Kailub Russell’s Steve Hatch Boot Camp

I have known Kailub Russell since he was a little 10-year-old boy who was at the GNCC's with his family. Kailub loved dirt bikes just as much as any other little boy, but he came from pretty good stock - his dad Jeff Russell was a past Factory Off-Road rider and won the National Enduro Championship in 1991. After moving through the amateur ranks, Kailub began working with me in 2009 during his rookie season in the GNCC XC2 class, where he won the championship. He is very talented on a dirt bike with smooth, yet aggressive style and terrific riding technique. He has been winning GNCCs in the XC1 class for the last 3 years and took top honors in 8 of the first 9 rounds this season prior to the summer break.

So you may be wondering: how do you start with someone who is already winning at the highest level and make them even better? Now I can't go into complete detail and spill all of my trade secrets, but I can share a broad overview. Even though Kailub is already a spectacular rider and a very fit athlete, we still had to seek out areas of weakness and how to improve on that.

After lots of discussion, we decided to focus on improving Kailub's cardiovascular ceiling and targeting building strength in his upper body, core, and lower body, as well as improving his flexibility.

With just 10 days to lay a strong framework, it was a delicate balance to push him hard enough to improve without over-training him or making him susceptible to injury or sickness. They key was to do a variety of activities to keep it fun and make sure we did not do one task to complete failure, as this would force us to take a recovery day after. I planned each day to be VERY active, with two or three different activities that we would spend 1-3 hours each on. In the gym, we worked on strength training, stretching, speed bag drills, some fun endurance workouts, racquetball, and swimming. We also spent a lot of time on dirt bikes, mountain bikes, road bicycles, & jet skis, and we even made a trip or two to the golf course. I felt it went really well, and Kailub thought it helped him immensely. This is always my goal!

UPDATE: Soon after our 10-day Boot Camp, Kailub headed up to Michigan and won the National Enduro there. Immediately afterwards, he was on his way to Slovakia to help Team USA chase the elusive World Trophy at the ISDE. After a successful Day 1, Kailub found himself with the overall lead, with only a of couple seconds separating him from Ryan Sipes and Daniel Millner. Unfortunately, disaster struck at the end of Day 2 when he injured his knee, and then had it completely give out on Day 3.

With his bike and body too badly damaged to continue, Kailub made the decision to fly back to consult his doctor. It was confirmed that his ACL was completely torn, but Kailub had to still try to wrap up both the GNCC and National Enduro Championship against his doctor's advice, as they did not really know if his knee could last for the races. Miraculously, he toughed out the Unadilla GNCC, got an amazing 4th in XC1, and won the GNCC Championship for the 3rd time. Then he raced the National Enduro in Indiana, where he needed to best Russell Bobbitt and Grant Baylor to secure his first Enduro Championship. He managed to do just that, and despite the devastating setback he suffered in Slovakia, he still earned both championships!

Without celebration or fanfare, Kailub returned home to get his knee repaired, and he is on the mend and preparing for a successful 2016 as he and his wife Candler welcome the newest addition to their family, a baby boy named Krue, to the world. Congratulations guys!