2016 Holiday Eating Survival Guide for Athletes

When fitness goals are only one of your many priorities, social eating around the holidays can be a challenge to your ideal training and athletic body weight. Having well-defined, motivating goals can help avoid excess and junk food, but even with

Posted in Nutrition, Weight Optimization

How to Recognize Burnout in Your Sport and Regain the Passion

A lone candle is burning with the passion for riding

Relighting the Flame After Burnout in Cycling In June of 2016 I went on a road ride by myself and noticed a pleasant change: for the first time in a long time I enjoyed riding my bike. It wasn’t until

Posted in Health, Life Balance

Strength Exercise Instruction: Partial Squat

An athlete demonstrates the lower position of the partial squat.

The partial squat that Wenzel Coaching includes in its lifting routine is intended to strengthen muscles and ligaments and improve flexibility in the lower body —particularly the hamstring, quadriceps and gluteus maximus muscles. Cyclists tend to have underdeveloped hamstrings and overdeveloped

Posted in Strength

Understanding Fitness Peaks and Troughs

training-performance-peaks-troughs

Peaking is a cyclist’s nirvana. If training has gone well, you are strong on the bike, riding fast with little effort, recovering quickly enough to attack several times in a race or race several days per week and your head

Posted in Coach tips, Season Planning, Training

Identifying Perceived Effort: Choosing the Right Words & Thoughts to Improve Performance

A jumble of words that a cyclist may think about while racing

How you talk to yourself about your training and racing performance, especially with regard to exercise intensity, matters more than you might think. There’s a number for everything these days: ride time, cadence, distance, heart rate, power, you name it.

Posted in Mental Skills, Performance Tips

Whoa There! Don’t Skip That Cooldown

Cooling down after a race isn’t cool any more. I mean, when The New York Times has pointed to studies showing that cooling down doesn’t reduce muscle soreness, it’s likely the practice won’t survive for long. If it doesn’t reduce

Posted in Health, Performance Tips, Recovery

Going the Extra Mile: The Costs and Benefits of Supplemental Training

Racing, especially stage racing, favors those willing to train long and hard and to suffer intensely, so serious bike racers exercise in ways that sound crazy to non-racers. Occasionally, some racers train to such an extent that even us cyclists

Posted in Coach tips, High Intensity Training, Mental Skills, Training

Beyond the Intervals: The Deeper Benefits of Power Meters

Power meters are great tools. They assess current physical ability, track training progress and improve performance, but those benefits are only the beginning. These devices allow for comparison of your physical abilities to competitors’ before signing up for a race.

Posted in Coach tips, Training, Uncategorized, Weight Optimization

Improve Mountain Bike Skills through Your Points of Contact

Coach Aaron Oakes climbs on the mountain bike

Your body position on the mountain bike and how you use your points of contact with the bike make a huge difference when you hit the tricky sections of a course: the switchbacks, the dive-bomb descents, the wall-climbs. For inexperienced

Posted in Performance Tips, Skills

The Cutting Edge: When Cycling Technology Can Make a Difference in Winning Performance

Depending on your goals, you may enjoy riding bikes that are heavy and inexpensive or that were modern decades ago. If you want to win races, you need a bike that is close to the cutting edge. Being an early

Posted in Equipment, History

How Was Your Ride? The Importance of Attitude to Recovery and Success

Effective recovery only happens if you relax. Without recovery, training gains are minimal, and you can even weaken despite working hard. The blissful rush felt when sitting calmly after hard training corresponds to a hormonal shift from work mode to

Posted in Life Balance, Mental Skills

What Are You Really Trying to Do? Prioritize Performance

Mike races bikes. He has been getting faster on all sorts of terrain and has become competitive on flats and descents, but not on climbs. A photo of Mike shows beautiful mountains behind a rider cornering aggressively on a long

Posted in Coach tips, Mental Skills

See You Next Year? Knowing When to Stop Racing

The end of the road-racing season has arrived. Even the most serious roadies are relaxing, having the annual beer, and taking a few easy weeks before resuming training. In the coming months, they will connect with teams and coaches as

Posted in Coach tips, Life Balance, Mental Skills, Philosophical Musings, Season Planning

Accepted Truths Are Sometimes False

For convenience, riders and coaches accept certain truths regarding bike fit, tactics, training and health. Some popular beliefs include: Athletes need plenty of sleep; they must use the right equipment for the job; set the saddle straight and level; bike

Posted in Coach tips, Philosophical Musings

Ready for the First Races of the Year?: How to know and why not to race too soon

This article is for people who haven’t trained as well as they might have for the new season. It is also for anyone with underprepared friends. Good friends won’t encourage the undertrained to race or do hard club rides. Read

Posted in Coach tips, Performance Tips, Season Planning, Training