Get to know these coaches in Virginia that will be teaching and coaching in the Virginia Cycling Beginner Racing Program.
Widely known as one of the top experts in the world in coaching endurance athletes using power meters, Hunter Allen’s goal has always been to teach athletes how to maximize their training and racing potential through professional analysis of their power data. This goes hand in hand with his philosophy that a power meter helps athletes discover their true strengths and weaknesses, quantitatively assess their training improvements, and refine and maximize the focus of their training.
Hunter is himself a former professional cyclist for Team Navigators and has raced for over seventeen years in Europe, South America, the USA, and Canada and has over forty career victories to his credit. Considered a great all-rounder, he was able to learn a wide variety of race tactics and skill necessary to succeed at the professional level.
To me, coaching is based on flexibility and communication. I believe that every training plan should be written in pencil. Very few people can control everything that may come up in their lives or know exactly how they will respond to a given training load or personal event. By keeping you involved in the formulation of your training program, together we can do what it takes to allow you to reach your goals with the time and resources available.
I have been riding and racing in the mid-Atlantic area since 1984. What started as a cheap way to get to school and work has grown into a healthy lifestyle based around cycling. A second place in my first road race hooked me, and I have never been tempted to give up the sport, no matter how sparse the results have been over the years. I truly love riding my bike and would probably still ride every week even if I weren’t racing.
Charles Gary Hoffman
With good coaching, any athlete can and will improve. I have coached scores of athletes, from fitness enthusiasts who want to lose weight and improve their times in Grand-Fondo events, to serious top amateurs and professionals aiming to upgrade categories and win major titles. Working hard, but more importantly being accountable and working smart, will lead to improvement; communication between athlete and coach is essential. Goals must be realistically set, accessing and evaluating in terms of current strengths and weaknesses; then a custom plan is made designed to achieve those goals. Life events have a way of intervening in the best laid plans. As a coach, I help the athlete make necessary adjustments so that the athlete will continue to progress toward their goals. Proper training (and racing) should bring fulfillment and joy to the athlete; it should lower stress, not increase it. Life balance is a therefore a key philosophy.
My coaching philosophy is drawn from my experiences as an athlete, a father, and a member of a tightly-knit, successful team. I enjoy the interaction between coach and athlete, and I take pleasure in helping individuals work toward their vision while developing their physical and mental capabilities to achieve goals greater than they believed within themselves. Hard work, dedication, and commitment are my cornerstones. Working together, the sky’s the limit.
I’m a native of New York City, though I’ve resided in Richmond, Virginia, since 1984 with my wife and two daughters. I’ve been a competitive athlete for over forty years. My athletic career began as a runner, and in college I started competing in triathlons and mass-start bike races. My passion for cycling was fueled by the lasting friendships I gained while cycling, as well as the successes I attained. I raced full time for ten years, from the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s. I left full-time competitive cycling for the birth of my first daughter and to start a career.
It is important to be open to new ideas. My experience as an educator has proven to me again and again that teachers can often learn much from their students, and the same goes for coaching. The coach-athlete relationship is a partnership in which both sides have contributions to make, and both must be open to new ideas. My background as an academic also helps me keep up with the latest research and translate it into practical workouts for my athletes.
I raced while in college but then moved away from the sport for ten years as I earned my PhD in English literature. I never lost my love for the bike, however, and I’ve been back racing for over a decade now. I started training with power in 2006 and have been a USA Cycling certified coach since 2006. I’ve worked with athletes at all levels and have helped several athletes upgrade from Cat 5 to Cat 2.
My biggest goal as a coach is to provide each athlete with the appropriate training guidance that meets their needs and focus on what is really important. We are all aware of the numerous training plans and textbooks out there that can be followed. Most of us, including myself in past years, get overwhelmed by this much information and don’t know which one to follow, how to start, how much time, etc.
A coach can take your goals, time constraints, etc., build a custom plan and say “Here follow this.” This allows you the athlete to focus on what is important which is moving your legs to hammer out each workout and build strength and stamina day after day. Don’t worry about following each workout blindly! Discussions on “why” will be included along the way to build your own training knowledge.
I enjoy sharing my knowledge and training experience with a variety of clients from all over the globe, particularly master’s racers, U23 riders, and juniors. In addition to coaching clients for PCG, I am the head coach of the Bear Creek Academy Cycling Team, a program geared toward introducing at-risk youth to the world of mountain bike racing.