We finally had a chance to catch up with our ALP Cycles Coach, Alison Powers who, in May became the current National Road Race, Time Trial, and Criterium Champion, which has never been done before. We had a few questions for her that we thought others would want to know as well. ALP Cycles Coaching- Big congrats on your “Triple Crown” of National Championships. How does it feel and has it sunk in yet? It feels absolutely amazing. Yes it has sunk in and I can’t believe that I have accomplished this amazing feat. I always thought people who won multiple national titles had something special about them that I never did. But, I don’t feel special, I just accomplished something special. ALPCC- At the National Championships, the past three years, your results have steadily gotten better and better. Top 3-5 in 2012, Top 3 in 2013, and now 1st in 2014. What do you contribute to your success? I’ve become a better and smarter racer over the years. After I broke my arm in 2011, I really learned how to race smartly and how to save energy during a race. This has paid off over the past few seasons.
ALPCC- Did you race this year’s race any differently? Yes, this year, thanks to the strength of my team, UnitedHealthCare, I raced an extremely smart race. I never went hard and never went into the Red until the very end when I attacked for the win.
Other years, I have been the best climber and the best sprinter on the team so I had to do both. It’s hard to sprint well if you have climbed Full Gas. This year, both of my teammates were better climbers than I was. When they went up the road on the climb, I allowed myself to get dropped from the main group because 1- I had confidence I could catch on the descent and 2- if I didn’t catch, then I still had two teammates up the road and that was fine.
Honestly, I didn’t care who won the race as long as it was someone on UHC, so I was willing to lose the race. That’s the thing with winning—you must be willing to lose in order to win.
ALPCC- For 2014, what, if anything did you change? The #1 thing that has helped me this year is my new team UnitedHealthCare. The team is run so well. It’s a well-oiled machine that has taking care of the riders down to a science. When I show up to a race, I don’t have to do anything other than ride my bike. No worries about where the grocery store is, doing laundry, which bed will I get in the host house etc. All of that is taken care of for me. No stress, no mental energy wasted on little things.
ALPCC- Was your wintertime training any different than in years past? Yes. I had more training camps than I ever have had—we went to Scottsdale AZ with UHC twice- and raced in Argentina in January. I also did my own training camps in South Carolina and in Solvang with ALP Cycles Coaching. When I was home, I incorporated our (ALP Cycles) off-season strength-training plan into my training. I loved the plyometrics and the on bike sprints. That was my favorite workout to do.
ALPCC- What training tool do you consider the most important? The one where you don’t train at all—rest.
ALPCC- Do you do the same workouts you give your ALP Cycles Athletes? Yes, definitely.
Have more questions for Alison that we didn't ask? Let us know! We'll ask her.