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?
Cycling, while generally pleasurable, is ultimately all about pain and suffering at the sharp end of competition. Fatigue and exhaustion is something we have all felt at some time or other. However, why do we actually get tired on the bike and what constitutes fatigue?
Fasted and ‘controlled carbohydrate’ training is getting increasing amounts of attention. There are suggestions that these protocols could even ‘remodel’ muscle in favour of using fat as a fuel. PEZ explores what the scientific evidence says, how pro cycling teams are using these approaches and what we could learn to enhance our performance in practise.
We have spent a lot of bandwidth over the past 13 years honing your physical fitness. However, that’s only part of the story. Mental fitness and racing smarts are just as important to your overall success in cycling. Luca Paolini just gave us a master class at Gent-Wevelgem, so let’s look at some lessons learned.
Watching the final crush of Milan San Remo is to view the crescendo of many hours of impressive metabolism. 1000 kilojoule/hour are common place in the racing peloton, and most surely the last hour of M-S-R is way above that value. Those guys are lean and mean. Are You? Look, I’m not saying…
A popular food among cyclists and athletes, oatmeal is likely to be found in most cupboards and hotel rooms across the racing scene this season. A great choice for carbohydrates and one of the more economical quality carbohydrate choices available, and with so many practical uses in the kitchen!
One of the most common overuse bicycling injuries involves the knee. Chondromalacia patella, patellar and quadriceps tendinitis and patellofemoral pain syndrome are common diagnoses of anterior knee in competitive cyclists.
If cycling is a sport of suffering, most of the time that suffering comes down to our muscles feeling like anchors on a climb or exploding in agony in a sprint. But fatigue, like love, is a many-splendored thing. Does the type and location of fatigue occur at different parts of our nerves and muscles depending on the type of exercise that we do?
With the eventual approach of (hopefully) late winter in the northern hemisphere, most of us are transitioning out of preparatory or base training and looking towards incorporating higher intensity efforts into our programs. What are some of the thoughts behind planning intervals properly?
How many times have you finished a race and not had that last extra effort needed to win or get a top finish? Let’s look at a few possible explanations as to why this common occurrence may happen and what you can do to remedy the problem.
It is now several months into indoor trainer season for many northern cyclists, and the same workouts are getting a bit repetitive. With some of us facing another month or more before reliably being able to get outside, what are some ways to spice up some tried and true workouts for the great indoors?
Chances are if you are reading this you race bikes. You may be a seasoned veteran of the two wheeled wars, or perhaps you are just dipping your toe into the ocean of experiences that racing brings. Either way, you can learn and help others learn by embracing skills development as the starting point to racing success.
Late January is typically the depths of winter in the northern hemisphere, so many of us have been riding indoors for more than a month. Cabin fever gets us debating whether to dare a ride outdoors or head back to the trainer. Anyway, it seems like a good time to go over some rules concerning exercising outdoors in the cold.
Nothing fits with cycling so much as the post-ride java stop, and that’s probably half the reason many of us get out on group rides to begin with. Caffeine is probably the most common ergogenic aid in use in cycling and the world in general, so it’s time to take a look at the science behind it...
Lots of miles in exotic locales and riding with your favourite cycling heroes - you really can’t beat a training camp as a perfect working holiday. However, what if you can’t or don’t want to join an organized camp and want to design your own camp solo or with your team?