Taylor Warren just joined the Source Endurance coaching team. Taylor began his cycling journey on the bike path as a kid and fell in love with racing shortly after. He’s spent time at the top in road and track, holding National Championship titles and racing professionally on the road with 303 Project.
How did you come into bike racing and how did you choose road and track? Do you remember your first race?
I’m naturally very competitive, so racing was only a matter of time once I started riding regularly. My dad and his brother both raced, so early on I was exposed to the sport. My first race was a 7 mile time trial and I remember being super stoked to average over 20 mph! Road was an easy choice, it was what I had the most access to in Florida and I was hooked on road racing. Track came a little later when I was at school at CSU where I had access to a velodrome. I ended up racing collegiate track nats several times, they were always a blast! I’ve also dabbled into cyclocross, where I race in the cat 2 field and recently I’ve been getting more into grass roots mountain bike racing.
What were you studying in college and why did you choose that path?
Well I came to school thinking I wanted to be an engineer, but quickly switched majors to health and exercise science. I think training and racing played a big role. I wanted to understand my physiology and how the training was affecting it. The human body really fascinates me, especially understanding the limits of human performance. Most machines, a car for instance, breaks down after being driven hard. The human body however gets better and stronger when you push it, which I think is an amazing thing.
What were your biggest learning experiences from racing professionally and how does it apply to your coaching?
One of the most helpful things I learned is to not stress the things out of your control. Racing and even just life in general can be very stressful, but if you focus on what you can control and apply your best self, that’s all you can do. I keep that in mind when coaching, knowing that life is going to throw a curve-ball at you eventually. In those moments, control what you can, don’t stress about what is out of your control and be adaptable.
Do you have a favorite cycling career moment? What went down?
It’s so hard to pin an answer down for this one. There have been so many great moments, from meeting some of my best friends to traveling to enchanted lands to race a bike. One moment fresh in my mind however is setting the hour record at the San Diego Velodrome. The ride was a very unique experience, all my friends were there cheering me on, it was one of the most grueling things I’ve put myself through but at the same time it was like a huge party!
What are the biggest hurdles you see athletes facing right now in 2020?
The biggest challenge in this year specifically is trying to stay motivated with a lack of racing and even events in general. It takes a certain amount of willpower to set goals several years down the road and to stick to a plan. This year I’m really pushing athletes to think about and set goals outside of racing, to think how to challenge themselves and what that might look like for each individual.
What is your favorite coached athlete story?
My favorite coached athlete story would have to be working with Josie Fouts. She went from a daily commuter to a 4th place in the Para Pan American games in about a year and a half. Now we are embarking on the journey to the Paralympic games in Tokyo. It’s super fun working with her, seeing her drive and determination and watching her be an inspiration to many other athletes.
How does your educational and practical experience come together to make you a good coach?
I think staying up to date with the latest sports science is very important but it’s pretty hard to actually apply the science in the right context. Having the practical experience not only helps me to apply the science in a realistic way but there are also a lot of things that you won’t learn from a data sheet or research paper. Having both the physiology knowledge and years of experience are necessary in order to keep progressing to the next level, whatever that might look like for each individual.
What is your coaching philosophy?
There is not a one size fits all when it comes to coaching. Each athlete is very different and unique, not only in physiology but their current life situation, background and mental approach. My coaching physiology is to look at the big picture, and figure out what is going to make each individual better. I’m also a fan of having athletes set process goals and think of training/health as part of their lifestyle. Lastly, a happy athlete is a strong athlete. Make the process fun, because if it’s not, what’s the point.
Lightening fill in the blank:
Rain or heat? Heat!
Post-ride tacos or sandwich? Definitely tacos
Ski or snowboard? Imma a boarder dawg
60-minute crit or 200-mile gravel race? Both...on back to back days
Dogs or cats? Dawggggs
Do you put on your socks and shoes, sock/shoe, sock/shoe OR sock/sock, shoe/shoe? I’m a sock, sock, shoe, shoe kinda guy