Training

Learning how to train properly, and to improve your cycling and overall fitness, are keys to becoming a better road cyclist, and to better enjoying your time on the road. From specific training techniques and fitness-boosting workout tips to the psychological side of cycling, we offer an array of helpful advice.

New eBook: Strengthening and Stabilization Training for Cyclists

This week, we launch Strengthening and Stabilization Training for the Cyclist, our new 44-page eBook in which my co-author and I clear up the confusion and take the guesswork out of knowing what to do, and how to do it, to implement a strengthening program that will ultimately make you a better cyclist. (Our companion eBook, Stretching and Core Strengthening for the Cyclist, targets effective core-strengthening and stretching exercises specifically geared toward cyclists.) 

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My Favorite Strengthening and Stabilization Exercises, Part 2

Two weeks ago, we launched Strengthening and Stabilization Training for the Cyclist, our new 44-page eBook in which my co-author and I clear up the confusion and take the guesswork out of knowing what to do, and how to do it, to implement a strengthening program that will ultimately make you a better cyclist. One of the great things about the eBook is that you can and should choose your favorite exercises for your personal routine(s). I thought I would share my own personal favorites last week and this week. Last week, I talked about my favorite glutes & lower body exercise, and this week, I'll talk about my favorite upper body exercise.

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My Favorite Strengthening and Stabilization Exercises, Part 1

Last week, we launched Strengthening and Stabilization Training for the Cyclist, our new 44-page eBook in which my co-author and I clear up the confusion and take the guesswork out of knowing what to do, and how to do it, to implement a strengthening program that will ultimately make you a better cyclist. One of the great things about the eBook is that you can and should choose your favorite exercises for your personal routine(s). I thought I would share my own personal favorites today and next week. This week, I'll talk about my favorite glutes & lower body exercise, and next week, I'll talk about my favorite upper body exercise.

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How to Become a Better Cyclist, Part 1: Recreational, Health and Fitness Riders

You want to become a better cyclist? Don't we all? I always strive for improvement. But what does becoming “a better cyclist” mean for you? Do you want to ride more miles than last year? Improve your health and fitness? Have more endurance? Become a better climber? Ride with a faster group on the weekends? Or do you have a more specific goal like finishing your first 100k? Or riding a specific tour? Or climbing Mt. Terrible? Or setting a personal best in your club’s 10-mile time trial? Whatever your goal(s) you want to have more fun, which is definitely part of becoming a better cyclist!

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Three Tips to Make You a Better Cyclist

The March 2017 VeloNews includes an article about Andrew Talansky. Team General Manager Jonathan Vaughters says: “Fundamentally, he’s very perfectionist about every detail. He has to be because he’s not the 95 VO2 max rider. He’s not this massive world-beating physical talent. In the races that he’s won, or has done really well in, he’s been able to optimize every last little detail.” If you’re reading this you’re probably similar to Talansky. You’re not naturally gifted. But, just like Talansky, you, too, can improve by paying attention to the details. Here are three ways:

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Do Miles Matter? Yes and No

Summer is just a couple of weeks away, and roadies in the Northern Hemisphere are understandably excited about riding more! But will racking up more miles this year help you ride better? Yes, and no. Just riding a lot more probably won’t help you to improve as much as you want to improve. While distance is important in some very meaningful ways – it is not the be all and end all for improvement. If you've already got all the benefits in your body that distance has to offer, then you need to add intensity to your riding as well to continue to improve.

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How to Become a Better Cyclist, Part 3: Endurance Riders

Are you an endurance rider who wants to become a better endurance rider? Endurance riders aren’t just century riders! There is no defining distance for what is an endurance ride? An endurance ride is any ride over about an hour at a conversational pace. In these columns I’m describing how Six Success Factors apply to three different kinds of riders: Recreational, Health & Fitness; Performance; and Endurance. You may fit into two or three of these categories. A health and fitness rider who wants to increase your endurance. Or an endurance rider who wants to increase your speed.

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Why Increasing Intensity Is Good for All Roadies

Last week I wrote about the benefits of riding miles at a conversational pace. I also explained that once you’ve built your endurance base in the spring, just riding more miles won’t make you a much better rider. Further, if you’ve been riding for years then just piling on more miles brings little improvement. Every roadie – from health and fitness riders to high performance racers – can benefit from intensity exercise. Intensity exercise doesn’t mean “no pain, no gain." It simply means riding harder than you usually ride.

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Benefits of Combining Strength and Endurance Training

If you want to gain maximum benefit from an exercise program, you should combine endurance heart-lung training with resistance muscle-strength training. The safest way to do this is to do your endurance training with your legs, such as running, walking or cycling, and aim your resistance training on your upper body and core in your belly and back. Researchers in Australia showed that adding a weight-lifting program to cycling or running will help to improve performance only if you know that when your muscles are sore, you have to take the day off or go slow and easy (Sports Medicine, July 2017;1–14).

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How Can I Best Use Commuting as Training?

This past fall, a job change meant a change to my commute. I now ride over 15 miles each way. This means my weekends are now recovery time instead of riding time. I can fit intervals into my commute twice a week and I can occasionally take a day off by getting a ride from a co-worker. But other than that, how can I, at 51 years old, use this commute time as a training benefit? 

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Even a 100-Year-Old Can Improve with Training

A new research report shows that you can improve athletic performance with proper training, even if you are over 100 years old. Traditional feeling among scientists is that aging is progressive and inevitable, and that your genetic programming causes you to age no matter what you do. This paper shows that physical training can reverse established markers of aging (J Appl Physiol, February 15, 2017). 

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