Over the past few days, I have been getting some questions about the Ignition Fitness/Skechers Athlete Team, for which the application period opened a few days ago and will continue until November 30, 2015. This is the program that got me started on my journey with Ignition Fitness, and I have since continued to develop as a budding elite duathlete.
You can read all about the team at the link I posted above. Tommy Ferris has done a fantastic job of attracting an excellent group of sponsors, a top-notch coaching staff and support team, and has put together a fantastic program for athletes looking to get to the next level. Bringing Skechers Performance on board as title sponsor is just the icing on the cake of a program that I believe can be very valuable to any athlete. And that is the perspective I would like to expand upon: my own perspective and experiences as part of the Ignition Fitness athlete team over the past two seasons. Why I think you should be a part of the Athlete Team.
You can read about my journey and background with Ignition Fitness on my Sponsors page. Reader’s Digest version, I started off a naive university student who had no idea what his heart rate zones were, let alone how to use them in training. Now, I have gained the training knowledge needed to take me to new levels. So what can you get out of being a part of the Ignition Fitness/Skechers Athlete Team?
1) A battle-tested and proven coach. Whether you end up being coached by Tommy, Paolina or Roger, you are getting one heck of an individual to guide you. I can speak personally to the volumes I have learned from Tommy over the past two years about how to get the best out of my training. He imparts this knowledge with a rare combination of compassion and flexibility, yet he knows just when to be a hard ass. Roger you are getting a coach with a metric tonne of experience getting the most out of athletes in this sport, and twice that amount of knowledge. From what I gather, Roger is an athlete’s coach that makes many others seem difficult and distant. And Paolina’s accomplishments speak for themselves; you name it, she’s probably won it, and is ready to get you to that level now too.
2) Comprehensive goal-setting and season planning. The first step to a successful season is a sound blueprint for the year. Ignition coaches will sit down with you and help you plot your course for the upcoming season, including setting goals and choosing races to meet those goals. What amazed me was how specific my Annual Training Plan was, containing things that I would forget about partway through the season. Imagine my surprise when a race simulation workout popped up that had been discussed but had since slipped my mind. Thus, the Augustus F Hallett Imperial Sprint Du was born…
3) Flexibility. The above being said, I change my mind a lot. Like…a ton. During the early part of next year, my race schedule will very likely change on a weekly basis. During the season, especially towards the end, A races have a way of dropping off the schedule as I ponder the best way to get the most out of the scant fitness I have left. And some weeks…you just don’t have it. The last two years, my ATP got tweaked so many times to add in recovery periods or downtime for personal events that my head was spinning. I can only imagine how that exasperated Tommy, yet he did everything he could to work with me and make it work. And when I needed to be told “no”, I was told just that, no minced words. I’m a better athlete for it.
4) Sweet sponsor perks. I won’t lie, I’m a sucker for sweet gear. With Ignition, you will be rocking the best looking and most distinctive kit in the race, with that loud yellow flame plastered across your back. Discounts and services from Big Race Wheels, Wheels of Bloor and Felt Bicycles are things I have used liberally even though I live an hour away, and the Clif Bar package and samples are always a nice surprise. I have these to thank for my bike and my wheels for A races. The addition of Skechers caps it all off. Shoes are a big expense, and two free pairs of high quality performance footwear is no small thing for any athlete. You’ll be well set-up for the season with Ignition.
The bottom line is that you could say any of the things in bold above about almost any program. What I think makes Ignition different is how thoroughly they deliver on each aspect. The numbers for each coach are kept relatively small, so you better believe that you’ll be getting the level of attention you want. There are no Gold/Silver/Bronze levels of access and communication…just one level with as much access as you need. I trust Tommy and the gang to keep me on the road to fulfilling my aspirations of being a professional duathlete, and the Skechers Athlete Team program is perfect for you to start down your path in 2015. I don’t waste my time with products I don’t believe in, and I definitely don’t spend 3 days writing a blog post about it if it isn’t worth it. Join me in 2015. You won’t regret it.