Startline Coaching

2020 has been a challenging year for endurance athletes, leaving athletes with big questions like what next? and should I even bother? All of the race uncertainty has left many athletes feeling that they don’t want to invest in training if the race turns out not to happen. This can lead to frustration, burn out, and possibly throwing in the towel and de-training altogether.

At Startline Coaching, our recommendation is to think of the summer of 2020 as a unique opportunity to put some space in your life to:

A) Focus on family, new adventures, work, or other passions, but do so in a way where you maintain a productive level of fitness, strength, & mobility so that you can return to training in the fall healthy & motivated. For those you who fall into this bucket, Startline Coaching is offering a brand new ‘strengthen my base’ group training program that will keep you strong & robust while giving you time & flexibility to pursue other areas of interest.

B) Focus on a specific performance limiter. Rarely are we given the gift of time to make concrete progress on a key weakness in a truly dedicated way. The summer of 2020 is a rare opportunity to accelerate your athletic progress in a key discipline, such as biking or running, without the pressure of needing to prepare for a race. For those of you who are in this bucket, Startline Coaching offers individualized custom coaching programs to support you throughout the summer.

Whatever you choose to do, just keep moving! It’s great for the body – and for the spirit, too.

Coach Peter.

Looking for a breakthrough on the bike? Looking to get away from the northern winter? Come to southern Spain this coming Feb-March. The views are breathtaking, rides are challenging, food is outstanding, and camaraderie will leave you with memories and friends for a lifetime. Last year, I had the pleasure of joining 4 Startline Coaching athletes at Strong Like Bull. We were all blown away by the experience.

Operating for over 14 years, Strong Like Bull camps give cyclists the ultimate multi-day tour experience.

The team of John Hirsch & Sean Langford bring you to the peaks of Pico de Veleta (Sierra Nevada) and El Torcal de Antequerra (Sierra del Torcal) among many others.

Every ride is a guided non drop ride with multiple pace groups. No ride is repeated and every ride brings with it substantial climbing and 60-70 miles of riding. A SAG wagon supports every ride should you feel you need to take a break but the views and riding variety have a way of just pushing you on.

Kerstin Barr of Soulshine Kitchen provides delicious food that caters to the dietary and fueling needs of all campers.

Campers stay in a farm house together with many bedrooms, and space to spread out. Campers can expect to share rooms with another camper. The farmhouse also has a lovely pool that is wonderfully therapeutic after a day in the saddle.

Larry Rosa of Larry Rosa photography captures every athlete at their absolute best, and drives the SAG wagon.

Triathletes looking to get in a run or two or a swim will be able to do so as well. The local pool (Piscina Cubierta) is a wonderful facility 8 * 25 m facility. Catch a swim in the morning before heading out on the bike or take a run right out of the door of the farmhouse.

To cap it all off, each camp includes a one day trip to a historical site. Last year’s camps visited world heritage sites, the Alhambra Granada and the Mezquita Cordoba, plus a day in town to shop, see the sites and enjoy a night on the town together.

In sum, Strong Like Bull camps are shouldn’t be missed experience for any cyclist. Come away transformed.

Coach Peter

Photo Credit: Larry Rosa photography

The weather is starting to turn frigid and Thanksgiving it is going be well below freezing for Turkey Trots in much of the northern latitudes of the US.

There is nothing more exhilarating than being outside in the cold, feeling the clear air and bright sun on your cheeks all while feeling toasty warm in your outfit. The key is of course how to stay toasty warm.

Here are some basic guidelines for exercising in the cold:

  1. Head – Much of your body heat is lost through the head, so a quick way to minimize the loss is through a head protection – Hat or balaclava on very cold days. If you are working hard & over heating, the quickest way to vent that heat is to rip off your hat & stuff it in your pocket. Bring a dry second hat for after workout so as you cool down, you can put it on and stay warm.
  2. Hands – Gloves always – As you cool, blood is drawn away from the periphery to warm the core. Your hands are quite sensitive to cooling, and don’t retain heat well. On very cold days with high wind, the risk of frost nip is high. Keep them covered even if you are shedding layers elsewhere. On the bike, gloves must be wind-proof.
  3. Base layers – A high quality base layer that is snug against the core of the body is essential. Never use cotton. There are many technical long sleeve garments for the cold, but basic camping long underwear tops are cheaper and quite serviceable for running as well. Still have & still use them after all these years.
  4. Tights – For the run, mid weight & for the bike windproof and heavier weight.
  5. Mid layer – Personally, I am a fan of fleece vests. They allow venting from the pits while focusing on retaining heat near the core. Keep the core warm and blood to the periphery. Unless you are running hard, I would wear a mid layer always even if it feels a bit hot. Too hot is uncomfortable. Too cold is miserable.
  6. Outerwear – Priority #1 is something windproof. From there, there are two considerations: 1) Outerwear for the run must allow substantial venting; and 2) Outerwear for the bike is best when it traps the heat more effectively.
  7. Shoes: It goes without saying running shoes are what you need to run. Your choice is based upon terrain and type of runner you are. For the bike, good quality fully windproof booties to cover your bike shoes will deliver good service until the temperatures drop below freezing. When it gets really cold, I wear a full cycling boot.
Coach Peter’s winter run kit
  • Castelli Skull Cap and/or Sugoi balaclava and/or Running Buff
  • Craft Base Layer or SwartWool base layer or REI camping base layer
  • Generic Fleece vest
  • Pearl Izumi – running jacket with detachable arms
  • Sugoi Midzero running tights
  • Coach Peter’s winter cycling kit
Coach Peter’s winter cycling kit
  • Castelli Skull Cap and/or Sugoi balaclava and/or Running Buff
  • Craft Base Layer or SwartWool base layer or REI camping base layer
  • Castelli Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey (Optional)
  • Castelli Pro Cycling Jacket
  • Showers Pass Crosspoint Wind Glove (late fall)
  • Pearl Izumi PRO AmFib lobster glove (winter)
  • Pearl Izumi Amfib Cycling Tights
  • Castelli Bib Shorts
  • Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Barrier WxB MTB Shoe Cover (late fall)
  • Lake MXZ 303 Winter Boot (winter)

Comment back with any suggestions you might have on fall/winter gear. Would love to hear your suggestions.

Keep running & riding. Go to spectacular places! Be like this Startline athlete and go above the snow line.

Photo Credit: Larry Rosa photographyStrong like bull camp 2018

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