I started training with MM Team Fitness at the beginning of 2011 as part of the Climb for the Cure training event, doing legs only once a week. In October of 2010 I ran my first half-marathon. While training for that race, I developed plantar fasciitis. I also gained weight during training and I knew it wasn't just muscle mass. When I ran the race, I felt heavier and less in shape than I had six months before. I knew I had to change my approach to training and include strength and conditioning.
When I started training with MM Team Fitness, I was surprised what I couldn't do. I found out that most things I thought I knew how to do, I was doing incorrectly. I couldn't squat below parallel without bending over -- just didn't have the hip flexibility. I didn't know how to power clean a bar or work with kettlebells without bruising myself up. I made progress, slowly. With MM Team Fitness training, I often felt like I took two steps forward and one step back. It’s hard mentally and physically, but I appreciate that Mark demands proper form and technique because it's important to avoid injury and to translate what we do in the gym to real life.
Following my first Pelotonia century ride in 2011, I added a second day of team training. In early 2012 I came on board with the full 3d/wk program.
I started training with Mark because of his knowledge and expertise. What I didn't expect when I started was how much I would enjoy the team aspect of our training. Mark tends to draw high-caliber clients to his groups, not in the sense that they are highly fit to start, but they are all passionate and committed to living better lives, like minded driven professionals as others have described his teams.
I am inspired and motivated by my teammates and the improvement I've seen in others. The energy of team training brings out my “A Game” for every session.
This year, during the 100 mile Pelotonia ride, the people I passed were averaging about 12-14 mph, and I was easily passing them at 18-20. I realized at that point how much I have improved in 2 years and how important strength and conditioning is to endurance sports. When I started cycling in 2011, I was one of those people everyone else was passing.
Interestingly, my performance has improved significantly by riding only two days a week (one interval ride and one long ride), in addition to my three-days-a-week of team training. Moreover, I'm not spending near the amount of time on my bike that most of my friends are, but I have steadily improved with them.
As many other competitive MM Team Fitness endurance athletes are finding, improved performance comes with less total miles, more interval/speed/hill work, and strength and conditioning. Two years ago I would have never thought that. – Heidi Griesmer (age 42)