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“I knew I would not be racing as a pro again and had decided I would retire from competition.”

As a competitive cyclist for the last 27 years, Ainslie MacEachran spent 4 years racing in Europe and 4 years as a Professional. He has ridden in 3 Corestates USPro Championships, 2 US Olympic Trials, the prestigious Amateur Het Volk Classic, and numerous Cat. 1 (Elite) National Championships.

Ainslie launched Gemini Training systems back in 1999, and has consistently developed programs that uniquely fit all of his client’s training needs. Ainslie is now a coach with Zoom Performance (www.getzoomperformance.com) based out of Des Moines Iowa.

Gemini Training Systems

BusinessInterviews.com: What inspired you to take your passion and expertise in cycling and fitness and turn it into a business?

Ainslie: I remember very distinctly the thoughts I had as I was on an airplane flying back from my last event of the 2001 racing season. I knew I would not be racing as a pro again and had decided I would retire from competition. I knew I wanted to continue to be my own boss AND access to coaching had always been out of reach for me. Either because of how much it cost or geography. I was living in CO and had broad exposure to cyclists and I wanted to be able to provide a service I’d never had adequate access to.

Additionally, I felt that there had to be a way for me to leverage my experience as a pro cyclist to make a living. I had learned so much and new techniques for training and measuring the progress of cyclists were available.

BusinessInterviews.com: What are some ways that your experience as an athlete helped prepare you to run your own business?

Ainslie: I think first and foremost, never give up. My business has ranged from incredibly successful and busy to “man, why am I doing this?!” Racing prepared me to be able to take the bad with the good. AND, to collect myself, dust off and get on with it even when things are not going great.

I also have a better understanding of the sport and the athlete because I was fortunate to be able to compete at a very high level and learn from experienced pros and champions.

BusinessInterviews.com: What’s one marketing strategy that’s worked well for you?

Ainslie: A marketing strategy that has worked remarkably well for me is actually attending the races with a tent, brochures, hats etc and having the car all decaled up. I like to create what I call “ground zero” for the athletes, no matter who they are, what ability or which team they race for, to come to and get water, an energy bar, some advice or whatever they might need. It’s gone a long way towards meeting a lot of folks and establishing myself as a resource for the cycling community.

Working with collegiate cycling programs has also been very successful towards building a client base. It’s very rewarding helping expose young athletes to the sport.

BusinessInterviews.com: Can you elaborate on why science and experience are equally important in designing a training plan?

Ainslie: In my opinion training is both a science and an art. The science allows us to more objectively measure progress and see how the training affects the athlete. We can explain what’s happening in a very precise manner and quantify improvements in a way we couldn’t early on.

The experience, because I’ve literally been where the athlete is, allows me to reassure the athlete when things are difficult or an issue arises. Also, there’s so much more to coaching. In my world view, the training is all for the racing. And because I’ve done (for real) more than one thousand races in the last 25yrs I can advise the cyclists on tactics and race execution. They can be the strongest athlete in the field but, if they don’t understand what’s happening in the race, they won’t win.

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