The Courys Versus the Great Trail Race
As a senior couple, we recently finished our first bike race EVER thanks to Robin Farina. We not only completed the course, but solidly beat our expected times, AND each finished 2nd in our age groups.
Back in February and March when we got new mountain bikes, the idea of racing them wasn’t even a thought. The idea was to have bikes that could enable us to explore back country trails.
Then Robin came along. She works out at the same gym where we do strength training, and back in March, we mentioned that we just got new mountain bikes. She offered to help the “newbies” get acquainted with mountain biking.
As lifelong runners, and competitive road and trail runners in the last 10 years or so, we know what it means to train for races, and as older runners we are fully aware with what we need to do to stay strong and injury free. The whole concept of having a full-time coach with a structured training plan was a bit new to us.
Having Robin as our coach putting together a training plan was the best thing we’ve ever done. Taking essentially fledgling mountain bikers and turning them into strong, well-prepared racers was more than we ever expected, but enormously rewarding and confidence building.
By summer, we were thinking that maybe we might be ready for a (tame) mountain bike race in the Fall. We found the Great Trail Race in near Lake Tahoe (a 17 mile mostly gravel race from Truckee to Tahoe City) that appeared to be within our capability. Robin diligently (some may say heroically) worked with us to get us prepared.
Robin’s training was perfect for us from the very beginning. She breaks down the instructions to match our current abilities. She knows when to encourage, when to push, and when to scale back and give us time to catch up. Robin also excels at providing a comprehensive approach by integrating running and strength training into our schedule. We are completing more quality workouts every week and thrive on the accountability. Setting goals with Robin has been awesome and has motivated us to work toward specific targets.
When we lined up for the start of the Great Trail Race, we both felt fully prepared and ready to take on the challenge. We had practiced every stretch with Robin (including the initial 10 mile climb), so knew what to expect. She made sure that our training plan focused on what was important and got us ready on a schedule with enough rest time to recover between hard workouts.
Two and a half hours later, major goal achieved! We were so thrilled with our accomplishment that we completed a recovery ride of 16 miles the next day. What a way to feel like kids again.
The joy we get from making measurable progress is incredible. We have already set our sights on several more mountain bike races in 2018 and are excited to continue this coaching relationship with Robin.
Bruce & Lane Coury