I thought it might be interesting to have a little insight look to my work as a cycling coach in 2008.
This season I have significantly reduced the number of riders I plan training for. Thus, I have only two riders that receive training plans in 2008. These two riders are very talented and focused on optimizing their training with power meters, so I still spend quite a lot of time coaching. The most important reason I have reduced the number of athletes is time. In July 2007, I became a dad for the first time, and in January 2008, I finally graduated as a medical doctor at the University of Aarhus.
Becoming dad was the most fantastic experience ever and made every day even better. Thus, I have naturally given the highest priority to my little daughter, Lea. Finishing my studies at the university also took a lot of time, and starting my first job as a medical doctor was also quite time-consuming. These two factors made me conclude that I had to reduce the number of athletes if I shouldn’t reduce my quality.
I will only be coaching two riders this year, as I mentioned previously.
U23 rider makes progress with SRM power meter
The first rider is Jakob Bering, who is riding his second season as a U23 rider. He rides for a continental team called Team Designa Køkken. I have been coaching him for more than six years. Last season, he won a silver medal at the national championships for U23 and played a central role in Denmark’s team victory in Tour de l’Avenir (Tour de France for U23). He is a climber and is currently training very hard to peak his performance in a stage race in April. Hopefully, he will be representing Denmark in the U23 World Championships later this year.
Jakob uses an SRM power meter in all intervals, and until now, I have been delighted with the numbers I receive in my inbox. He is more robust than last year and compared to the previous season. We’ve known the dates for peak performance in months. There is a massive difference from planning a peak performance in two months instead of just two weeks (or less..!). Now he is a more integrated part of the national team, which gives me a better possibility of planning his training and tapering than last year, where every little stage race was like having an exam. When I plan a tapering protocol for a specific race, I usually start at the peaking moment and work backwards. For example, if I have 14 days, I begin with the day before the big event, then the day before that one, and until I reach day 1 in the program.
Tapering protocol is a corner stone
Thus, my programs are often identical in the final period because the tapering protocol is a cornerstone in all my training programs. Though these tapering protocols look similar, they might be adjusted to specific requirements in the upcoming event.
Junior rider focusing on climbing
My other rider is Rasmus Malmkjær, who is a talented junior rider. He rides on a powerful junior team, probably the strongest junior team in Europe (Team Festina Hobro). His speciality is climbing steep climbs, so I hope he will make some good results in some international junior races in southern Europe this year. He uses a Polar CS600 to optimize his results. Climbing is his number one skill, but he will still be a strong rider on home ground in Denmark, though he will be not strong enough to compete with the best riders on windy, flat roads. My biggest challenge is to make him produce as many watts as possible compared to body weight, making him an even better climber. We won’t focus much on flat races because that will never be his speciality.
Challenging jobs as cycling coach in 2008
Thus, this year, I have some challenging and exciting tasks even though I have significantly fewer riders. I have received several emails asking why I’m not posting so often, and I hope that this post explains why. In addition, since July 2008, I have re-published some articles that deserved some additional attention. I hope that all readers understand and in some way respect this decision.
What coaching jobs I will do in 2009 is still uncertain.
If you have any questions or comments on my plans for 2008, feel free to post a comment.