Atlete Spotlight - Kirk Framke

Two time national champion (2009 and 2011) Kirk Framke

National Champion, Father, Husband, Teacher, Kirk does it all. Kirk Framke has trained with Tracy Matteson the past 6 seasons, and he continues to improve. By being a master of the small details, Kirk brings his mathematical skills to all 3 disciplines.

If you have some time, check out Kirks massive list of victories:

What makes a successful athlete?

What makes a successful athlete?
As I write this, one of my coached athletes just let me know he has won the overall points for a very competitive TT series he is racing here in Colorado. And it got me thinking about all of his hard work…and reflecting on his training program and his diligence.
Back in the 90’s in the midst of my complete overzealous ‘Type A’ triathlon training (I was at one point, training to race a double ironman) my coach used to get very frustrated with my complete over the top approach.
“No makeup workouts!” he would bark at me. I would nod my head, and like some kind of alcoholic or drug addicted person, go out and double up my workouts anyway.
It’s true. If I missed, say a 50 mile ride the day before - and I was scheduled to ride another 50 miles today, I would do both days workouts together.
For one, because I couldn’t stand to see blank pages in my training calendar. Secondly, I felt like this is what I must to do stay competitive. Trouble is I was hurting myself more than helping. You can generally get away with this for a while, but eventually it catches up with you; Generally in the form of sickness or injury. Kind of your body’s way of saying ‘I need a break’.
As an athlete and a coach, I work with clients who are exactly the same. They will miss a ride or rides, and try to make it up by going out and doing 10,000 feet of climbing or 20 mile runs.

Time Trial Race Checklist

Hey everyone, now that race season has begun, I thought a good thing to include would be my list of items I bring with me to the races. Have a look and shoot me an email if you have anything else on your list that would be helpful!

a. Transponder
b. Wind Trainer
c. Pump and disk adapter
d. Number
e. Speed Suit
f. Wheels
g. Brake Pads
h. Spare bike (if you have one)
i. Muscle Milk
j. Helmet
k. Shoe covers
l. Water Bottles
m. Spare Wheels
n. Towel
o. Recovery Drink
p. 2 PB & J sandwiches
q. Exact start time and number written on hand (or somewhere where gloves don’t get in the way)
r. Music and headphones
s. Cold weather gear (rain)
t. Bike (hopefully we don’t forget that)
u. Spare Wheels
v. Tools
w. Tent/Enclosure (I don't have one, but it would be nice!)

Downhill and Headwind/Uphill Pacing in a Time Trial

We all know that feeling…. you are grinding into your TT, and the course goes straight into the wind. Up ahead in a few miles you are going to turn around and come right back. So how should you pace yourself? Will you blow up if you go too hard? How should you divide your effort up?

Is it possible to apply the same amount of power into the pedals on the downhill (tailwind) as the uphill? Will I make back the time I’m losing on the headwind (uphill)?

First of all, let’s start with some facts:
a. In a tailwind, it’s very difficult to produce watts at your FTP (Functional Threshold of Power). This is because you generally will be spinning your gears out.
b. Headwinds or hills tend to cause riders to ride above their FTP. This forces them to ‘recover’ on the downhill – especially if they blow up. What we need with our nifty power meters is a rule of thumb for how much over our FTP we can go during the hill/wind.

Here are some things to try:
a. For a hill that is less than 1 minute long and very steep, you can pedal much harder than a hill that is 5 minutes long and more gradual. A longer hill will take more time to recover from while quick hills will allow for a quick recovery. For a 1-minute hill, don’t be afraid to go to 120-130% of your FTP.
b. When you hit a hill that will take longer than 3 minutes, because you are riding at your FTP, you will probably be at your absolute limit. Be careful not to ride more than 5 to 10 percent more than your FTP. A good rule of thumb for hills/headwind would be to pace yourself at 105-110% of your FTP.

Indoor Workout for All Ages!

One of the things I tell myself on rainy, cold days is that this is a perfect opportunity to get a leg up on my competition. Most riders don’t put much into their indoor rides. It’s seen as something to just ‘get through’. Well, over the years, I’ve developed a lot of different workouts that not only help make the indoor time go by fast, but also they will genuinely make you a faster rider.

Most riders either avoid riding on the trainer altogether, or completely abandon it come spring. I will tell you that some of your best workouts can be done indoors…Winter or Summer. There are no cars, squirrels, 30-foot dog leashes, etc. to get in the way of your rides. Every serious rider should invest in a good dependable portable trainer and use it!

Having said that let me shoot out a good workout in lieu of tonight’s practice. I’m breaking it out by age group. (7-9 year olds) (10-12 year olds) (13yr and up). This workout for all groups will be a ‘build’ workout. Meaning that it get’s harder as you go, and you need to concentrate on holding the same cadence all the way through. You should also know you gearing in the back.

Junior gearing is such that your 14tooth cog in the back is your hardest or ‘fastest’ (and smallest). The gears typically go up one tooth until it reaches the 19 or so, then may skip 2. For these workouts, we are going to focus on being in the 14t, 15t, 17t and 19t. Everything will be done in your large chain ring in the front (except for your recovery and super-spin) The point here is to know and learn your gearing)

Hill Recovery Workouts

These workouts are designed to help riders recover over rolling hills. This can work indoors, or you can find a 5 minute hill to emulate. This workout is based on a rider whose Functional Threshold of Power is 190watts. So you can base your workout from there.
A. 10 minute warmup
B. 20 minute tempo – 150watts
C. Main Set
I. 5 Minute Climb (190w)
II. 1 Minute Super Spin (110 cadence with 140watts)
III. 30 Second Recovery
D. Repeat above set 8 or 9 times total – the only recovery is the 30 second rest between sets.
E. 10-15 minute cool down.

Here is another good workout. Go find a 20-25 minute climb for this one.
A. 10 Minute warmup.
B. Main Set
I. 20 minute climb at 180watts
II. 1 Minute climbing at 220 watts
III. 1 Minute climb at 150 watts
IV. Recover (coast back down the hill) 5 minutes.
C. Repeat the set 3 times.
D. 10-15 Minute Cool down.

And another good set, to be used on days that are not intended to be that intense.. Good for rolling hills.:
A. 10 Minute warmup.
B. Main set
I. 3 Minute climb at 185 watts.
II. 1 Minute superspin (110 cadence or better) at 140watts.
III. 1 Minute recover.
C. Do the set 12-15 times. Depending on how hard you want to go.

As you can see – most of these workouts don’t have the ‘traditional’ 5 minutes of recovery that you see in lots of people’s workouts. That’s something that I stopped following quite a while ago (for the most part). What makes you an effective cyclist most of the time over rolling hills isn’t how fast you make it up the hill, but how you recover.

Crazy Hard Indoor Trainer Workout

Here is a killer workout to try when you need to get an indoor ride in, but you know you may not have the concentration to just sit and hold a specific power threshold. It's based off of 10 minute sets with 1 minute recovery in between.

One of the things I was pondering in my own training... The things that I don't enjoy doing in training are generally the things that do the most good. So that's what this workout is all about.

What you do is start out on your 17t cog, and move through your rear cogs until you are on the hardest cog (for me, that's my 11t). The workout progresses in 2 minutes segments. So it helps time go by really fast.

Once again...when you are afraid of upcoming minute, time goes by really fast! Here it is:
a. 10 minute warm up.
b. Another 20 minutes of warm up - I hold approx 300watts (275 in the 1st 10 minute, then 325 in the last 10 minutes)
c. 2 minute recovery..
d. Main set - 10 minutes (whatever cadence you start with in first set, is what you have to hold the entire set - so go conservative - try 75rpm)
I. 2 minutes in large ring front, 17t rear cog
II. 2 minutes in large ring front, 15t rear cog
III. 2 minutes in large ring front, 14t rear cog
IV. 2 minutes in large ring front, 13t rear cog
V. 2 minutes in large ring front, 12t rear cog
VI. 1 minute recovery

How to get through hard days...

There is a great article by Heinrich Haussler on Cyclingnews. Read the first part of the article where it describes how sometimes 'losing' can be a greater motivator than winning.