Weekend Reading: 3 Training Revelations to Boost Your Performance

This week’s blog is from CTS Premier Coach Renee Eastman. I’ve known Renee since we both worked at USA Cycling back in the 90s and she epitomizes what it takes to be a top-notch professional coach. She can be tough when she needs to be, but she’s wise about when an athlete needs a push and when they need a supportive shoulder. I’ve rarely seen a coach who, in one moment, has the patience and compassion to teach fearful novices how to descend, and who, in the next, can take a Fortune 500 CEO to task over half-assing his intervals. Recently Renee’s been in Tucson, and it sounds like it might be hard to get her to come back to Colorado.

Chris Carmichael
Founder/Head Coach
Carmichael Training Systems

3 Training Revelations That Will Boost Your Performance

By CTS Premier Coach Renee Eastman

Working training camps is one of the best parts of being a CTS Coach, so I jumped at the chance to escape winter in Tucson, Arizona, at the CTS Triathlon School and the Tucson Spring Training Cycling Camp. And even though the weather is improving in Colorado Springs and I miss my cats, life in the CTS Athlete House is so good that I’m not sure I’m ready to leave.

When I’m at home I lead the reasonably disciplined lifestyle of an endurance athlete in training, but staying at the CTS Athlete House has shown me just how good an athlete’s life can get! It’s also taught me 3 lessons about how I – and you – can improve our habits in our everyday lives.

Revelation & Lesson #1: I need a Chef Ken

I can’t describe how awesome it is to step through the door after climbing Mt Lemmon and have professionally prepared food waiting for you. But what I really appreciate most is the fact that Chef Ken tailors meals to the training schedule. For instance, at Trischool, when there’s a hard run workout scheduled for the afternoon Ken will make sure that lunch is relatively light and easy to digest. But if we’re coming in for a later lunch after a long ride, the heft of the meal reflects the effort we just did and the fact there’s nothing strenuous coming up later in the day. And since he’s planning it, that’s one less thing I need to think about!

The take-home lesson is to pre-plan your post-workout meals, and perhaps even do some of the prep work before you leave. We have all made questionable nutrition choices when we stagger through the door after a hard, windy Saturday group ride (“Nachos would be great right now!”). And athletes looking to lose weight are often undone by these knee-jerk meal decisions (an issue we address in the Raceweight Weight Loss Program). Instead, get a Chef Ken or make your meal decision beforehand, when you’re still of sound mind.


  • Raceweight Weight Loss Program: Jersey feeling a bit snug recently? We can fix that.
  • Dirty Kanza 200: Are you tough enough to ride 200 miles over gravel roads in the flint hills of Kansas? This is an event you should really look into!
  • Climbing Camps: One-on-one instruction to help you go uphill faster!
  • Hors Category Climbing Camp: Experience classic Colorado climbs with extensive instruction and guidance from CTS Coaches. July 9-14.
  • Epic Endurance Camp: Prepare for your biggest summer goals with this endurance-oriented camp in Santa Ynez, CA. April 3-6.
  • Epic Mountain Bike Camp: Ride the best Breckenridge, Colorado trails and prep for your MTB goals with one-on-one instruction, video skills analysis, and more.
  • Power Meter Payment Plans: The industry’s only no-interest, no-fee payment plans on power meters. Plus unbeatable prices on SRM and PowerTap units.

Revelation & Lesson #2: I love being followed.

Training with a support vehicle is paradise. I don’t have to stuff my jersey with extra clothes or carry four bottles at a time, and of course spare wheels are much nicer than changing flats on the side of the road. But the bigger opportunity is access to entirely new ride loops. Instead of planning around the need to find water for refilling bottles, we just go where the best loops are the water’s in the truck.

I have some athletes who put together DIY training camps, and although I think you should all come a CTS camp, a DIY camp with a few buddies is a good way to get in some great training. My lesson from Tucson is that a support vehicle should be part of your DIY camp. How? Well, don’t ask your non-riding spouse to do it. That won’t end well. Instead use a rotation. Each athlete takes a day or at least part of a day behind the wheel. Consider it recovery time, and remember that cops are less likely to bother you if you leapfrog your group rather than creep along behind it.

Revelation & Lesson #3: None of us can do less than all of us.

The environment in the CTS Athlete House is relaxed and social. We hang out in the living room. We read, talk, watch movies, and maybe go to take naps (napping is good). Everyone has fluids nearby, which provides positive reinforcement for good hydration habits. Some athletes have even credited the environment with “forcing” them to relax. In a way, they’re right. It’s difficult to break the routines we’ve developed to cope with and thrive in our busy lives, but being around like-minded athletes who share a common goal makes that process easier.

The lesson here is that your environment impacts your recovery – positively or negatively. When you’re not training all that hard you don’t need to duck yard work on Sunday afternoon, but when you’re in a heavy training period it becomes more important to carve out real downtime, connect with your inner slacker, and go to bed early.

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