Training Basics

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.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

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:

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

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? 

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

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!

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

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.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

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:

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

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.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

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.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

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.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

Why 'No Pain, No Gain' is Wrong

If you ride just a little harder than tempo riding, you start to recruit fast-twitch muscles in addition to your slow-twitch muscles. You aren’t breathless; you can still talk in short phrases. This is called riding in the Sweet Spot and is the opposite of the “more pain, more gain” approach to training. The harder you ride (the more pain), the more recovery you need between hard efforts and between hard days, so you can handle less hard volume. Riding in the Sweet Spot balances the level of intensity with the volume of intensity to achieve the maximum overload on your muscles.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

Improving Performance Through Marginal Gains, Real Life Example

Elizabeth Wicks, 72, is a long-time friend and client of mine. We’ve written about her preparation and accomplishments in earlier Newsletters because she's a terrific example of putting into practice – and benefitting from – so many of the training concepts that all recreational roadies have at their disposal for improvement. Elizabeth is a real-world example of a roadie who illustrates the benefit of many of the concepts the pros lay out in my Learning from the Pros eArticle. But today we'll just focus on one of those concepts.

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

Personal Comeback Reflections, Trainer Tips

As I continue to recover from my crash and surgery, it makes me feel somewhat better about the situation if I can pull from my own experiences to share some insights that might be of use to readers who may suffer a similar injury, or at some point be going through a situation not unlike what many of us face from time to time in coming back from an injury or layoff. In his accompanying article today, Coach Hughes lays out a number of common-sense principles and guidelines to follow to help avoid any relapse or new injury in a comeback. To his list of sage advice, I would like to add one more rule of thumb: Be flexible! 

Read Full Story

Write comment (0 Comments)

The Latest VIDEOS & PODCASTS (check main navigation Categories at top of page for more videos)