Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Perfect Storm

While many of my teammates and friends have been gearing up for the last few races of the season, I've been avoiding the bike (per Chad's orders of course). Yea, this year I decided to cut the year a little short (just after River's Edge) and focus on next year. I can't say 2011 racing was all that great to me - or rather, I wasn't that good to it. Things went up and down, left and right and there were only a few times this year when I felt strong and competitive. So, the break was a bit of a welcome and my brain immediately began working out strategies on how to make 2012 better. Long story short and with Chad's help, a plan has been devised and recently hatched.

One of the primary components is balanced strength and body movement. It's way too easy for some of us to get wrapped up in cycling alone. I'm guilty of it; hell, all the exercise I do for the majority of the year is on the bike and I also have an office job that requires me to sit all day. A lot of us end up stale and unable to achieve our full potential simply because our body is not working as a single unit. Our team is very fortunate to have Mark Kane as one of our primary sponsors and this year I'll be relying on him to ensure I'm doing everything I can to be a better complete athlete. I met with him on Sunday and he conducted an initial assessment of body movement, strength, stability, muscular balance and soft tissue. You know, it was my first time doing anything like that and man was he thorough. He quickly found areas where I was weak or overly tight that can have major impacts to one's ability to ride a bike (not to mention live an active life).

You can read more about what Mark does here, but the quick version is that we conducted the Functional Movement Screen which is basically an assessment (and first step) to in the Functional Movement System (FMS). The screen is basically:

"...a ranking and grading system that documents movement patterns that are key to normal function. By screening these patterns, the FMS readily identifies functional limitations and asymmetries. These are issues that can reduce the effects of functional training and physical conditioning and distort body awareness."

The great thing: Mark is far from a one trick pony and he's designed an entire arsenal hell bent on making athletes achieve their maximum. You could say I have two major components moving me into 2012: Chad and his expertise as a cycling coach and Mark covering, well, everything else. The perfect storm? It looks that way from where I'm standing. More to come as I work through the issues Mark and I found and get down to some serious strength and conditioning. 2012? Oh yea baby.


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