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.
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.
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?
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?
“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?
Road racers rejoice! The season is coming to a well earned finale for most of the World and it’s time for a tasty beverage, a big couch, and a slice or two of pizza! Or is it? Should you take a break or keep your foot on the gas? Let’s weigh the arguments...
Ask a coach about “winning” and he might cite threshold power, great tactical acumen, or the importance of a strong team; each an important element without question, but what else goes into the equation? In the end it often comes down to mental focus and the ability to sort out the irrelevant.
Summer is the season of big rides for both pros and amateur cyclists alike. How does one fuel these big efforts, and how good are we at maintaining energy balance throughout multiple days of hard riding?
Think back to your last experience of competition. Perhaps it was a race, or simply a sprint for a local town sign. How did you perform? More importantly, how did you explain your performance?
It has been a very hot summer so far, and the Tour de France is also heating up geographically with its move southwards into the Pyrenees. What is the process of adapting the heat, and how much can it help improve your tolerance and performance in hot weather?
Within our cells are structures called ‘mitochondria', which are key components of skeletal muscles, providing energy for almost all the activities of the muscle cells. Training mitochondria to upgrade your engine can be valuable - but knowing the right dose is key.
How do you go about making a scientific comparison of cycling training over time? Every parent, at some time or another, probably has given the “when I was your age” speech to their kids. And within any sport, an ageless argument is always how the current generation of stars match up to the titans of the sport’s history.
Delving into Matt Hayman’s Paris-Roubaix winning power file, we can see that pushing on the pedals over 6 hours, 9 minutes and 22 seconds required 6696 kilojoules of energy. What are the implications of kilojoules for cyclists and nutritional intake?
How deep can you go and how much do you have left in the tank? Part of it is how much you are willing to suffer, but the bigger picture is how much energy you still have to spare during the ride. What if there was a way to model and monitor that in your training?
We hear so much in the media about ergogenic aids and dietary supplements that lots of misconceptions can arise. We might think everybody is taking lots of cycling supplements, but is that reality? A Canadian study is one of the first to explore dietary supplement use across a wide range of athletes.
One of my early coaches was fond of encouraging me to “just do the work.” The phrase became a personal mantra that continues to echo in my consciousness, to this day.
Toolbox: As we take a well-deserved break over the holidays, it is also a perfect time to start planning for making 2016 your fittest year yet. The first step is to comprehensively understand your strengths and limiters through testing your power profile.
Toolbox: Cycling fatigue, like love, is a many-splendoured thing. We have all been drop-dead tired at the end of a race, hard climb, or interval workout. But are all these types of fatigue the same thing, or do they affect your body in different ways?
Toolbox: Hydration continues to be a hotly debated topic in sport science. That debate extends even to winter when conditions are cool. Equally, it is an issue when training indoors. What are some of the considerations for hydration this winter season?
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