The New Year is off to a busy start and it’s already time for our first installment of BWC Business News. How time flies!
At the end of each month we dedicate one issue of our newsletter to highlighting the events and business happenings of Big Wheel Coaching over the last 30-days.
Why? Because, good coaching is about far more than building great training plans!
The events and projects we do allow us to work more closely with our Coached Athletes and share our passion for coaching with the whole cycling community.
And we want to share that with you too!
Read-on to learn more about the events and projects we tackled in January. Enjoy!
TrainingPeaks and USA Cycling have partnered to offer coaches an incredible Continuing Education experience...and Coach Joy is there to teach! Photo Credit: TrainingPeaks
Coach Joy Joins Industry Leaders To Teach The Next Generation Of Coaches
TrainingPeaks has proven itself an industry leader by helping Endurance Athletes, of all levels, catalog their training activities in order to better achieve their goals.
Having recently partnered with USA Cycling, the National Governing Body of the sport, the two organizations have blended their respective Continuing Education offerings to create one incredible event with the goal of developing the next generation of Endurance Sport Coaches.
What’s more, Coach Joy has been selected to teach and lead “on the bike” skills as well as various lectures detailing the “Business of Coaching” at each event throughout the year.
Additionally, we are excited to share that the partnership of T.P. and USAC sees Coach Joy presenting alongside some of the most respected minds in Endurance Coaching, such as, Joe Friel and Derick Williamson (Author of The Cyclists Training Bible and Owner of Durata Training, respectively).
Be sure to check out our social media updates for more information and take-aways from Coach Joy’s time with T.P. & USAC!
We can't think of a better way to enhance our #MondayMotivation than coupling each weeks wisdom with a photo of one of our hard-working Athletes! Photo Credit: Picquery.com
The BWC #MondayMotivation Takes On A Bold New Look!
Back in 2016 Coach Brian suffered a serious setback in his racing, a severely broken hip-socket left him couch-bound (non-weight bearing) for 12-weeks.
Returning to professional-level racing and fitness was in doubt, even from the most aggressive doctors.
During that time he was forced to find messages that kept him motivated and started a ritual of sharing inspirational quotes to help his network of friends and Athletes stay motivated via social media. He hoped to inspire them to overcome each challenge they would face during the week.
Flash forward to 2018 and the #MondayMotivation has become a weekly habit at Big Wheel Coaching!
The goal, every Monday, is to offer wisdom and perspective that will help our network of Athletes and supporters become their very best.
Besides the quotes and subsequent wisdom, what we are most excited about is the addition of BWC Athletes as the images that accompany each weeks #MondayMotivation.
We are incredibly proud of our Athletes as they are always working-hard and giving their best, making them a source of inspiration to all those around them!
What’s more, they do so while balancing all their busy lives throw at them. So it only makes sense that their example should be the image for each weeks #MondayMotivation!
We hope you will find our #MondayMotivation a great way to start your week and help you tackle all that a busy week can throw at you!
#MondayMotivation comes to you each week via Instagram and Facebook.
CBS Cycling hosted BWC as a part of the annual 4-Days To Fitness training camp. The focus was helping every attendee make 2018 their most successful year yet! Photo Credit: Neil Shirley
CBS Cycling Host BWC For A Coaching Seminar At 4-Days To Fitness
For the third year in succession, CBS Cycling hosted Big Wheel Coaching and 4-Days To Fitness attendees for a coaching presentation centered around helping each Athlete take their riding to the next level.
We are excited to report that each year this event has grown, and this year was the biggest yet!
CBS Cycling Bike offered an intimate setting that allowed us to work directly with attendees, offering them individualized strategies that will help them maximize their training as they work toward their 2018 goals.
Note: In case you missed it, last week we did an “Event Profile” on 4-Days To Fitness that shared our perspective on what makes it such a great event.
Check it out here: https://www.bigwheelcoaching.com/training-articles/where-fitness-friendship-come-together-the-2017-4-days-to-fitness-training-camp
We hope that you have enjoyed reading this edition of BWC Business News as much as we have enjoyed putting it together.
With 2018 just getting going, we can only share our excitement about all the projects and events on the horizon!
Please stay-tuned to our various social media outlets for information on what events and projects are coming in 2018 and know that we look forward to seeing you there!
Until Next Time, Be Safe, Train Hard, And Have Fun!
Brian & Joy McCulloch
Big Wheel Coaching
The backbone of every bike riders “best-season” can nearly always be traced to their off-season preparation.
For cyclists looking to develop their fitness, the off-season will undoubtedly include a healthy dose of “base-miles”, i.e. sub-threshold riding at a steady-pace and even power output.
Because of this there are plenty of off-season training camps, in which road cyclists can feed their need for sub-threshold work, while avoiding the inevitable boredom and burnout that comes with endless solo-miles.
One ‘camp’ that has developed a reputation for combining solid training with great community is the annual 4-Days To Fitness in Santa Clarita, CA.
Having attended every edition of this training camp, we thought it best to chronicle what makes it a ‘must do’ for so many SoCal bike riders in this edition of the BWC Event Profile. Enjoy!
The peloton of riders was massive for each day of this years' 4-Days To Fitness. Photo Credit: Austin Cooper
When: Annually, The Event Coincides With The New Years Holiday
Where: Santa Clarita, CA.
The Riding: Four consecutive days of endurance/tempo-paced rides, with various re-grouping points and long/short route options, plus a few hard-efforts sprinkled along the route to keep things interesting.
For More Information: https://www.facebook.com/events/120514458643111/
Now that you know the essentials of the event, let's answer three questions commonly asked about 4-Days To Fitness:
4-Days To Fitness is a series of 'unsupported' rides, but there always seems to generous volunteers that make the time to look after this weary bunch of bike riders! Photo Credit: Austin Cooper
#1- What Makes 4-Days To Fitness Special?
Admittedly we are biased, but the growing number of participants, each year, shows that we are not the only ones that think 4-Days To Fitness is a great event.
The first and most important thing that makes a training camp good is the ride routes, and 4-Days To Fitness does not disappoint!
With a great blend of open-roads, steady climbs, and even some mixed-terrain, there is plenty of variety to help keep the miles ticking-by for even the most seasoned-rider.
But a second and almost equally important component of a good training camp is the people you will train with. At 4-Days To Fitness, there is a wide variety of abilities, but the common thread is a love for cycling and an excitement for what the New Year will bring!
This combination of great training and passionate cyclists makes for a unique event that sees riders of all levels returning year after year to enjoy 4-Days To Fitness.
There is no shortage of quiet roads with beautiful views in the mountains around Santa Clarita. Riders at 4-Days To Fitness are treated to plenty of both. Photo Credit: Austin Cooper
4-Days In A Row Sounds Rough, Why So Much Volume?
Going back to our opening statement, cycling is a sport that rewards Athletes that “put in the time”. That is to say that, generally speaking, more miles means more fitness.
As Coaches, we know there is a limit and there should be an asterisk to that adage notating quality versus quantity, but everyone can agree, that a 4-day training block, when recovered from, will offer a significant boost in fitness.
What’s more, learning to dose efforts wisely, developing an ability to push beyond fatigue, and honing day-to-day recovery, as well as understanding the hydration and nutrition requirements that come along with training 4-days consecutively is knowledge that every cyclist can benefit from.
Although the majority of the rides feature a steady-pace, there are a few 'throw-down' portions where riders can go hard and test their fitness. The healthy competition always brings out the best in the group! Photo Credit: Byron Davis
Which Day Is, ‘The Best’?
We are partial to each day, for different reasons, so we can’t choose a favorite, but we will say this:
The first day is nearly always the biggest, rolling-out of the start with 150-riders in tow makes for a sight to behold!
The routes on days 2 & 3 are pretty awesome, with day-3 having a whole lot of sustained climbing to maximize the training benefit.
With that said, day-4 is something altogether special as weary riders, having completed each of the previous days, head-out on what is essentially a reverse route of day-1, with some extra-credit.
That is generally when riders in the peloton begin to realize that they have developed a special bond and familiarity with those around them. It's a unique camaraderie that only 4-days of tough bike riding can forge!
So maybe that makes day-4 our favorite…
Riding multiple hours in close-proximity makes it easy to build a special bond wit the rider next to you. This notion ensures the peloton of 4-Days To Fitness will keep growing! Photo Credit: Austin Cooper
We hope you have enjoyed reading about the annual 4-Days To Fitness training camp and that it has sparked your interest to possibly attend next year!
For those newsletter readers in SoCal, we highly recommend attending at least one-day, but hopefully the entire camp!
With each ride being free, as in zero cost, plus the benefit of riding with a peloton full of cycling friends, these rides are sure to be some of the best you do all year.
Until Next Time, Be Safe, Train Hard, And Have Fun!
-Brian & Joy McCulloch
Big Wheel Coaching
Cyclocross in Southern California may lack the torrential weather that traditional ‘cross events are known for, but SoCal ‘cross riders more than make up for the lack of inclement weather with blazing-fast lap-times and incredible handling skills.
For Van Geslani ‘cross is an annual pilgrimage and one of his favorite forms of competition.
Besides racing as often as he can, Van’s ‘cross-fever sees him regularly organizing local practice sessions to help new and experienced riders develop their skills.
Having recently won the SoCal Prestige Series overall title in the 35+B Category, along with five races along the way, 2017 was Van’s most successful season yet.
Following his win in the final race of the series, which was a dramatic two-up sprint against the only other rider that could beat him for the championship, we asked this humble competitor to be the subject of the latest edition of the BWC Athlete Profile.
With that said, we’ll let him elaborate on what made this season memorable, enjoy!
Van is at home on the dirt and on the road, but his passion is racing cyclocross! Photo Credit: PB Creative/Phil Beckman
Primary Sport/Discipline: Cyclocross, Road, Gravel
Average Hours of Training Per Week: 7-9hrs
Upcoming Goals: Cyclocross National Championships
Question #1: Congratulations on winning the overall title at this years SoCal ‘Cross Prestige Series, Van! To win the series, you had to race hard all the way to the final round, every position counted. How did you earn the title?
Van Geslani: Thanks!
From the very beginning of the cyclocross season, one of my goals was to aim for a good placing in the overall series. This was the first season I could race 35+ Masters, so I chose to focus on the 35+B category.
The overall standings were based on your best 8-finishes plus the final race. Looking at my schedule for work I saw I could squeeze in exactly 8 races, plus the final event.
This made every race important since I basically had no “throw-away" races. Whenever I would encounter adversity, I had to remind myself that every finish counted.
The very first race I crashed hard, hurting my wrist and twisting my handlebars. I had to remind myself that I still needed to get points to achieve my goal, so I pressed-on to finish sore and with crooked handlebars!
Going into the final race of the series, there was a 1-point difference between me and my closest competitor, Joey Lanza.
Whoever finished ahead of the other would take the overall. It was tense!
That last race was so mentally tough because both of us really wanted to win and were trying to finish ahead of the other. Because of the added pressure, each of us were making mistakes during the race and it was “full-gas” the entire time.
The race came down to a sprint between the two of us… I won by less than a bike length. I was so stoked to take the race win as well as the overall series-title on the very last day!
Coaches Perspective/Coach Joy: Having coached Van for many years, I always look forward to talking with him at the start of each season about his goals. It’s a time when we set-out specific and attainable targets for the year.
Van has a busy-life as a doctor and father of 3 young boys, so mapping-out the season in advance has always been key.
Along the way, after each race, we reassess his performance and off-the-bike stressors in case we need to make adjustments.
Coming into the final races of the SoCal Prestige Series, the excitement was palpable as the riders racing for top honors in 35+B were not only tough opponents, but local athletes and friends.
Van did a great job, every race, of assessing the competition and being strategic about where he would place his efforts so he could finish as high as possible in each event.
He is a seasoned road and criterium racer with a knack for winning finishes, which created confidence every time he was “going to the line” during the CX season.
Needless to say, I am very proud of his success, he has earned every bit of it!
The final podium from the SoCal Prestige Series 35+ B Category was chock-full of great riders and Van was happy to be in the middle! Photo Credit: Van Geslani
Question #2: Besides the overall, you won five-rounds of the series, an excellent accomplishment. What was the most memorable part of your 2017 ‘Cross campaign?
VG: Here in Southern California, each race venue is a little bit different.
One of the most enjoyable and iconic venues is the course at Griffith Park, next to the Greek Theatre. Ironically, it's also one of the most physically demanding as it has more elevation-gain 'per lap' than any race we do.
In year's past, my best finish at Griffith Park was 8th.
This year, I told myself to start a little bit more conservatively (easier said than done when you just want to charge off the line!), so that I could ride my own pace.
Off the start I was happy to be in the lead group, but after the first lap I had to drop the pace a little bit and ride my own tempo.
I am happy to report that by sticking to my plan I was able to maintain a steady-pace and eventually caught the leaders, passed them, and won at Griffith Park!
I never thought I could pull-off that type of result on a climb-heavy course.
Coach Joy: Van’s win at Griffith Park was very exciting, even for me at home!
We talked about the course the week before and he was "on the fence” about racing, due to his performance in years’ past.
I stated that, "since last year he had not only honed his race-fitness, but fine-tuned his mental-prowess under pressure." I was certain that it could be a great opportunity for Van to test his tactics.
And just like that, he won the race!
Van’s result highlights an important lesson I like to teach my Athletes, you can never count yourself “out” of a race or event, even when the course does not “suit” you.
Van lined-up at Griffith with the mindset to earn the best result possible, regardless of the abundant climbing…And that turned into a win!
Van started his 'cross season early at 'CrossVegas, a hotly contested and extremely competitive event! Photo Credit: PB Creative/Phil Beckman
Question #3: What is one of your long-term cycling goals? And what is next on your cycling ‘to do’ list?
VG: I really enjoy a wide variety of cycling disciplines.
I enjoy criterium racing, mountain biking, and of course, cyclocross.
One of my long term goals is to continue finding fun and freshness in cycling.
I would love to do some events that get me outside my comfort zone. Events like the BC Bike Race (MTB) or Haute Route (road) are so different from what I normally do that I would love to give them a shot.
After winning the 35+ B category, next CX season I will be racing the 35+ A category. That will be a “step-up” in competition and a good challenge, so I am excited to see if I can find success in that category.
In the immediate future, the cyclocross season is not quite over yet. I'll be heading to Reno in January to compete in USA Cycling CX Nationals.
I'll be racing the 35-39 Master's Nationals race, which is arguably the most competitive field out there.
Thus, my goals for Nationals are to have fun, learn, hone my race craft, and try and finish on the same lap as the leaders!
Coach Joy: Van’s championship race is Thursday January 11th and I hope he has a great experience!
He is a sponge for knowledge, skills and tactics, so I know he will take a lot from this championship caliber event.
Looking to the rest of 2018, there are many options for him. He has had success at the Belgian Waffle Ride (138-miles) and then been on the podium at the Dana Point Grand Prix Criterium one-week later, so you can see he really does excel in all cycling disciplines!
Van is always pushing to be his best, on the bike and off, so that he can race as hard as possible at the races. Photo Credit: Karen Ott.
Question #4: Describe your favorite workout in your training program, also, please share a ‘knowledge-bomb’ you have learned while training with Big Wheel Coaching.
VG: Honestly, I really enjoy the days when the workout scheduled just says "Exploration Ride!"
Lots of my workouts are on the trainer, so when I have the time and the space in the training plan to go for a long ride outdoors, it's literally (and figuratively) a breath of fresh air for me!
In terms of a "knowledge-bomb," I've really started to see how "on-the-bike" fitness is only one part of overall success.
Talking with Coach Joy helped me think about three other aspects of my performance that are just as important as my fitness.
The first category sounds obvious but it's making sure your gear and equipment remain in good working order.
You don't need the latest, most expensive, or lightest stuff, but you do need to make sure what you have is working well!
The day of the final race in the SoCal Prestige Series, I noticed that my rear tire had several cuts in the tread and that some of the tread was delaminating from the casing.
I didn't think twice about swapping-out my light-weight race wheel with a heavier training wheel.
Being attentive to my equipment got me to the finish without any mechanical problems!
The next category of importance is "off-the-bike" fitness.
As I've gotten older, I started to notice more aches, pains, and body soreness. I realized that if cycling is the ONLY thing I do, I'm going to start developing muscles imbalances and overuse injuries.
Doing weight-training, core work, stretching, and foam-rolling are important. All these things aren't as fun as riding but I've found them to be necessary.
And finally, the third thing I've found to be just as important as on-the-bike fitness is to be strong mentally.
Your brain is probably the most important organ in your body for athletic performance.
When you are tired in a race, or when everyone else looks “fitter” then you, or you are swamped at work and can't train like you want, how you talk to yourself and how you tackle those challenges is just as important as doing intervals.
With that in mind, I started listening to podcasts like "The Consummate Athlete Podcast" and reading books like "The Brave Athlete" by Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson.
These things helped keep my mind sharp and prepared me to handle the challenges that come with competition.
Coach Joy: Van can teach us a lot about embracing every aspect of being a cyclist!
With his demanding work schedule, he is diligent about practicing his off-the-bike skills while keeping himself in a positive mental space. This ensures that when he gets back to training, he is mentally sharp!
He spends many hours on the trainer with focused workouts, so I like to “unleash” him, so to speak, when he gets a chance to pedal outside in the daylight.
We have been working together since 2010 and have a high-level of trust and respect for each other. So, I always have confidence that Van will make the best decision for his training on those days when adversity strikes.
And sometimes that means spending time with his boys on their strider bikes at the park!
This well-rounded approach keeps him getting better and making gains every season. That’s something we can all learn from!
For Van, a day at the races is family affair! Here he is "racing" with his son on a rainy day at the Anza CX race. Photo Credit: Karen Ott
We hope you have enjoyed reading about Van Geslani’s cyclocross success as much as we have enjoyed sharing it!
Although Van has limited time for training, both he and Coach Joy have left “no stone unturned” to ensure he has the confidence he is as prepared as possible, every time he lines-up to race.
This highlights our highest objective at Big Wheel Coaching, to do everything in our power to help our Athletes’ achieve their very best.
It's a job we take very seriously, and enjoy very much!
Until Next Time, Be Safe, Train Hard, & Have Fun!
-Brian & Joy McCulloch
Big Wheel Coaching
The New Year is just beginning and we hope this article finds you excited about all that 2018 has in store for you!
For most people, New Years' is the time to make resolutions, but for Athletes, it is something more. The dawn of a new year offers a special opportunity to go further than making resolutions, by crafting a plan to achieve our very best.
At Big Wheel Coaching we encourage our Athletes to do more than set goals. We want them to make milestone objectives and other process-related targets in addition to evaluating their own strengths & weaknesses in a process we call "Athlete SWOT".
For those unfamiliar, SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It is a common process that business-leaders perform regularly to ensure they are on the cutting-edge of their industry.
For Athletes, this process is also extremely helpful as it helps us better understand ourselves and identify our individual path to achieve success.
Performing your very own Athlete SWOT is sure to help you achieve heights you never thought possible! Photo Credit: Cotton Sox Photography
Strengths: What Do You Do Well?
For an Athlete, it is imperative that the word “strengths” be thought of as more than just physical prowess or fitness.
Certainly, it is important to be as physically strong and capable as possible, after-all top-level conditioning is a pre-requisite to athletic success.
But with said, many of our true strengths reside in our non-physical attributes, such as our resiliency, support network, or even the climate or region in which we train.
Ask Yourself These Questions:
#1: What are my strengths, both physical and non-physical that will help me achieve my goals?
#2: How can I further enhance or improve my current strengths?
Weaknesses: Not Weaknesses, Just Undeveloped Strengths!
The idea of a weakness doesn’t sit well with us at Big Wheel Coaching.
The word itself implies a "state of being" and discourages growth. Yet as humans it is in our nature to grow, develop, change, learn, and improve.
Thus, your current weaknesses should be viewed as undeveloped-strengths!
With some time, attention, and focus, there is a great chance that these so-called “weaknesses” can become a source of great strength.
Ask Yourself These Questions:
#1: What are my undeveloped-strengths and how might they impact my ability to achieve my goal(s)?
#2: How can I develop my “weaknesses” into a source of strength or minimize their impact on my ability to be successful?
One non-physical strength that some cyclists enjoy is being a member of a great team! Photo Credit: Brian McCulloch
Opportunities: What Situations Enhance Your Chances For Success?
One of the foremost synonyms for the word “opportunity” is “possibility”. With opportunity we create the possibility to achieve our highest potential.
As an Athlete, opportunities come in many forms, training with someone more experienced than us, attending preparation-type events to test our fitness and progress, or simply adding another workout or hour of training to our weekly routine.
Ask Yourself These Questions:
#1: What opportunities or resources exist to help me achieve my goals?
#2: How can I maximize these scenarios to ensure I am as prepared as possible for my goal-event?
Threats: Adversity Is A Given When Pushing Our Limits
In the cut-throat world of global business, threats come in the form of competitors that may have better products or services that would cause a business to become obsolete.
As Athletes, the risks aren’t quite as high as in the business world, but the notion that confronting adversity, and how we work through these challenges, absolutely threatens our ability to be successful.
With that said, we encourage Athletes to consider what adversity they might face, and how best to overcome it before the situation arises.
Although you will not be able to anticipate every bit of adversity on your journey toward success, chances are you have a good idea of the major pitfalls and setbacks you might face.
Ask Yourself These Questions:
#1: In the past, what adversity has confronted me, stunted growth, and otherwise impeded my progress toward achieving my goals?
#2: Of the items listed from question #1, what can be done to avoid or prepare me to overcome these scenarios and situations?
The Athlete SWOT process can also help you craft event strategies and tactics as you will intimately know your own strengths and weaknesses! Photo Credit: Danny Munson, DMunsonPhoto.com
We hope that this introduction to our Athlete SWOT concept has proven helpful and motivated you to take your 2018 New Years’ Resolutions a step further!
We leave you with two quotes regarding success:
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. -Colin Powell
“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” -Vince Lombardi
No matter what your goals or resolutions, something has driven you to make these dreams become a reality.
So as Mr. Lombardi & Mr. Powell suggest, the recipe for success is not all that complex.
And the best part is that his simple formula can be mastered by every one of us!
Big Wheel Coaching would like to wish all of our Athletes, newsletter readers, and fans a wildly successful 2018!
Until Next Time, Be Safe, Train Hard, & Have Fun!
-Brian and Joy McCulloch
Big Wheel Coaching
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