Klaus Grimm did not plan on becoming a bike racer.
When he began working with Julie Young and Silver Sage Sports & Fitness Lab, the 40-something business owner just wanted to shed some pounds and add structure to his workouts.
Along the way he discovered that with the right training, good nutrition and personal focus, he could go pretty fast on a bike.
“When I began working with Julie I was sticking to her plan about 60%,” Klaus admits. “When I got serious and followed her plan fully I saw the results. Turns out I’m a pretty good racer.”
With a little over a year of focused training under his belt, Klaus started 2015 as a Cat 5 road racer (the first level where all male cyclists begin). Upgrading to a higher category requires earning points in approved races by placing well. My mid-March Klaus was poised for a Cat 3 upgrade with an impressive stage race win and additional top-five placements.
What is so impressive about Klaus’ success is how he has fit his cycling into his already busy life. For him, the value of the training is all about time management. He didn’t quit working to train 10 hours a day like we all imagine the pros do. What he needed, and what he got with Julie and Silver Sage, is training customized to his life, his body and his goals.
“As a busy professional I cannot afford time wasted on cookie cutter coaching approaches. Julie has changed my cycling and lifestyle habits with her professional and experienced approach to cycling, fitting, nutrition and off-the-bike training,” Klaus explains. “Without Julie I would still be an eager ‘Ride for a cause’ fondo rider and not a Cat 4 race winner, all within a few months.”
As Klaus has gotten fitter and faster, his riding group has evolved. He now rides with the Reno Tahoe Audi team, a group he claims he couldn’t have “hung with” a year ago. He plans to keep training with Julie and work to be competitive in the much more challenging Cat 3 racing category.
So what’s the lesson in this for the rest of us? Don’t underestimate what you’re capable of, you don’t need to train full time to see impressive improvements.
“I’m a mid 40s guy. I’m never going to be a pro,” Klaus explains. “Julie’s individual, custom approach to coaching allows me to balance my three favorite things: family, cycling and work.”
Addendum: Since publishing this story, Klaus has won the 2015 NCNCA Masters Road Race Championship held in LA Grange, CA in March, and earned his Cat 3 upgrade!