Experience, science, results. These are the foundations of everything at Tenac Championship Coaching, a relative newcomer to the training world that was created by cyclists for cyclists, with the aim of providing a comprehensive approach to coaching, based on their own personal experiences on the bike combined with a rigorous application of the latest scientific methods.
Founded by Jason Tullous in 2014, Tenac’s three-man team brings almost four decades of racing and training experience to the table, including plenty of results, not least a Master’s World Championship and a plethora of other national and international successes.
“Cycling has been part of my life for as long as I can remember,” says Jason, whose CV includes coaching jobs with the likes of the Hincapie Development Team, Team Novo Nordisk, and Mexico’s National Team as they prepared for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“I basically grew up at a BMX track and after a short time away from a bike, I started MTB racing in the late ’80s. After graduating Northern Arizona University with a degree in Biology, I turned pro on the MTB and raced for seven years on the NORBA circuit. Coaching evolved organically in my final years of racing, and then I really embraced it after I retired. Now, 17 years later, I’m still learning and still excited to see my athletes reach their goals.”
When it comes to achieving those goals, Jason is unequivocal about the secret to success. “Communication with athletes,” he says, without hesitation.
“Without it, all is lost. There are many obstacles out there and with every athlete it can be a very different coaching experience, but it’s a great satisfaction to see them accomplish their goals.”
Among the most common of obstacles is the desire to want too much, too soon, and it’s in areas like this that having an experienced coach will be invaluable. Making real improvement is a marathon rather than a sprint, and it’s vital to have someone in your corner that knows when to remind you that sometimes, less can be more.
“Going too hard, too fast is a common problem,” says Jason. “Just like in a race, you want to conserve and be efficient. Many times an athlete will want to start riding as hard and as much as they can. Training and results are much easier than that. My hardest job is sometimes teaching them to hold back, and that recovery is just as important as the intervals.”
These days, there’s no such thing as a “typical” client when it comes to training services, and Tenac deals with a variety of people from all walks of life. They do have one thing in common, obviously: A desire to improve.
“They have some cycling goals and want to maximize the limited time they have to train. Almost everyone has a specific goal they are looking to accomplish, whether that’s an event like the Leadville 100, a European cycling vacation, or even a World Championship.
“We’ve coached 13 National Champions, a winner of the Cape Epic MTB stage race, world tour stage winners and many more incredible accomplishments. But the one athlete that stands out most to me lost 60lbs over nine months preparing L’Etape du Tour, which is a one-day gran fondo event in France. He not only finished the event but finished in a silver medal time. I was very proud of him.”
Such a dramatic change would be difficult under any circumstances, but doing it on your own just makes the burden all the more strenuous. having a coach, says Jason, will help you through the hardest times.
“The best reasons for coaching are inspiration, accountability, and education. Coaches should inspire their athletes, whether that’s toward a specific workout, goal, or special ride. Having a coach gives that accountability to hold to your goals. I say education, because I see a coach as a guide. We are here to guide and teach you about everything from your workouts to your riding skills to your events and many times about yourself.
And Why Tenac?
“Our coaches have many years of experience, not only in coaching but also on the bike. That enables us to relate better to our athletes. We also only look to evidence based coaching principles to yield the best results. Then look to results. The proof is in the pudding. We have incredible results from our athletes every year, every month and really every week.”
And lastly, any top-secret coaching techniques that you can share with the inGamba faithful?
“Ride your bike. Consistency is king in seeking improvements.”
For more on Tenac’s exclusive inGamba packages, check out gotenac.com.