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?
As a career competitor, coach, and idea-seeking sponge for over half a century, I’m reflecting on the performance evolution as a fact of untenable certainty. Being and developing a champion athlete has become more complex in the 21st Century and, for a creative, spirited athlete/coach, this is a very good thing.
Does being fitter also make you tougher? Does improved fitness actually alter pain tolerance? Cycle sport is intricately mythologized with the heroism and agony of suffering. We watch and marvel not just at the speed and power of the pros, but for the thrill (for us) and suffering (for them) inherent in racing over cobbles, high mountains rain, extreme heat, and even snow.
Another article on goal setting? Really? How hard can it be? If 2014 was everything you planned it to be, congratulations and no need to read any further. However, if things got away from you or you are ending the year feeling that things were left undone, read on for more information on how to make the most of your goals.
This past weekend the Cyclocross World Cup kicked off in Valkenberg with a commanding win by Lars Van der Haar, after a typically audacious start for the young gun. The ability to sprint for the hole shot by LVdH and another young star like Mathieu Van der Poel are impressive and, surely, taxing, but how taxing are they?
Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock made one of the greatest pairings in TV and movie history, polar opposites who constantly butted heads but also perfectly complemented each other. These two personalities are also embodied in bike racers and can be fairly easily identified. Can you tell which character you are?
Bicyclists often suffer from pain, numbness and tingling in their hands and fingers. There can be an associated feeling of weakness of hand grip or clumsiness of the hand. These symptoms have been called “Cyclist’s Palsy” or “Handlebar Palsy”.
If it works for the gang at Discovery Channel (the actual TV company, not the former cycling team), then it’s good enough for us here at PEZ. Since we’re on the off-season theme, Josh has decided to tackle some of his pet peeve off-season training myths and give his perspective. The truth or old-school bahooey? Read and decide for yourself.
Attorney and former professional cyclist Bob Mionske says, “Don’t do it!” Traffic codes universally discourage it, and most rational individuals would consider it ill-advised. If that’s the case, what is the appeal of motor pacing?
Hard day, easy day, repeat. Most athletes are familiar with the core tenant of periodized training. The concept is often lost when it comes time to apply it to the bigger training picture. The need for a recovery phase following the 'hard ' part of the season is often over looked, undervalued and misunderstood.
Nothing is worse than meeting “the man with the hammer” in the midst of a ride or a race. An essential part of race-day preparation is pre-race nutrition, and the timing and content of what you eat can have a huge impact on your actual performance. We know that it is essential to keep our fuel supply topped up during the ride, but what should we be eating before heading to the start line?
All too frequently in Los Angeles, and I’m sure in every city around the world, tempers flare up between cyclists and motorists and even police. Recently in Los Angeles there have been a few car vs. cyclist incidents and even a potential cop car vs. cyclist vehicular homicide.
He materialized almost instantly, veering across my path at a nearly perfect angle, for it offered no escape. The deer loomed large in front of me as I grabbed a handful of brakes and swerved, a guttural scream rising with my fear, just clipping the hindquarters of the animal I spun...
There are many reasons to go for a bike fit, from an unusual body shape, fixing aches and pains, through to optimizing power output. Regardless of what technology is used or reason for going, a good bike fit by a fitter with a sharp eye and a collaborative approach can be one of the best investments you make in your cycling. Let’s explore with a data-driven case study.
As the trend towards eating more real foods on the bike grows, I hear more and more questions about eating raw nuts, bars made with bacon and cheese or nut butters while racing or training. Let’s look to clarify why the average bike racer (not extreme ultra endurance events lasting over 15 hours) should not rely on fats as fuel during and immediately prior to competition.
As August kicks off the bike racing world makes a final push toward the end of the season. Summer vacations are wrapping up, kids are getting ready to go back to school, and the dog days of August are upon us. But the racing carries on, with a number of big races to round out the season. What secret weapon can help get the most out of our fitness coming up?
There is a growing world-wide calendar of endurance rides called Randeonneurs or brevets, and New England drivers can thank campaigning distance cyclists for their efforts in getting roads paved in the 1890s. The roots of American ultra cycling probably started with Thomas Steven’s 1887 American crossing on a high wheeler, a feat that still amazes me.
This year’s Tour de France will record a DNF next to major players such as Cavendish, Froome, and Contador. While injuries and crashes are a part of the sport, facing the choice to ‘abandon’ mid race or mid stage can be demoralizing. Without proper support this decision can haunt an athlete, undermining self-confidence and ultimately hurt performance.
The Tour is won by the best cyclist, and that includes on and off the bike. Eating well and properly is not only good for the morale, but it’s critical in ensuring adequate recovery for another day of hard effort. What do elite cyclists do in terms of eating and energy output over the course of a hard stage race?
Sprinters are a special breed, whether they’re track sprinters like Chris Hoy or road sprinters like Cavendish and Kittel. 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?