Mike Ivancic is a newer client who recently finished up his first two months of coaching ever. He’s partnered up with Coach Grant Harrison and has been reaping the benefits of his training program. We can’t wait to see where the 2017 season takes him. Here’s his story, straight from the man himself:
I am writing this for the men and women out there with that special competitive spirit. Whether you are 5 or 75 you have heard it a million times, “Practice makes perfect.” In my experience, that saying is a lie. Perfection comes from perfect practice.
At 42 I started to ride. I rode in some group rides, fun rides, charity rides, and just tooled around the city. As a person with a bit of competitiveness in him, I would always find myself wanting to be in the lead, but just riding 100+ miles a week was not making me the cyclist I wanted to be. It helped manage my weight, strengthened my muscles, improved my mental focus, and increased my handling skills, but all of those miles were not getting me to the head of the pack. A fellow rider noticed my Type A personality and suggested that I should join him for a race. A whole new world opened up to me. I rode in 40 races in 2016. It was a struggle for me to stay in the middle of the pack. I had mechanical issues, wrecked twice in 3 months, and my best finish was 4th out 15 in an Arkansas crit in August.
After my 6th place, Cat 5 finish in the Joules CX on October 15th I hung around to watch the 1-2 race. As I stood there I noticed 44-year-old, Cat 1 cyclist Shadd Smith and was amazed at the power and sustainable energy he possessed. I watched him battle between 1st & 4th place and I had to know how. How was someone in their forties able to compete at this level, and do it against guys half his age? I could tell he had some serious miles on him and guessed that he had been riding for his whole life. After the race, I went up to him find out what his competitive secret was. I was surprised at how willing he was to talk to me, a newbie Cat 5. As we talked I realized that we were putting about the same amount of miles on our bikes and that he didn’t have any supernatural powers (not sure about his son). His bike and diet were better than mine and he had a lot more experience in the sport, but the biggest difference was that he was practicing perfect.
The light went on for me when Shadd mentioned that he was part of Source Endurance and that he had a personal trainer. I take my car to a mechanic when it needs work and to the doctor when I’m injured, so why not a personal cycling trainer to help increase my cycling ability? Within 2 weeks I was given a riding schedule by my new trainer Grant Harrison with Source Endurance. 3 weeks after that I took 1st place in the Kansas State CX race for 4-5 40+. I ended 2016 with three consecutive 3rd place finishes in Masters 40+. That one conversation with Shadd changed the direction of my racing ability and I can’t thank him enough. I’m amazed at how fast I was able to move onto the podium.
If you’re a new cyclist and itching to get in the racing mix I hope you’ll learn from my story and seek out advice from the top cyclist. I look forward to Cat 3 next year and hope that when I move into the upper echelon I have the opportunity to be the spark that ignites a national champion.