Kenneth Allen, a distinguished member of the Shift Cycle Wear Race Team just finished the Cedar City Fire Road Bike Race. This was Kenneth’s first mountain bike race and he placed 2nd overall – only 10 seconds off the winning time over a very technical 24K course in southern Utah. We were able to speak with Kenneth about his experience placing on the podium in only his first race.
Shift Cycle Wear: Congratulations on a great showing. You kind of came out of nowhere on the mountain bike racing circuit. Then to jump in and place 2nd in a qualifier for the Leadville Race Series is quite impressive. How did train for your first race?
Training on the bike started back in April when I first hit the mountain trails in Moab on my Rocky Mountain. I fell in love with the ability to get off the road and explore areas that most people do not see. Each weekend I would climb Muller Park, which is about 14 miles round trip with a 2000 elevation climb. While this built up my lungs to deal with the elevation change and the strength in my legs, I still need endurance. To build up my endurance I would run every Sunday night for ~10 miles.
Shift Cycle Wear: I’m sure racing for the first time in general was quite a rush, but if you had to pick one thing about the race that surprised you, what would it be?
I was quite surprised how fast everyone started off and I was a little nervous to try and keep up and run out of steam since I was not familiar with the route. Once we got out in the open I could start to pace myself and then fully ramp up in the final leg. While it was a competition, whether I was passing fellow riders or if I was being passed, everyone was very encouraging and motivating to ensure we all finish. It was such an awesome vibe to be riding with 400+ people (and a few pro’s)!
Shift Cycle Wear: We noticed you chose to wear Shift’s One World Japan jersey for your first race. Why?
I used this jersey for training and I quickly fell in love with how light and cool it felt. I knew it was going to be hot riding in Southern Utah, so I wanted to make sure that I could keep riding without the worry of my body overheating and this jersey proved just that. Also, the material (zipper included) is made from the very best and has lasted me on multiple excruciating rides!
Shift Cycle Wear: With this impressive finish under your belt, what is next on your race calendar?
I’m gearing up for a full marathon in late August and a century ride in Sept. I’m also hoping to get in enough shape for a half Ironman this coming year.
Shift Cycle Wear: Are you planning to make any major changes to your training agenda and/or your race strategy heading into your next competition?
I definitely hoping to get more saddle time, especially for
the century ride, but largely speaking the workout that I do with P90X and the
couple pops of cardio that I get on the weekend help tremendously. I honestly feel that in order to play hard
you have to push all components of your body.
You can’t just be on the saddle 100% of the time; you need to add core
strength, leg, back, arms, etc to get your full body in the right
The biggest thing I will incorporate into my next training cycle is by incorporating more raw foods such as chia seeds. I've done a few experiments with them as a pre-work out drink and chia does wonders on providing your body with the right nutrients for your hard rides/runs!