Training

Learning how to train properly, and to improve your cycling and overall fitness, are keys to becoming a better road cyclist, and to better enjoying your time on the road. From specific training techniques and fitness-boosting workout tips to the psychological side of cycling, we offer an array of helpful advice.

How to Become a Better Cyclist, Part 1: Recreational, Health and Fitness Riders

You want to become a better cyclist? Don't we all? I always strive for improvement. But what does becoming “a better cyclist” mean for you? Do you want to ride more miles than last year? Improve your health and fitness? Have more endurance? Become a better climber? Ride with a faster group on the weekends? Or do you have a more specific goal like finishing your first 100k? Or riding a specific tour? Or climbing Mt. Terrible? Or setting a personal best in your club’s 10-mile time trial? Whatever your goal(s) you want to have more fun, which is definitely part of becoming a better cyclist!

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Three Tips to Make You a Better Cyclist

The March 2017 VeloNews includes an article about Andrew Talansky. Team General Manager Jonathan Vaughters says: “Fundamentally, he’s very perfectionist about every detail. He has to be because he’s not the 95 VO2 max rider. He’s not this massive world-beating physical talent. In the races that he’s won, or has done really well in, he’s been able to optimize every last little detail.” If you’re reading this you’re probably similar to Talansky. You’re not naturally gifted. But, just like Talansky, you, too, can improve by paying attention to the details. Here are three ways:

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How Can I Best Use Commuting as Training?

This past fall, a job change meant a change to my commute. I now ride over 15 miles each way. This means my weekends are now recovery time instead of riding time. I can fit intervals into my commute twice a week and I can occasionally take a day off by getting a ride from a co-worker. But other than that, how can I, at 51 years old, use this commute time as a training benefit? 

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Even a 100-Year-Old Can Improve with Training

A new research report shows that you can improve athletic performance with proper training, even if you are over 100 years old. Traditional feeling among scientists is that aging is progressive and inevitable, and that your genetic programming causes you to age no matter what you do. This paper shows that physical training can reverse established markers of aging (J Appl Physiol, February 15, 2017). 

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Fit for Life IX: The Four Pillars - No. 4 is Enjoyment

Let’s review. Your goal is to stay as fit and healthy as possible for the rest of your life, what the gerontologists call "squaring the geriatric curve." You can control the rates of decline of your different physiological systems. How? By following the Four Pillars, which I've been detailing in a series of columns over that past month. (Each of the numbers below is a link to that specific article in the series.) So far I've covered the first three pillars, Consistency, Intensity and Recovery. Today, I'll finish the series with a focus on the fourth Pillar, Enjoyment.

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Fit for Life VIII: The Four Pillars - No. 3 is Recovery

Cycling legend Ned Overend on training: “I do exactly what I’ve always done; it just takes me longer.” Overend, now 62, last year took second overall in the Iron Horse Classic Omnium in Durango. He was third in the Durango to Silverton road race, which goes over two passes, each over 10,000 feet. “… it just takes me longer.” Overend means he needs more recovery between his hard training rides than he did when he was younger. Recovery is the third pillar of four pillars we need to follow to slow the rate of our inevitable physiological decline:

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Fit for Life VII: The Four Pillars - No. 2 is Intensity

In the first column covering The Four Pillars, I discussed consistency. Today, I'm discussing why intensity matters. As you get older, how much you work out and how hard you work out both determine how fit you remain. In fact, longitudinal studies looking at how fitness changes over time show that how hard you work out is more important than how much you work out. Working out hard helps lessen the decline in your VO2 max. The higher your VO2 max is compared to others your chronological age, the lower your physiological age, which means greater expected longevity!

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Fit for Life VI: The Four Pillars - No. 1 is Consistency

The first column in this Fit for Life series was Squaring the Geriatric Curve. As you get into your 50s your physical capabilities naturally and inevitably start to decline. You can’t stop this; however, you can control the rates of decline of your different physiological systems. Squaring the geriatric curve means slowing the rates of decline as much as you can. Staying as fit as possible — slowing your personal geriatric curve — rests on four pillars: 1. Consistency 2. Intensity 3. Recovery 4. Enjoyment I’ll explain each of these in this and the three succeeding columns, starting with Consistency.

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Fit for Life V: 105 Isn’t Old!

Robert Marchand, a 105-year-old cyclist, set a world record by riding 22.547 km (14 miles) in one hour on January 4. He rode on the track of the Velodrome National, a state-of-the-art venue used to host the elite of track cycling in Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines, France. The simple wisdom of how Robert Marchand lives his life holds lessons for all of us as we age, across a number of areas. He does have some genetic advantages, but in many respects, it's what he does every day, and every week, that account for his remarkable longevity and continued achievement:

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My Favorite Stretching & Core Strength Exercises, Part 2

We recently launched Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist, our new 57-page eBook in which my co-author and I clear up the confusion and take the guesswork out of knowing what to do, and how to do it, to implement a stretching and core strengthening program. One of the points I made in the launch article (click for additional info on how to put together your own program using the book) is that you can and should choose your favorite stretches and core exercises for your personal routine(s). In that light, I thought I would share my own personal favorites last week and today.

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My Favorite Stretching & Core Strength Exercises, Part 1

Last week we launched Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist, our new 57-page eBook in which my co-author and I clear up the confusion and take the guesswork out of knowing what to do, and how to do it, to implement a stretching and core strengthening program. One of the points I made in last week's article (click for additonal info on how to put together your own program using the book) is that you can and should choose your favorite stretches and core exercises for your personal routine(s). In that light, I thought I would share my own personal favorites today and next week.

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New eBook: Stretching & Core Strengthening for Cyclists

We don't all necessarily want to be faster on the bike. But I think every last one of us roadies would like to maintain the strength we have, or get even stronger, in our core. And we undoubtedly all would like to be pain-free when we ride. A regular stretching and core strengthening routine can help you achieve any or all of those 3 aims. In Stretching & Core Strengthening for the Cyclist, my co-author and I clear up the confusion and take the guesswork out of knowing what to do, and how to do it, to implement a stretching and core strengthening program.

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