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.
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...
Don’t start in a hole! Cyclocross is great fun and makes for some excellent fall training, but be careful and smartly manage your fatigue if you just completed a full season of road or MTB racing.
Face it: cross hurts! Not only does it require strong mental and physical toughness, it also requires a rider to be able to implement both skills and tactics while going full gas. This means we need some highly specific training with lots of time spent focused in the high intensity range.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Sprinting is a primary component of cycling for racers and recreational riders alike, but it's often neglected in training programs. Base miles are in the bank and functional threshold power (FTP) has been raised, and with race season kicking off, it’s now time to build some speed.
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.
It’s that time of year for many of us: the snow is melting, the days are getting longer, and we are more than ready to divorce our trainers. This means our base training period is ending and we’re moving into the “build” period.
Once you know your own or your team’s racing schedule and you have analyzed the course, the next step is to put the actual team together and a plan for the race. What are the moves that define a well-oiled team versus a chaotically random team of individuals?
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