Polar was the pioneer in portable heart rate monitors, and their systems have kept improving through the years. Their new V800 is the perfect storm of function, design, software, and usability. I spent the past three months using it intensively, and it is not coming off my wrist any time soon.
Since the mid-1990s, the public message has been overwhelmingly prevalent and clear – hydration is important and critical to health and performance. Our own Toolbox Editor Dr. Stephen Cheung tested this assumption head-on in a unique way with a study that received a lot of media attention. What did he find?
Every cyclist loves to eat, and half of the fun of cycling is in having a built-in excuse to eat in large quantities. What we put into our bodies before and during our rides, however, can have a direct impact on our fatigue resistance. Let’s refresh our memories with a primer on fuel utilization during exercise and the importance of carbohydrates.
The heart is a muscle, and can be trained just like any other muscle in your body. Cardiovascular mechanisms and the inability to supply blood and nutrients to the different tissues in the body remain at the “heart” of many of the proposed models of fatigue, so this seems a good place to start our exploration…
Often at the end of a Grand Tour, we see a GC contender or leader yank a rabbit out of the hat and pull off a time trial result way beyond anything they had previously accomplished. We hear all the time that the maglia rosa/maillot jaune gives its wearer wings, but how do external rewards affect time trial performance in the lab?
Cycling, while generally pleasurable, is ultimately all about pain and suffering at the sharp end of competition. Fatigue and exhaustion is something we have all felt at some time or other. However, why do we actually get tired on the bike and what constitutes fatigue?
We have spent a lot of bandwidth over the past 13 years honing your physical fitness. However, that’s only part of the story. Mental fitness and racing smarts are just as important to your overall success in cycling. Luca Paolini just gave us a master class at Gent-Wevelgem, so let’s look at some lessons learned.
If cycling is a sport of suffering, most of the time that suffering comes down to our muscles feeling like anchors on a climb or exploding in agony in a sprint. But fatigue, like love, is a many-splendored thing. Does the type and location of fatigue occur at different parts of our nerves and muscles depending on the type of exercise that we do?
With the eventual approach of (hopefully) late winter in the northern hemisphere, most of us are transitioning out of preparatory or base training and looking towards incorporating higher intensity efforts into our programs. What are some of the thoughts behind planning intervals properly?
With more and more power monitors appearing on the market each year, the options for cyclists continue to expand. One of the newer players in the market is Power2Max from Germany. We test it and find a system that is superb in its accuracy coupled with ease of maintenance and use.
Late January is typically the depths of winter in the northern hemisphere, so many of us have been riding indoors for more than a month. Cabin fever gets us debating whether to dare a ride outdoors or head back to the trainer. Anyway, it seems like a good time to go over some rules concerning exercising outdoors in the cold.
Nothing fits with cycling so much as the post-ride java stop, and that’s probably half the reason many of us get out on group rides to begin with. Caffeine is probably the most common ergogenic aid in use in cycling and the world in general, so it’s time to take a look at the science behind it...
Lots of miles in exotic locales and riding with your favourite cycling heroes - you really can’t beat a training camp as a perfect working holiday. However, what if you can’t or don’t want to join an organized camp and want to design your own camp solo or with your team?
There are many reasons to go for a bike fit, from an unusual body shape, fixing aches and pains, through to optimizing power output. Regardless of what technology is used or reason for going, a good bike fit by a fitter with a sharp eye and a collaborative approach can be one of the best investments you make in your cycling. Let’s explore with a data-driven case study.
Part of any good training program is a period of rest, recovery, and regeneration from a hard season of riding. Of course, some of us can take it a bit too far over the holidays, with a bit of gluttony and bad weather conspiring to reduce activity and fitness. What’s the physiological process of detraining, and how has it worked out for Miguel Indurain?
The market for indoor cycling training systems is constantly increasing and evolving, and while most non-trackies are opting for fixed-mount trainers, TruTrainer has reconverted me to the fun of rollers with their top-end quality and ride feel. Pez reviews TruTrainer's Premium cycling rollers.
It’s a razor-thin line that we as athletes walk between being extremely lean and fit on the one edge, and the precipice of overtraining and increased risk of infections and illness on the other. With flu season upon us, what should we be considering about maintaining our off-season health?
Does being fitter also make you tougher? Does improved fitness actually alter pain tolerance? Cycle sport is intricately mythologized with the heroism and agony of suffering. We watch and marvel not just at the speed and power of the pros, but for the thrill (for us) and suffering (for them) inherent in racing over cobbles, high mountains rain, extreme heat, and even snow.
Cyclocross preparation and racing is all about the little details, and the Verge CX jacket has the small details checked so you can focus on the ride ahead.
Nothing is worse than meeting “the man with the hammer” in the midst of a ride or a race. An essential part of race-day preparation is pre-race nutrition, and the timing and content of what you eat can have a huge impact on your actual performance. We know that it is essential to keep our fuel supply topped up during the ride, but what should we be eating before heading to the start line?