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DRietz
03-20-2016, 11:53 PM
I was recently urged by one of my coach's other athletes to post up on the forum about my experience these past few months, so here it goes. Just to be clear, this isn't meant to be an advertisement for my coach, more like a ringing endorsement. Just me doing some bragging. But if you have any questions or want me to put you in touch, feel free to reach out. I'm also linking him at the end.

For those of you here that don't know me, I'm a third year undergraduate at UC Berkeley studying plant genetics. Besides my academic career, I've also spent a fair amount of time in the cycling world for my (relatively) young age. I've worked in shops for like a third of my life, started racing shortly after I started wrenching, and now help to coordinate the cycling team here at Cal.

The funny thing is, though, for as long as I've had a USAC license (going on 6 years, according to the internet), I've never really ever been good at racing a bike.

To give you some perspective: I've never weighed more than 137lbs in my life, but until recently, I'd never been able to hang on in a race featuring anything resembling a climb. When I did hang on, I finished as pack fodder. I've done okay in crits, but that's mostly owing to the bike handling I have from my mountain bike background, and I'd never ever won a sprint.

I was lucky to fall under the experienced supervision of my coach right at the beginning of November. And since then, my already-busy schedule of work and class and research got a little busier, but manageably so - my workouts were expertly crafted to fit my hectic schedule. My legs and lungs most certainly felt the burn, but they also got stronger because I put in the work - I never skipped a workout, and when I needed motivation or advice, it was only ever a text away.

And now, I'm riding away on those climbs. I'm winning those sprints. After only the 4th race of the collegiate season, I stood on the podium enough to secure my upgrade to the 3s, and now the 2s are square in my sights.

It's just really rewarding to see my hard work pay off - it feels good to go fast. If you're ready to commit, I highly recommend it (http://www.performancesci.com/).

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1636/25951450555_6f2fc1ea48.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/FxeY7F) https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1553/25856485911_6470a7ae68.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/FoRfre) https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1458/25856485551_0a3eef1781.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/FoRfk2)
https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1590/25830647322_3ecbd3074d.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/FmyPwj) https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1474/25318753964_8da37de9c0.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/EzkesL)

beeatnik
03-21-2016, 12:06 AM
Go Bears!

soulspinner
03-21-2016, 06:56 AM
:beer:

MattTuck
03-21-2016, 07:48 AM
Nice work! congrats on the podiums and the upgrades. Must be nice to be so light!!

Other than the fact that you're like 60 pounds lighter than me, you also have they key advantage that you're riding your bicycle outside.

It is snowing here today. :mad:

shovelhd
03-21-2016, 08:51 AM
If you are planning on upgrading to Cat2, then start doing P/1/2/3 criteriums now. The speeds are higher, the tactics are more dominant, and it's going to take a lot more to make a statement than in a Cat3 race. P/1/2 is a rung higher than that, and P/1 is another rung higher. The sooner you get used to racing at a higher level, the better chance you will have to succeed at that level. It's a steep learning curve.

Structured training is important for racing success with limited time. It's good that you discovered this early.

Keep up the great work, and race safe.

redir
03-21-2016, 09:00 AM
Good job! I've never had a coach before but i can definitely see the benefit in having one especially when it comes to the motivation and drive to do better. Living in a college town I ride and race regularly with the college team. Enjoy it while it lasts.

DRietz
03-21-2016, 09:58 AM
Go Bears!

Thought you might enjoy this one from down on the farm a week or so back... (no Stanford in sight!)
https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1559/25830648012_86be9f3b0d.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/FmyPJd)

Nice work! congrats on the podiums and the upgrades. Must be nice to be so light!!

Other than the fact that you're like 60 pounds lighter than me, you also have they key advantage that you're riding your bicycle outside.

It is snowing here today. :mad:

So the weight makes a difference, sure (though I'm really jealous that you can throw yours around in crits - at a certain point, we all need to play to our strengths), but I will tell you that I put in a surprising amount of work on the trainer. I have a pretty strong aversion to California drivers in the wet, and so I basically sat on the trainer for a lot of November and December. Maybe some of January, too.

Good job! I've never had a coach before but i can definitely see the benefit in having one especially when it comes to the motivation and drive to do better. Living in a college town I ride and race regularly with the college team. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Not only the motivation, but also the ease and the adaptability. It makes it a lot more feasible to train hard if Joachim plans and tracks what I'm doing because he's really good at it, and, alas, I'm not - I'd spend way too much time just planning my workouts without his help. Let alone the fact that I can be in contact with him daily, if I want, about how I'm feeling, what I have going on, and what we can do to ensure that I'll hit my peak as hard as I want to.

sandyrs
03-21-2016, 10:12 AM
Nobody has asked the most important question yet. What kind of bike is that?

:D

benb
03-21-2016, 10:17 AM
Nice. I'm not racing this year but I did sign up with a coach for the first time in 10 years. Not a huge involvement as I bought about the minimum level but there is no question a coach is by far the best investment you can make if you want to go fast.

It's been a shocking improvement for me too the past 5-6 weeks doing base training on an intelligent plan for once.

Congrats on your success.. not much feels better than a good race result when you're working really hard.

AngryScientist
03-21-2016, 10:18 AM
good work!

this may be a stupid question, but i'm confused? you race for your college team and you had to seek out coaching elsewhere?

DRietz
03-21-2016, 10:23 AM
good work!

this may be a stupid question, but i'm confused? you race for your college team and you had to seek out coaching elsewhere?

There are only something like 12 varsity cycling programs in the US.

The rest of us are sports clubs. We train ourselves, we fund ourselves - we just throw on the university logo on the weekends.

The bike is a "Tsunami" welded by Joe Wells. It does alright by me, even if the cable guides are a little lopsided!

sandyrs
03-21-2016, 10:24 AM
good work!

this may be a stupid question, but i'm confused? you race for your college team and you had to seek out coaching elsewhere?

At least in the northeast many college "teams" are clubs with no coaching to speak of. They are student-run.

edit: OP beat me to it.

MattTuck
03-21-2016, 10:27 AM
At least in the northeast many college "teams" are clubs with no coaching to speak of. They are student-run.

edit: OP beat me to it.

Yeah, I'm on the local team's listserv, so I get their emails. They're currently trying to put together a group stroopwafel order to save something like $2/box. This is in contrast to the NCAA basketball tournament that is going on currently. Cycling (and other sports) don't get much support.

Ralph
03-21-2016, 10:31 AM
Congratulations! Sounds great. You can be proud of yourself. If you were my son, I sure would be. It's tough to be a successful student athlete, and hold down a job also. Hope you have a terrific career in your chosen field.

makoti
03-21-2016, 10:43 AM
Nice work! congrats on the podiums and the upgrades. Must be nice to be so light!!

Other than the fact that you're like 60 pounds lighter than me, you also have they key advantage that you're riding your bicycle outside.

It is snowing here today. :mad:

Yeah. Why is the sky so blue there? I thought it was grey everywhere.

scharny
03-21-2016, 10:48 AM
Nice job.

leftyfreak
03-21-2016, 11:00 AM
At least in the northeast many college "teams" are clubs with no coaching to speak of. They are student-run.

edit: OP beat me to it.

There's a small college in Cambridge that might be coached by a guy named Ed...

(But I think his annual pay is something on the order of one long-sleeved and one short-sleeved jersey.)

leftyfreak
03-21-2016, 11:01 AM
Oh, and DRietz...good on you!

velomonkey
03-21-2016, 11:02 AM
good work!

this may be a stupid question, but i'm confused? you race for your college team and you had to seek out coaching elsewhere?


Just to add more confusion - collegiate racing is all over the place. I throw around with the 3 college and universities I work at: Brown, Yale and Providence College. I go out with all 3 'teams' - which are really clubs, but they go and race collegiate sanctioned events which are a sub-set of USA Cycling some of the time.

There are under grads, grads and PhD students. Some are brand new, some are racers. Collegiate racing: at least on the east coast goes A,B,C,D

D= Never done a race
C= CAT 5, 4
B= CAT 4, 3
A= CAT 1,2,3

Brown and Yale have a few CAT IIIs and a bunch of 4s. PC's captain is a CAT I. A few years ago that guy Cameron on CCB and MIT collegiant won Mt. Washington. some of them are way, way strong and some are on their first road bike.

Collegiate racing is way cooler than regular USA Cycling racing. The kids talk to each other, drink beer, eat together and generally are way more friendly When I was a student in a collegiate race a fellow forum member said to the pack in the middle of the race "This would be a lot more fun if we introduced ourselves" - next thing you know people did intro themselves.

To the OP - congrats!!!!! I did a collegiate race against Tyler Hamilton. I didn't win :hello::hello::hello::hello::hello:

JasonF
03-21-2016, 11:06 AM
Congrats on your progress, it's exciting to see tangible results, isn't it?

Without divulging your coaches methodology, what type of training have you been focusing on since noticing improvement?

old fat man
03-21-2016, 11:10 AM
Just to add more confusion - collegiate racing is all over the place. I throw around with the 3 college and universities I work at: Brown, Yale and Providence College. I go out with all 3 'teams' - which are really clubs, but they go and race collegiate sanctioned events which are a sub-set of USA Cycling some of the time.

There are under grads, grads and PhD students. Some are brand new, some are racers. Collegiate racing: at least on the east coast goes A,B,C,D

D= Never done a race
C= CAT 5, 4
B= CAT 4, 3
A= CAT 1,2,3

Brown and Yale have a few CAT IIIs and a bunch of 4s. PC's captain is a CAT I. A few years ago that guy Cameron on CCB and MIT collegiant won Mt. Washington. some of them are way, way strong and some are on their first road bike.

Collegiate racing is way cooler than regular USA Cycling racing. The kids talk to each other, drink beer, eat together and generally are way more friendly When I was a student in a collegiate race a fellow forum member said to the pack in the middle of the race "This would be a lot more fun if we introduced ourselves" - next thing you know people did intro themselves.

To the OP - congrats!!!!! I did a collegiate race against Tyler Hamilton. I didn't win :hello::hello::hello::hello::hello:

it's probably the same elsewhere, but I know in the northeast, a lot of the collegiate racers are actually grad students - like Cameron was/is. Nothing wrong with that, in fact, kind of nice that grad students are still welcome to take part in the collegiate racing scene. AFAIK, there is no age restriction or limit on the number of years that a person can race collegiate, unlike mainstream sports like football, basketball, etc. where I think students are limited to 4 varsity seasons.

velomonkey
03-21-2016, 11:20 AM
Nothing wrong with that, in fact, kind of nice that grad students are still welcome to take part in the collegiate racing scene. AFAIK, there is no age restriction or limit on the number of years that a person can race collegiate, unlike mainstream sports like football, basketball, etc. where I think students are limited to 4 varsity seasons.

Oh it's great - I wish they opened it up to faculty.

They actually, though, just this year modified the rule. You're allowed 6 years of racing - no limit on who you race for, the 6 years don't have to be back to back, but they limited it to 6 years. A few kids did under grad, grad and PhD - the Brown president is a PhD - it takes 5 years to get your PhD from Brown.

As for money - this a slide from a class I do on Big East Basketball and how it changed everything and was the perfect execution of entrepreneurship. It died because of football. Green is Football money - Blue is basketball - this is the revenue from last years NCAA Final 4 schools in basketball (well 3 of them - I didn't have time to grab the 4th).

I had never even heard of Duke football and their revenue is just barely lower than basketball and Duke is probably the most famous basketball school. Cycling doesn't even register. Collegiate cycling, though, in my view, is more pure form of fun, sports and academics.

AngryScientist
03-21-2016, 11:33 AM
interesting stuff. i had no idea about the collegiate racing scene.

sandyrs
03-21-2016, 11:35 AM
Collegiate racing is way cooler than regular USA Cycling racing. The kids talk to each other, drink beer, eat together and generally are way more friendly When I was a student in a collegiate race a fellow forum member said to the pack in the middle of the race "This would be a lot more fun if we introduced ourselves" - next thing you know people did intro themselves.


Cannot echo this enough. I loved road racing in college and I SUCKED at it. Now every time I make the questionable decision to sign up for a crit I regret it, and I'm much more fit and experienced than I was a few years ago when I raced my first weekend wearing my glasses, Fignon-style...

Lower level USAC races are sometimes better from an actual racing perspective than the C collegiate races and the D races are kind of ludicrous, but the "scene" was so much more positive and inclusive in college.

jmeloy
03-21-2016, 11:54 AM
Really good stuff and congrats. Joachim is a great guy and communicates really well.

By the way, I weighed more than 137 lbs. at birth!

Cheers

John H.
03-21-2016, 12:11 PM
They tend not to have 1-2-3 crits in Norcal where Drietz races.
Both fields are usually large enough.


If you are planning on upgrading to Cat2, then start doing P/1/2/3 criteriums now. The speeds are higher, the tactics are more dominant, and it's going to take a lot more to make a statement than in a Cat3 race. P/1/2 is a rung higher than that, and P/1 is another rung higher. The sooner you get used to racing at a higher level, the better chance you will have to succeed at that level. It's a steep learning curve.

Structured training is important for racing success with limited time. It's good that you discovered this early.

Keep up the great work, and race safe.

flydhest
03-21-2016, 12:34 PM
I heart collegiate racing. I was a D1 college athlete in track but had been a cyclist for a while. While I was getting my PhD, I raced on Princeton's team. We had a coach, but it was because he was an alum, former team racer, and still local (and a generous guy).

Good stuff. Congrats to the OP.

laupsi
03-21-2016, 06:44 PM
Congrats DRietz, sounds like things are jelling for you!

Keep one more thing in mind; you're only going to get faster!!! :eek:

toytech
03-21-2016, 06:54 PM
:hello:congrats:hello:

DRietz
03-21-2016, 09:26 PM
Congrats on your progress, it's exciting to see tangible results, isn't it?

Without divulging your coaches methodology, what type of training have you been focusing on since noticing improvement?

I don't think it's all that much of a leap to guess that because of my stature, we've been focusing mainly on FTP development for longer climbs. Of course, things are more complicated than just developing my FTP, but because I lacked a significant base, that was what Joachim and I focused on for a large portion of my pre-season training.

I can echo all of the statements about collegiate racing. For as long as I've been racing a bike, whether that be as a junior on the road or a high school student on the dirt, I've never felt as much camaraderie as I do in the collegiate field. Sure, the competition can get serious, but when you're enjoying your post-race burrito, everybody is a friend. It's a seriously great time.

Powerfibers
03-22-2016, 08:12 AM
Congrats on starting to see results. Keep up the hard work and smart training.

gasman
03-22-2016, 04:55 PM
Glad to hear you have had such good results. I've been working with Joachim since just after the start of the year. I've felt better and my avg speeds are up. I'll post something in a few weeks when I've done a comparison TT. The post will be titled "It feels good to not go so slow":p

Ti Designs
03-23-2016, 06:22 PM
At least in the northeast many college "teams" are clubs with no coaching to speak of.

I can think of one northeast team that has a coach...

leftyfreak
03-23-2016, 08:48 PM
I can think of one northeast team that has a coach...

There's a small college in Cambridge that might be coached by a guy named Ed...

(But I think his annual pay is something on the order of one long-sleeved and one short-sleeved jersey.)

Good grief--I posted that two days ago! :D

Spdntrxi
03-23-2016, 11:40 PM
Saddened that the guy on the podium in cal poly gear has no dots ? Wheelmen always had dots in my day at CPSLO


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