The Coaching Project

Outside Magazine

by Aaron Gulley

In April 2013, after many years of trying, I completed the Arizona Trail 300, a self-supported mountain bike race held on isolated singletrack in the Sonoran Desert. I rode hard and finished first of 52 starters in a record time of 51 hours, 59 minutes. But I missed my goal of finishing in under two days.

That got me wondering what else I could do to improve my time. For amateur athletes like me, there’s a whole new world of fitness devices and apps that can track key metrics, from speed and mileage to heart rate and power output. But as I learned through experimentation, simply recording data doesn’t do all that much for you. I needed a way to interpret the numbers and tailor my training accordingly. I didn’t need a new gadget or app – I needed a coach.

[To read the rest of the article, click here or pick up a copy of the September issue of Outside.]