Bereda is building the best planning software in endurance sports so that every athlete can get access to expert instruction.
Meet the Team.
Dennis Cottreau Co-Founder & CEO
Previously a hockey player and rower, Dennis took up cycling as his primary sport while studying Mechanical Engineering at McGill University. Cycling’s data and training theory meshed with Dennis’s numerical mind, and he fell in love with building training plans and seeing them turn into results out on the road. After graduation, Dennis spent two years racing semi-professionally around North America. Since then, he has left planning with Excel spreadsheets behind, harnessing his nerdy powers to create the designs behind Bereda.
Blake Pucsek Co-Founder & CTO
Blake has a background as an elite level rower, representing Team Canada at multiple world championships where he won a silver medal in 2008. He majored in Computer Science at Harvard University where he captained the Heavyweight Crew team in his senior year. After graduating he took up triathlon and has since completed both half and full Ironmans. He’s the genius behind Bereda’s elegant interface and its magically interactive charts, taking Dennis’s crazy designs and turning them a product that users love.
Bereda’s Story: A Letter from Dennis
Back in 2010 when I made the transition to cycling as my primary sport, I quickly fell in love with the training process. I loved seeing the strategy I developed in my training plans turn into results on the road.
I studied training theory like a science, and as a nerdy engineering type, I was attracted to the analytical, data-driven side of the sport. I started tracking my training using a variety of tools but something seemed off to me… Analytics are great, but if they’re actually providing insights, how do I take action on them when planning?
To me, the software tools were missing a step, so I cracked open Excel and got to work.
I would build out complete training plans for my seasons, starting with the big picture and working my way down to each individual workout. A rigorous process, but one that let me fully assess the merits of the plans I was building.
My spreadsheets got fancier and fancier over time, and I started using math to model and speed up certain parts of the process.
Out on the road, I saw athletes making basic training mistakes that could be avoided with simple measurement and planning. I knew that I could help them, and I enjoyed doing so, so I started a small coaching business with the hopes of offering affordable instruction.
But it was when I had to make plans for my first six clients that something became painfully clear: building these high quality, individualized training plans was a very time-consuming process. Not only that, but even once I had sunk all that time into building an Excel spreadsheet, the end result was pretty inflexible to change. If an athlete’s training got derailed, I would have to go back into the sheet and sink more time into adjusting their plan.
This was such a pain that, for new clients that I started working with, I would forgo my rigorous process altogether because I wasn’t sure if they’d be able to follow the plan I’d build them. I feared that I would put in all that work, only to have to do it all over again. Because of this, the quality of the plans I built suffered. I defaulted to planning workouts into an athlete’s calendar one week at a time, with no “big picture” plan in place to guide the process.
That’s when I got frustrated.
Even though we’ve had the development of all these amazing analytical tools, planning has largely gone unchanged. Sure, we’re drag and dropping workouts into digital calendars, but that’s not substantially more efficient or flexible than planning with basic pen and paper. The “better” apps let you drag and drop entire (pre-made) weeks of workouts into a calendar at a time, but that’s only gaining efficiency by building more generic plans.
I wondered: how can I increase the efficiency of planning while maintaining the high quality of the training plans I want to build?
I knew that if I could pull it off than I could save coaches time, letting them deliver a better product and serve more athletes. Moreover, I could demystify analytics and the planning process by building an interactive product to test strategies to see what happens.
After a month of work, continuously breaking Excel and crashing my computer, I linked up with my good friend and Co-Founder Blake Pucsek. Blake was the first person to believe in me and my ideas (even back when they were only half-baked) and is the genius behind the beautiful charts you use to build plans in Bereda. He took the paper stacks of my calculations and designs and turned them into a usable product to make planning more efficient. His commitment to our vision impresses me every day.
But most of all I’m grateful for our customers, who believe in what we’re building trust us with a very important part of achieving athletes’ goals.
The past year has been crazy for us and we’re so blessed and lucky to have worked with everyone we have.
We’re on a mission to make the best planning software for endurance sports, and we put our blood, sweat, and tears into that every single day.
If you don’t think that Bereda is the best, most flexible annual planning tool to help guide your training then you won’t pay a penny. Give it a try for 14 days and tell me what you think.
Co-Founder & CEO | Bereda Training