If it works for the gang at Discovery Channel (the actual TV company, not the former cycling team), then it’s good enough for us here at PEZ. Since we’re on the off-season theme, Josh has decided to tackle some of his pet peeve off-season training myths and give his perspective. The truth or old-school bahooey? Read and decide for yourself.
All too frequently in Los Angeles, and I’m sure in every city around the world, tempers flare up between cyclists and motorists and even police. Recently in Los Angeles there have been a few car vs. cyclist incidents and even a potential cop car vs. cyclist vehicular homicide.
Sprinters are a special breed, whether they’re track sprinters like Chris Hoy or road sprinters like Cavendish and Kittel. Some feel that they’re born sprinters or not, and there is a bit of truth to that. However, sprinting is also important to train no matter what your natural racing style, because the truth is that most races end up in small or large groups dashing for the line. What are some ways to improve your sprint to increase your odds of podium placings?
Preparation is important in any sport but especially in cycling. With so many uncontrollable variables in this sport, anything you can do to control what can be controlled will improve your chance at success, however you may define it. Let's look at a key part of good preparation today that could completely transform your perfromance - good mental preparation.
You’ve seen a thousand articles on proper warm up technique for cycling. In nearly 20 years of racing I can count the number of times I achieved a full and proper warm up before an event on two or three hands. This article aims to teach you how not to warm up or more specifically, how to not need to warm up.
I’ve participated in this sport for more than two decades and with every passing year, I became more and more precise with my training. Although there are elements of discipline in precision, it is not the same thing.
Why spend months preparing for an event when all you really need is a few weeks? The reason unfortunately is that it takes more than 3 weeks to create significant fitness improvements, but what if you don’t have months? Can any positive change be made in a shorter period of time and if so, what is the shortest possible time frame?
Marketing and advertising has been honed into an incredibly precise science through both trial and error along with psychological studies into what makes us tick. Why not use it to our advantage and adapt marketing ideas to make us better cyclists?
Throughout my racing career I was always looking to add a visual, tangible element to my mental training program. I would listen to The Ultimate Cyclist hypnosis CD and repeat affirmations but I never figured out a method for reinforcing those positive audio suggestions with visual and tactile stimulation.
The expulsion of 8 badminton players from the Olympics this week caused a bit of controversy in the sports world so I thought I’d look at it from a cycling perspective. My opinion and apparently the opinion of my sport is that strategy goes deeper than just an individual game or race. It’s like chess. It’s all about sacrificing at a lower level in order to achieve a greater victory.
While I was racing I did some crazy mental training. Hours upon hours of affirmations. Up Topanga Canyon, down Tuna, up Latigo, down Kanan Dune, up the PCH, up Mulholland, down Encinal and finally back through Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice and finishing on the Ballona Creek bike path into Culver City. All the time listening to tracks off The Ultimate Cyclist CD and repeating the affirmations to myself out loud and with conviction.
Last weekend at the team’s winter training camp, we hosted Wonderful Pistachios employees for a weekend of skills clinics and training. It was an exciting weekend with some great riding and bonding and everyone left in high spirits, motivated to ride more and become better all around cyclists. The problem with these camps is that in the weeks after it is over, a lot of the adrenaline and excitement wears off and the whole thing fades to a distant memory.
On Saturday night my wife and I went to the wedding of my long time friend and teammate Stuart Press. Stu and I started riding together back in ’98 when I first move out to LA on and he sat us at a table with our old friends, Marco Fantone, Aaron Gadhia and Matias Mendigochea, all from that original squad. We had been cat 4s 12 years ago when we started racing and this year, after Stu’s mid-season upgrade we had finally all achieved the rank of category 1.
One of the big buzzwords in psychology in recent years is the concept of “resilience,” the ability to be flexible and adjust to new situations on the sports field or in the game of life itself. That same resilience and flexibility applies to race strategy and both team and individual tactics within a race.
I learned a lot from the sport of cycling but the greatest lesson didn’t come until after I stopped racing last August. It was actually in the team van on the way back from the 2010 Tour of Utah that it happened. I gained something that had eluded me for my entire 23-year racing career - I gained perspective.
This weekend I watched a few minutes of the Triathlon World Championship Series on the Universal Sports Network. I sometimes like to watch these draft legal events because frankly they crack me up. It also makes me reflect on different skills and drills to improve bike handling for everyone who rides a bike.
Sprinters are a special breed, whether they’re track sprinters like Chris Hoy or road sprinters like Cavendish and Cippolini. Some feel that they’re born sprinters or not, and there is a bit of truth to that. However, sprinting is also important to train no matter what your natural racing style, because the truth is that most races end up in small or large groups dashing for the line. What are some ways to improve your sprint to increase your odds of podium placings?
So you want to be a pro? You’ve logged the miles, you’ve done the training, and you’ve read every Toolbox article ever written. So how do you take that final step towards a pro license? What separates a good cat 1 from a continental pro? Ultimately, it’s up to a team director like myself to make that decision.
This article was originally intended it to be a straight ahead supplement recommendation. Sort of a top 10 list of the most highly recommended supplements for cyclists. In order to create that list I went to see Dr. David Allen one of the leading doctors in the field of alternative and integrative medicine. However, after talking to Allen I realized that this topic was not as simple as I had thought. Supplementation is unique to each athlete and what works for one person might not work for another.