Life is busy, especially for a Master's athlete that has family, career and community involvement on the go 24/7. That said, trying to coach yourself, establish goals, create training plans and race bikes just adds too much to the plate and having a coach is the difference between success and failure in a competitive environment. When I decided to race bikes again ten years ago I spent several seasons languishing at the back of the pack. I had left sport for twenty years and it was a pretty big challenge to try to get back to where I left off in my youth. When I started working with Coach Alicia I achieved most (more than expected) of the goals that we established together and over the course of two years I went from a Category 5 racer up to Category 2 (men’s elite) with a consistent stream of podium results and victories in my main discipline of time trialing. Alicia Evans held me to account and was, and is, a great motivator. Alicia is cognizant of the time constraints of a masters athlete and she crafts, monitors and tweaks training plans that are achievable and realistic. In today's day and age many athletes are opting for online training programs but technology can never replace the human touch and guidance that a "real" coach can provide. I look forward working with Alicia and Camp8ltd in the coming years.
Alicia began coaching me when I set a goal to ride the Nove Colli Gran Fondo in Italy a few years ago. This was going to be a significant challenge for me and I had 5 months, during a Canadian winter season, to prepare. Alicia studied the course and prepared a carefully developed program for each week of my training. The event went better than I had imagined and I felt strong, capable and well prepared for the climbs and the distance that I encountered.
Since then, I have worked with Alicia to prepare for numerous events, I have honed my group riding skills with her and have benefitted from her coaching excellence in a variety of settings. I would recommend Alicia to anyone who wants to improve their cycling fitness, skills and mental game. Alicia has a breadth of expertise to call upon, she is highly motivating and has the same goal as you do - success.
I asked Sara to develop a 6 week training program for me to prepare for a road ride event in Mexico in the late fall of 2017. Over my six weeks of riding 3-4 times per week, my cycling fitness improved overall and I rode a very successful Nayarit Gran Fondo. Sara was attentive to some specific issues that I have with my hips and she checked in each week to find out how the program was going. Her sessions improved my pedal stroke and endurance and, although not easy, each workout was very clearly laid out and achievable. Sara did a great job of coaching me and I would highly recommend her to others who want to achieve a goal, or improve overall cycling fitness and technique.
Alicia Evans took me on as a coach and we worked together to make it (quite quickly) to a national level.
I was 38, and finally healed from a multiple year injury. I looked forward to racing again and realized that the best chance I had of achieving my goals was to find the right coach. My long-term goal was to qualify and race in Xterra World Champions, regardless of the fact that Offroad Triathlon was a new sport for me and I had not swum laps for 10 years.
I had heard of Alicia and interviewed her as my coach the same time as she questioned me. She pushed me to write down my short-term goals, how much time I could commit, and my motivation. She became as devoted as I in my goals and wrote an appropriate training plan, modifying it when needed. She was always there when I had questions or needed extra motivation.
A year and a half later, I placed 6th at Xterra World Championships in Hawaii, with Alicia, the ever committed coach, cheering me down the final stretch of sand. I couldn't have done it without her.
I told Sara I wanted to try to complete a half marathon and asked her to coach me. Sara literally helped me get from the couch to the finish line. I am not an athlete, but wanted to do this event for myself. Sara gave me weekly training plans that were adjusted to my life schedule. She stayed in regular contact with me to check on my progress and to see if I had any pain and to determine if the training pace was appropriate for me. Sara was always encouraging and accommodating and I completed the race in a time that was quicker than I hoped for. She helped me with nutrition and met me at the gym to go through my strength program to ensure I had proper form. I highly recommend her services.
Being new to the sport of cycling, I really appreciated Alicia’s approach of getting to know me as a person as well as an athlete with specific goals. Taking the time to understand what made me tick along with her attention to detail made all the difference when designing a training program that truly fit me and my busy schedule. With her experience as a high level athlete, she provided great insight and worked with me through any challenges which ultimately resulted in a positive and successful season. She is reliable, checked in frequently and made the training fun. I would highly recommend camp8 and would jump at the opportunity to work with her again.
I had the good fortune to work with Sara on a 4-month program to complete the Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo in 2018. A long-time road cyclist, I had been sidelined during a lengthy illness and multiple surgeries over several years which had depleted my stamina. Sara put together a weekly program based on my goals and routinely checked in with me to provide additional tips to improve my performance. The program was a great success as I not only finished the Gran Fondo in my goal time, I was able to complete it at my fastest-ever pace. Last, but certainly not least, I felt fantastic the day after – a sure sign that Sara’s program of gradually increasing my ride duration and intensity was the right path for me. Thank you Sara!
Reflection on My First Fondo
After a season of training with Alicia as coach and Adele as riding partner, and together having successfully completed the Kootenay Fondo in September, I can confirm that bike joy remains my top reason to ride. Every aspect of cycling makes me happy (even appreciation for laps on the Silvertip hill kicks in eventually). In a cumulative effect from May to September, I felt stress minimize and fitness levels rise each time I jumped on my bike. I am now like Pavlov’s dogs—the mere sound of the cleat clipping into the pedal makes me eager to ride. The Fondo itself was indeed a challenge, in a good way. We had the chance to put all our learnings to the test, right down to staying calm if, say, you drop your water bottle a quarter way into the race and it disappears for good (yup, that happened to me). We applied pacing, nutrition and grit—some of which was innate, and some of which needed to be further unleashed as the miles added up. In other words, we gave ’er, and we felt pretty darn satisfied as we crossed the finish line. I am better for the overall experience and it will stick with me for life.
To prove what gluttons for punishment we are, Adele and I are back in the saddle with CCC’s winter spin sessions, and Alicia is right there at the helm. And wouldn’t you know, there it was again at the first class—the immediate sense of bike joy I feel as soon as I clip into my pedals.