In my last article, I looked at the issue of sports confidence by comparing and contrasting two recent days I had on the bike, one full of fire and confidence and the other the opposite feelings of self-doubt and thoughts of quitting. But enough about rank amateurs like me, what about the top professionals?
When cycling, we are all seeking the Holy Grail of peak fitness and form, that “no chains” day where riding seems effortless. But besides optimal physical preparation, the other important and often overlooked ingredient is effective sport psychology, and the role that confidence plays in peak performance.
For amateur cyclists, one of the best reasons for cycling is the big appetite you can satisfy after a big ride. For pros, eating can be just as much a part of the job as the hours on the bike itself. We all know that part of proper recovery involves the right nutrition after a workout, but what factors affect post-exercise appetite and how might it impact recovery and weight control?
Tullio Campagnolo’s derailleur completely revolutionized the modern bicycle, giving us up to 22 gears to play with in an effort to find that ideal combination of cadence and resistance to maximize our power output over a range of terrain. But when it comes to training, does training with specific cadences have their benefit?
Much of our training for cycling revolves around what we do on the bike. However, without a strong brain and psychology, the strongest body can be like a sleek and aerodynamic time trial bike with the front brakes rubbing hard against the rim. To unlock your cycling potential, it pays to spend some time this off-season thinking through the mentality that can make you faster on the bike…
Time trials will always be the race of truth, where you cannot hide in a pack and your fitness and willingness to suffer is there for all to see. While fitness remains paramount, the smart racer will still be at an advantage if they can figure out the optimal and most efficient way of putting that power to the pedals and onto the road…
Over the past decade, non-round chainrings have made big inroads in the pro peloton and in the mass cycling market, led by Rotor and O-symetric. Given the complex muscular coordination required by pedaling, the theory of non-round chainrings of facilitating a smoother pedaling stroke can make sense, but what does scientific testing tell us about their performance?
Cycling is a big business and pro cyclists are rolling billboards for their sponsors. However, to a sport scientist or a discerning coach or athlete, top cyclists are also rolling labs on two wheels. That is, by analyzing their training and racing data, we can gain valuable insight into what contributes to their elite performance.
While power training may be all the rage, the high tech toy of choice for the majority of cyclists is the heart rate monitor. One important question to ask is exactly at what heart rate should one be working at to optimize training time and efficiency? The first thing to understand is the different ways by which scientists and coaches base their heart rate training zones.