Yeah, I know. We don’t want to think about the W word yet. Winter’s a long time away yet! But I believe in preparation, and what you do this winter can really make or break your season in the coming year, so there’s no time to lose in planning to reach the next level. There are some vital components to creating a very good winter training program, and of course using a power meter is a big part of that. Once you are rested, recharged, and ready to go from your season, your winter should contain at least two important components: focused indoor training workouts using wattage and cadence, and solid workouts in the sweet spot zone. Click through to find out why… READ MORE ->
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- Universal Sports will be covering the Vuelta a España starting this weekend.
- Don’t miss Rebecca’s Private Idaho: August 31st Rebecca Rusch will lead two, fully supported gravel rides through the beautiful mountains of Ketchum, Idaho, with an after party that will pay you back for the hurt you just took climbing 6,500ft in nearly 100 miles. (There’s also a shorter option of 56 miles.)
- Take the Campanoglo Grande Giro Challenge - join the Campagnolo Riders Club on Strava and challenge yourself to ride at least 1000km in 30 days – 1/3 of the distance of a Grande Giri: The Tour de France, Gira d’Italia, and Vuelta a España combined.
- The USA Cycling Professional Criterium National Championships will be held during the 2014 High Point Cycling Classic on September 4-6th. The three day festival includes an art exhibit featuring the bikes of 5 leading custom frame builders, swap meet, vintage bike show, and of course, the races…
- Did you know Rapha will repair your kit if you have a crash? Repairs can take up to 4 weeks, but it’s nice to know you don’t have to throw away an expensive kit with tears in it.
- CGTrader, a 3D model marketplace, is holding a 3D Printed Bicycle Accessories Challenge. Winner receives a FlyKly pedal assist smart wheel and the opportunity to sell your accessory to FlyKly customers and promotion on CGTrader. Submissions must be made by October 8th.
- Sport Chalet is celebrating their redesigned website by offering six Adventures of a Lifetime sweepstakes. One, a 10 day cycling adventure through New Zealand.
- Our friends and monthly contributors at Peaks Coaching Group are excited to announce new affiliate groups based in Brazil: coached by Cris Solak, and Japan: coached by Takashi Nakata; and their continued international expansion coaching two pro teams in India: Team Trek Foxfire and Team Specialized.
By Tim Cusick, PCG President and Elite Coach
One of my favorite (and most frustrating) things about racing is how hard it is to win. There are very few sports that rank with cycling in terms of all the things that must align to capture that elusive victory. As a professional coach, I have the luxury of replaying hundreds of races through my clients’ eyes and have learned that there are a few common mistakes repeated time and time again as riders learn to race. Click through for my solutions to three of these mistakes… READ MORE ->
By BJ Basham, PCG Master Coach
Cycling is all about efficiency. It’s easy to find stuff we can buy for our bikes that’s supposed to make them faster, but the benefits of an efficient training schedule far outweigh any gains that a new set of wheels or carbon bars can provide.
A well-thought-out training plan involves the two main components required to improve performance: overload and recovery. Your coach can give you specific workouts, and there are several tools (such as power meters and software) to provide you with the most efficient means of getting the right amount of overload, but it is really up to you to make the most efficient use of the time provided for recovery. It’s important to remember that just because you’re not on the bike or in the gym doesn’t mean you’re getting the rest you need to recover from the overload of your last training session.
So what can you do to make the most efficient use of the recovery time built into your training plan? Click through for some ideas… READ MORE ->
Editor’s Note: Last month’s Physiology & Nutrition post, OSMO co-founder Stacy Sims’ regular column, discussed why she thinks gels are a poor choice for fueling endurance athletes. It’s a good read and generated a lot of comments and questions. It also piqued the interest of several brands known for their gels, one of which sent a rebuttal. As did one of the Peaks Coaching coaches, which serves as their column for this month. Both responses are posted below unedited, as was Sims’ post.
As an introduction and a little background, we’ve interviewed Sims when OSMO launched. We’ve also interviewed Allen Lim when he launched Skratch and asked similar questions. Then, in preparation for last year’s TSEpic, I interviewed Sims again about food choices. That post has a primer about why solids work when gels may not, which was one of the common questions in the comments. And Sims has already prepared Part 2 of “Why No Gels” which expands on that. Look for it this Friday. In the meantime, here are a few counterpoints to the original.
My name is Magda Boulet. I have been a pro athlete since 1997, training and competing with GU product for 17 years now. As the VP of Innovation and R&D at GU Energy Labs, I work closely with athletes of all walks of life who train and compete with gels every day at the highest competitive level. Understanding fueling strategies is essential to my long lasting success as an Olympic distance runner.
As an athlete, a scientist, and a consumer, I am passionate about formulating products and delivering research that are supported by experts in the scientific community and validated by athletes in the field. Having said this, I was disappointed to read the recently published article on “Why Not Gels?” in which the author misrepresented scientific facts and concluded that gels are “the most detrimental fuel sources for performance.”
By BJ Basham, PCG master coach.
I was working with a team of riders preparing for an important local race, and as I was writing a pep-talk email, I decided to remind them of all the things we’d been learning the hard way; things we all knew already but were not putting into practice. These things seem like common sense when you’re standing on the sidelines but sometimes don’t even come to mind in the heat of the racing action.
Click through to read my list of “rules” all of us can benefit from when racing, either as a team or even when you’re the only one member of your team or club who shows up… READ MORE ->
by BJ Basham, PCG master coach
The start of the season is here, and the early spring training race series are beginning. Many riders see these inexpensive crits and road races as the start of the racing season, and they approach the training races the same as they would any other event in the calendar. This is fine to a point, but ideally training races should act as an extension of your normal training program to help prepare you for the big events in the heart of you racing year.
How do you get the most out of a training race? Pace yourself past the break to find out… READ MORE ->
by Hunter Allen, PCG CEO/Founder and Master Coach
originally posted on TrainingPeaks.com
Winners think differently. They do. There are many books about winners: why they are different, what they think, and why they think it. Winners are constantly focused on moving forward, getting things done, taking action, and improving. Whether it’s on the bicycle, in the pool, on the soccer field, or in the office, winners strive to be the best they can be. They aren’t afraid of hard work. As a matter of fact, they love it, crave it, absorb it, and become better from it.
I believe winners are made and not born. Each one of us has winning qualities and the ability to win; we just have to put these things together in order to achieve greatness.
Click through to read the five key attributes of winning athletes I’ve identified in my experience working with some of the best athletes in the world…
By BJ Basham, Master PCG Coach
I have worked with many riders in the years I’ve been coaching, and I think of them all as being in one of three different phases of their preparation—at the bottom of their form, in a growing and improving phase, or at the top or peak of their form. These categories apply to both new and experienced riders. Regardless of the stage you’re in, you need to remember the little stuff. That means paying attention to all the things you do besides training to get ready for your events. Stuff like remembering your recovery nutrition, taking a nap, or getting enough sleep at night.
When it comes to paying attention to little stuff, it is usually the riders at the top and the bottom of their form that need to be reminded the most. Riders who are improving and seeing progress and return from their training are motivated to keep seeing that progress, so they stay on top of the little stuff.