"I've been racing for over a decade, am primarily a masters racer but also compete in elite events. Over the years I’ve worked with other great coaches, self-coached, and was noticing that something in my training practices wasn’t quite right. I struggled balancing the requirements of training and racing with the requirements of work, having a family with two young children, and never felt like I was on my “best” day when I pinned on the race numbers. I signed on to work with Otterhaus in November of 2013, and have achieved fantastic results through Coach George’s strategies, which emphasized “consistency as king” for achieving goals.
Under George’s guidance, we had a detailed planning session, where we discussed past training habits, my constraints, season objectives, and a race schedule. This may seem like a minor exercise, but it really laid the foundation for what I wanted to achieve, and built the framework for how we were going to get there. George emphasized consistency rather than “opportunistic” training, diet consistency, and avoided big swings in training volumes or intensities. Rather than my typical focus on absolute numbers for measuring acute training load/chronic training load (ATL/CTL), George emphasized the slope of the CTL build. Rather than my typical frantically obsessive approach of “all threshold all the time have to achieve X hours per week” during base building, George emphasized endurance based work and core strength, while folding in threshold development. I found that at the end of winter, not only had I not caught my usual cold per week, I hadn’t gotten sick once. I missed no training time due to the cold and flu season, and despite my skepticism on “not enough threshold” all my performance testing was better than when I was doing it on my own!
Once the season started, we hit an area I’ve always struggled with self-coaching, which is managing recovery between races while still improving fitness. Like many athletes, I focused too much on the overload side of the fitness equation, and not enough on recovery, which usually left me feeling “just OK” on race day. George flipped my training habits around. Again, despite my skepticism, I continued to build form throughout the season, felt fresh on race days, and hit many all-time best power numbers during August!
I have a tendency to be an impulsive and reactive racer. George assisted me strategically with taking better plans to races, reading races more effectively, and putting myself in better position to maximize my skill set. I learned a tremendous amount from George during our post workout or post-race wrap up discussions. Results wise, I had some “that’s racing” stuff happen during the year, but stood on the podium three times, took home a silver medal in our district age graded criterium, finished top 15 in the elite field at the Poolesville road race (a big regional target), made the break at several other races, won a time trial, and put out my best time ever at the district time trial championship.
Grabbing a few bites of success during 2014 has made me hungry for some bigger bites in 2015, and I look forward to working with Otterhaus and George to keep me on the course for a great year!"