Six weeks ago, I heard that Carmichael Training Systems was going to sponsor Specialized/GROM and I had no idea what to expect. I ride road with some of my dad’s friends that use heart rate monitors as well as specific training programs, but I didn’t really know what to think.
We received our first instructions from Tristan Cowie. We were told to purchase heart rate monitors and send in what we had been doing for the last 2 months. I was fortunate, for my brother and I keep training logs; therefore we knew exactly what we had been doing. Then we were given our training peaks account. This was where we could communicate with the coaches as well as view our program. I was super excited to start the training. After several weeks of getting used to it, I could feel my body becoming accustomed to it. Personally what really helped me was that I had been doing A LOT of riding prior, including Cyclocross, BMX, and XC. The program has really established some routine and structure to my training. It is based on getting a really strong base/foundation during the winter months. It mainly consists of road rides, some gym work, and my favorite... Pump track sessions in my yard.
In late February, I was given the chance to go up to the CTS office in Ashville NC, not too far from my house. The head coach, Colin Izard, gave me the opportunity to do a lactate threshold test. I was super pumped to give it a go, and see how I could do. The day felt like a Race day for me personally, as there were some nerves involved. The test is on a stationary bike with a power meter. The watts increase roughly every three minutes, which form zones. The beginning was super easy, but things got serious really quickly. It felt just like one of the many Cyclocross races I had competed in, during the fall. My finger was pricked, and blood taken every zone, to test the amount of lactic acid in my blood. The purpose of this test was to see the highest level you can ride before you cross your lactate threshold. In other words, hurting really badly. The test took about 40 minutes and at the end I was cooked. Afterwards, I sat down with Colin and Tristan and they spent some time explaining things with me. They showed me what all the numbers meant, as well as the graph of the power meter. I was very happy with how I did, and how much I learned. I was very excited, and it made my day when I found out, that with some different training, XC racing would be right up my alley.
I’m super excited to be working with Carmichael Training Systems. I have already learned so much, and I know that with a lot of hard work, that this can lead me to great places. I want to thank everyone associated with Specialized/ Grom as well as Colin and Tristan at CTS for the opportunity.