Coach Steve: I began my endurance sports career as a cyclist, competing in more than 1000 events over 17 seasons while racing for both corporate sponsors and the U.S. National Team in numerous National and International competitions. After many wins and top placings in all types of road racing events, I retired from bike racing and took up duathlon in 1990, then triathlon in 1997.

I’ve won age-group National Championships in cycling, duathlon, and triathlon. I’ve qualified to represent Team USA at the World Championships every year since beginning multisport competition, finishing no worse than 8th at short course Triathlon Worlds, plus a couple ‘podium’ finishes at both Tri and Du Worlds.

I began coaching competitive cyclists in the mid ’80s, then multisport competitors in 1991—beginners to elite athletes. I’ve helped cyclists, duathletes, and triathletes to podium finishes at National and World Championship competitions. Several of these athletes achieved this level of performance with no prior competitive experience. More importantly, I’ve guided many first-timers to their endurance sport goals with great success.

I’ve coached for USA Triathlon, USA Cycling, and was certified as a personal trainer by the American Council on Exercise. I hold a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Connecticut.

My Coaching Philosophy: Training for endurance sports is a rewarding experience when it’s done with a plan that guides you toward a goal at a pace that suits your level of experience and fitness. The plan has to take into account your unique weekly schedule, and time available for workouts. Therefore, long-term coaching has to be specifically designed for your needs; a generic “one-size-fits-all” plan won’t do. Athletes pursuing endurance sports come from a wide range of backgrounds: some have been training in one or more sports virtually all their lives, while others came to endurance sports later with great enthusiasm but not as much experience. I take all of these factors into consideration when advising an athlete.

My Coaching Techniques: The coaching process begins by asking questions about your current fitness level and where you want to go. The next step is an objective assessment of how much time, energy, and motivation you have to get there.

Based on this information, a long-term schedule with gradual buildups to major race goals are targeted. Then, smaller short-term goals comprised of less important competitions are planned. These races build speed, endurance, and confidence along the way to the greater long-term goal.

As daily workouts are planned, long-term goals and your time constraints are kept in mind. Each workout has an optimal level of intensity, ranging from active recovery days, to speedwork, with heart rate monitoring to gauge and control the efforts. Alternatively, workouts can also be described in terms of RPE (relative perceived effort) for athletes who prefer not to use a heart rate monitor.

When workouts of various intensities and distances are properly combined through short and long-term periodization, your training will come together for optimal race day performances. This balance between training duration and intensity is key, and dependent upon your unique physiology, psychology, and distances of competitions targeted. My goal is to help maximize your training’s effectiveness while minimizing your risk of injury or burnout.