Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Women of Mesa Cycles Racing

I had the opportunity to spend a few hours with Adrienne Murphy and the women of the Mesa Cycles Racing Team. From left to right: Molly Vetter-Smith, Emilie Duchow, Samantha Schneider, Jen Goldstein and Cat Walberg. This group of racers will put the hurt on many fields in the Women's Pro 1/2/3 races in the greater Midwest this season. If the very thought of rolling up to the start line with Catherine Walberg on one side of you and Molly Vetter-Smith on the other side of you isn't scary enough, you can bet knowing that Jen, Sam and Emilie are all there to work for them and maybe even take a race or two themselves will make you even more uncomfortable. Can you say suffer? I'm happy to keep my microscopic aerobic capacity in the Chronic Cat 4 races, thankyouverymuch.

I did brief flexibility screenings and musculoskeletal history reviews with each racer and we did some practical reviews of fundamental mobility, core strength development and the basics of bodyweight squatting. We could've spent an entire day working on various things. Coach Adrienne had great questions and observations to help facilitate discussion and demonstration. The goal was to educate, screen for specific musculoskeletal issues that might become problematic in the future, and give these women some practical tips for off-bike training that they could use now and throughout the season.

Too many endurance athletes, and athletes in general, NEVER really get a physical screening that involves a hands-on musculoskeletal component. And they don't ever really learn how they need to train with resistance to really facilitate their particular athletic development needs. How can you "pre-hab" (not a favorite term of mine) or get stronger if you have no idea why you are doing what you are doing, and you don't know whether or not your strength/mobility/alignment/body awareness is deficient?

I want to thank Adrienne for investing in me and giving me the chance to assist the women of Mesa Cycles Racing with their training. I'll do everything I can to help each athlete stay strong and fit on the bike and off it.

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