How Much Warm-Up

One thing many working-class racers are looking for is to simplify their training. They want straightforward, direct answers to their training questions and concrete solutions to their challenges. In line with that, one of the most common requests I get as a coach is for a set, simple warm-up routine that will work every time. The problem of course is that there are no easy answers and concrete solutions, and there is no magic warm up routine that will work for everyone. That said, it is still possible through trial, error, and science, to develop a routine that will work for you based on an evaluation of situational conditions.How you warm up for an event will depend on a number of ...

Jersey, Shoes, Shorts, Helmet, License

Before I travel to a race, I have a mantra that I've been repeating to myself since I was a Junior: "jersey shoes shorts helmet license; jersey shoes shorts helmet license." I say it a few times as I load up my bag, put everything in the car, and again as I'm driving away from my house. It's a basic list of all the things I really can't be without at the race. Everything that's not on this list I can likely borrow without difficulty or without negatively affecting my performance, (though the last thing I might want to wear is someone else's shorts.) And while technology means you might carry your phone to registration rather than a paper license, it's still good to leave on the list.This ...

Mountain Bike Race Pre-Riding: Inspecting and Opening for Race Day

Author: Serena Bishop GordonThere is a lot of talk these days about marginal gains; incremental improvements that over time add up to more significant increases in performance. These can come from changes in training, diet, equipment, or race preparation, for example. Gains from training and diet can take time to play out, while gains from equipment choices can be expensive. But gains from race preparation are quick to realize, cost nothing, and are often overlooked. If you are a mountain bike racer, part of race preparation is previewing the course. Pre-riding when done effectively and efficiently will give you confidence, leave you fresh, and set you up for a great race.The ...

Why Do You Race?

A few years ago a client came to me with a difficult but common question. She was having some challenges in her life outside of cycling, and it was making it difficult for her to maintain her focus and motivation for another season of racing. At the same time, her racing goals were important to her and she did not want to give them up. The advice she sought had nothing to do with how to train or what intervals to do because her problems were existential, not physiological. So, she asked me, why do I race? What is it that keeps me in the sport year after year? And what could she do to keep that spark? It's not an easy thing to explain. Much like being in love with a person, you know the ...

Evaluating your Year

The Roman god Janus was often depicted with two faces because he could look forward and backward at the same time. His role in Roman society was as a household deity who presided over gates, openings, and doorways, was able to see the future and the past, and has lived on in our culture as a symbol of new beginnings. The month of January is thought to be named in his honor.Janus is an important image here because many of us are about to embark or perhaps have just started our training for the upcoming season. I've written articles here before about how to periodize and plan for the new year. What Janus reminds us is that while we're looking ahead and making a new start, we also have to look ...