We are a week into La Vuelta and an upcoming major appointment is the 39 km TT on September 9. While the non-contenders will generally be treating it as a semi-rest day and take it as easily as it is ever possible in pro cycling, the GC battle will be massive here. But are there fundamental differences in pacing strategy between elite riders and lower category riders?
The physical and mental challenges of late-season events can be significant. Season fatigue, burnout, and loss of focus often become real challenges in the late summer and fall. The mind and body yearn for rest and rejuvenation even as you have to get ready to go for it one more time! How do we prepare for these one-more-time events?
It’s been a record summer of heat in much of the Northern Hemisphere, and the traditionally muy caldo Vuelta d’Espana is just about to start. What happens with heat acclimatization, and can it improve performance in either the heat or in cooler conditions?
Can you hear the cowbells in the distance? Sounds like cyclocross season is on the horizon. Cyclocross has to be one of the hardest forms of bicycling racing out there, and because of its short but uber intense race style, it requires some specialized training to ensure success.
As with all competitive sports, there is also a risk for injury in competitive bicycling. The patterns of injury in bicycling are unique since exposures include high speed, obstacles like cyclists, pedestrians and motor vehicles, and unpredictable road, environmental and weather conditions.
Find out more about lactate and how this incredible molecule plays many important roles in the body. Discover how you can use lactate as a preferential fuel source, how lactate may actually reduce acidity in tissues and even act as a ‘signalling hormone’ to drive training adaptations.
Practice? Remember when you were young(er) and you went to practice? In team sports like basketball or football, you go to practices and spend upward of 70-80% of your time focused on improving your skills. Now you train, right? What’s the difference?
The past three weeks we have broken down the different stages of a bike race, many of them hidden from the viewer at home as they often happen before the TV cameras go live. Today's grand finale takes a look at the final knife fight for the line...
Many pro races, whether a Classic like the Ronde or most stages of Grand Tours, begin in a very predictable fashion of a long “suicide” break. Most of the time, these breaks never have a chance of making it to the finish. But sometimes, as Dirk Demol will tell you after winning Roubaix in 1988, such breaks can pay off big time.
The first part of our bike racing anatomy series took us from the stress of the roll out through to the initial breakaway getting away and the peloton settling in for possibly a long day of cat and mouse. Today we look at how the pack decides to let the break go or not, or what happens if a catch is made...
Tactics and strategy in bike racing comes down to predicting how a particular race event might play out, and then deploying the best plan to achieve your team’s objectives. Some riders will go through years of racing without ever truly understanding the anatomy of a bike race, so let’s use our magic divining rod and read some tea leaves to understand the black art of deciphering bike races.
When we think of protein, our natural tendency is to think of meat. Many believe that without animal protein we are unable to get “high quality” or complete proteins. This however is not true. I’ve also laid out a great protein-rich recipe with quinoa to tempt your taste buds.
One of my favorite yet most frustrating things about racing is how hard it is to win. There are so few sports that rank with cycling as far as all the things that must align to capture that elusive victory. It is crucial that when cyclists start to race, they learn how to win races.
We have often discussed the value and importance of High Intensity Intervals (HIT) here at Pez. There is a reason, of course, they are a central component of racing success, yet questions remain, so let’s dive into the lactic acid pool once again!
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?
You’ve spent months preparing mentally, endless hours physically, all building towards THIS EVENT, this focus. Or maybe it’s just a Saturday and you went racing. Either way the let down and psychological weight of a sub-par performance can be a slippery slope, so what can you do to move forward?
You lean forward, driving down on to the pedals, legs exploding, chest burning, mouth wide open, sucking as much air as possible into your hungry lungs. That process of laboured breathing and ventilation is a primal force. Can we train our respiratory muscles to decrease the stress of breathing or even ride faster?
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?