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 ...

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, ...

You Gotta Have a Plan

In the 30 years or so I've spent racing bikes, the month of January has always stood out as the most dynamic, and perhaps most important of the season. In normal winters I would have two weeks off at the holidays to recover from cyclo-cross season and head somewhere warm for road racing in February or March. Some years I went to Europe after 'cross nationals and raced another six weeks without a break. Other years I attempted to be a year-round New Englander and spent two months Nordic skiing before I began structured road training in March. Wherever you live and however you do it, there's something about the winter solstice passing and days getting longer in January that says it's ...

Glide Your Way to Fitness, Part II

In part one of this series, I focused on the energy systems used in Nordic skiing, and made some suggestions for how to estimate heart rate-based training zones that relate to the work you're familiar with on the bike. Here we'll move to periodization and implementation of workouts, with the goal of showing how to translate from cycling to skiing. As you'll see, it's quite possible to follow the same phases as cycling.The Off-SeasonIdeally, you have an off-season where you do other things, and take a break from training. You raced your bike all summer, then (I hope) took a week or two off to be fresh to start the skiing season. This should happen sometime between June and August. I'm ...

Glide Your Way to Fitness, Part I

Author: Adam MyersonIf you're a cyclist who lives where it snows, you know that there's no sense in complaining about it. No one likes shoveling a driveway, but the only way to survive in a winter climate as an athlete is, of course, to pray for snow, and play in it. The key is to make the best of the winter while it's here, and the best way to do that is on the "misery sticks". A bad winter for riding usually means a good winter for skiing. Many of our clients and friends have either gotten serious about Nordic skiing, or come to cycling from a skiing background. In the early years, this was uncharted territory for us in terms of training properly if cycling was still your first ...