Freifelder CRUSHES

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

Hey Gang,

So where are we? SNOWBOARDING, I have to tell you — where you been all my life? I was out there 2-3x per week, it was almost an addiction… BAD Ken, lol… Snowboarding is certainly going to be a winter mainstay for me — just gets the head in the right place… Hard to explain to someone what it is about the allure of snowboarding/skiing until, I guess, they’ve tried it themselves… Not to get spiritual, but my friend, former pro snowboarder, once told me, “Snowboarding is my soul,” and, well, I see what she’s saying… I just LOVE where snowboarding puts my head pre, during, and post-ride… Just. Amazing.

Okay. That’s that. THAT was soooooooooooo mid-March, lol… It’s interesting: I’d feel guilty when I was snowboarding. Like, shouldn’t I be riding my bike? But, I’ve worked out a plan: Ken needs to train FIRST, then hit the slopes. Actually works well this way — now I HAVE to train, lol…

Am actually looking to pick up an Outback or some great snow car, do some snowboarding this winter out in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, just get out of Dodge for a minute post-Cross… THAT’s how much it’s affected my life…

Okay, back to the cycling stuff! Training has been going well. Actually, unbelievably, with the concussion and tons of snowboarding — BAD Ken! — and a smaller base than ever, I posted my BEST early season LT workout EVER in mid-March. Bonkers.

But…

… I will warn you this: with less base, the form can be SPOTTY… Like, in 2010, I was so prepared, so dialed in, so progressive with my training, so rested, I could almost predict how I’d do each workout and race! Last year in 2010, my crystal ball was pretty spot-on…

NOW? Not so much, lol… I’ll have some GREAT rides at Sub and LT intensities, then some really awful ones — NOT used to that, and it’s not pleasant dealing with this… So, to make a long story short, I am dialing things back a smidge, just need to, can’t play Catch-Up in this sport, not worth have this body in Helter Skelter mode… And with less of a true soup-to-nuts prep, I just know my aerobic engine will erode from underneath me mid-season — and we all know what happens then…

Mid-March, the legs were coming around FAST, but I was dead tired, sore, not recovering well… all signs that aerobically I wasn’t up to snuff… You can go from 1-10 and cut steps 4, 5, 6, and 7 and still gain some great form… but that form will be hard to predict and won’t last very long… This is where, I’d like to state, having a coach really helps — having that objective POV who can pull you away from a potential slow-moving train wreck…

So, smartly I had to dial it back… I’m planning to be running full-tilt by late-May through to mid-June, where we have the CRCA TT Championships, the State TT, and the Tour of Washington County stage race… It can be difficult to hold back, but the best riders know how to do so… Everyone has their goals, and good things do come to those who wait.

Having said that, I was ready to throw down for the Sandy Hook TT today, open the jets, see what I could muster. I mean, sometimes a rider can have a TERRIFIC performance during foundation/base weeks, or perform great at the end of a super-heavy week — the body can act in bizarre ways sometimes… So, although physically I wasn’t at my very best, I knew this wasn’t the end of the world — my head was itching to get out there for the first race of the year and see where I stack up with the big dogs!!!

And how did I fall in that stack? Well, Freifelder chopped my head off with an axe, lol.

Damn. SUPERB ride — bigger guy, just charged into that freaking headwind like a raging bull. I started right behind him, and I was NOT comfy out there. First of all, my freaking cadence magnet fell off the crank AS I ROLLED to the line — BAD ziptie, lol… And on the road, I just could NOT hold a straight line, the wind just tossing me around like a rag doll. If I had a different front wheel, I would’ve used it. The H3 is not that aggressive, but I was still getting tossed around by that arbitrary crosswind… I’d watch Dave, just riding straight like a rock dropped from the sky, and I’m weaving in his wake, lost! But, good for him to be able to ride that rocketship so steadily, definitely a skill on its own.

Like last year, at the turnaround, things seemed pretty even between Dave and I. But I was at full-tilt already and Dave had that extra gear. With the tailwind on the return leg, Dave was gone, motivated to put time into me, motivated to catch that human missile Greg Leach who was dangling in front of him.

I rode my heart out, overheating in my leg warmers and gloves, and was FLYING on the way back, doing 31-32 the entire time, but Dave was just faster. When you’re beat, you’re beat. Nothing to do but congratulate.

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Head DOWN, Kenny — in that wind, just could not stay stable. Well, good to work out the kinks at the Prologue to Our Season, the Sandy Hook Time Trial…

Chapeau. Sizzling time. I mean, me and Leach were close together for 2nd and 3rd overall, but Freifelder’s time really stands out — congrats on a ssssssSSSSSSSSSIIIIIIIIIIIICCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKK ride, Dave — very well earned… I was very happy with my 3rd, my best result at this one TT I always seem to be allergic to — Sandy Hook and I are NOT friends, by any means… We just do not match up well. Ever. But… I WILL be back again and again, hopefully winning that damn thing

But, from a coaching standpoint, and this was my original intention for writing today, because even at 9 PM on a Saturday night, I’m still superbly jazzed from what I witnessed today…

I have never been so proud.

NUMEROUS wins by Elite Endurance athletes today, a bunch of 2nds and 3rds, a plethora of PRs… The Elite Endurance squad just killed it out there today, damn… I was just floored. I listened to all these giddy stories, I saw all these smiles. Just really makes me a happy man, helping these athletes do so well. Seeing them all today, in person, just motivates me to become better and better at what I do… I am so lucky to do what I do for a living, and I’m determined to keep improving and continue to help each and every athlete discover his/her true potential.

Today was electric. The future starts today, not tomorrow, not next week. These riders showed up and laid it down. Excellence. Excellence breeds excellence. It is that simple.

This year, I’ll be doing a mix of TTs, road races, two stage races, and a FULL MTB season (plus a few triathlons and X-Terras! Need more weekends? ).

I’ve been riding my MTB lots, actually skipping lotsa Tempo time on the TT bike to hit the woods. WORTH IT TO ME. I just feel giddy happy on the trails, like a little kid, so free and rejuvenated and eager, and we all know a happy athlete is a stronger athlete. I’ve been doing tons of time up atop the trails on Skyline Drive, riding the uber-techy Yellow trail all the way into Ringwood and back. My MTB skills are average at best, but I’m getting better, and I plan to do TONS of Pro/Open MTB races, so the best way to get better at your “technical” is to master the Yellow trail!!!!

First MTB race for me is next Sunday in Fair Hill, Maryland. Will be interesting to test the new skills. Then will be back for Readington TT on the 16th, another MTB race on the 17th up in Connecticut…

Hope to keep building, and my training is very simple: am racing a lot, but I really want to score a PR at the State TT this year, the huge goal for me (melted so very badly in the heat last year), then see if I can rip the two TTs at the Tour of Washington County later in the month… Then shut it down mid-summer… and come back for a full UCI cyclo-cross campaign…

Congrats to ALL athletes who rock and rolled today at Sandy Hook. The result is not important — you cannot control how fast I go, how fast Dave goes, how fast Greg goes. Even though I had a shocking number of EE athletes WIN their division today, we never talk about winning. Never.

But how you train, how you live, how you prepare for your effort, this is what counts. It counts more than winning, in fact. Because even winning can become routine.

However, striving ceaselessly to get better and better and better – and f*cking doing it – never becomes routine.

Effort. Effort. Effort, this is the highest and truest standard.

Winning, podiums, I cannot demand that. What I DO demand — and this is exactly the word, ‘demand’ — is that my athletes expend every available ounce of energy to achieve their personal best, to attain true competitive greatness.

That’s that. As you can see, I am AMPED up. Read a wonderful quote in a book I’m not quite through, will speak more of it later… But…

“I am a teacher. Next to parenting itself, I believe that teaching is the most important profession in the world. Coaching is just another word for teaching; you may have whistle, but you’re still a teacher. I taught baseball, tennis, and English in South Bend for nine years. At its highest level, teaching allows you to be a person who helps others become the the best they can be. What can be more important – or fulfilling – than that?”

I couldn’t agree more… See you all on the road and hope you all can continue to build towards attaining your own true competitive greatness…

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 | | |