Hey Guys and Gals,

Elite Endurance athletes have been doing very well during the second half of summer… I’m VERY happy to report that I’ve been involved with several State Championships this year!

Jan Curran, who data-wise has REALLY come around since we started training late last year, finally put together an ultimate ride to WIN the NJ State Criterium Championships!!! On paper, she is so strong, and in races she usually puts out much less power than during her intervals!!! Well, she felt super at States (a planned peak), and timed the sprint perfectly, coming around at 30+ mph to take home the championship!!! Way to take the jersey, Jan!!! I’m borderline jealous — I always wanted a State Championship jersey!!! Well, if I can’t win one, might as well HELP someone else win one! 🙂

Benjamin Lesnak, who currently races unattached in NYC (I dunno how long this will last, though!), has dominated the TT scene this year, winning virtually every Cat 4/5 TT he’s entered this year, 10, 12 victories? At the NJ State TT, he was on pace for a record performance, would’ve been right up there with the leaders, but he flatted coming back! This was devastating, but we went back to the drawing board, continued to win TTs, even branching out and WINNING the monument Unionvale Road Race… Ben is one rider I NEVER have to worry about — if he doesn’t do well, it’s 100% my fault. I give him a weekly schedule, he follows it to the T, never any deviation. When a rider does this, it makes my life immensely easier as I can see how the training is affecting his performance…

Well, Ben came back and WON the NY State TT Championships in August! We were planning a peak, but we had a looser build for this second peak, and understandably he wasn’t as strong as he was in late-May. Having said that, it was still good enough for the victory! With this win and winning the Giro del Cielo TT, Ben’s shown that with his aerobic training he can compete at a top level from March to September… Ben’s final goals are Bear Mountain this weekend, and then the Catskills Race the following weekend…

I coached Shane Moran for about a year, and I was sincerely touched when I received a long e-mail from him, thanking me for helping him win the NY State Road Race Championships up in Albany… That course, oh boy — on that day, in that heat, on that brutal climb, that course is MURDER. A true tough man’s race, so it’s fitting that Shane finally came through during one of the hardest days of the year! I remember not too long ago Shane would be at High Point and talk about the fastest riders, how STRONG they were, and I’d tell him he wasn’t that far off… He IS one of the fast guys, and if someone keeps reinforcing this in you and if you keep training right, making the sacrifices, pushing the borders, you WILL get to that top step of the podium… Congrats, Shane — HUGE victory! NOT a fluke, many more to come…

David Carr of Setanta/CRCA recently upgraded to Cat-3, and what was his first race? GREEN MOUNTAIN!!! We had prepared well for it, however, and I knew if David truly raced to his potential, I thought best-case we could get top-30… Well, he TTed very well on Day 1 and almost achieved that goal!!! He fought hard during the Circuit Race and then at Mad River Glen, and we slipped a few spots to 46 on GC, still a FINE result… Looking back at this, this is one result I’m most proud of… David’s a bigger rider, tall and 190+, and he concentrated more on TTs this year (he DID end up winning a goal race this year, the TT at the Tour de Millersburg a few weeks ago!), so for us to go up to a MAJOR stage race full of tough climbs and perform well in a new category is astounding… I’m very, very proud of how David performed in a much harder division… This week he will be battling up at Harriman, with even better form…

In May, I started working with a new rider, a Cat-5, Nick David… He was new to the sport, his engine pretty much undeveloped, but his enthusiasm was unmatched, and when I see this I rub my hands together with eager anticipation. This enthusiasm, this hunger, you can’t teach that. So when I can help a rider who yearns to excel, as long as we do the right things at the right time, success WILL come. Racing success is almost the easiest thing… Well, Nick’s results started coming around… We showed up at Rockleigh strictly for the training, trying different things — chasing, powering breaks, long pulls at the front, etc — and he was beginning to acclimate to the fast criterium speeds. We planned to peak for the NJ State Criterium Championships… He scored a 3rd at Criterium New York, and then helped some teammates in pre-States races, reporting better and better form… 🙂

At the State Crit, he reported having the best legs he’s ever experienced… The finale was mistimed a bit, and Nick had to roar from behind, and he sped through the peloton, catching all but 2 guys… He noted that if the finish had been further, he could’ve closed the gap, but that’s bike racing! erd at States, he’s certainly come a long way… The good form continued as he raced a VERY active race up at Basking Ridge, taking 2nd!!! I was beside myself when I heard this… Expect some big, BIG things from this kid next year…

Bladdy Coronel of Westwood Velo – Trade Manage Racing ALSO had a strong performance at the State Crit. This year, he’s been able to push higher thresholds — he can now spent MUCH more time at his LT intensities… Although his power data for the State Crit was mightily impressive, he noted it wasn’t a huge effort — a sign of a peaking athlete!!! He was able to stay up front, taking 5th in the finale… GREAT job, Bladdy!!! Now we turn to cyclo-cross after a long, long year… #1 goal is to make sure he gets through the year without overexerting or hitting that wall that so many athletes seem to hit…

Cyclo-cross is right around the corner… Mark Cywin, a rider new to this sport, is planning a full cross campaign to almost jumpstart his form for next year and has just purchased a Scott cross bike… Laura Winberry, who won the NJ State Cyclo-Cross Championship last year (this was HUGE for us because she was dead last in her first race in October, and she was like, “Ken, I’m not sure if this is going to work!” and watching her transition through the training phases, seeing her form roar around, was beautiful to see — she was super strong for that one week, then fell apart the week after States — we time it PERFECTLY!), has just gotten a new cross bike — so watch out! 🙂

Dov Torenberg, owner of the Tenafly Bike Workshop, is in his final preparations for the Vermont 50, a hellishly hilly route… Dr. Mike Seidner of Cresskill is also in final preps for the Bergen Bike Tour, a ride him and his riding buddies plan to hit HARD! Rich Wronski is coming back from a knee injury, ready to race the Might Hamptons Triathlon this weekend…

I think I would do well in cross: we Scandinavians perform better in the cold! 🙂 and it’s essentially a TT, although with the anaerobic threshold pops, it’s arguably a more intense effort than a true road TT… And TTs are my specialty. If my knee holds, cross will be an excellent path for me, so we’ll see… I’ve been riding steadily, endurance and some force work, plenty plenty plenty of PowerCranking… I’m beginning to feel super on that heavy PowerCrank bike — I can’t stress how beneficial this training tool is… We’ll see HOW beneficial they are when I race cross this fall or start the TT circuit again! I’ve heard that it takes a year for a broken leg to be 100% again, and it’s been about 4 months thus far, so I have my work cut out for me… We. Shall. See 🙂

Training is very basic for me right now… In my old age, I must be getting more mellow. I show up at the random group ride, and if I’m dropped, I’m dropped. If a rider acts wrong, misses pulls or rides erratically, I just keep my head down and mouth shut. Humility, lol… It is what it is… Being slow, I have many more friends now! 🙂 In all seriousness, I see so many riders come back from injuries or illness and they do too much too soon… When you first come back, you feel SUPER because of the lay-off, but if you accelerate things too quickly, you’re only setting yourself up for MASSIVE failure… If I were a bit less experienced, I’m sure I’d be out there hammering all over the place, gaining quick form and being Mr. October, but I suppose time wises us up a bit… You have a plan, you stick to it… I continue to plod along…

Weeks have been basically split like this: an easy PowerCrank ride, recovery ride on Felt road bike, long endurance ride with force work on the climbs on the Felt, recovery ride on the Felt, then a high-Tempo PowerCrank ride, recovery ride on the Felt, then 1 group ride on the weekend or a longer, purely aerobic endurance ride… The group ride, depending on how I feel, helps sharpen the pack skills and keeps that anerobic engine from going too dormant… I have been doing ZERO threshold or Vo2 Max work, but last week at Nyack I was able to stay with the leaders up Orangeburg (a VICTORY for me!), then come to the foot of Hook Mountain with the frontrunners, finishing 8th or 9th up the climb, just following wheels and not digging too deep… Some riders are anti-group rides, but if you sprinkle them into the plan appropriately and use them in the right way, they can be beneficial for many reasons…

That’s about it for now… Busy busy busy, and sometimes I wish there were more hours in the day, but if we were bored we’d be saying, “Why am I not doing more?!” Elite Endurance and my training continues to move in the right direction, and I couldn’t be more content…

On a side-note, very briefly, my thoughts and heart go out to the Cosgrove family. I cannot even begin to fathom… You discover just how strong you are in the face of dark adversity, and I’m 100% certain that Gregg, his wife, his daughter, and the rest of his family will deal with this as best they can and come away stronger because of it…

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Friday, September 11th, 2009 | | |