for the purely and merely physical. I say, “Hell yeah!” if training opens doors to opportunities you never believed you had access to before you hoisted that weight.” – Mark Twight, Origin January 17, 2016

Gym Jones was a place where athletes, specifically endurance athletes, came to train and came to learn how to use the gym to make themselves better at their primary sport. It was never intended to be the “primary sport”.

The Gym Jones Philosophy was spelled out in every seminar and on the website:

  • The Mind is Primary
  • Outcome based training (train for an objective)
  • Functional training
  • Power to weight ratio (you must carry the engine)
  • Train all energy systems
  • Training is preparation for the real thing, do something with your fitness
  • Nutrition is the foundation
  • Recovery is more than 50% of the process

The Mind is Primary.

That is the very first bullet point listed under The Gym Jones Training Philosophy in my Fundamentals Seminar book from the November 2012 that I attended.

“Accurate self-knowledge precedes behavioral change. Honest, thorough self-assessment isn’t easy so a coach must facilitate self-discovery by exposing physiological and psychological characteristics….

 

… If the mind doesn’t enjoy hard work, or relish suffering and confronting the unknown then no program, no amount of training can be effective. The physical part is easy – it’s just picking stuff up and putting it down – but if you can’t get it right in your head the physical training will not produce psychological changes that transfer to every aspect of one’s life. Without active mental participation sport may not be used as a tool of self-discovery. The muscle we are interested in training is inside the skull -[emphasis mine].

– Mark Twight, page 3 Fundamentals Seminar Handout

Back to the Sermons.

I looked forward to Mark’s Sunday Sermons, because they made me think. They made me self-assess. They made me reflect. Often they made me change behavior. And that was the point. Yes I was a Certified Instructor but I was also still (and remain) a student. If you think you are done learning then you might as well just stop.

One informal definition of “sermon” in the dictionary is: “A…. piece of admonition or reproof; a lecture.”

“Admonition”

“Reproof”

“A lecture”

The point of a sermon is to make you think. No matter how harsh or “negative” the language or theme might be, if it promotes honest self—assessment and behavioral change – isn’t that the point? (It is, see above).

The stick can often yield better results than the carrot.

Maybe if the new seminar attendees couldn’t handle Mark’s Sermons then perhaps they weren’t ready to be sitting in this particular church. And Gym Jones was never about lowering standards.

But things change. And Mark is gone.

Maybe I could have stayed on. Maybe I could have tried to keep the flame that Mark lit alive. But at the end of the day Mark Twight is a close friend of mine. And he is gone from Gym Jones. And because of that so am I.

I sent the following email in January:

I am emailing you to let you know that 2016 will be my last year as a Fully Certified Gym Jones Instructor. I will not be renewing in 2017. I have made this decision after careful consideration over the past year.

I am grateful for my time with Gym Jones and the friends that I have made. I am especially grateful for the personal growth and evolution that I have gone through as a result of Gym Jones. I stand by the statement that one of the proudest moments of my life was when I earned the title of a Fully Certified Gym Jones Instructor.

There comes a point however where journeys take a different path and I feel that the path Gym Jones is heading down now is not the one for me. As I am sure both of you are aware, Mark was the beacon that drew me to Gym Jones in the first place and his departure and the departure of his voice and influence is the major reason why I have made this decision.

I wish both of you and the gym the best of luck. 

With kindest regards, 

Joe Holmes

 I want to finish this post with Mark’s words. Because, as always, his words are more powerful than mine can ever be.

“I evolved. Gym Jones was born of that growth. But it wasn’t meant to be a destination. Instead, a tool. A step. A classroom. I continue to evolve. The nature of the tool has changed. The lessons it teaches are different.

I have to say that for those of you who have been in and around the gym for a year or two, it’s time to leave, and to do something different. I’ll explain it by way of my own experience: climbing taught me the lesson of leaving the nest. I used what I learned from climbing and what I experienced in the mountains, to fly away. I used the confidence I earned by being a competent climber to flap new wings. In flight I gained different knowledge. Later, when I circled back to the climbing community and environment, when I reacquainted myself with those who had remained in the nest, on the wall, I understood the wisdom of that flight. 

This started as a signal fire. Eventually, it became more permanent – a lighthouse, which is still small, and maybe seasonal. You can camp by the fire. But a camp is temporary. Take what you need, learn as much as you can, and move on, evolve. Even if your evolution takes you away from the warmth of the fire. Perhaps especially so. The horizon you seek to join and cross is not inside four walls.” – Mark Twight, Growing Pain, Feb 28, 2016

 

Thanks for reading.

Simple but Effective. Part 1.

A few simple recovery tools: yoga mat, trigger point rollers, trigger point ball, massage stick

A few simple recovery tools: yoga mat, trigger point rollers, trigger point ball, massage stick

Recovery, it’s the easiest performance enhancing thing you can do.

For a lot of athletes it’s the hardest discipline.

“Shouldn’t I be doing more volume?”

“Shouldn’t I be doing more intensity?”

I’ve never had an athlete ask “Shouldn’t I be doing more recovery?”

I’ve told more than a couple of my athletes that they would see an improvement in performance if they simply got an additional one to two hours of sleep.

Everyone has a bed. Use it more. Get to bed earlier. And shut off the electronic devices. Twitter will still be there in the morning.

Also consider a good foam roller or massage stick or trigger point rollers and balls. Hell, get all of those. They’ll cost you all of $100 and 10-15 minutes a day to use. And here’s a bold concept: you can even use them while watching your “must watch tv show”. Look at that, you’re multitasking!

Recovery. It’s not a complicated concept. But it’s important. So do it.

Or in the words of someone smarter than me, “Don’t do the work if you don’t have the balls to do the rest.”