Category: Health

Is Your Relationship with Food Undermining Your Athletic Goals?

Relationships with food are complex, particularly for athletes. Adequate and ideal nutrition for health, appearance, and performance can suffer when the focus primarily is on reaching a fixed “ideal” body weight. While a high power-to-weight ratio is essential for success

How to Support an Athlete Who May Be Vulnerable to an Eating Disorder

A fit woman looks at herself in a gym mirror.

As coaches and friends of endurance athlete, we need to be aware of the ways in which discussions of weight-optimization can trigger eating disorders in vulnerable individuals. Weight loss can lead to improved performance in some athletes in some disciplines,

Staying Healthy in Winter

cyclists staying healthy in winter

Winter continues the cold and flu season. While fitness is associated with strong immune function, actual training and/or dieting can suppress our immune systems, giving opportunistic germs a better shot at both getting established and hanging around longer than they

Healthy Weight Loss Part I: Shedding Fat to Make Race Weight

For a cyclist, appropriate weight is just as important as aerobic fitness, strength and skills. However, many riders under-perform in hilly races because they carry too much body mass. They hope to ride off their excess weight in time for

Healthy Weight Loss Part II: Shedding Excess Muscle to Make Race Weight

Keith has great aerobic power. He can ride a flat 40-kilometer time trial in less than 56 minutes, making him quite competitive in his master’s category. He’s been training an average of 12 hours per week on a periodized plan

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

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

Life is Not Fair, and Other Good News About Being an Athlete

coach-ssaifer1

This article by Scott Saifer, M.S. first appeared in ROAD Magazine in April of 2014. “Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give

Slow and Sweet and the Strava Files: Two great articles by David Darlington

David Darlington is author of several books and numerous articles, including several published in Bicycling Magazine. He’s also a long time bike rider who likes to go fast. Check out his story about the time his knee forced him to

Quadricep, Hamstring, and Calf Stretches for Cycling Performance

The Quadriceps, Hamstrings, and Calves are the major muscle groups that directly power the pedals of a bicycle. When Quads and Hams are not in balance (one group is tighter than the other), a number of bio-mechanical problems can occur, including

Hip Flexor and Low Back Stretches for Cycling

The positions and movements of cycling stress certain muscle groups, which can create muscular imbalances and dysfunction. The hip flexors (iliacus and psoas, sometimes together called iliopsoas) are muscles responsible for pulling the thigh towards the abdomen and are used

Returning from a Major Cycling Accident

coach-ltyrrell1

On April 2nd of 2011, I was racing the criterium stage of a regional stage race in The Dalles, Oregon. It was a nighttime criterium, and I was feeling positive about my chances of achieving my goal of winning the

Diet Soda Makes People Fat. Here’s Why.

Here’s an interesting bit of science. There are taste receptors that are sensitive to “sweet” substances in the intestine (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070820175426.htm). They are similar to the ones on your tongue. When the intestinal receptors interact with sugar in consumed foods, they

Understanding the Rate of Weight Loss for Athletes

Question: What is reasonable weight loss within an active racing season where a rider is racing 1-2 times per weekend? Answer:  If you are within 15 pounds of your target weight, aim for consistent weight loss of about ½-1 pound per

The Elephant in the Room: Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep is the elephant in the room when it comes to training plans. If you want to be a champion cyclist, your training hours need to roughly match those of your strongest competitors. It is possible to tweak training to

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