Keepin’ Busy, So Very Busy

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

Hey Everyone,

Hope everyone is well… Just want to write that I’m getting a puppy pitbull tomorrow morning… I’ve been getting the apartment — and head — prepped for the new arrival… I cannot wait. I went to the Ramapo Animal Refuge and saw this dark brown puppy pitbull in the corner. Half his ear had been mauled by another dog (apparently he had snuck up behind a blind rottweiler — hey-o not a good idea!). We know the deal — love at first sight… So I am AMPED. 🙂

Okay, back to cycling stuff: I’ve been off the bike for a minute now, very, very busy with other things… For one, Elite Endurance has become the central focal point of my life. I’ve realized that although I love to ride and was pretty good at it, I’m a far better coach. I used to be borderline obsessed with the bike, so for me to cut back on the riding shows how much I enjoy coaching and how much it’s changed my life… I mean, I’m entering my prime as a rider but know in my heart I’m better-placed as a coach…

Years ago, a few athletes asked me to start giving them workouts and guidance, and so I did… And then they improved, scored some great results, and they started paying me… The light went off in my head and I knew exactly the type of coaching service I wanted to create: one that pays incredible attention to detail, communicates regularly, and creates personalized training programs. I especially didn’t like how many training companies over-charge, don’t communicate much with the athlete, and seem to pump out black and white programs better suited for the masses and not the individual.

Working with a plethora of different athletes is a beautiful experience. I enjoy it much, much more than I thought I would. The athlete’s success is my success and it’s a terrific feeling… When a rider puts his/her athletic life in your hands, I view that as a HUGE responsibility. Yet I thought I was perfectly suited for the job: I live for the sport, understand the science behind the training. I am the hungry student always trying to soak up new ideas and understand innovative training methods. Most importantly, I love helping people.

My days are pretty basic. I wake up, have a hearty breakfast, and right away I lock myself in the Elite Endurance office 🙂 , in front of the laptop usually all morning ’til around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Full-time job! 5 days a week! I have a full roster of athletes to look after, and each one gets the same attention… I’m constantly reviewing and adjusting athlete’s weekly schedules, reading up on online training journals, re-reading my huge stack of training books, reviewing WKO+ files (they keep comin’!!!). I’m guessing I write over 50 e-mails a day — easy.

This time of the year is particularly busy… One, I have a few guys who are sensational cross riders, and I spend extra care making sure every single day counts because it’s a short window, really only a month of big races… You really have to find what works and maximize it… As I mentioned, what works for Roger might not work for Troy or me or Ryan Trebon…

Secondly, most riders are ending their seasons and I help them through the off-season, the cross-training, the re-integration into the gym, Transition training, Preparation training, Foundation training… Training programs just aren’t blueprints, and I take great care to personalize each program to each rider… I look at an athlete’s background, at their strengths, their weaknesses, at their goals and objectives, and I pump this information into a personalized training program that’s geared for maximum efficiency… Riders love to choose their big peak events, and as a coach I can analyze their strengths and see what suits them. Lots of riders want Fitchburg, State Road Race… This is where hard love comes in — I can help them adjust their goals and perhaps turn them onto something else better suited for them…

Other than coaching, I’m working a few nights at an elite tennis club — good to get out of the house. Again, I’m “coaching” kids ages 6-18 in various clinics, and now I’m giving private lessons and running skills sessions for adults. Good stuff. I think it’s interesting that my two professions involve helping people: I suppose I’m fairly didactic but I get true enjoyment helping people achieve their goals.

My first love was tennis and it’s nice to get back. I believe balance is important. When I’m leaving the club, I’m thinking about the athletes with whom I work… When I’m tired of being in the EE office, I think about getting to the club… It’s a nice balance and keeps my days interesting and productive…

Other than that, I’ve been writing for some boxing magazines, and I’m writing a book on middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik. I view this as a hobby — I used to box when I was younger, 13, 14 at Lou Duva’s in Paterson. I was tall and skinny and lefty and obsessed with being slippery on defense, but I lacked the power to keep those monsters off me! Taking those beatings from fully grown Puerto Ricans (oh those left hooks!!!) left an impression on me — like broken noses hurt! So I quickly realized boxing wasn’t for me… Tough, brutally tough sport… I hate how the media and this country sensationalizes it, and my articles really bring the sport back to earth.

Writing is a great way to stay involved in the sport and makes me think, What if I didn’t stop? When I was 13, I was the same height I am now, 6’1″, weighed 130 pounds, and I was in the ring with fully-grown 17 and 18-year-old African-American and Puerto Rican monsters… If memory serves me correct, I was the only Caucasian kid in the joint! Great memories, that place… I just remember I wasn’t fully grown into my body and Duva’s is a notoriously competitive gym… But eh, I think life as a cycling coach is more comfortable than that of a boxer!!!

For the athletic part of my life, I’ve been playing tennis and doing a ton of trail running. I have always been a very fast runner, once ran 3 miles in 14 and change… I took the cross bike out to the Bloomingdale woods a few times, ripping through this tame doubletrack that seemed to go on forever… Good stuff, very very good for this time of the year… Trail running is GREAT, I can write an entire article on that alone… Maybe I will!!!

Regarding the bike, next year I think I’m going to concentrate on road racing… I’ve tried my hand at TTs, finished twice 2nd in the NJ State TT Cup, but road racing is where my heart lies… I have excellent endurance and want to capitalize on that… If I work on it, I can climb well and from a small break I can actually sprint, so we shall see what the future brings…

Hope everyone is well… Thanks for reading…

kens-signature

Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Monday, October 27th, 2008 | | |