Addressing Asymmetry: Improving Movement On and Off the Bike

Addressing Asymmetry: Improving Movement On and Off the BikeNick Lemke, Cycle-Smart Associate CoachMany of us have experienced the sensation of being imbalanced, pedaling more with one leg, or feeling delayed onset muscle soreness more on one side than the other. Nearly all of us have experienced niggling knee, back, or neck pains, tight iliotibial (IT) bands or hip flexors. Worse yet, some of us find ourselves lopsided on the bike - a cocked shoulder, feet or knees jutting to one side while pedaling, or hips askew on the saddle. On-the-bike asymmetry, specifically muscular imbalance, limited range of motion, and/or pelvic asymmetry can lead to a cascade of other problems like joint pain, ...

Sick and Tired

It's going to happen to all of us at some point in year. Things are going well, you're on top of your form and riding strongly, and then it starts: scratchy throat, stuffy nose, itchy eyes-- that's it, you're sick! Many riders make the mistake of overtraining (or underresting), depressing their immune system, and making themselves vulnerable in the first place, but also don't give themselves enough time to fully recover from fear of losing fitness. It's a recipe for an early end to your season. In this article, I'll detail how to prevent getting run down and susceptible to illness, and how to rescue your form if it does happen.If you're getting sick and tired of being sick and tired, the ...

Resting Your Way to Fitness

When ambitious riders want to improve, naturally the thing they focus on is their training. Usually they take the "more is better" approach, piling on more hours, miles, and intensity. To a point, those are the basic ingredients for getting stronger; you train hard, you get better. "Ride lots" is zen-like in it's simplicity, but it works. And yet, training is only half the story.The important part of your improvement is not just the training, but almost more importantly, the resting. In previous articles I've written about the cyclical nature of training and the process of stressing a system, letting it heal, adapt to the stress, and improve, and then stressing it again at a higher level. ...

Multi-Day Race Recovery

No matter what your body type or racing preference, most of us at some point will find ourselves focusing on a stage race or multi-day criterium series. Each region of the US has that one big event that local riders anchor their season around. In New England it's traditionally been races like Killington, Fitchburg, and Green Mountain. In Wisconsin it's now Tour of America's Dairyland, and Superweek before that. Those are just a couple of examples, and I'm sure you have one in mind for this season. Assuming you've done all you can training-wise leading up to the event you're targeting, it's important not to waste any of that precious form while the event is actually happening and in the days ...

Intense Rest

Whether you did a fall base period or a full cyclo-cross season, if you live in a cold climate January and February are the most difficult months to train. If it's not already something they focus on, I encourage my clients to take advantage of the cyclo-cross season as a way to maintain fitness through the New Year before they're forced off their bikes or indoors because of weather. Another way to utilize this time period between the end of the road or mountain bike season and beginning of winter is to try to do a fall build-up period. This allows them to work on a broad base of aerobic fitness at a time when racing won't interrupt training, as it does much of the rest of the year.However ...