By Fred Matheny Unless you live in temperate climes where winter means slipping on a sweater in the cool of the evening, you probably equate off-season training with cold weather. Sure, you can retreat to the trainer and Zwift or the weight room to escape the arctic blasts. But what fun is that? Cycling is an outdoor sport. Even at its January worst, cold weather … [Read more...] about Bicycling in the Winter: Whipping Cold Weather
by Fred Matheny Here's the concept of this article in a nutshell: Forget heart monitors or power meters. Go flat out when riding intervals up to 5 minutes long. Coach Dean Golich is not only infamous for his block training, but has also preached a heretical approach to doing intervals. In the past, he has counseled his riders to ignore the usual methods of gauging … [Read more...] about How Hard Should Your Intervals Be?
by Fred Matheny I live in arid western Colorado, so riding in the rain isn’t a common experience. I rarely face the challenge of bicycling on slick roads. (Sometimes the roads are slippery from a passing cattle drive, but that’s a different story!) … [Read more...] about Braking and Cornering on Wet Roads
How to Reduce the Straining & Use Wind for Training By Fred Matheny To many cyclists, wind is the enemy. We grimace when flags whip, stoplights sway above intersections and litter blows in whirlwinds around street corners. A windy weather forecast can scuttle a whole weekend’s riding plans. It’s not just the thought of groveling into a headwind that makes us opt … [Read more...] about Win Against Wind: A Guide to Cycling in Windy Conditions
by Fred Matheny “If only I had more time to train, I’d be in super shape.” Ever overhear that comment on the club ride? I bet you have. You may have even said it yourself. It ranks way ahead of other cycling “if only’s”—wishes for more power, a faster sprint, or a lighter bike. Give me 20 hours a week on the bike, we fantasize, and Sagan would be in trouble. Sorry. … [Read more...] about Training for Cyclists with Limited Time
by Fred Matheny A rider once told me about the greatest display of speed she ever produced. No, it wasn’t in a race. She was riding along minding her business when a huge Doberman, jaws dripping saliva and teeth glinting in the sun, rocketed out of a suburban yard and took dead aim on her calf. Speed isn’t just for racers. Our heroine jumped out of the saddle, accelerated for … [Read more...] about Developing Speed for Cyclists, a Guide to Getting Faster
by Fred Matheny Get your body ready before you ask it to perform. Why have a consistent warm-up routine? Why isn’t it sufficient merely to spin easily for the first few minutes of a ride? A structured warm-up accomplishes several important things: … [Read more...] about How to Warm Up Correctly for Your Next Bike Race or Ride
by Fred Matheny If you read articles about training (or hear other cyclists talk about their training programs) you can’t avoid the term “lactate threshold” (LT). It’s so common it has become a buzzword, as in “What’s your LT?” or “I went over my LT on that hill and blew up.” Lactate Threshold (LT) Defined Lactate threshold is the exertion level beyond which your body can no … [Read more...] about How to Raise Your Lactate Threshold for Cyclists
by Fred Matheny Hard training doesn’t always lead to better performances. Combine it with inadequate recovery and you’ll almost certainly get worse instead of better. How can you avoid this depressing phenomenon, known as overtraining? How can you recover better? Stress is Cumulative Pro cyclists rarely overtrain. They ride enormous mileage (on the order of 400 to 600 miles a … [Read more...] about A Guide to Overtraining and Recovery for Cyclists
by Fred Matheny Every human activity has its own jargon, a unique set of words (or a unique way of using familiar words) that befuddles newcomers. Learning the lingo is the key to understanding the activity and getting accepted by its practitioners. Training on the bike may not be as jargon-ridden as medicine, yachting, pipefitting or musical counterpoint—but it comes … [Read more...] about Do You Know These Cycling Training Terms?
By Fred Matheny Cycling is traditionally a summer sport. Feeling the breeze on your bare legs and the sun’s warmth on your back is as much a part of riding a bike as lubing your chain. There’s something deeply wrong, many casual cyclists would argue, about riding in the cold with snowflakes sticking to your sunglasses. Traditionalists may contend that you need a break … [Read more...] about 10 Great Reasons Why You Should Continue Training on Your Bicycle Year Round
By Fred Matheny Stay upright when wheels touch! It's the most common cause of paceline crashes. You overlap your front wheel with the rear wheel of another rider. Then she swerves slightly to avoid a chink in the road, the wheels touch and -- boom! -- you're in a heap. Nothing causes panic faster than that nasty whirring sound of two tire sidewalls rubbing. But what Tour de … [Read more...] about Stay Upright on a Bicycle When Your Wheels Touch Another Rider’s
Question: I am interested in learning more about training for climbing as I am preparing for Haute Route Ventoux. Any information would be welcomed. Thank you. —Jared N. … [Read more...] about How Should I Train to Ride Haute Route Ventoux?
By Coach Fred Matheny Bikes must mix with motorized vehicles. And the reality is that traffic of all kinds is increasing. A few years back a Belgian cycling official expressed concern about whether road racing would survive the next 10 years in his country because of the increase in cars on what used to be lightly traveled farm roads. If this is a concern in cycling-mad … [Read more...] about How to Ride a Bicycle Safely in Traffic
By Coach Fred Matheny I’ve never ridden the fabled cobblestone roads of northern France or Belgium, the ones that shake riders into insensibility in Paris-Roubaix and some of the other Spring Classics. But on my local training roads we have the next best thing for masochistic riding – genuine western Colorado chip-and-seal. Recently, they’ve been using gravel so large … [Read more...] about How to Ride a Bicycle Over Rough Pavement or Cobbles