Monday, September 3, 2012

Day 189: Motivation Tuesday-Meet John Lauck

It's Motivation Tuesday!

Today you get to meet John Lauck, a man who has a very busy professional life, but uses biking to balance it all. Besides cycling, John enjoys hiking, skiing, and just about anything outdoors. Read John's interview carefully as there is a lot of advice for you and me to learn from. 


Tell us a little about yourself
I am 56 years old, married with four sons and have lived in Utah, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Wichita Kansas and Minneapolis during my adult life.  I grew up in Southern California, New Jersey, West Virginia and Houston, Texas.  I work for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals helping raise funds for 170 children's hospitals in North America.

When did you start riding a bike?
I started riding bikes actively in 1985.

What motivated you to start riding?
I was a long time runner and decided to try a triathlon. I did horribly in the swim, very mediocre in the run, but the biking was good – so I found my sport.

How do you find time to workout?
I ride early in the morning, on Tuesday nights with club rides and on Saturdays.  I tend to schedule my life around my cycling – it must happen or I am not happy.

What made you interested in racing/competing?
I found that I could do reasonably well so that motivated me to see what I could do if I trained harder and set some goals.  I also like the adrenaline rush and nervous feeling of competing – it really pushes me and gives me goals to train for.

How do you motivate yourself when you don’t want to workout?
I have ridden on enough bad days to know that if I just get started, the ride will eventually get easier and I will start enjoying it.  I must be an endorphin junkie because I can't remember a ride that I haven't been glad that I did it.

What is a typical day of working out look like for you?
Weekday mornings I usually do an hour or two on either my road or MTB.  I go easy if I have had a hard effort the day before.  I use a power meter to regulate intensity as opposed to heart rate or perceived effort.  On weekday night rides, it's usually an all out hammerfest.  I do a ride every Tuesday that my club calls, "The Pain Locker"  The objective is to try and drop everyone by the end of the ride.  It usually averages about 25 mph with numerous attacks and sprints.  It took me two years of diligent failure before I could make it to the end of the ride with the fastest group (anywhere from 60 to 85 miles).  Weekend for me is usually a race (45 – 80 miles depending) or around 100 miles if a training effort.

What is your philosophy about eating?
I try to regulate quantity more than quality.  I burn anywhere from 8,000 to 15,000 calories a week cycling and even with that, I can easily gain weight.  I like to eat whatever I want – I just try to not go crazy (1 cookie instead of 5).  I do believe that if you are riding a lot and racing, you can't starve the engine – and carbs are the fuel that works best for me – breads, cereal for breakfast and other whole grains work.  On the bike, I have been blessed with an iron stomach and can eat anything I want.  It always amazes my riding companions when we stop during a long ride and I grab a burger, fries and Diet Coke while they are choking down a Gu or Powerbar.

What is your philosophy about weigh loss?
Best way to improve your fitness, speed, apperance, happiness and cycling enjoyment.  Want to go faster?  Lose 5 lbs – cheaper than spending $1000 on a lighter wheel set.  My experience has been that if I do lose the weight – everything gets better.

How do you prepare as far as rest pre and post competitions?

I believe in taking "easier days" and the concept of active recovery.  If I take too much rest (ie not work out at all for more than a day), I get stiff and have a harder time keeping the motivation going.  I always try to do an easy ride the day before or evening before every competition

What advice would you offer to someone that wants to make a change in his or her physical activity?
Do something, anything and keep moving.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Walk during your breaks at work.  But do something active every day.  The other advice is to ramp up slowly – too much too soon will always result in injury and that will kill any program.  The rule of thumb is to increase activity no more than 10% each week.  That being said, my experience is that most do not do enough and then get discouraged and quit than those that do too much.  So find a balance.

What goals do you have for yourself in the near future?
I want to lose a few more lbs., retain the ability to keep up with my team mates and I want to win the Licensed tandem division of LOTOJA next week.

What is your family involvement with biking?

My wife rides tandem with me

What brand of bike do you ride?
I have a Specialized SL4 road bike, a Litespeed Archon road bike, a Co-motion Macchiato tandem and a Specialized Epic MTB

Where can we follow you on your journey?

I'll be racing the Point 2 Point MTB event in Park City this weekend, LOTOJA next weekend and probably the 6 hours of Frog Hollow in October.  My results are also posted in the UCA website(Utah Cycling Association) for Masters 55+ races.

Any parting words of advice?

Cycling is a great way to stay fit, meet new friends, see some of the most beautiful scenery in the world (in a way you can't from a car) and add an element of success that you can control to your life.


Thanks John for sharing some of the details of your biking. I think John is plugged into something that brings him a lot of joy. Especially riding tandem with his can't go wrong there!

Stay tuned for next week's Motivation Tuesday, where I'll interview another individual who is doing some big things in the world of cycling!

Watch out for the man hole covers!



  1. Hey Don,

    I could not have picked a better day to decide to stop by for a visit,I love inspirational stories! Since your blog inspired me to create my own website based on the idea of inspiring others to loose weight for my class project ( I am currently finishing up my A.A. as well as working toward a certificate in Web Design and Management), I was wondering if I could feature you as my first success story? I mean, you look great!!! I would of course provide them with a link to your blog and tell them how you motivated me. Let me know as soon as you can either way :)


    1. I'd be happy to help anyway I can!


    2. Hey Don!!! Thank you SO much! I just would really like permission to talk about your journey and how it inspired me, as well as use your before and after photo from a while back (the one of you in your suit.) I know how busy you are trying to bike, work, and get your movie done so I wont be trying to bother you with questions or anything. I will be providing them with a link to your blog so they can get inspired as well! Anywho, thank you very much for taking the time to reply to this. Let me know if you are ok with me using your picture and that should be all I need to get started. I will let you know when I have my website up so you can check it out....just remember that this will be my first website so I am not sure if it will be fancy, but I am gonna try :)


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