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 home or where ever Iā€™m staying. 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 ...

Surviving the Trainer

For most of us, the enjoyment in cycling isn't just the essence of training. It's about being outside, seeing different roads and landscapes, and the actual racing. For those who prefer playing sports to "working out," riding the trainer in the winter can be the pinnacle of drudgery. It may be more fun to ride outside in 33 degrees and rain than strap yourself to a machine indoors.At the same time, if you work long hours or live in a winter climate with cold, short days and dangerous, difficult road conditions, riding the trainer is a necessary part of your early season preparation, and one you'll need to make the best of. It doesn't have to be all pain and misery, though, if you take the ...

The Cycles of Cycling

Athletic training of any kind is a process of stressing a system, letting it recover and adapt to the stress, and then stressing it again at a higher level. This cycle of training exists at every level; from intervals and recovery in a single workout to a hard season of racing followed by a rest in the fall or winter. Even on the largest scale, you often see riders who miss a season due to injury and come back the following year stronger than they were before they stopped. Can you imagine taking a rest season?Seeing your training in this pattern of repetitive components can help you plan from top to bottom and find a rhythm as you execute it. It's no different than those fractal art ...

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 ...

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 ...