The 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2011 World Cup champion
MBA: What are your training plans for this year?
Grotts: For the most part I’m sticking with the same training plan, diet and
equipment that I’m familiar with. An Olympic year isn’t the time to make any
drastic changes. I am starting my training a month earlier this year to prepare
for the Cape Epic in mid-March, which ought to give me some good fitness for
the rest of the season. I’ll also put more emphasis on my race starts and technical handling—skills that can never be too well-honed for Elite World Cup racing.
For a non-race week my rides tend to be longer (around 4 hours), with a hard
group ride or threshold intervals at least once during the week. Usually Mondays
and Thursdays are super easy, just short spins with some skills work. For a race
week I do a hard effort a few days before the race and keep it mellow besides
that, mainly focusing on dialing in lines on the course.
MBA: Do you do much training on a road bike?
Grotts: Almost all of my training is on the mountain bike, especially for intervals. I have a lot of gravel roads near my house, so it’s not necessarily all trail
riding. I use the road bike for group rides and for long steady days every once
in a while. The volume for a non-race week tends to be around 16–20 hours on
the bike, and for a race week it’s usually half that. I don’t focus on mileage or
elevation gain too much; I just go for a set amount of time. Almost any ride in
Durango is going to have a good amount of climbing, so I don’t have to go out of
my way to find hills.
MBA: How much training do you do on a racecourse?
Grotts: For an important race I’ll usually travel there on Monday, do a mellow
pre-ride of the course Tuesday, do some hard-threshold efforts on a long climb
Wednesday, go for an easy spin on the road Thursday, and do a moderate,
high-tempo effort on Friday, if the race is on Saturday.
MBA: How many hours per week do you
ride when you are training for your biggest
Kulhavy: In the winter it takes 20–26
hours on both mountain and road bikes.
Normally, in the race season, it is 18–23
hours, with 60 percent road and 40 percent mountain. I change bikes often, and in
the winter I use a fat bike as well.
MBA: How do you relax after a hard day
of racing or training?
Kulhavy: After a hard day I sleep more,
spend less time on the bike the next day,
and go very easy for better recovery.
Sometimes I stop for coffee and relax.
MBA: What other kinds of exercise do
you use to get in shape?
Kulhavy: I use running, swimming,
stability core training and walking. In the
winter—my base training season—I do it
more than in the race season.
MBA: What are your favorite foods?
Kulhavy: I love Italian foods—pasta,
pizza and salads—as well as all-natural,
fresh and high-quality foods.
MBA: What have you learned from
racing in the Olympics?
Kulhavy: The Olympic race is very
specific and really huge! Winning the
Olympic medal is a big dream for every
athlete. Most important is good concentration for the race and before. The race
(from start to finish) is just as normal
as every other one, but everything else
around it is very different.
MBA: What advice would you give to a
friend who was racing in the Olympics?
Kulhavy: Maintain your concentration
and avoid unnecessary stress. It is very
difficult to enjoy the Olympic atmosphere
and maintain your concentration.;
America’s 2015 Elite Men’s national champion
The defending champion: The Czech
Republic’s Jaroslav Kulhavy narrowly
out-sprinted Nino Schurter to win the
Olympic gold medal in 2012.
Howard Grotts: The rising young Specialized star is
America’s newest cross-country national champion.