Racin’ Retirement

I want to make an announcement, and I could actually feel this building during the racing calendar, which enabled me to enjoy it (racing) more

BY KENNETH LUNDGREN

Hey Gang,

I am retiring from racing, my last race was in 2014 (4th at the Darkness 909 Halloween Night MtB race, boom!).

In this calendar year, I was undefeated on the TT bike, I won 7 consecutive Cat-1 MTB races — yeah, I’m goin’ out on that. I could feel my career leading to this point. Knowing it, seeing it, I was very happy, felt very fulfilled…

Racing gave me something, a fuel, a motivation, a reward, a life confidence, but coaching is what I am, coaching is my livelihood, coaching is what I’m here to do – I’ve won races, but nothing compares to not only helping riders win, but helping riders SUCCEED, no matter if that success is 2nd, 5th, finishing, showing up.

I can feel the shift, from athlete to coach, and I’ve never felt more content with who I am and where I’m going than I am right now — it’s a ferocious feeling… Pure and simple, deep and true, my identity is ‘coach,’ and I feel my life is progressing and moving on this path in a natural manner…

The bottom line is when I first started coaching, my goal was to offer a superior training service at a reasonable price.

Today, that has changed: my mission is to offer THE best coaching experience and program in America, and the first step to fully realizing that is to not race anymore, to 100% embrace this idea… Can run with my triathletes, can host more training camps, can lead more group rides, can pre-ride with my athletes, can do more power seminars, can continue to grow DietRx and Trainingprint Analysis with my staff, can sit in my office for longer durations and figure our this fitness puzzle, the bubbles percolating… I am ready. I am so ready. Complete immersion.

It’s easy, actually: there is a choice you make, in everything you do. In the end, the choice you make… makes you.

Elite Endurance is having a banner year.

With athletes getting better everywhere, I have been able to hire an in-house diet and nutrition counselor, as well as an associate coach who also has 3 math degrees — the staff really will allow me to better do my job, which is creating superior training stimulus and developing close relationships with every athlete I coach…

We offer DietRx, a constant dialogue to help you fuel in superior manner for training, racing, and living.

We are also putting together full Trainingprint Analysis, a superior visual and coaching tool (one thing I’ve never done, graphs for demonsration, etc — now we have both the software and EE algorithm to do both, to showcase data and predict fitness) that shows where you were in training, where you are now, and WHAT we need to do next to achieve your goals, step-by-step we solve this riddle, based on EE data and how TS has worked before — it’s like having a board-room meeting with the Elite Endurance staff — a team is giving you the VIP experience. These are proprietary services that only Elite Endurance offers, and it’s how Elite Endurance athletes elevate…

I love my job. All athletes I treat the same, and all athletes are very different. At one end of the spectrum, I coach riders who just want to workout to maintain sanity, to stay fit, riders who love the scene, staying social, staying fast. They love the science of the program, of the discipline, of the progression. They love learning about power files, feeling their engine change… I get immense joy preparing athletes for all new goals: attacking the final climb on Sunday’s ride, trying to average 380w for these Vo2 intervals, finishing the charity with a new condition, finish the 70.3 with PR bike, etc…

On the extreme other end of this spectrum, I have athletes who have elite racing strewn throughout every sinew of their DNA, and we are emailing each other 2, 3, 5 times a day, trying to maximize every day in every way. We are obsessing over cadence and tire pressure and body weight and race strategy.

And, as I was staring out my window the other day, I made a realization — that I coach strong athletes in regions across the entire country. And, if they want it, these athletes will go down in local history. Motivation for this, to to attempt to rise above your peers, it does not come from me — but I find it, cultivate it, and inspire. We make strength. We make confidence. Every day, this happens. We breed courage. WE MAKE LEGEND. Today, right now, in this very moment, it’s awesome, this responsibility and potential — right now, right here, you can be whatever you want.

I am excited for 2015. Just how first discovering the bicycle is full catharsis – I feel the same way about coaching endurance athletes. with no dedication to racing, I will now be able to travel with athletes, train with athletes more, support them at racing, be an even more positive and dimensional force in their lives… I am so excited — I feel like I have something awesome for you… and I can’t wait to show you… 2015 is going to be very different… but a nice different….

Step #1 over here in my notebook is “GLADIATOR SCHOOL,” which is a team effort in how we can get Stacey Barbossa to THE top step of the podium at CX Natls. She’s been 3rd twice, she was winning MTB Nats last year and she flatted, she was 1st this year and crashed out, fought for 3rd… Some tough luck… but also make our own luck…

This year, want further immersion, for her, for me… Already planning to take her out with a Cat-1 CX rider, bookending her on the tight Six Mile Run singletrack on our CX bikes, and giving her hell — bumping her, rushing her, blocking her, attacking her, block-passing her, rubbing her.

In time, our chaos, what will break the average rider, she will be able to control it… and thrive in it. She is going to elevate…

I am sifting through previous peak weeks to see what we did to have her at her 2 best-ever performances, while also rooting through her previous calendars to see WHAT training seemed to have her performing her best on fast ‘cross courses, which is what Austin may be… Nothing is set in stone — the bubbles in this here bike laboratory have much percolating to do…

BUT THE SUPERIOR PROGRAM IS THERE — we just have to sift through the sand long enough to feel the correct shape…

We are already planning the trip to CX Nat’ls — I coach a rider in Texas who lives near the 2015 race venue, is helping with lodging… Already planning where to shop for food, exactly what she’ll be eating the week leading up to the event, what roads and CX compounds we’ll be using, what drills I can specifically run her through in person, to maximize our time, etc. Just get all logistics debated over, then make micro-decisions, do everything 100% right to ensure there are zero issues. Many small things done right is what makes big things happen — many lose sight of that.

100% of my focus is on what’s going on with my athletes right now. In 2014, I wanted to go out with a bang on the bike, set a vicious standard, show athletes what can be done with dedication, discipline, desire, determination… and a bit of desperation. With ordinary talents and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable – I am a walking example of that… My athletes brought this out of me – we inspire each other.

In closing, we are going to the moon. I am holding the hand of some athletes… and in some cases, they hold my hand. Either way, as we finish up 2014 (with results piling in, Barbossa NEARLY outgunning Van Gilder at Fair Hill, Carbone extending his overall lead in the MAC Series!) and lurch into 2015, we are not building a rocketship here, we are building a space shuttle, and it is an exciting enterprise.

More to come. Talk soon.

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Kenneth Lundgren's Diary | Monday, November 10th, 2014 | | |