VQ & You: Nathan Carmon


I was asked for race results and here’s my story…not exactlya “race,” but results for sure.

First, a little bit of background: I was extremely sick with various illnesses during the second half of 2014 and knew I needed to do something different. I carried over 228 pounds on my 6’1″ frame with a BMI of 30.2.

I started eating right and consuming slightly fewer calories than my RMR. I began riding on a trainer in late winter, but that was intermittent. When spring finally broke in Cleveland, I started riding more regularly, about 75 miles a week, but nothing over 30 miles at a time (still more than I had ever ridden in my life). I slimmed to 210 lbs. and started feeling better. However, I was stuck at 210 and still had nagging gastro problems. I knew I needed help to get over the next hump–something more than just going out and riding. A friend challenged me to think bigger about my cycling goals and that’s when I decided I needed a coach. Enter VQ…

More importantly, enter Carlos Soler. What a godsend! I asked VQ for help that very same week because I wanted to get started immediately. Within a day, I had a call from Carlos. He didn’t hesitate to set me up with a VQ plan and I was working on it the next day. First was a simple day to spin me around, then he hit me with threshold testing over two days. I’m sure you hate threshold testing too, but at least I had a baseline. I’ve been working with Carlos for about a month now [at the time of this writing] and during that time he has worked me hard and added functional training.

We haven’t tested again yet, but I can feel the improvement. Before I started with Carlos I couldn’t climb a 200’ hill without stopping (twice!). I’d done a 50-mile ride, but nothing over a 1,000’ total vertical. And, from what I could tell, my aerobic decoupling occurred somewhere around 1:45 into a threshold ride.

I’m now averaging 150 miles a week, I’ve lost another 17 lbs. and now weigh 193, and my BMI is down to 25.5…just .5 over “normal”. More importantly ALL my physical ailments are gone. My aerobic decoupling went to 2:20, then 2:45. Last Sunday I rode in Richfield, Ohio’s 50-Mile Sweet Corn Challenge with 3,100′ of vertical (see photo). My normalized power was 83% of FTP for the full three hours AND my aerobic decoupling was under 5%. I had no issues andstrongly completed a 550’ climb at the end of the ride.

I’m well on my way to my stated goal for the year: Gran Fondo Hincapie. Carlos has some sort of magic up his sleeve because he always has me just a little bit tired, but still amped for the next workout. He seems to know what I need next and is a great coach because his style is positive, motivating and timely. Most importantly, he can handle my sarcastic, perfectionist, hard-driving style and has a unique ability to ground me in reality. For me, this is about having fun, losing some weight, extending my life, feeling better and getting stronger.

Thanks, Carlos! See you at the Gran Fondo Hincapie!

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