Ep. 7 Sponsors

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The Crossroads of Coaching and Bike Fitting

I was honored this week to have the opportunity to interview legendary coach, CEO of Peaks Coaching Group, co-founder of Training Peaks software, co-founder of WKO software, co-author of Training and Racing with a Power Meter and co-author of Cutting Edge Cycling, Hunter Allen.  Yes, this is still the BikeFit Podcast so why did I interview a coach? As a matter of fact, Hunter strikes a chord with many bike fitters and cyclists who recognize the crossover between the two practices.  In fact, many BikeFit Pros are coaches as well as fitters.  For those pros, it’s important to mention that for any cyclist to reach their goals, a proper and full fit allows them to reach their potential and it (bike fitting) can be ruled out as a factor hindering performance (Hunter talks about this in the pod).

In the first part of the podcast, Hunter discusses his history in coaching and racing, the updated, 3rd edition of his book and challenges that coaches encounter regularly.  We then traverse into the land of fitting and discuss Hunter’s own fit, his philosophy on how fitting and coaching overlap and his feelings on Q-factor in the cycling industry.  Finally, we discuss the pros and cons of new technology in coaching and the overlap into virtual bike fitting.

Through this podcast, it’s clear that Hunter is incredibly passionate, enthusiastic and wants every cyclist to achieve their goals.  It’s not hard to understand after listening to him for a few minutes why he’s accomplished so much in his career.

THE DIVE: Ep. 7 Topics

  • Hunter’s history from pro cyclist to coach to software founder to author
  • The lack of coaches in the past and the influx today
  • Technology in coaching
  • The challenges for coaches in a tech-heavy, data-driven environment
  • Inside the new changes to “Training and Racing with a power meter, 3rd edition.
  • Power in MTB training vs. road bikes
  • Examples of his coaching with professional mountain bike racer Jeremiah Bishop
  • Where coaching and bike fitting crossover
  • Should cycling coaches also be bike fitters?
  • Why bike fitting is important
  • Virtual bike fitting
  • Coaches referring clients to professional fitters
  • Q-Factor and Stance Width on the bicycle
  • The impact of Pedal Extenders
  • Adapting the body to the bike or the bike to the body
  • Coaches collaboration with bike fitters
  • Fit changes with age
  • Shorter crank length
  • Leomo Type R system in coaching and bike fitting
  • Human asymmetry’s effect on coaching and fitting
  • Interpreting and using data
  • Testing in the real world vs. indoors
  • Hunter’s dream bike

 

In order to produce the most power, in order to be the most economical on a bicycle, you’ve got to have a great bike fit.  

Hunter Allen

Found and CEO, Peaks Coaching Group

Widely known as one of the top experts in the world in coaching endurance athletes using power meters, Hunter Allen is the founder of Peaks Coaching Group, co-founder of TrainingPeaks Software and has been instrumental in developing and spreading the power training principles. Hunter has traveled to over 20 countries and taught thousands of cycling coaches and riders the principles of power training. Hunter is a USA Cycling Level 1 coach, was the 2008 BMX technical coach for the Beijing Olympics and has taught the USA Cycling Power Certification Course since 2005. A former professional cyclist on the Navigators Team, Hunter has been coaching endurance athletes since 1995, and his athletes have achieved more than 2000 victories and numerous national, world championship titles and Olympic Medals. Hunter is known as the “Coaches Coach” and frequently has coaches from around the world consulting with him to learn more about the latest in cycling and triathlon training principles. He is a sought after consultant for many endurance-oriented tech companies and has worked with numerous companies to develop products for the cycling world.

Hunter’s goal has always been to teach athletes how to maximize their training and racing potential through professional analysis of their power data. This goes hand in hand with his philosophy that a power meter helps athletes discover their true strengths and weaknesses, quantitatively assess their training improvements, and refine and maximize the focus of their training. Hunter firmly believes that power training can add a whole new dimension to your cycling. By using a power meter, you literally have a second-by-second training diary that allows your coach to not only see exactly what you do on your rides but also plan your training using the dose-and-response method. Hunter’s power training method has built success at all levels of cycling and endurance sports, and he has trained such well-known professional and Olympic athletes as Jeremiah Bishop, Daniel Lloyd, Sue Haywood, Gawie Combrinck, Tomas Gil, Donny Robinson, Mike Day, Arielle Verharren, and Dan Fleeman.

 

A former professional cyclist for Team Navigators and has raced for over seventeen years, including BMX, MTB, and Road. He raced in Europe, South America, the USA, and Canada and has over forty road victories to his credit. Considered a great all-rounder, he was able to learn a wide variety of race tactics and skill necessary to succeed at the professional level, an FTP of 410 didn’t hurt either…For the past twenty years, PCG has been a leader in the industry in the field of power training for endurance cyclists of all levels. Hunter has mentored, taught over 100 coaches within PCG during this time and still spends his day working with the coaches of PCG. This unique opportunity has given Hunter the ability to review thousands of power files and racer profiles and develop an artful science of power training and coaching. During this time period, he also co-developed TrainingPeaks’ WKO software, co-authored the book, “Training and Racing with a Power Meter” with Dr. Andrew R. Coggan, co-authored the book “Cutting Edge Cycling” with Dr. Stephen Cheung. “Training and Racing with a Power Meter” book has been translated into 8 languages and sold over 120,000 copies.
 
As a coach, Hunter makes sure to look at each athlete as a whole person. He excels at designing custom programs designed to maximize each rider’s potential. He believes we are human beings working closely with other human beings, and it’s important to him to work hard to find your strengths and weaknesses and to help you improve your skills, then develop a realistic plan that works for life. It is important that a coach learn as much as he can about you as an athlete and as a person in order to better develop a plan for success. He has now coached over 700 athletes and still learns something new from each one.
Hunter holds a B.A. in Economics from Randolph-Macon College and lives with his family in Bedford, Virginia, with his wife Kate and three growing children, Thomas, Jack, and Susannah. He is also a certified yoga and tai chi instructor, and a certified personal trainer. In his spare time, he enjoys driving, racing and tinkering with fast cars, hunting, fishing, and of course cycling!

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