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.
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?
TOOLBOX: It’s hot, it’s humid, and you’re getting tired. Each August I'm reminded that my athletes have been training for eight to nine months now, and August is usually the final, challenging phase. We all face the challenges of heat, humidity, fatigue, and lower motivation, forcing us to reach deep and finish the season with style.
Whether travelling internationally for work, vacation or athletic competition, it’s important to prepare ahead. Medical and health aspects to consider when travelling include: travel and health advisories, immunizations, medications, and jet lag.
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?
Ultra climbing events not only take a specialized fitness, it requires some unique performance “habits”. Here are few tips to help you survive and thrive in an ultra climbing event.
I had the good fortune to join the Trek-Segafredo team for a warm-up ride before the Tour of California in May. It was a great lesson in reinforcing solid riding habits, whether solo or in a group.
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.
You’ve learned as an endurance athlete just how many grams of macronutrients you need to perform at your top potential. Surprised by the carbohydrate requirements you struggle to feel like eating is not a job at times, I get it. I’ve been there. It takes attention to be on top of your nutrition as an endurance athlete, especially if you really have a lot of volume in your training, but there are healthy, and tastey ways to maintain the nutrition you need as a cyclist.
One of the pieces of advice given most often to riders trying to get faster is to ride with people or groups that are faster than they are. And it’s pretty good advice, because faster group rides motivate us to go harder and longer.
After the climbing festival that was the Giro, many of you may be considering your own epic climbing ride this season or next. After covering some training ideas last week, what are nutrition and equipment considerations that might be important in making it a fun rather than a survival ride?
The Taiwan KOM Challenge offers up 11,000 feet of elevation gain in a 62 mile jaunt up the increasingly legendary Wuling Climb. Our Matt McNamara conquered it last October, and Toolbox Editor Dr. Stephen Cheung is tackling it this July. Let’s look at preparing for this or any other mega-climbing festival.
The Giro’s decisive Chianti TT this past Sunday placed a heavy emphasis on both massive power AND aerodynamics. The key to both is a healthy and strong lower back and neck. What are some symptoms and management of pain in these areas?
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.
Life sometimes gives us moments to reflect on who we are and why we do some things. What is your motivation for cycling? When it’s crunch time, what do you hold onto as the reason you are gutting it out rather than dropping off?
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.
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?
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