This past weekend I had three coaching clients in action, and all did rather well!

Jake K., out in Connecticut, took part in the Honorable Baldwin Challenge, which features an 8km ride at 2%, on a 20km loop. In the category Jake went in, the idea is to do as many loops as possible in 6 hrs. Jake’s aim was 6.

All was going well with his training until about 3 weeks ago when he just hit a brick wall, was fatigued and had trouble breathing, meaning of course that he was not getting enough oxygen in and so harder efforts were not possible.

About a week out from the event, Jake got some prescribed meds that did the trick and just about got him back to 90% by the Friday before the challenge. I have to admit that I thought that the illness was going to have a strong negative impact on his effort, but then he went and did indeed manage 6 loops and could have got in 7, had he not stopped to hang out with his daughter for 45 mins mid-event.

That’s a cool dad, right?!

He came in a very commendable 6th overall.


Over in northern California, Joe P. and brand new client Raziel U. took on the fearsome Mt. Diablo hill climb. At 18km and an average of 5.8%, it doesn’t sound too tough, but remember this is a race up there, full gas – also, the last 1km section section is the hardest, at around 9% average.

American races do seem to have pretty cool logos…

Joe has been training with me for just over two months and made great progress in his training for an Everesting attempt, and that progress resulted in him taking a sizeable chunk off his previous best time on Diablo:

‘What a beautiful day!’ wrote Joe. ‘I’m going to keep this short The last time Wookie and I did this ride in July, we hit the summit in 1hr 39, today we hit it in 1:21, and I had no foot issues. Plus, I stopped twice today, once to offer assistance to a stranded rider and I stopped to refill my water bottle. Wookie was the star of the day!’

18 minutes is a huge amount to shave off, and from reading his wattage for this effort, it is quite obvious that his FTP has taken a big jump in the last few weeks.

And who, you may be wondering, is the Wookie in Joe’s report?

Yes, Joe rides most days with this cool little dude in his backpack…

Starting alongside Joe was his friend Raziel, who I have been working together with for just a week. Raziel also had a great ride, not as quick as Joe but that was never the aim. Raziel had never done an event like this before and had almost no dedicated training in his legs, so the aim was to go steady and enjoy the event.

This he did, really well actually, as you can see from this wattage data:

That there is a decrease as the ride goes on is to be expected, that it was not a significant decrease was a nice surprise. It shows that Raziel has a good gauge on his effort levels. Also, his average wattage for the 1hr 38 minute effort was only 5% off his stated FTP of 200 (estimated number). We have yet to do an FTP test but this effort tells me without testing that his FTP is over 200.

Raz, Joe and The Wook.

Yep, happy coach here.

Live to Ride, Ride for Life, Ride to Ride!

Author: Lee Rodgers

Cycling coach, race organiser, former professional cyclist and the original CrankPunk.

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