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 ...

Sprinting for Success

Sprint training is an aspect that can and should be part of your program year-round, and is an aspect that many riders either neglect or do incorrectly if they do include them. Making a well-designed sprint workout part of your weekly routine is crucial for any cyclist who not only wants to improve not just their final sprint, but also their ability to make speed changes in almost any kind of mass-start bike race.A sprint, like most efforts, consists of two aspects: cardiovascular and muscular. It's important to consider each aspect separately, and then see how to combine them for maximum effectiveness. From the cardiovascular standpoint, any interval that begins with a maximal effort will ...

Opening Up: Fine Tuning for Race Day

A recurring choice riders are faced with is whether to train through a week when there are races on the weekend, or pull up on training early to be better rested for the weekend's events. How to make those choices, and how to structure your training based on your choice, is based on a lot of variables. How important are the races? How important is the long-term fitness you're trying to build? What kind of training are you doing, or what kind of phase are you in? And if you do rest, how do you make sure you feel your best on race day?A typical weekly schedule might include a recovery day on Monday, sprints on Tuesday, threshold intervals on Wednesday, a longer endurance day with some tempo ...

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, ...