TOOLBOX: Cycling is built on the lore of climbing big mountains, that epic battle of humans versus the environment. But surprisingly, not that much research has explored the biomechanics of climbing, notably the differences in biomechanics and physiology of seated versus standing climbing.
You lean forward, driving down on to the pedals, legs exploding, chest burning, mouth wide open, sucking as much air as possible into your hungry lungs. That process of laboured breathing and ventilation is a primal force. Can we train our respiratory muscles to decrease the stress of breathing or even ride faster?
TOOLBOX: We know that exercise and an active lifestyle provides huge benefits to our overall health. But even something as positive as exercise can become addictive and take over our lives for the worse. What are the risk and risk factors for exercise addiction in recreational cyclists?
Toolbox: A breakaway in a cycling race is a hotbed of intrigue, with ‘friends’ working together for the common good while also plotting their betrayal of the group as a whole. What are the factors that actually enhance the odds that the early breakaway takes it all the way to the line?
Toolbox: Pro riders have a unique and graceful style that clearly distinguishes them from amateurs and recreational cyclists. Is this difference something to do with their pedal stroke and technique? And if so, is it something that we can train to improve our own cycling?
Toolbox: Sure you’re an athlete, and sure you may be able to roll out century rides easily. You might even be a keen racer. And all the cycling you do is supposed to improve your health, decrease your risk for major illnesses, and help you live to a ripe old age, right?
Toolbox: Ask a coach about “winning” and he might cite threshold power, great tactical acumen, or the importance of a strong team; each an important element without question, but what else goes into the equation? In the end it often comes down to mental focus and the ability to sort out the irrelevant.
TOOLBOX: Planning the whole nutrition for a multi-stage race in the UCI calendar is no easy task and requires coordination not only with the athletes but also with many staff members who are a crucial part of a cycling team. Today, I show you a Nutritionists’ perspective on what is required of us nutritionists in such scenario.