What's Cool In Road Cycling
physiology

Toolbox: Post Exercise Appetite

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?

Toolbox: Cadence Specificity

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?

Toolbox: TT Power Pacing

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…

Toolbox: Lessons from the Road

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.

Toolbox: Heart Rate Training Intensities

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.

Toolbox: What Recovery Strategy Works Best?

While the “work hard play hard” philosophy may be a great approach to striking a work-life balance, the motto cyclists and all athletes should subscribe to leans more towards a “work hard rest harder” philosophy. Many recovery modalities have been suggested and adopted, but how well do they work for recovering between hard training bouts?

Toolbox: Heart Rate Recovery

There is the old saying that ”Everything old is new again” and this can apply to much of sport science and training. While power-based training and dissecting every micro-watt in multiple permutations appears to be the dominant “new wave,” do not forget that there are other ways to monitor fatigue and predict performance that have been around for a long time and that can be much simpler, cheaper, and potentially just as effective…

Toolbox: Back in My Day

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?

Toolbox: Cooling from the Inside Out

August has been sweltering for much of North America and Europe, and we know that hyperthermia can have a major negative impact on our performance and even health. Many different methods have been suggested for pre-cooling prior to exercise, but some are limited by their practicality in the field. One simple solution may be to cool from the inside out by ingesting cold drinks, ice, or ice slurries. Pre-race slurpee, anyone?