TOOLBOX: Can what you look at when riding affect you performance? Is improving physical capacity and performance strictly physiological, or are there psychological or motor learning aspects to training?
TOOLBOX: Despite some inevitable physical diminishment, age can truly be an arbitrary number and a state of mind. We've previously profiled Chris Froome’s lab testing data along with Miguel Indurain’s data during retirement, but what about the really elite age-group athletes, like Robert Marchand of France, who broke the 100+ hour record not once but twice?
Xert is a new software system that models fitness based on multiple parameters beyond the traditional single parameter of functional threshold power. Its potential for a higher level of individuality in training analysis, tracking and workout planning is well suited to cyclists.
Xert is a new software system that tracks and predicts in real-time how much power you can generate at any point during a ride. Last April I explored the concept of MPA in broad terms. After a year of playing with the system, let’s explore the science underlying this concept and where it might take the world of power-based training.
Does being fitter also make you tougher? Does improved fitness actually alter pain tolerance? Cycle sport is intricately mythologized with the heroism and agony of suffering. We watch and marvel not just at the speed and power of the pros, but for the thrill (for us) and suffering (for them) inherent in racing over cobbles, high mountains rain, extreme heat, and even snow.
Long ago when dinosaurs still walked the earth (OK, the early 20th Century) and derailleurs were only sketches on paper napkins, cyclists rode fixed gears everywhere including the Alps and Pyrenees. The bikes were all made of steel tubing, aligned on a marble table and silver soldered together entirely by hand. Today, such bikes are considered objects of art, but should we look further at what they might do for us in the 21st Century?
Speed is built on a lot of things. Wheels, aerodynamic frames, nutrition, threshold workouts – you know the list. After all of these have been addressed, what’s left? Just the little stuff. Finding that one percent. At the upper echelons of the sport, and to some degree in amateur racing as well, the little stuff is everything. For example have you considered the role and importance of the foot in performance?