Search results for: peakscoaching

Peaks Coaching: Time to Get Your Cowbell On!

by Tim Cusick, PCG Elite/Master Coach

Cyclocross Myths - Peaks Coaching Group

Cyclocross has to be one of the hardest forms of bicycling racing out there, and because of its short but uber intense race style, it requires some specialized training to ensure success. Over the years I’ve identified a few myths riders often believe about both training and performance. Thankfully they are easy to correct! Click through to find out how… READ MORE ->

Peaks Coaching: How to Rebuild Your Power Foundation This Winter

by Hunter Allen, PCG Founder/CEO and Master Coach

How to Rebuild Your Power Foundation - Peaks Coaching Group
I really don’t like the term “base training” because it produces images of long, slow distance training with watts at 60% of your threshold as you putter along. Too many athletes and coaches believe we have to do base training first before any other type of training can be started. Now, I’ll concede that if you’re a pro cyclist training for a huge season in Europe next year, then yes, you should be doing some serious base training this winter; riding your bike four to six hours a day at endurance pace will help continue to develop your aerobic system and prevent you from peaking in January. But everyone else? Forget it. We don’t have the time to put in four to six hours a day at a slow pace, stopping at coffee shops along the way and enjoying the sights.

Most of us have only an hour or two each day to train, and we have to make the most of those hours and optimize our training for the highest ROI. If we spent those few hours riding at endurance pace, what would happen? We’d lose fitness and get slower. There’s a relationship between time and intensity that must be respected; the lower the intensity, the longer you should ride in order to stress that energy system. If you really want to improve your endurance system, riding at endurance pace for four or five hours is what you need to do. A two-hour ride won’t be long enough to create the necessary stress on the body to cause it to adapt and improve endurance.

So what is the correct intensity for your one or two hours of available time? The tempo zone, Level 3 on Dr. Coggan’s power level chart, 76-90% of your functional threshold power (FTP). Click through to find out why… READ MORE ->

Peaks Coaching: Power Training Zones 101

By Gordon Paulson, PCG Elite/Master Coach

Power Training Zones 101 - Peaks Coaching Group

PCG coaches Tim Cusick and Scott Moninger ride at a PCG training camp in Mallorca, Spain

Understanding power zones can unlock the impressive potential of your power meter and ensure your training is targeted to take you to the next level of performance. Not all coaches use the same description of training zones; the names, values, and even labels vary among the different systems. Here at Peaks Coaching Group we use the seven zones developed by Dr. Andy Coggan for training with power. Each of these zones is expressed as a percentage of functional threshold power (FTP). The time you can sustain a continuous effort in the power zone (“burn time”) decreases as the wattage for the zone increases. Keep in mind, however, that these changes take place on a continuum and are not represented by “bright line” points.

Click through for more on each zone…

Peaks Coaching: Two Weeks to Burning More Calories on the Bike

by Hunter Allen, Peaks Coaching Group Founder/CEO and Master Coach

Two weeks to burning more calories on the bike - Peaks Coaching Group

Weight loss is partially a math problem. Thirty-five hundred calories equals one pound of fat. Divide 3,500 by seven days, and that’s 500 calories you have to cut out each day in order to lose one pound a day. Or you could burn 500 more calories a day and maintain your gluttony without guilt. Or you could do a bit of both; reduce your calories by 250 a day and increase your burn by 250 calories by increasing your exercise volume or intensity, or both. Click through for two weeks of workouts that will do exactly that… READ MORE ->

Peaks Coaching: A Criterium Primer

By Todd Scheske, PCG elite/master coach

Criterium Primer Peaks Coaching Group

Peaks Coaching Group athlete James Walsh in the lead

Criteriums, or “crits” as they’re often referred to, are short course races from 800 meters to 5 kilometers in length, with race distances usually from 20 to 100 kilometers (for elite level). Crits offer high speeds and are perfect spectator events, with great opportunities for some exciting action. While newer racers may find them a bit intimidating at first, by keeping a few things in mind they needn’t avoid these really fun and exciting types of races. Click through for these important tips… READ MORE ->

Peaks Coaching: Tips for Muddy Racing

By Brig Brandt, PCG Elite Coach

Peaks Coaching Group Brig Brandt

If you’re a mountain biker, you are very likely to race in the mud if you haven’t already, which can mean equipment failures and cold race conditions. And as this year’s Dirty Kanza proved, mud isn’t just limited to fat tire escapades.

Click through for three key tips to help minimize the common pitfalls racers may encounter during their spring racing campaign… READ MORE ->

Peaks Coaching: Race Strategies and Tactics

Peaks Coaching Group Race Strategies and Tactics

The season awaits! After a long, hard winter, it’s finally time to get outside. Whether this is your first year racing or your twentieth, preparation and planning are keys to success. Let’s take a few minutes and go over the strategies and tactics you might use in your events this season.

Road Races


These courses feature undulating hills that seem to go on forever, constantly up and down. A good example of this type of course is the Jefferson Cup races. Races like these usually come down to two different finishes: a sprint finish or a breakaway, either a small group or fairly large one.

Strategy: Position someone for the sprint or make sure to have someone in the break. Easier said than done, right? The main things to consider are the other riders and teams and your own team riders and their strengths and weaknesses. Always cover the stronger riders’ attacks so you will always have someone in the break. Also, make sure to pay attention to the combination of teams in the attack and see if they contain the strongest teams. If no one gets away and the race comes down to a sprint, your strategy must be to get one of two of the strongest sprinters to the front and lead them out. Do your best to contain late race attacks and then play your cards correctly, so your best guy will have a chance at the win!

Click through for more strategy in road races, crits, and time trials… READ MORE ->

Peaks Coaching: Eight Tips for Better Mountain Biking

by Brig Brandt, Peaks Coaching Group Elite/Master Coach

Brig Brandt Peaks Coaching Group

Photo Credit: Tim Schallberger

1. Invest in good tires.

I highly recommend a good, fresh pair of tires to mount up on race day. Just like road tires, MTB tires come in a variety of durometers and thread counts. Use harder tires with a lower tpi for training and softer, suppler tires for racing. Using new or lightly worn tires in races will increase traction and drastically decrease your odds of flatting. Bonus tip: keep a set of mud tires around. When you need them every shop in town will be sold out.

2. Skip the tubes.


Peaks Coaching: Why Do We Use Intervals?

By Stephen McGregor, PhD, PCG Master Coach

Why We Do Intervals - Peaks Coaching Group
When I was a wee lad, I played soccer in high school. My coach at the time was a conditioning freak who used to make us run intervals. A lot. We would do Indian runs or suicides or half-mile intervals, etc. We would run as hard as we could until we thought we were going to puke. Between drills my teammates and I would curse the coach and ask ourselves, “Why are we doing these?” We never really got a satisfactory answer, so we just kept on doing what we were told.

Later I became interested in cycling, and when I learned about the training for this sport, to my horror I found that many coaches recommended intervals in cycling, as well. Again I asked myself, “Why are we doing these?”

Most coaches prescribe intervals, and many athletes perform intervals, but it’s often not clear why. In particular, the athlete may not be aware of the intended objective of the interval training and may just be “doing what I’m told.” Is the goal of performing intervals simply to make the athlete tougher and more resilient? Are they simply being done to mimic the high-intensity repeated efforts of racing, or are there specific physiological adaptations sought after by using intervals in training? Is there more to performing intervals than just being able to go “as hard as you can” for two, five, or ten minutes? Are some intervals better than others (i.e., is there a reason to perform two-minute intervals over ten-minute intervals)? Click through for the answers…