Having raced cyclocross since 2000, I accumulated some knowledge that I kept secret (mainly because no one asked). In a multi-part series, I reveal all. Maybe I'll make TMZ.
Part 1: The Support Team
Over the years, besides an understanding wife, I have counted on a number of people to get me in good shape, keep me there, and keep my bikes tuned up and dialed in. Here are these people...
Early on I used Cycle-Smart coaching to formulate seasonal training plans. Adam Myerson is a champion and a huge 'cross patron in the northeast so I worked with his company to get prepared. I basically worked with John Verheul who has since branched off to form his own coaching group. His experience with cyclocross and racing, as well as his extensive knowledge of training with power have translated into big improvements and championships by many a road racer and cyclocross rider, last year capped it off with a world silver medal by his client Danny Summerhill. John works with me on a consultation basis and develops training plans and is available to answer my questions. I would recommend his to anyone looking to improve and get maximum benefit from their training time. In fact, that is my main reason for getting a PowerTap two years ago. When training time decreases, the importance of each workout increases and with power you can really reap the benefits. John knows that and is very good at working around daily life.
A few years ago I was having a lot of trouble with calf injuries in cyclocross, some so bad I had to stop in the middle of the season. The culprit was age and trigger point formation in the calf. I played soccer for 20 years without a single claf issue, but with the inflexible soles of MTB shoes, I was having a bunch of trouble. I was trying to run in the spring/summer and basically I would get injured doing that too. So I decided not not run for cyclocross at all. If I did not run, I would not get injured and with little running in 'cross, I could suck it up by getting better on the bike. I would also compensate for this during the seasonby getting weekly 30 minute massages on the calves to work out any problems.
I started this 4 years ago and it has worked. But, my massage therapists have also been miracle workers at times too. I had a friend in my neighborhood work on me for the first 2 years and when she moved away I started going to Nan Webb who I met years before. Daryl, Kim and some others work with her as well. She is really fantastic. She understand anatomy, has years of experience working with elite athletes and is incredibly friendly and peresonable. I would recommend her to anyone. She also works on Arthur Blank (owner of our Falcons) the night after games, which lately must leave her hands sore from working out his knots.
The best kept secret in Atlanta for bike repairs is about to be revealed. I would trust no one else to work on my bike than Maxwell Chastain and Alan Smith at REI NE Expressway. I have known Alan since 1995 when I worked at that store and after Nato left, Maxwell began and between them if it is possible to do, they can do it. They work me in when needed and I have counted on them time in, time out and they have never let me down. They understand cycling history, bike mechanics, wheel building, and are both grumpy and hilarous at the same time.
John Verheul (JBV Coaching): http://www.jbvcoaching.com/
Nan Webb Massage: http://www.nanwebb.com/about_nan_webb.htm
Alan and Max at REI: 404-633-6508