Sunday, November 23, 2008


Now available at Jim Cunningham Coaching! Order your SKINS™ today for yourself or as a holiday gift.

SKINS™ assists with:

Improved Performance
Body Temperature Regulation
UV Protection

I've personally used SKINS™ in my own racing and training regiment and found SKINS™ very helpful primarily with recovery. SKINS™ helped me win the Tour of Atlanta stage race without a doubt!

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Coach Jim

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Training With a Power Meter Clinic with Hunter Allen

Wow, it's been way too long since I've written in here... This weekend, Affiliate Coach Sean Weddell and me are at The Peaks Coaching Center in Bedford, VA participating in Hunter Allen's 'Training With a Power Meter' class. Very cool guy that knows his stuff... Nice town at the base of the Blue Ridge Parkway too...

More soon!

Coach Jim

Sunday, August 10, 2008

2008 Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium

This was a smokin-fast Pro, Cat. 1 invite only NRC race... Signed up with Chris Knetsche, Chris Montelone & Justin Beard since my Cat. 1 team mates are traveling or injured right now (we'll nail it together next year!). I was the only to finish our of my four-man composite team. Very fast through turns. Out of corners along stretches had to hold wheel very tight and sprint full-gas many times! The race was 50 miles, took 1:45 and my Normalized Power was 385 watts. Only had 2 water bottles and need 3 next year... Crash with 1.5 to go almost took me down but just chain came off. Managed to get 43rd out of 134 starters. I was pretty happy with this and realize I can do better in these if I 1) do some motor-pacing, 2) do more NRC crits and 3) work on my sprint! Will do all of this for 2009!

Coach Jim

Sunday, July 20, 2008

French Broad Omnium Brevard Criterium, Saturday, July 19

Had really good legs today. Rodney Dender, Chris Gundling (his first Pro-Am Crit) and I were in it. Chris came to the front once and finished (only 22 of 50 or so did!) which is quite an accomplishment for him. I covered a bunch of moves early on yet missed a two-man roll off that lapped the filed. Stayed at the front watching DLP and Hincapie (neither made the break). Thad Dulin managed to escape the field and solo in no-mans-land for third which also put him in the overall Omnium lead. Fought hard for finishing position and got 12th. Rodney came in 13th and Chris Gundling 18th. Not bad, not great. Personally I really need to 1) make the break and 2) work on my sprint for 2009!

Coach Jim

Monday, July 7, 2008

SKINS are in!

Jim Cunningham Coaching is now carrying SKINS compression garments (and they're a lot more than that)! Currently your one and only source in the Upstate.

SKINS assists with:

Improved Performance
Body Temperature Regulation
UV Protection

I've personally used SKINS in my own racing and training regiment and found SKINS very helpful primarily with recovery. SKINS helped me win the Tour of Atlanta stage race without a doubt! See the following for more on SKINS: HOW THEY WORK FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS WHO'S WEARING SKINS PRODUCTS

Men's and Women's SKINS are in stock and available. Additionally, I will personally fit you for the proper size if desired and deliver them to you!

Reach me by phone or e-mail:
Jim Cunningham
(864) 630-3081

Master's Nationals Churchill Downs Crit, Age 35-39

A very exciting race for team mate Sean Weddell and me. Sean got in an early break in this 30 miles, 62 lap four-corner crit. I sat at the front and just covered a few moves. Eventually the pack brought the break back and I managed to go with the counter. And it was the right choice! We rode hard as a group of nine and lapped the field. Three other guys came across shortly after we lapped.

Then it was get to the front and sprint for a podium spot with about 20 laps to go (five podium spots with medals). I managed to stay at the front and followed a few hard attacks but nothing stuck. I knew I had to come out of the last corner in the top two or three riders and gas it... The pace picked up in the last three laps and I hung in the top five rather well. Sean held things together nicely. In the last lap, I clipped my pedal in the second turn but recovered quickly and out of the last turn sprinted as hard as I could towards the line.

In the end, I finished sixth, one off the podium... Sean and I gave it our best and we look forward to next year!

Coach Jim

Friday, July 4, 2008

Master's Nationals, Louisville, KY Cherokee Park, Age Group 35-39

Ugghh... Finished the race and that's about it.

Five mile course, 12 times for 60 miles with several short, punchy power climbs (precisely what I'm not good at). Team mate Sean Weddell and I were in this one together and he did quite well getting in an early break that looked promising if Paul Martin (2007 winner of this race as well as Elite National Road Race Champion) bridged across alone or with just a few others. Wasn't meant to be as a California team pulled it back. I did my best trying to stay near the front but in all reality could not.

One of the short hills had a steeper section in the bottom of it with a false flat to the top and the power climbers/sprinters were dancing over this hill as I sort of faded each time up it and then fought my way back toward the front while recovering to unfortunately do it all over again (the hill took 36 seconds on average and for all you power-junkies, I averaged over 650 watts for these 36 seconds many times up it). When Sean got back, I was able to go with a secondary chase group but this was short-lived and I was back in the fold soon thereafter.

On the bright side, I finished the race (30th place) while many of the 70-or-so starters were dropped or pulled from the course. Sean finished 25th.

We'll try again this Sunday in the Master's Nationals 35-39 criterium. I'm determined to stay near the front and do my best for Sean and me. Optimism is the word; we'll see what happens!

Coach Jim

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tour of Grandview, Ohio Pro-Am crit #1

A rather epic day! Team mate Rodney Dender and I traveled to Grandview, Ohio where we met up with one of our other team mates Sean Weddell for the first of two Pro-Am crits this weekend. Thunderstorms rolled in just before our race but we got started after a short hiatus at 6 p.m.

The crit tonight was a rectangular four-corner type. Distance-40 miles, laps-44. Noticeably longer than we normally partake in. The race started fast and Sean got up the road early on. There were a flurry of attacks in the first 5+ laps yet we covered them well and stayed at the front of the race. A guy from Texas Roadhouse drilled it in the front stretch shortly thereafter and I managed to get on the back of that train which consisted of seven guys. Not long after, the group of us realized we were clear from the peloton and we rolled it hard and fast for next 10+ laps. Several primes were thrown in and I managed to win one for $50.00--sweet! The group of us managed to stay away and were joined by DLP rider Boyd Johnson who came across solo. After roughly 20 of the 44 laps we could no longer see the pack behind us and by lap 33 we lapped the field and I got to the front and did my best to finish strong. Rodney and Sean worked hard to keep me in position. With about five to go, Texas Roadhouse put a seven-man train into overdrive and simply drilled it to stave off any attacks. We did our best to stay in the top 10 and in the end I finished sixth overall.

Coach Jim

Monday, June 23, 2008

Derek Wilford Takes Silver in the Ohio State TT Championships!

It was a good day for me today in the TT. A great improvement over last year. 55:10 vs 57:17 for 24 miles. 2nd - Silver medal 45-49!!!

I am happy with that for sure! Pacing was pretty good, but could have been a bit better for the last 5 miles as I started to loose power and concentration a bit.

Thanks - Man for all your coaching, etc.!!!!Derek

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Weekend Results and MORE on Mental Skills

Wow, what a weekend. On Friday evening I drove to team mate Sean Weddell's house in Statesboro, GA. After a short night's sleep, we woke at 3:30 a.m. and drove to Ocala, FL to do the Florida State Road Race Championships as preparation for Tour of Grandview (Columbus, OH, June 28-29) and Master's Nationals (June 30-July 6). We arrived after four+ hours of anxious driving with just enough time to sign up and race, literally. I was in the stall when they called us to the line and hadn't turned a single crank!

The race started off fast and the field was about 75 guys; Master's 30+ by the way... In the first seven mile lap, Sean and I made the break of nine guys and in the end were gone for the rest of the 50 mile race. Sean got away with one and then two others (one bridged up). They opened a big gap and I was able to sit on the other four who were chasing. Unexpectedly, they caught the three and I did my part and attacked straight away. At this point there were just over two laps to go or about 15 miles. I opened a decent gap and nobody came to me. After five miles or so I couldn't see the group behind. I kept pushing hard; so hard my stomach hurt... The chase did close in a bit but I managed to stay away for the win. Sean pulled off a sixth in the sprint and probably would've won the field sprint had he not been boxed in. Together we raced very well. Very fast, hot and hard race!

Here's an EXCELLENT article that all of us need to read, re-read and re-read again and again. Get my point? Read it, you will.

Coach Jim

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Kelly finds a new car, uh-oh!

Kelly and I rode the Blue Ridge Parkway from the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC this past weekend. While there she found a new car...

Coach Jim

Monday, June 2, 2008

Marco Pinotti, Giro June 1st TT

For you power-heads! Below is Team High Road Marco Pinotti's final-day TT performance in the 2008 Giro. Check out his normalized power. High but not freakish. However, consider his body weight of 149 lbs! Also, note the average cadence of 100 rpm's. Ala Lance Armstrong? I guess so... Also consider this is on the last day of a 21 day grand tour! Wow!

Giro Final TT:

Duration: 32:41
Norm Power: 377
28.236 km
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 783 374 watts
Cadence: 30 210 100 rpm
Speed: 27.3 63.6 51.8 kph

Coach Jim

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Asheville training weekend and bears!

Kelly and I traveled to Asheville this weekend to get some long steady-state climbing in on the Blue Ridge Parkway along with some other euro-roads of the very narrow variety with switch-backs.

We parked at the Grove Park Inn and rode from there with the climbing starting immediately. Sunset Parkway, Old Toll Rd., Town Mountain, Blue Ridge Parkway. The ride went really well and we had quite the experience on Town Mountain Rd. Riding along, we saw a big black object enter the road from the woods about 200 meters in front of us. It was a black bear... no big deal right, well it was as she had three little cubs with her! Kelly and I both stopped and as I watched, Kelly turned around and threw down one of her trade-mark 'barking dog' sprints in the other direction... The foursome crossed the road and proceeded down the incline into the woods on the other side of the road. The whole experience was surreal. What if we'd noticed them say 50 meters away? I don't want to know what fighting a mama black bear would've been like!

The rest of the ride was normal so-to-speak. We rode to the picnic area atop Craggy Gardens. Kelly climbed well and it was time to descend back to the GPI. I figured about 1 hour (took us 2 hours to get up there). I was pleasantly surprised with Kelly's improved descending skills though and we made it back in about 45 minutes. She was taking corners much faster than I've ever witnessed.

Great day of riding!

Sunday morning presented us with a little rain but it cleared by 9:30 a.m. and we got out for a 1 hour spin.

Coach Jim

Friday, May 30, 2008

BMW Performace Center Thursday 29 June Circuit Race

Team POA has done a really nice job with their Thursday night series at the BMW Performance Training Center in Greer, SC. Last night was the second event of the series. My team mates and I (Team Carolina Triathlon-Metro Reprographics) did both the Master's 35+ and Pro-Am race.

We took 1st & 2nd in the Master's race and 4th & 5th in the Pro-Am race.

If you haven't given these a try I highly suggest you do. The courses are safe with no cars and really wide lanes. Blair LaMarche, event coordinator from Team POA, does a great job giving out lots of primes too! I think he had over 20 last night! Plus the entry fee of $15 ($10 for a second race) is quite reasonable. These are USCF races and one can earn some upgrade points too!

Coach Jim

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tour of Atlanta--Mission Accomplished!

Today's stage was a four-corner crit with one short hill in it. Our rivals were there ready to go as were we. The course was fast and the weather was sunny and 81 degrees. The racer second to me was down 21 seconds at the start of the day. Being a sprinter and with four MAR (Most Aggressive Rider) time bonuses available along with time bonuses for 1st thru 3rd at the finish, we knew we had to beat him in as many of those as possible. In the end we did our job and held him at bay with Sean Weddell going on to win the stage and Rick Creed taking second. And I managed to win the GC in this 2008 Tour of Atlanta!

Coach Jim

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tour of Atlanta Sunday Update

The pressure was definitely on today. We had a 45 minute criterium and I was down 19 seconds to first place and 3 seconds to second place. Further, this is a timed race and they had sprint primes (three of them) which gave the first, second and third rider through the line on that lap a 5, 3 and 1 second bonus respectively. The two guys ahead of me were sprinters too... Clearly, I had to watch them and drill it at the right time and get away.

With about 20 minutes to go in the crit I did just that following one other racer along with Steve Sperry and we opened a gap of 5, 10 and eventually 35 seconds! We managed to stay away and I was surely inside-out trying to earn as many seconds back as possible. Steve came to the front and pulled like a freight-train three or four times (turning me doubly inside-out!) which really helped us build the lead.

First on GC with one day to go! We'll do out best tomorrow, Memorial Day, to keep the jersey and put the nail in the coffin for a victory at the five-day, seven-stage Tour of Atlanta 2008!

Coach Jim

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Tour of Atlanta Update

Well it's been three days and five stages. Thus far things have gone rather well. Thursday was the ITT in which I finished fourth. Not at my best due to just coming off a bad virus... lungs still not 100% but legs were good.

In the evening we did 800 meter street sprints and first of all they were a lot of fun. I managed to win the first heat, get second in the semi-finals and fourth in the final round. Not bad for the first go at this and man was it a lot of fun!

Friday evening found us in a wet and technical crit. Got away and one guy came up to me. We built a lead of 35 seconds by the end and it earned me the leaders jersey--1st on GC, whew-hew! It's always fun to have but is the pressure ever on and you feel it shortly after earning it... Now you have to defend and keep it!

Saturday was the TTT in which we did okay finishing the top 3 teams. At the moment we're not sure where and what the time gaps are due to poor management on Georgia Cup's part. It appears I've fallen to second overall by about 20 seconds. We'll see tomorrow... In the afternoon was our road race and after many hard attempts by all six of us it came down to a field sprint. Rodney Dender took second and Steve Sperry fifth.

More to come in the next few days. We'll go for it tomorrow and Monday in two crits. Looking forward to it and surely going to try to put a dent in things...

Much fun and legs are good!

Team mates are doing great too with three of us in the top 10. I'd fill in all the details but must run!

Coach Jim

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ed McAlister puts the hammer down!

Jim Cunningham Coaching athlete Ed McAlister not only completed but top-20'd this past weekend's Brasstown Bald Century (that's miles baby, not kilometers!). This ride had over 10,000 feet of climbing and ended atop Brasstown Bald--one of the most difficult climbs in the country. Here is Ed's race report:

Wow, what a race. I had really good legs-your suggestions during the week were dead on. Started with the lead group-maybe 10 or so, but on the first long grade I realized that I could not hold the pace and dropped off. Rode by myself for about 5 miles—all the rest were behind me. Another guy dropped off the lead and we worked together for about 60 miles. He was stronger on the flats and I was on the hills and grades-imagine that. My weight loss has really made a difference. We picked up two more guys at about 70 mi and worked with them to about 85 miles-the bottom of Hogpen Gap. The 3 of them pulled off at an aid station, but I kept going-turned out to be the right move because I never saw them again.. I climbed Hogpen and pulled back 3 more riders –got to the top had the great down hill and started in the valley for Brasstown. Along the road I passed 2 guys, but one passed me back at the bottom of Brasstown. Up to this point I was in good shape getting tired but was really strong and climbing well, both in and out of the saddle. Out of water at the bottom of Brasstown-stopped filled up and started. That climb is amazing. I did well, but it was a struggle-mainly because it was at the end. I kept waiting on the wall and then I found it. I realized half way up I may be in trouble and then it hit me suddenly---I was in trouble. Going maybe 3 mph I swerved to the left then overcompensated and swerved right turned back to the left and just tipped over-man was I mad. Only 20 or so meters from the top of the wall. I jumped up and almost ran 20-30 meters jumped on the bike and took off. The rest of way was almost easy. Finished in 6:27. Not sure about how I placed, but no worse than top 15. The answer I got was the finishers would be posted later. Finishing was bitter sweet, but I was actually amazed I felt so strong and had the energy to do so well. The food drinks worked perfectly and the meal suggestions in preparation for the race were great.

The wall is very similar to Sassafras, but I have never rode 98 miles and tried Sassafras. Yesterday I was pulling on the bars so hard my front wheel came off the ground.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tardy, tardy!

Hey, y'all... It has been a while since I've posted anything on my own darn blog. I apologize to those of you reading it... The last month or so has been very cool with lots of exciting coaching and cycling things going on. Here's a laundry list of them; send me a message at if you want to comment or discuss any of them:

1) Client and dad, Jim Cunningham SR. finally invests in an SRM power meter. He loves it! About time!

2) Team CTM (that stands for Carolina Triathlon-Metro Reprographics and you see why it's just 'CTM' now!) raced this past weekend and chalked up a 5th--Jim Taylor in the Pro-1-2 Donaldson Spring Series #1 race, and 2nd & 3rd--Sean Weddell & Rodney Dender in the Master's 35+ BMW Performance Center Series #2 race.

3) Kelly Patton (my wife), Chris Miller (client and work-horse extraordinaire), Jim SR. and I did the 'Myrtle Beach Marathon 100K' timed ride. Kelly finished 5th of all the women, Jim SR. & Chris were in the top 20 and in the sprint... Somehow I snuck off the front 20 minutes into the thing and stayed away for the next 2:26 stealing the fastest time on the day (295 watts Normalized Power--ouch!!!)

4) Jim Cunningham Coaching has added an additional coach in Sean Weddell! You can reach Sean at Sean is an accomplished swim coach at the collegiate level, Cat. 1 road racer with lots of power and tactical sense. After coaching a few cyclists for the past 1.5 years, Sean has secured his USACycling Club Level license and looks to make coaching his full-time gig once again as a cycling coach.

5) My team's website is really starting to rock! Check out the pod casts; they are well presented (kudos to Josh!) and you will learn much about cycling! Believe me, I did!

I'm sure I could list four or five more things but must stop here...

Happy training & racing!

Coach Jim

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Busy, busy!

Man has life been busy the last few weeks! I realize as do some of you readers I have not written anything about the Upstate Winter Bike League since Week 5 or thereabout. My bad. The skinny--the last two were quite nice with good weather and fast attack zones. I managed to get third in the final attack zone this past Saturday, 2/2/08, after about 100 miles of riding (and also after one earlier attack zone where my team mates and I helped Jim Taylor place 1st!). Here's some numbers on those from the ever-reliable SRM Power Meter:

Sprint Zone #1 w short hills. Off front much:
Duration: 10:55
Work: 222 kJ
TSS: 23.3 (intensity factor 1.131)
Norm Power: 373
Distance: 4.458 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 1117 339 watts
Cadence: 31 124 96 rpm
Speed: 10.8 35.4 24.5 mph
Pace 1:42 5:33 2:27 min/mi
Crank Torque: 0 986 296 lb-in

Sprint zone #2; bridge to Andy, etc. hard to finish:
Duration: 16:23
Work: 290 kJ
TSS: 29.9 (intensity factor 1.046)
Norm Power: 345
Distance: 7.179 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 927 295 watts
Cadence: 30 133 98 rpm
Speed: 17.3 40.4 26.3 mph

Coach Jim

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dream Come True!

Thanks to Glenn Thrift (better known as Papa) I've secured my USCF Category 1 Upgrade. Whew-hew!!! Been knockin' on that door since 2006 and wasn't sure I'd get over the hump on that one. But it is done! BIG TIME Thank You to everyone that's helped me get there, starting with Dad, Jim Cunningham Sr!

Coach Jim

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Belgian Forty...

Wow, what a crazy ride to work this morning... Left home lit to the gills in the dark and dense fog at 6:30 a.m. During my ten-minute warm up I nearly piled it up while coming to a normally routine stop from the dew that settled on the road through the night. Oh well, move on I thought and leave those brakes alone! Shortly thereafter I started my 40 minute Level IV interval... I got it in but was exceptionally challenged by the bumps, potholes (is this Ohio?), cars and slippery turns I encountered... Worries subsided with about five minutes to go realizing I had this *&^$%#%&$^@! by the horns and it was smooth sailin'... I hope next time conditions are better or I'm on my Computrainer!

Coach Jim

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Upstate Winter Bike League #4

UWBL #4 was awesome this weekend thanks to great weather and lots of riders. We rode 83 miles or so in just over four hours at an average speed of 20.7 mph. There were two official sprint zones, the first won by Greenville's own Rich Hincapie and the second by Boyd Johnson. Team Carolina Triathlon-Metro Reprographics holds the top spot in the Team Competition after Steve Sperry and Jim Taylor placed second and third in today's sprint zones respectively.

To add to the fun, UWBL #4 had a special guest in George Hincapie today. Looking fit and having fun, George idled along (compared to the rest of us) on his new Giant well-appointed with a Dura-Ace SRM.

UWBL #5 is next Saturday, January 12th and then it's off to Alto (Georgia) for an epic 120 fast miles on Saturday, January 19th.

Coach Jim

Friday, January 4, 2008

Positive Thought for these Cold Winter Days...

'Everyone has an equal opportunity to prove he has no equal'
--Demetrius Boa,
--compliments of Dan McNamara

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

If your 2008 training hasn't begun the time is NOW. Get motivated, get it together and get it done!

Coach Jim