From last weekend’s Strade Bianche to this week’s Paris-Nice it is a veritable smorgasbord of racing; yet, for most, these races are used as tune up events, stepping stones to higher fitness levels necessary for the Spring classics and Grand Tours later in the year. It’s a chance to perfect not only their fitness, but also their support structure and process of racing so that it becomes habit. Now is a good time for you to do the same.
Bike racing is different than most sports in that training is merely a prerequisite for getting results. We always start our race school and clinics with the statement, “Just because you train hard doesn’t give you the right to win bike races.” Learning how to compete and what it takes to be successful is a whole different animal than the physical training required to potentially do well in the sport.
You’re starting to go into the red on a climb. Your energy and motivation are starting to wane in your training. Or you’re way into the red with your riding and its role in your life. Do you just push through? Or is it time to back off? The mentally fit cyclist challenges internal limits, yet respects them, and takes action quickly after going too far.
Sprinters are a special breed, whether they’re track sprinters like Chris Hoy or road sprinters like Cavendish and Cippolini. Some feel that they’re born sprinters or not, and there is a bit of truth to that. However, sprinting is also important to train no matter what your natural racing style, because the truth is that most races end up in small or large groups dashing for the line. What are some ways to improve your sprint to increase your odds of podium placings?
Every parent, at some time or another, probably has given the “when I was your age” speech to their kids. And within any sport, an ageless argument is always how the current generation of stars match up to the titans of the sport’s history. With so much technological change in the sport, how do you go about making a scientific comparison?
The answer definitely is NO…the secret is don’t call it training. For those of us Sun Worshippers, the recent news fact that 49 of the 50 United States currently have snow on them somewhere seems like a bit of a disaster. But, the idea of turning a disaster into something positive has long been a favorite personal theme.
One of the primary aims in our sport is to improve. We wish to improve in our fitness, results, and positive experiences on the bike. These changes can range from minor adjustments to a massive overhaul, but the common denominator is to see what has or has not worked, and then to try to improve on them. Great athletes are always looking for new methods, or even slight tweaks, to their training and routines to make themselves better.
Last week, we gave a general overview of a valuable set of basic testing to perform in order to obtain your general power profile. The next step, of course, is to dissect that data further to gain deeper insight into out strengths and limitations. From there, we also need to develop a plan to move forward and achieve our cycling goals. So let’s do a bit of analysis using my example to see how you can analyze yourself.