Chris Carmichael Interview
Interview with Lance Armstrong's trainer.
I had the chance to talk to Lance Armstrong?s trainer Chris Carmichael about working with Lance, training methods, and his expectations for this year?s Tour de France. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
How has your relationship with Armstrong developed over the years?
Our relationship has grown into one of friendship as well as a coach/athlete relationship. I've learned to coach Lance Armstrong the person, as well as Lance Armstrong the athlete.
Are you a "crack the whip" trainer when it comes to Lance?
Lance knows what needs to be done. In his younger days I may have had to "crack the whip" but he is so driven to succeed he knows what he has to be done to keep winning and stay on top. He is a 24-7-365 type of athlete.
Armstrong has now won the Tour four times. Does your position as trainer for Armstrong ever get boring? How do you keep motivating yourself from year to year?
Never boring. The desire to succeed keeps you motivated. If you get satisfied or complacent, someone else with more desire will come along and knock you out of the top. When you have an athlete who is at the top of his game, everyone is aiming for him and if you don't work even harder each year, someone will eventually surpass you.
What types of adjustments are made to Lance's training regiment based upon the Tour route from year to year?
To win the tour, you must be a complete rider, strong in the mountains and fast in the time trials. While the routes change each year, there isn't much change in the tour. Lance still rides all the mountain stages a couple months prior to the race so he is extremely familiar with each stage and knows what each takes to ride to victory.
What is the most important way in which the 2003 Tour route differs from the routes of previous <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
The route of the Tour remains nearly the same each year. What makes the race is the intensity that the riders race each day of the Tour.
Armstrong will be facing a broader range of competitors in this year's Tour de France. Riders such as Simoni, Botero, Hamilton and Ullrich will challenge Lance's throne. In what ways did this force you to change Armstrong's training plan and strategy?
There are always rivals every year of the tour. Lance prepares harder than anyone else so he is prepared for whoever issues the challenge. Lance just prepares to be the best so he is able to meet and exceed the challengers.
When analyzing Lance's training plan, do you focus on max heart rate, watts, cadence, recovery time, or a combination of all of these?
We concentrate on a combination of all the factors. Power plays the most significant role in his training as it is a constant we can work on in every training session.
According to my knowledge, Lance