You recently completed the infamous La Ruta de los Conquistadores mountain bike stage race in Costa Rica. What was that experience like?
It was a wonderful experience. Not only is the race extremely challenging, but the terrain is spectacular and the people are great. But perhaps more than anything else, I really enjoyed training for the event with a group of like-minded athletes and CTS Coaches. We had 10 CTS athletes and 4 coaches in the race, and in the months leading up to the event we were together for three training camps including a reconnaissance camp in Costa Rica. We really came together as a team, and even though we were competing individually, there was an amazing amount of camaraderie before and during the race.
What do you do as an athlete to keep motivated and moving through the dreaded Winter months?
Well, Im in a fortunate position; my office is a training facility and my colleagues are athletes and coaches. My personal motivation is to keep challenging myself with events like this (la Ruta, Leadville, etc) till the day I die
You recently released the Train Right Performance Series DVDs. How can athletes take advantage of training with these types of tools and what types of results can they expect?
The Performance Series DVDs, like all the titles in the Train Right library, is based on solid sports science. The workouts are hard, but not just for the sake of being difficult. We make sure to create DVDs that will actually improve your fitness and increase your power and speed on the bike. A pretty common method of using the DVDs, especially in regions that endure cold winters, is to ride a one-hour DVD workout on Tuesday and Thursday, and try to ride outdoors on one or both days of the weekend. If riders are adding a 5th workout to their week, an endurance day or moderate-intensity indoor cycling session on Wednesday can be a good choice.
If you remain focused throughout the winter, and you make sure to change your intensity levels as you gain fitness, you can make significant, measurable improvements in sustainable power and speed before spring rolls around. On average, in our 8-week power training classes that are similar to the schedule described above, athletes see a 12% increase in their sustainable power output.
Your wife Paige founded a fantastic organization called Kids on Bikes. Are you involved with her work there and can you share some of what this group is up to?
Im very proud of Paige and her work with Kids on Bikes. The organization makes a huge difference in peoples lives, and theres nothing like seeing the look on a kids face when he or she gets a bicycle. And they dont just get bicycles; they earn them by setting goals and working with their teachers to achieve them. They get to see first-hand, and at an early age, that when they set their minds to something, they can achieve their goals.
Whats up next for you? We know Lance will be racing triathlons next year. Is this part of your plan as well?
I might enter a short triathlon, but it would be a short one if I do it. What Im more focused on, and what CTS is going to be doing more of each year, are events on what I call the Epic Endurance Adventure List. This year it was La Ruta de los Conquistadores, and it was a life-altering experience for everyone who committed to the training and then faced the challenges presented by the event. There are other notoriously hard events out there, from Trans Andes and Trans Alpes on the mountain bike, to Levis Gran Fondo and lEtape du Tour on the road bike, the Leadville 100 Run, Ironman Triathlons and much more. Were putting together a list of these events, and creating comprehensive programs with varying combinations of coaching, camps, entries, and race support to help athletes stretch themselves to set goals that are intimidating, inspiring, and empowering.
There will be more information on www.trainright.com soon about the races CTS will be going to in 2011 and early 2012. I will also be taking 20 athletes to the Amgen Tour Of California and we will be riding every stage in advance of the race. We will be experiencing every mile, mountain climbs and weather conditions just like the top pros. Of course, we will have the same level of support from mechanics, massage therapist just like all the pro teams. I will be a huge challenge but tons of fun. I may aim for the Trans Andes mountain bike race in January 2012 as my next epic endurance adventure. I just turned 50 and Im going to continue going big as long as I can.
To find out more about what Chris is up to next, follow him on Twitter at: twitter.com/trainright