Kenneth Lundgren, at 35, retired from competition in 2014 as the most decorated time trialist in region history, winning the TT Cup for 3 consecutive years, winning 25+ TTs Pro/1/2/3, setting 9 course records along the way.
In this final year undefeated on the TT bike, he also won 6 consecutive Cat-1 MTB races.
With no racing in 2015, Ken decided to come back in 2016 and race a few professional MTB endurance events. “Competition wasn’t really what I missed — it’s being in that vacuum of training, moving towards a goal, setting a standard for yourself and being accountable to that, to prove something to yourself. You will only accept one thing, and fighting through workouts and achieving expectations is wildly fulfilling. With racing, there really is just one opponent — you look in the mirror and see an animal, you wouldn’t want to race that guy, either, but you know you can persevere, that you can win.”
Ken had been racing a full calendar since 2000 and after achieving all racing goals in a killer 2014 spring, he didn’t feel a desire to compete anymore. “Elite Endurance was growing every year, and I had been feeling the shift from athlete to coach. But, as an athlete, you always want to test yourself, to see what you can do, and now I’ve found a perfect outlet with endurance MTB racing, excellent balance with work and play. I still am coaching full-time, and I still train daily and prepare for specific goals, race selectively three or four times all year. In truth, still being on a personal journey in training makes me a better coach. Today, I fully embrace my perspective — coaching is who I am, this is what I am, and I am excited to see what the future brings.”
During high school, Ken wrestled varsity in a “wrestling-obsessed” town and was part of two county and regional-championship squads. In college, he aspired to play tennis professionally and once he started to ride the bike as a way to gain superior fitness, the bike completely took over. In short time, with a complete obsession for everything training, Ken raced through the USAC categories and was one of the area’s top road racers.
“I started coaching professionally back in 2005 when a triathlete and a mountain biker asked me to design their training — and both of them won, and Elite Endurance was born.”
Ken recalls why coaching is in his blood: “The transformation in college, from tennis player to cyclist to… to something else. I was riding faster, riding longer, my energy levels peaking. My physique slimmed from 178 to 160, and I was enjoying those long climbs up to the dorms. I began doing large group rides, I was immersed in exercise physiology courses — I was learning and riding and improving and dreaming and never in my life have I felt so alive. This experience, that magical memory of feeling like I’ve arrived on a bike, I yearn to give that to everyone.”
With Elite Endurance, what started with 2 athletes has grown to a roster with a strong national presence – Elite Endurance currently trains athletes in India, Germany, Japan, and New Zealand, too. Elite Endurance employs an MVP analyst, diet counselor, executive manager, Speedcenter director, events director, MTB Academy, associate coach, and Bike Lab technicians.
Elite Endurance coaches road, MTB, and cyclocross athletes, as well as road/off-road triathletes, runners, and duathletes.
While not coaching, Ken sponsors and commandeers a champion cyclocross team, assaults Strava on his TT bike in summer, tries to ride his MTB sinister amounts in autumn, organizes and leads the notorious Wednesday Worlds MTB, road, and cyclocross Fight Club practices, and works out every Monday and Friday at Planet Fitness in Riverdale, NJ.
Away from work, Ken’s biggest hobby is boxing and MMA and he likes to regularly attend the fights or host epic parties on fight night. His favorite activity is taking his dog, Fox, for long walks.
Ken can be reached at Coach@EliteEndurance.com.