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?
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.
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?
The number of Masters athletes has dramatically increased over the past two decades in many sports. And right up there in popularity are the cyclists, both racers and recreational riders. As far as I know, there are few longitudinal studies that measure physiological systems with a focus on performance of athletes as they age, but what are some ways for masters cyclists to get older and faster at the same time?.
In my ever lasting quest to seamlessly merge mental training with physical training, I’ve created a concept I call Zone 6. Cyclists who are serious about their training are sticklers for their training zones so I figured what better way to assign a mental workout on a structured training plan than to give it a zone of its own.
Due to popular demand stemming from last month’s Pistachio Diet article, I have decided to write a follow up piece with specific dietary recommendations for cyclists looking to get the most out of the food they eat.
First, I want to thank everyone for sending me their goals. They are now posted at LiquidFitness.com. OK, on to the Pistachio diet, and a different way of looking at nutrition labels, eating, and weight control based on glycemic index.
Having goals is one of the important first steps in achieving your dreams. They can be small goals or they can be big goals, but without them you’ll just be drifting along. Having set your goals, though, the critical next step is to share your goals to make sure that you stay on course.
I was at the coffee shop the other day answering questions about those funny gold cranks on my bike (which, during the winter when I am riding my PowerCranks, is how I spend most of my coffee shop time) when someone made a comment along the lines of, I remember those. They were popular a few years back. Right away I knew it was time for another Pez article.
There is such a thing as being a bad client or a good client, even if you don’t have a coach who you pay to train you. I’m going to use the word “client” to refer to anyone who has ever read a training article or book and tried to follow the advice. For the purposes of this article, you are a client of whichever coach’s advice you are attempting to follow.
Endings often turn out to be beginnings. For instance, waking up in the hospital after stage two of the 2004 Redlands Classic with no memory of how I got there seemed to be the end of my racing career. In fact, it ended up being the beginning of my journey into the world of sports psychology.
I’ve started and stopped this article several times and I’ve even come up with a number of titles: Run Red Lights and 15 other great ways to induce homicidal road rage, Don’t Be an Idiot (quoting my favorite TV doctor), and Riding Etiquette (as if it was a follow up to my Style Etiquette articles).