In a new feature for our website, “Catching Up With…” will sit down with some of Marymoor Velodrome’s elite racers- ones who have goals such as the Olympic Games, World Championships, and National Rankings.
These interviews give you, the reader, a unique perspective at the sacrifice, triumphs, and dedication shown by fellow Marymoor Velodrome racers as they commit 100 percent to a life of track racing.
Our first edition features Conor Klupar. For those of you who do not know Conor, he has grown up racing at Marymoor. Last summer he became the junior match sprint National Champion, went to the World Championships, and solidified his standing as one of the best young sprinters in the country when he stood on the podium at the Elite National Championships in the match sprint event.
“You need to optimize every minute because Rio is less than four years away”
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Could you give us some background for those who do not know you?
I am 18 years old, doing running start at Mt. Si high school. That entails me taking classes at Bellevue College. I should get my AA when I graduate High school. I plan to continue my education at a 4 year college.
I know it’s going back a bit, but recap how your Elite nationals went?
It was tough but, a great learning experience. I was tired after going from Junior Natz to Junior Worlds and then capping the season off at elites. I really never saw myself racing at that level. And then when I was totally hanging with them it was great. I ended up with a 5th place in the sprints, on the podium. Pretty exciting.
Tell us about the 200-meter time-trial time standard? What does that mean for you?
Basically, through my performance last year I was able to make the national team. Jamie Staff, Director of Sprint for USA cycling, set a time standard based on your age. The 10.963 sec 200m that I set in New Zealand (Jr. World Champs. ed) qualified me to be on the National Development team. As long as I keep hitting the standards I will remain in the talent pool. My goal for this season is a 10.8. I’m going to hit that standard and do better!
Any LA sprint camps coming up, or happened recently? What are those camps?
I went down over Christmas break. It always nice to get to down to warm LA. All the sprinters get together. It gives us an opportunity to push each other. Jamie evaluates how our training is coming along. It’s training pretty much 24×7. No real time to party or see the sights.
I hope to get down over spring break, its LA or Ft. Lauderdale. Then there is another camp at the OTC (Olympic Training Center) before the US Grand Prix of Sprinting. That’s an international level event. Then there is another camp just before the Mass Start National Championships at Rock Hill.
How has your training been? How have you been training for the track when you can’t ride on the track?
Training is going great. It’s still tough. I just added gym work to my repertoire. Lots of leg oriented lifts, lots of core work, and plyometrics (plenty o’ box jumps).
On the bike is tough. Most days I can’t get out on the track because of the rain. Basically, you have to work with what you got. I have my dad’s old run down Fuji. We put a front brake on it and take it down the farm road (Snoqualmie Valley River Rd.) I can do starts, down hill sprints, some longer efforts. Indoors I do lots of roller work outs, spin ups. I just got a Lemond Trainer and you can put a lot of watts into that thing.
A lot of the time it’s not ideal. But, you gotta do what you gotta do. You need to optimize every minute because Rio is less than four years away.
What is your favorite workout?
Anything with nice long rests in between efforts. I’m a sprinter after all! In all honesty, motor pacing is probably the most fun. Dropping out turn 2 ten miles per hour faster than you can go by yourself is exhilarating. Watching the moto driver struggle to keep the bike in the lane as I come around is crazy fun because you are going so fast. Since I am all about speed hitting my maximum velocity is like an addiction. You always want be pushing the envelope.
What are your goals for this season, as well as long term?
This year I want to have a strong showing in the NTC (National Track Calendar). I want to better the 10.8 time standard. Obviously do well at the Marymoor GP. Big two events on my calendar are the US GP of Sprint at Colorado Springs and the US Elite National Championships at Rock Hill. A lot of domestic racing this season to build experience.
Long term I’d like to start racing internationally. I have my sights set on the Rio Olympics in 2016. That is a huge amount of work but, I feel I am up to the challenge.
Finally, what’s your favorite meal to eat after working out?
I’m a sucker for a pizza and a big glass of chocolate milk.
Thanks Conor for taking the time to talk with us, and good luck in 2013!
(photo courtesy of Guy Tucker)