Monday, January 09, 2006

PRQ #7: Lynda Wallenfels

This is number 7 of the Pro Racer Questionnaire (PRQ) Series

Lynda Wallenfels


Finally someone with a family! Most of the previous PRQ entries have been from decidely uncomplicated and straightforward lives. I'd been hoping for one with some more pazzaz and closer to my own life with kids, etc. Lynda answered my request that I posted to the mtbr forums for interviewees.

Lynda keeps a pretty low profile as a mom and ultra events don't generate as much publicity as some of the other 24hr or XC events. Amazingly, kids and all, she has some very impressive results:
• 2004 100 mile NORBA National Champion
• Two time cross-country National Team member
• Course record holder at E-100 and Brian Head Epic 100
• 2005 3rd Global 24-hour solo Championships
• Competitive cyclist since 1989

She also is a cycling coach. You can check out her site at She sells a really neat product in addition to regular coaching:
Prebuilt mountain bike plans for a variety of disciplines and levels. While I typically would suggest that someone have some 1on1 contact with a coach, these prebuilt plans look like a great idea for someone who just wants something to follow.

I'm a firm believer that anyone will improve if they follow a structured plan for at least 6-8 weeks. These plans seem great for those that want some structure and don't know how or don't have the energy or discipline to create their own. It is SOOOO much easier to have something infront of you that you can just follow day to day, than to put it together yourself, unless you are a very disciplined and experienced rider. These plans are definitely a great way to learn the basics of a cycling training program.

Best of luck to Lynda for 2006. I think the kids are going to be joining mom on the podium some more.

The Questionnaire


-Who are your sponsors that you'd like to recognize?
I'm riding for Team HealthFx in 2006. These are our sponsors

Cottonwood Cycles
Durango Joe's Coffee
Dental Associates of The Southwest- Nicklas Groskopf
Trek Bikes
Louis Garneau
Chimera Communications, Inc
KristinCarpenterPublicRelations, Inc (KCPR, Inc)
Zia Taqueria
BrownWheeldonTafoya&Barrett PC
Fresh Paint
Editor's Note: Quite succesful at finding local sponsors outside the cycling industry. That is very hard to do.

-What makes an athlete a 'good investment' for a sponsor?
Sponsors are looking for advertising, product feedback, loyalty,
endorsement their product is awesome and sometimes they are giving back
to the sport in a philanthropic sense. So you have to figure out what
your sponsor wants and how you can deliver that.

-How long have you been racing mountain bikes, how long as a pro?

Since '89. I turned pro in '94 to race on the British National team at
the UCI World Cross Country Championships where I ended up 25th.

-What are your goals for 2006?
Win 24-hours of Old Pueblo solo. I need a support crew so any volunteers
are welcome!
Be the first ever female finisher at Kokopelli Trail Race
Win the mixed team category at TransRockies with HealthFX teammate Dave Harris
Repeat my win and set a new course record at the E-100
Win 24-hours of Moab solo

Bike Geek Stuff.

-What bikes do you race on? What other bikes do you own?
My hubby gets twitchy if I have more than 6 bikes. At the moment I have
a Specialized S-works Epic 05SWorksEpicRim_Blk_l

Cannondale Scalpel with an SRM scalpelteam
Specialized Ruby road bike with a Power-Tap SpecRubyCompCarbon
A full rigid mtb built up for pulling the bike trailer with an airmet
Arrow frame and Power-Tap.
An old hard tail and road bike which are both for sale to make room for
a new Gary Fisher Rig GFrig05 coming shortly :-) and perhaps a Trek Fuel trek-fuel-full late
spring, but don't tell my hubby I'm thinking about getting a Fuel. He
just agreed to the Rig.

-How do you see XC technology changing over the next 5 years?
More mountain bikes with a power meter on board. Power meters in general
are developing at a fast pace and the mtb power meter choices at the
moment are improving.

-What component or cycling gear would you pay full retail for if you had

A power meter. I have and I do. It makes a huge difference.


-How many hours a week do you train (min, max, average)?
Min would be zero when I am on vacation with the family and max would be
about 35 hours when I am on vacation with my bike.

-Do you have a coach?
I am a coach myself. My site is No other coaches
want to coach me! I've asked a few :-) I trade power files, training
plans and ideas and chit-chat often with several coaches. I like to
collect lots of ideas and boil them down.

-Do you follow a scientific periodized cycling specific training program
or 'just ride'?

I am always on some specific training plan. I tend to use myself as a
guinea pig to try out new methods and ideas I learn about. I rarely give
my athletes a workout or sequence of training rides I have not done

-Do you strength train?
Yes, about 5 days per week for 10-20 mins a day. I'll step it up a bit
before a big event. All at home while the kids are sleeping using balls,
bands, body weight and dumb bells. Mostly functional stuff similar to
the program in Mark Verstegen's or Pilates
exercises. Occasionally I go to the Pilates Center and work on their
machines with a friend.

-Do you do specific technical skills training, if so what?
Nothing beats trying to keep up with the guys for me.

-How do you recover after a hard ride or workout?
Take my kids to the pool and sit motionless in the water while they go
crazy playing. The city doesn't heat the water real well and it is like
an ice bath on my legs!

-What is your nutrition protocol during a 2-2.5hr XC race?
Sip on a sports drink like Infinit and eat a ClifShot gel every 30 mins.
100 milers and 24-hr races are much more complex.

-What is your pacing strategy for a 2-2.5hr XC race?
Start just below redline and wind it up from there. I'm all slow twitch
so come on stronger in the second half.


-How do you balance the stresses of regular life with training and recovery?
Be creative. I have lots of small things I do daily to manage time and
stress. I keep everything low maintenance and simple.

-Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Paying a babysitter to look after my kids while I go out and have fun on
my bike.

-What advice do you have for those of us with families, and full time jobs who want to race our best?
Family has to come first, that is what is truly important. Biking is for
fun and balance is the key. If I spend too much time and energy away
from the family, riding it loses its appeal. If I don't ride enough I
get grumpy and life loses its spark.

I don't have any generic advice. It depends on whether your spouse is
into cycling or not and how old your kids are. Some folks do better to
insulate their family from bike stuff overload and do all their training
away from the family. In other situations it is all rolled into the
family philosophy and lifestyle. You see some families with the parents
and kids training and traveling to races together having a great time.


At 8:46 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Another great interview and an inspiration to those of us trying to get it done with kids, etc, Thanks!

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