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 …

Overreaching During a Peak and Taper May Make It Worthless Read More »

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 …

The Power of Group Training Read More »

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 …

Notes for the Gravel-Curious Cyclist Read More »

“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 …

How to Avoid Dead Legs on Race Day Forever Read More »

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 …

Opener & Tune-up Rides for Cycling Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

Improve Your Cadence for Faster Gran Fondo Finishes Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

The Myth of FTP Read More »

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, …

Even With Motivation, Unconscious Anxiety Blocks Improvement of Habits Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

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

It’s certainly not necessary to be playing high-stakes at the card table to benefit from a poker face. The ability to mask one’s reactions from the competition is useful outside of gambling – in sport. We often hear about athletes …

Poker Face at Threshold Read More »

cyclist on snow track in winter

A coach once told me, “You are not just a cyclist, you are an athlete, and fitness goes a long way.” Having come from skiing, I always liked that idea because it gave me an excuse to use skiing as …

Creative Cross-Training for Cyclists in Winter in Snow Country Read More »

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 …

Is Your Relationship with Food Undermining Your Athletic Goals? Read More »