Saturday, January 16, 2010
USA Cycling Coaching Certification at the Olympic Training Center
This weekend I'm in Colorado Springs, CO at the Olympic Training Center attending the USA Cycling Level 2 coaching clinic. The purpose for attending this clinic is to get a 'refresher course' on the physiology of endurance sports training, learn the latest techniques and developments in the world of 'Ex phys' and to share ideas with other coaches.
Upon arriving here at the OTC, you go through the gate and are greeted by the security guard, who points you to the Athlete Welcome center. There, you check-in and receive your credentials as well as submit your paperwork for being 'on campus'. This includes giving consent for drug testing, waivers, etc.
The OTC is an exciting place. Living on campus are National Team residents from several Olympic sports as well as visiting athletes from other countries training at the center. Walking around campus and in the cafeteria, you see athletes and coaches milling around and preparing for the next bout of training that day. It's interesting to see the athletes, mostly younger 'Olympic hopefuls' and knowing the incredible talent they have and commitment and sacrifice they've made to be at this level. Inspiring.
Day one included roughly 8 hours of lectures, focused primarily on nutrition for performance, team tactics and metabolism. Today we dive in to more detail regarding metabolism and muscle cell composition as well as training methodology.
Over the past 18 years, I've conducted and presented on similar topics at literally dozens of camps and workshops, in addition to bringing in other speakers to present on their area of expertise. No matter how many lectures I attend, either as a presenter or as a student, I always tend to learn something new and interesting. While the 'fundamentals' of exercise science remain the same, there are always different perspectives and ways to 'skin the cat', so to speak. Our speaker yesterday, a PhD, professor and frequent contributor to USA Cycling and other National Governing Bodies, said point blank that there are many ways when it comes to training, to arrive at the same result.
One thing remains certain though... and that is, you've gotta do the work! Success for the endurance athlete hinges on aerobic energy system development and building the 'infrastructure' to use oxygen more effectively. This, plus greater 'efficiency of movement' (i.e. not wasting energy) are just two important factors that make a difference.
With that said, I'm now off to hit the treadmill for an hour of aerobic intensity running, and maybe the lifecycle for a few short and hard intervals to stimulate and maintain my cycling 'legs' prior to the classroom instruction. I hope you have a strong day of training and I'll be sure to let you know of any 'new developments' I learn in the world of cycling performance.
- Coach Troy