Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Source Endurance Clinic

The first track clinic of the year was the Endurance Clinic with Stefan Rothe of Source Endurance. April 5th brought 18 riders to the Superdrome for a four hour session concerning tactics and training for endurance races at the Superdrome. Mercy teammate Mat Stephens assisted Stefan throughout the day and brought an excellent dimension to the clinic with real life examples and detailed explanations that complimented Stefan’s own accurate coaching.

After starting the day with a brief classroom session we took to the track for a long warm up. Pace lining the Superdrome with 18 people of varying skill levels is quite difficult, but the exercise taught us to pace ourselves, keep the line together and pay extra attention to those around us. From there we split the sessions into two groups to keep things more enjoyable and certainly to learn more by watching others mock race. Throughout the day I was able to gain insights regarding gear selection, proper training and goal setting for both training and racing. In particular, I learned that my impression of good track gearing was well off the mark and that I desperately need to achieve much better leg speed, or cadence, if I want to remain competitive and still have the legs to last an entire race.

To end the session Stefan and Mat took the track along with Chris and Aaron for a demonstration of The Madison. Having now seen the event for the first time in person I came away with a renewed respect for not only riders of this amazing event, but also of the tactics and exceptional timing each teammate must have to successfully compete in such an event.

All in all the Endurance Clinic provided an excellent opportunity to discuss training and racing tactics with an established track racer and professional coach. While the clinic did not reveal any dark secrets it did shed light on a number of key facets of the sport, opening my own eyes to my next set of goals while training for track racing. With several more clinics scheduled for this year, one taking place before you read this article, the opportunity to learn from true professionals should not be missed.

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