Cross Country MTB, A Long Career and Two Olympic Cycles with Geoff Kabush

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Geoff Kabush is on the show today talking about how he has been able to find success in multiple cycling disciplines, athlete development, training practices and of course coffee and beer.

 

Check out the Show Notes at www.consummateathlete.com

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BIO

Born and bred Canadian, Geoff Kabush is known for racing his bike fast and having a little fun.

What is your biggest achievement, one you are most proud of?

The good old days – mechanical aspects of sport like changing tires, fixing on the fly was a fun part of racing back in the day

 

How he got into the sport

8th-grade parents sent him on an exchange program to England and learned how to ride MTB. Came back, bought a bike and started riding in BC

Victoria Island race series and a friend with a van = how Geoff started racing. Did Canada Cups as a junior and qualified for Worlds XC AND DH

Played a lot of sports in high school but Worlds got him hooked on MTB

Multisport until after high school; the University of Victoria started focusing on cycling (also got engineering degree)

2000 went to Olympics (while in college!)

“Looking back, I was motivated.” Work 7-2, go out on the bike with lights and ride as long as possible, home at 8, eat, sleep–and do it again the next day. “I had a dream and I was working hard towards it.”

2) Cycling advocacy- where do you think coaches, parents, organizations can best spend time and money
Balance providing support with giving athletes chance to fight and push for support
Focus is top down but need investment from club level up, getting more kids started
Seeing growth in kids getting skills at young age and pushing each other, that’s where high performance comes from
Good ones will succeed by critical mass is needed

  – At Bonelli I was happy to be able to point out that you were traveling yourself, building your own bike, racing, and then tearing down to fly home to the young athletes ... how can we give these skills to youth who now have access to provincial/state teams?
Always had the mentality that there’s always something to learn
Danger is young athletes who think they know it all
Always still something to learn about being an athlete
Young athletes need to learn to take advice to learn how to be an athlete

 – Where is mountain bike going? (Olympics? marathon? enduro? cyclocross?)
Back in earlier days, XC was 2.5 hours, now they’re 90 minutes. Courses are steeper, sharper efforts in last few years. Needed to change training to match

3) training

– what does your training look like this year, after a tough 2016 did you do anything different? return to old practices? try something new?
Volume based when younger(30 hour weeks!!)
Experimented with all different training styles
Consistency and staying healthy, focus on quality and understanding why doing different things
Now balanced intensity and volume better
Delved deep into gadget and science but all come back to body awareness
The importance of rest!!

– looking back is there a technique or type of training you tried and had no luck with?
A lot! One was pushing high endurance–pushing higher wattage for endurance for 3-4 hrs with major power outputs. Got stronger but didn’t translate to XC performance

– is there a type of training that you feel was instrumental to building ‘your engine’ and helping with your longevity and success in the sport?
There’s individuality so you can’t copy what Geoff has done and guarantee success

– why are you able to perform across cycling disciplines?
Endurance and coordination mean you can do a lot of sports
Not specializing in MTB young helped. Raced road, cx, mtb, played on bmx, etc helped develop
Early specialization is frustrating
Self-analysis and being willing to push yourself
Power crank helped learn smoothness
Always incorporated 1leg drills
Learned by watching great athletes and visualizing yourself doing the same movement (even not cyclists)

– cross-training – I remember stories of you hiking to increase calf strength and setting pretty solid times up grouse … do you do more cross training now? Do you think it has a place in
Enjoys cross training hiking, skiing etc — being in BC makes it easy. Taking time in the winter off the bike, mixing in CX and enduring to keep motivation makes it easier.
Important to get off the bike!
CX in Europe–bucket list he finally made happen. Belgian culture was fun for a visit, exciting seeing the atmosphere
To be at some of the classic venues was a cool experience. Crazy technical compared to US–often frustrated by lack of technical features in American races
Ability to crash and keep going is key

4) Benchmarks
– we have talked about 50 push-ups as a benchmark for good mountain bike fitness. Are there other numbers or feats of strength you think might help indicate someone’s mountain bike fitness?
People think of cycling as just legs, but over career, testing has shown that it’s more upper body as well–lactate levels super high even on downhill and can hold back your whole body
50 push-ups is kind of a joke but also something Geoff actually does. Endurance strength is key
Core strength also important
Never done much gym work, focus on lighter endurance strength work

Beer chug in Beijing with Yao Ming–major moment in career. Bummed out from mechanicals, closing ceremonies are kind of boring so went to look for drinks. Bought as many as they could for athletes, offered one to Yao Ming, a few trips later, he was bored and he finally said OK. Geoff slammed one, then Yao Ming wanted to try again in shotgun contest. Traded Olympic country pins, fun memory to take away from the event (blew up on Chinese websites)

* See Geoff’s original cycling news blog on the event here

5) Coffee- if you can’t use an espresso machine what are your top two methods to make a good cup?
Fresh beans are key
Personal grinder
Pour over/french press
At home, filtered water for machine, regular backflushing

6) What are you up to in next little bit? 
BC Bike Race, downeyville, lots of NA Events

7) Top books to be like GK (books that have influenced you, defined you)

Focusing on food for young athletes

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The Consummate Athlete Podcast Guide to Training Like Wonder Woman

Resident comic nerd Molly here! So, I went to see Wonder Woman last night, and naturally, as someone who loves the whole Consummate Athlete lifestyle, it got me super motivated to train. And that led to thinking about how to train like Wonder Woman. I started flashing back to some of the rad guests we’ve had on the show, and thinking about which ones would be the most relevant, and get me the closest to Wonder Woman-levels of fitness and skill.

(If you haven’t seen it, watch the trailer here!)

Pretty rad, right? So, let’s talk about training like a superhero, and get inspired!

How to Parkour with Adam McClellan

Of course, I have to open with Parkour. All the crazy free-running that happens in that movie immediately made me think of Adam and the couple of sessions that I’ve had with him, and some of the great advice he’s given on the show!

Peak Performance with Steve Magness & Brad Stulberg

These guys are brilliant, and so is their book. (Get a copy here.) While they might not teach any Wonder Woman-specific skills, if you’re doing any kind of training while mixing it with regular life (or, in her case, trying to stop a war and learning about the world of man… I’ll stop being a nerd now, I promise), this is a good one to listen to.

How to Start Obstacle Course Racing with Lindsay Webster

I kind of think Lindsay might actually *be* Wonder Woman, to be honest. Schlepping heavy weights like they’re nothing, bouncing over obstacles, racing for hours on end… Yeah, sounds about right. This was a super fun episode to record, and even more fun for me to re-listen to so I can steal some leaping-buildings-in-a-single-bound advice.

(Want a guy’s perspective? It’s also worth listening to our earlier episode with her husband,  OCR World Champ with Ryan Atkins!)

How to Run a Marathon with Aimee Shilling

Hey, you don’t get to comic hero level without an endurance base, and Shilling is the woman to talk to about that, since her marathon-running schedule is absolutely insane.

Self-Defense & Awareness with Krav Maga with Dan Gador

Those fight scenes don’t just happen, they take a ton of work. I personally loved this episode—and am so intrigued by Krav Maga—because it combines the stuff I was interested in with MMA with a bit more of a self-defense “I can actually kick your ass” side. And the basis isn’t kicking ass, it’s being aware of your environment. Not unlike Parkour, honestly.

How to Get Strong with Power Lifting with Robert Herbst

I mean, that tank didn’t lift itself.

How to Swim with Total Immersion Swimming

One of the early scenes is Diana saving Steve Trevor from the ocean. Now, I’m a good swimmer and this episode was a really interesting one for new swimmers, but I’m not sure I could pull a guy out of a plane 50 feet underwater. But next time I’m in the pool, I might try to touch the bottom in the deep end. Just for funsies.

Erin Taylor on Why You Need Yoga in Your Life and How to Hit Reset

Watching some of the fight scenes, especially the ones where the Amazons are just practicing, made me feel super self-conscious about my extreme lack of flexibility. Erin Taylor’s Hit Reset and Jasyoga is perfect because it’s yoga tailored to those of us who are more athletic, and less inclined to get serious about a true yoga practice.

Rock Climbing with Leslie Timms

A couple of the scenes in the movie centered around rock climbing (or tower climbing, to be more precise). And I don’t know any other woman I’d want giving me advice about climbing other than Leslie Timms, one of the top women climbers in the world and an all-around badass.

It’s pretty cool to realize how many episodes we’ve done that can all speak to this idea of being like Wonder Woman, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Really, if you dig on mythology, the Amazons were sort of the first Consummate Athletes, so it makes sense.

Get training! (And let us know in the comments if you liked this article!)

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Q&A: Endurance Racing, Base Training, the Coach Process and More!

 

February’s Q&A is here and it’s a fun one!

Sprinting on the trainer:

The Coaching Process: how to become a coach

Endurance training:  Base Season and Training Camp Mistakes


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SHOW NOTES

Peter mentioned his new coffee maker from David’s Tea – the Steeper

Molly mentioned her Iwatch which she wrote article about here

Sprinting on Trainer

The coaching process: Interested in learning about becoming a coach and the mentorship process. Tips, thoughts, process, ideas ?

Leadville feeding:
I was reading your ways to save time in Leadville here http://www.ridingleadville.com/2012/03/shaving-hour-off-your-leadville-time.html and found it very informative. My question is primarily around pacing to meet the time cutoffs in Leadville. The goal is 12 hours but my question is your thoughts on racing in upper HR zone 3 and 4 versus knowing this is an endurance event and racing zone 2 early. I know this depends a lot on how fast one can go in zone 2 but is racing in zone 4 a setup for failure / bonking / gastro problems with food absorption? I would love to hear your general thoughts on HR zones and how you feel regarding the LV100 and HR zones.

Base season:
Doing a camp or running your own, even at home
When to push, when to much is too much
Big surge in volume—what to expect?
Minimum time needed?

 


Being Consummate Athletes in BC: August 2017

Whistler—about two hours from Vancouver in beautiful British Columbia in Canada—is one of our favorite places on earth. Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics, and Whistler was a big part of that. The mountain resort is home of Crankworx, Wanderlust and Ironman Canada, so as you would expect, it’s a popular destination! We’ve spend a few weeks out west over the last few years, as more and and more friends migrate out west and to race Crankworx. After missing the trip out west in 2016 to focus on our wedding, we knew it was a place we wanted to really spend some time in 2017.

Combine that with me feeling somewhat at a loss for a new, fresh athletic challenge, and it boiled down to one thing. Well, not one thing. More like an escalating series of dares.

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Two years ago, our friends Greg, Michelle and Amanda started joking with us about the ultimate adventure experience: kick it off with Ironman—2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run—and follow that up with the Wanderlust Yoga Festival, then do Vancouver’s famed SeaWheeze half-marathon, and cap it off by racing cross country mountain bikes and then downhill at Crankworx bike festival. Cram in a ton of hanging with friends, hiking (Grouse Grind FTW!), riding and other ridiculous adventures, and it’s a month of hijinks waiting to happen.

And so we laughed.

But somewhere along the way, the idea started to take root for Peter and I, so much so that we started wondering if we could a) do it, or b) consciously miss out on what could be the craziest, fun-est month ever.

It took a bit of prodding on both of our parts, but we hit the sign up button and committed to Ironman a few weeks ago, and since then, the training plans and scheming have taken on a level of 100 percent we’re-doing-this seriousness. And after a week of van modifying, we’re now well on our way to having a live-able Ford Transit Connect XLT that will be our home base for the month of insanity.

Let’s break it down, shall we? I’m (Molly) a former triathlete—including an Ironman in 2011—and have dabbled in pretty much everything from yoga to cyclocross to XC MTB to road to marathons to shorter distance runs, but really spent a lot of my 20s jumping from discipline to discipline (so for me, this is a pretty excellent challenge because it pumps up my favorite thing—tons of adventure and activities of different types—and combines it). Peter, on the other hand, is a consummate endurance athlete and a total crusher on the mountain bike (and holds the Canadian Leadville record!). But he’s never done a triathlon—so the swim is a challenge, but as someone who describes himself as a lover of all movements, he’s already learned a lot from the few swim sessions he’s done, and the distances for the races won’t be a problem for him!

3AM for the swim start of Ironman Louisville in 2011. What was I thinking?
3AM for the swim start of Ironman Louisville in 2011. What was I thinking?

Ironman Whister60464_10100190821688689_2656958_n

I’m no stranger to Ironman. In fact, as I crossed the finish line in Louisville back in 2011, I remember very, very clearly vowing to myself, God and my father that I would never do something so stupid ever again.

Boy, was I wrong.

Couple that with Peter’s aversion to swimming, and Ironman is easily the biggest challenge of the month, so it’s probably the ideal situation that it’s the first event. If we can make it through that, we’re going to be fine, right?

It seemed like a bold enough first bucket list race to tackle in this trip, and guarantees that we can’t BS our way through the month. We’re going to need to actively train for this one, not just phone it in, and we have a ton of blog and podcast content coming your way about how our training is going, and on my end, some of the lessons I learned after my first one, and what I’m doing different to prep (a lot).

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Wanderlust Yoga Festival

This is going to be a hilarious highlight, since it’s just a couple days after Ironman and we’re going to be stiff, sore and in serious need of some downtime and yoga chill. Thankfully, Wanderlust is in town! So, we’re going to get our Namaste on and enjoy a non-competitive adventure, though I warned Peter that given the rest of our trip, the odds of me trying to outdo someone in a class is pretty high. Still, it should be a great experience since we’re both really into yoga, movement and recovery!

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SeaWheeze Half-Marathon

I’m not normally a website-refresh kind of girl, but I’ve heard so much about the Seawheeze half marathon in Vancouver that when we started planning this, I knew it had to be included. The only problem? Registration doesn’t have a specific opening date—the Twitter just hints that it will be soon—and I’m pretty stressed that we won’t get in, since it fills up fast. So the race is actually already starting, or at least, the race to click “pay now” is… But I’ve heard amazing things, and what better way to chill out from an Ironman than a half marathon, right? RIGHT?

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Crankworks XC MTB Canada Cup

The event that’s brought us to Whistler the last few years: the cross country mountain bike race during Crankworx. This year, it’ll be towards the end of our adventures, but since I’m still a relatively new mountain biker, I know it’s going to challenge me in a totally different way that Ironman will. I don’t often race mountain bikes, and I know the terrain out there can be super tricky—it is at a downhill park, after all!—so I know that’s going to impact how I set up my Ironman training, since I know I need to make sure I’m still including some technical mountain biking so I’m prepared for this and the next challenge.

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Crankworx Canada Cup Open DH

As previously stated, I am a moderate mountain biker on a good day. So, for me the biggest challenge of the month is going to be surviving the Open DH race at Crankworx. Peter should have a great time, but I am moderately terrified, so I guess it balances out his lack of swim experience.

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Grouse Grind

OK, this isn’t technically a scheduled event, but it is timed, so I think we’re going to end the month with a trip up North Vancouver’s famed mountain climb that’s a calf burner and a half. Plus, we have a few friends who will be up for the challenge, so we’ll end on a high note and hang out at the top for a bit, take the gondola down, and move on to the last phase before we hop back in the van and drive East.

image1Hang-Outs

Man, we can’t just adventure all the time. The last day in town will be some serious recovery eating at some of Vancouver’s best restaurants!

 

So what do you guys think? Crazy, amazing, or a little of both? If you have questions, want to get involved, or want to hear more, get in touch! We’ll have a few podcasts coming out, we’ll be planning some Consummate Athlete talks in BC while we’re there, and we’ll both be blogging and Instagramming up a storm (@mollyjhurford and @peterglassford): follow along!

If you’re interested in joining in the fun, or being part of the adventure, get in touch!