October, and racers are working to put that final exclamation point on their season. For some this means they are on the cusp of a well deserved break from the arduous training and structure that has defined their summer. For others it is the start of the fitness ramp towards cyclocross! Either way your season is in transition, so what should you do to make the most of the coming weeks?
As the rush of the Olympics slips away it’s easy to forget the detail and attention that goes into each performance. Watching elite athletes is always inspiring and while we often try to emulate their drive and focus in our own workouts and races, it’s easy to forget some of the big and small things that make up a groundbreaking performance.
It started last year, or the year before. 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?
Classics season is a showcase of talent. From Flanders to Liege we have a four week window into what it means to be the best in the World. In addition to the obvious physical gifts, there are individual and personality traits that have helped these riders reach such lofty heights. Let’s look at the role of personality in performance.
Training and performance are often referenced as points on a continuum. Each day you begin your training at a certain level of freshness and fitness intent on achieving the most bang for your training buck. But are you shooting fish in a barrel or shooting yourself in the foot?
We cyclists and cycling fans live in a torrent of information. We can read websites and magazines, watch television and internet coverage, and listen to podcasts seemingly all day, on all manner of cycling related topics. The challenge, as with the rest of life, is to parse out the high quality, good information from the bad.
With September comes the end of most road racing, the start of the cyclocross season, and the transitions that accompany both. The start of school is another inevitable part of the transition to fall so let’s take a few minutes to review our “R’s”…
Every year we get to watch the rise of talent on the professional scene. From new riders who seem to rise from obscurity to greatness before our eyes, to those we’ve watched toil and grow for years who finally break through to a new level. Each is inspiring and it’s easy to forget that, in truth, these riders have all paid their dues to the sport. Sometimes it’s nice to see the starting point of the journey too…
As the Tour De France rolls into the second week, and the racing continues to take it’s toll on the riders, one can’t help but wonder how these athletes are able to prepare and compete at such a high level.We all want to ride faster, race smarter, and see continual improvement, but what are the best ways to achieve these goals? We decided to ask the experts what they think…
April. At its mention cyclists and fans of cycling everywhere take a sharp breath of anticipation and respect. We watch and wonder at the powerful displays, the tactical bravado and heart of it all. We then go out and try to replicate those efforts in our own races. What’s the best way to prepare for your own Classic races?
From last weekend’s Strade Bianche to this week’s Paris-Nice it is a veritable smorgasbord of racing; yet, for most, these races are used as tune up events, stepping stones to higher fitness levels necessary for the Spring classics and Grand Tours later in the year. It’s a chance to perfect not only their fitness, but also their support structure and process of racing so that it becomes habit. Now is a good time for you to do the same.
The new racing schedule has just been published and you are riding a wave of excitement at the coming season. A race every weekend and each more intriguing than the previous, but how do you set your goals and expectations accordingly?
We spend time, lots of time, looking at the minutiae of training. What watts are necessary to produce what outcome. How much carbohydrate to take. Which tires produce the least rolling resistance. It can all be very engaging, and very fatiguing. Rather than looking at another study or angle on high performance training, let’s spend some time in the real world.
The silly season they call it. This time of year we start getting hints and suggestions about who might be going where, what teams are folding, what teams are merging, and which of your favorite stars will be in what colors come 2011. What about you? Chances are if you are reading this you probably compete at some point, for something and maybe, just perhaps you are looking for the next step.
August is a dangerous month; a full season of racing has left many athletes tired and ready for the fall break. Often motivation to train hard wanes and a season’s worth of fitness can disappear in a few weeks. Rather than tossing away all that hard work, here are a few workouts to help pull you through those hot August sessions.
The caloric intake of Tour De France riders is legendary. Media and commentators commonly refer to diets in excess of 7,000 calories and often up to 9,000 calories consumed in a single day of the race. While we know that the majority of these calories are derived from carbohydrate, what is the relationship between daily carbohydrate availability and performance?
The Pez Toolbox has over 400 entries logged since its inception in 2002. From the first article, Bruce Ketchum’s Physiology of Warming Up on June 18, 2002, to last week’s piece on the Bike Racing as Jazz Music, it is an impressive archive full of insight and advice for any cyclist. Here’s a list of some of my favorites…
Cycling is, at its most basic, about pedaling, though its rhythmic nature belies the complexity required to do it well. If you think of pedaling as the mere act of following the crank through a full rotation then you are missing both the art and some key elements that can improve performance. Let’s look at some of the factors that contribute to pedaling well.
January is the time for base miles, so the story goes. Get your kilometers, up your hours, and build the foundations of a solid season. That’s great if you’re a pro with unlimited training time and exotic warm-weather training camps to escape the frigid winters. However, what is the most effective mix of training intensities to build fitness in these early months for those on limited time?
December. Cold, wet, sometimes miserable; sounds like the perfect time to start building fitness towards next season! Everyone you ask has an idea, belief, or argument as to what training approach is best, but what are you going to do to maximize your gains in these first early weeks and months?