How to Pack for a Cyclocross Race [The Ready-to-Race Packing Checklist]

Race day can be stressful. Be prepared. Having a cyclocross packing list means you don’t have to rely on your memory to prepare. Cut your stress level in half by following these steps. First, start by packing the night before

Diet Tips for Cyclists & Endurance Athletes [Four Complete Fueling Plans for Success]

Nutrition can make or break an athlete’s performance. For the best chance of success in cycling and other endurance activities, different eating regimens are appropriate at different times. Athletes will utilize the following four basic eating plans:   Different foods

The Complete Pre-Race Checklist for a Competition-Ready Bicycle

A man checks the handlebar bolts where it meets the stem on the bicycle.

Races can be decided by a dropped chain. Just ask Andy Schleck after the 2010 Tour de France. Some folks are more excited about the mechanical aspect of bicycle racing than others, but the fact is that maintenance is part

Overreaching During a Peak and Taper May Make It Worthless

A cyclist pushes a mountain bike over rocks and mud

Cyclists and triathletes want to be ready for a peak performance at their ‘A’ race. It’s common practice to attempt that by doing a period of “overload” or extra hard training ending 1-3 weeks before the race, and then a period of

The Power of Group Training

Take Advantage of Group Dynamics to Better Your Strength Workouts It’s 6:45 AM on November 21st several years ago. Snow and ice blow over the sidewalks as early-risers pour their first cup of coffee. Most people will be on their

Notes for the Gravel-Curious Cyclist

This year, admittedly bored with a Virginia/Maryland road racing calendar featuring a dozen races I had done at least a dozen times already, I decided to focus on a gravel grinder. The 72-mile Gravel Race Up Spruce Knob (GRUSK) over

How to Avoid Dead Legs on Race Day Forever

“My legs felt like lead!” I told my dad. It didn’t make any sense at all. I had been training for a full year for the Junior National Cycling Championships. I hadn’t missed a single day of training and had

Opener & Tune-up Rides for Cycling

Opener/Tune-up rides are essential preparation for race days. There are many possible Opener/Tune-up exercises. Not everyone needs quite as much intensity as some athletes may. Either way, this method will provide an adequate challenge to prepare anyone: You will need

Coach Meredith Nielsen Talks the History of Women’s Road Racing in Northern California

Coach Meredith Nielsen isn’t just a great skills and beginning racing instructor, she’s also a wealth of information on getting started in women’s cycling in Northern California. She was interviewed by the Our Work Works podcast about beginning racing. Have

Improve Your Cadence for Faster Gran Fondo Finishes

Whether you have a lot of time to train on the bike or just a little, optimizing your pedaling cadence1 will help you to finish gran gondos both faster and stronger. This is because the main moment-by-moment determinant of fatigue

Surgery and Recovery Around Training – A Coach’s Experience and Analysis

Competitive cyclists are constantly making risk versus reward calculations. Often, these are momentary decisions that have immediate near-term consequences such as making a move in a race or choosing to eat or not eat before a workout. Other times, the

The Myth of FTP

It’s pretty hard these days to escape the concept of Functional Threshold Power, or FTP.  A quick Google search will produce statements such as: “FTP is the single most important physiological determinant of performance in events” “FTP has become the

Even With Motivation, Unconscious Anxiety Blocks Improvement of Habits

All living things are driven to avoid pain. Unconscious systems compel them to select – without awareness – choices that have become familiar and proven safe. Human beings are no exception. They are motivated to avoid pain, including psychological pain,

Learning to Win – Waiting to Upgrade Your Road Racing Category May Pay Off Later

For some racers, the upgrade from Category 4 to Cat 3 on the road, for instance, may happen as quickly as a few months. For others the challenge to break out of the same category may take years. It may seem

Putting Down the Weights — When to Transition from Off-Season Weight Training

Cold, wet weather in late fall drives athletes indoors, making it easy to decide when to start weight training. Knowing when to end regular lifting in the late winter or spring can be more of a challenge. Following a weight-training