Every spring it happens. After a winter of mostly solo rides either commuting or indoors on the trainer doing intervals, the first few group rides of the year are just brutal reawakenings to the realities of the highly variable nature or racing. What are the neuromuscular differences, if any, between hard constant efforts and group races?
Last month we discussed the idea of front-loading periodization, where we overloaded the hard efforts of a four-week training block into Week 1. I promised to test the concept on myself, plus I convinced a couple of others to join me. How did things work out?
With January giving way to February, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about final phases of building aerobic fitness before moving on to more intensive work in the spring. This is a good and timely topic.
Sure you’re an athlete, and sure you may be able to roll out century rides easily. You might even be a keen racer. And all the cycling you do is supposed to improve your health, decrease your risk for major illnesses, and help you live to a ripe old age, right?
Winter is a drag! Cold and wet, dark and generally no fun. Winter is glorious! Crisp mornings, bright sunshine warming through the cold, and hot coffee! Given this dichotomy what is an athlete to do? Mixing and matching your training in winter weather is essential and can be hugely beneficial.
Every year my training remains fairly similar in terms of types of training and also how it is periodized. Not this year. This winter, I am resolving to try something quite different for me, namely altering my training blocks by concentrating the bulk of the hard efforts at the start of each block.
Best of 2016: You feel ready. You have done the training, the hours of riding and zone specific work to fully prepare your body for the onslaught to come. But is your bike as ready as you are? Go beyond just cleaning your bike to see how to make sure your bike is well-prepped for your race or Gran Fondo.
What is base building? In the 1960s, legendary New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard famously prescribed high mileage for all of his runners and effectively founded the idea of base training for endurance athletes. His system was based on a simple pacing strategy and a weekly pattern of high mileage runs focused on building aerobic strength.
Toolbox: The first of our 'Best of 2016' articles is a Do It Yourself Training Camp Toolbox by Matt McNamara, one of our most popular reads in 2016. Lucky are the few who get to venture south to bask in the sun, ride the fresh new kits and explore the unexplored roads on offer at camp. Why don’t you plan a camp for you and your team? Here are some suggestions.
It is rare that we get to see the true physiological data of elite athletes at the very physical peaks of their careers. After his second Tour victory in 2015, scientists got to independently put Chris Froome through a battery of physiological testing, and the results have now been officially published.
Cycling Nutrition: With “off” season in full swing for many cyclists, the same questions always start pouring in, “how do I lose weight in the off season?” “How can I not gain back weight in the off season?” or “should I stop eating carbs?” The last one always floors me. No you should not stop eating carbs…
Power training and indoor trainers simply belong together. The pure efficiency and controlled environment of training indoors partners amazingly well with precise training based on specific targeted power numbers. The combination of accurate power measurement and controlled smart trainers has taken this to new levels.
ANT is an ultra-low power (ULP) wireless protocol for sending information wirelessly from one device to another, so that your phone, bike computer, heart rate monitor, power meter and other training devices can talk to each other and allow technology to make your cycling (and life) better than ever. But how does it work?
What is the hardest part of a training session? The first step out of the door. In the Northern Hemisphere, winter is drawing in, the temperature is dropping and many cyclists are summoning the willpower to hit the roads or face the drudgery of the home-trainer.
Pro riders have a unique and graceful style that clearly distinguishes them from amateurs and recreational cyclists. Is this difference something to do with their pedaling stroke and technique? And if so, is it something that we can train to improve our own cycling?
As the 2016 event season is winding down (or has become a distant memory), a natural and necessary transition begins to happen toward 2017. This time of transition provides cyclists (from enthusiasts to experienced racers, from development riders to masters) the opportunity to review, establish, and/or reinvent the process to having a successful 2017 campaign.
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?
I’m 50 years old, and I wanna go faster! There, I said it. This happens to me every fall; it’s something about the cool night air, changing colors, and Sunday night football. I start thinking about next year and planning ways to get faster. I love it.
“Analytics” is the buzzword in many sports today, involved new ways of analyzing player effectiveness and team performance in dynamic team sports like baseball, football, and hockey. While power analysis now dominates training ideas in cycling, can we use analytics in cycling and especially in sprinting?