How to Start Road Racing – Podcast #40

P5251428 300x225 How to Start Road Racing   Podcast #40Every year, the Tour de France comes around, being brought to the masses through Eurosport, NBC or various Twitter or internet tickers.  Concurrently, there’s always a spike in cycling interest around the tour, and I get plenty of questions about racing and starting to race.  I guess watching people turn themselves inside out on TV is inspiring for those among us who are inclined to pin on a number.

Regardless of your motivation, it’s always awesome to see riders thinking about jumping into the deep end of the racing pool.  Many times, your average cyclist doesn’t really know how to “go about getting involved in racing.”  Well, I’m going to put some of those fears to rest with today’s podcast.

I’ll cover the following:

  • @13:46 – What is road racing?
  • @23:09 - What are the different types of road races?  What are road races, criteriums, time trials (TTs) and stage races?
  • @39:08 – What do I need to bring with me to my first race?
  • @46:03 – What should I wear to my first race? (Hint: it’s not a ProTeam jersey or National Championship jersey…)

As always, if you enjoy what you hear, head over to the Tailwind Coaching Podcast on iTunes and rate it 5 stars.  Don’t forget to post any questions to the Tailwind Coaching Facebook page, and don’t forget to support our sponsors and help to keep this podcast free, and help me to get this information to more people and help grow the racing community.

Now that we’re in the second half of the competitive season, you might want to think about reloading for the fall!  Check out my modular training plans in my online store and get running on the way to some killer cyclocross fitness.  And don’t forget to save 10% with the coupon code in this week’s podcast.

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Biohacking Lactic Acid

LacticAcid 1024x587 300x171 Biohacking Lactic AcidBiohacking Lactic Acid or “Hacking The Burn”

Lactic acid.  The burn.  The chemical that Phil and Paul always talk about “filling up the legs” and “making the legs scream in agony.”  It gets a bad rap, one that it perhaps doesn’t deserve.  Little do most athletes know, it can not only be a key way to enhance your performance, but it may very well be required by the body to fuel your brain and contribute to various chemical reactions within the body.

How can this improve your cycling performance?

Easy.  For simplicity’s sake (as an overview) here’s the gist of it: The more time you spend creating lactic acid, the more of it your body will be forced to deal with.  That causes a cascade of metabolic changes in the body.  But how does dealing with lactic acid get you further?  How does your body do it?  How can we use those lactic acid idiosyncrasies to be faster cyclists?

We’ll look at a couple of ways to hack lactic acid after the jump, and after we understand how it’s produced and cleared.

How it works (warning, sciencey, geeky stuff ahead):

Continue reading “Biohacking Lactic Acid” »

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Podcast #39 Addendum: High Fat Diets and Performance

photo 169x300 Podcast #39 Addendum: High Fat Diets and PerformanceI‘ve got to say, there are some really smart listeners out there.  Boy did you guys respond to my last podcast (Q&A number 2), especially regarding the last segment on fueling for a century.  Specifically, I referenced a study that found a 2% improvement in cycling performance/power output following glycogen depleted training.  A couple of you rightly questioned my analysis of that study.  Rather than write a lengthy post on the topic, I’ve decided to create an addendum podcast (originally designed to be the first segment of my next podcast, but after realizing the length, I decided to make it a stand along podcast) in order to address the issue.

Below I’ve included the study I reference in the podcast:

Fat adaptation followed by carbohydrate restoration increases AMPK activity in skeletal muscle from trained humans

Our results demonstrate that AMPK-α1 and AMPK-α2 activity and fuel selection in skeletal muscle in response to exercise can be manipulated by diet and/or the interactive effects of diet and exercise training.

This essentially relates that we can sort of “eat ourself into fitness.”  Cool, huh?

SHORT-TERM (<1 WK) MANIPULATION of dietary macronutrient intake is associated with marked changes in skeletal muscle gene expression (1524), substrate stores (36), metabolic flux, and fuel oxidation (102223). Exercise training also results in striking modifications in muscle gene expression (14), energy reserves, and the relative contribution of fuels to the energetic demands of muscle (9). Accordingly, the extent to which acutely altering substrate availability might modify the training impulse has been a key research area among exercise physiologists and sport nutritionists for several decades (for review, see Ref. 19). Indeed, evidence is accumulating that nutrient manipulation can serve as a potent modulator of many of the acute responses to both endurance (15) and resistance exercise (711).

So basically, if you eat well and train intelligently, you can turn yourself into a monster.  However, it also shows that if you eat poorly (I.E. a carbohydrate laden diet that promotes free radical production and inflammation) you can probably do more to hinder your performance than help it.

As always, if you enjoy what you hear, head over to the Tailwind Coaching Podcast on iTunes and rate it 5 stars.  Don’t forget to post any questions to the Tailwind Coaching Facebook page, and don’t forget to support our sponsors and help to keep this podcast free.

With the summer here, it’s time to get serious about your summer fitness!  Check out my modular training plans in my online store and get started on the path towards killer criterium fitness today.  And don’t forget to save 10% with the coupon code in this week’s podcast.

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Biohacking: Summer Sun Protection

sunburn3 269x300 Biohacking: Summer Sun ProtectionSummer

It’s synonymous with group rides, races, fondos, picnics, beers and burgers with your riding buddies and….sun.  Lots and lots of sun.

Of course, with sun comes the ever present worries of sunburn, skin damage, melanoma, and general misery that goes along with the “lobster burn.”  The typical course of action involves slathering yourself with a shot glass or more of sunscreen, wearing “sun sleeves” or finding some other way to keep those UV rays from touching your skin.

Sadly, we as human beings need some of those UV rays.  Truly, around three quarters of the US population is deficient in Vitamin D3, which can cause anything from increased risk of cancer to insufficient secretion of insulin in Type 2 diabetes. This can partially be blamed on the fact that we generally work inside, and that the UVB radiation we need to produce D3 naturally doesn’t pass through glass.  We also don’t get much exposure if we slather ourselves or our families with sunscreen all summer long, either.

So what can you do?  We don’t want to be burned up, we don’t want to peel, we don’t want to get skin cancer.  Well, a couple of easy biohacks can reduce your risk of sunburn, skin cancer and reduce the use of those greasy sunscreens, while leaving you nicely golden brown after your ride.

Read on to find out this easy recipe after the jump:

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Coaching Q&A #2: Components, Power and Nutrition (Podcast #39)

dirt2 300x225 Coaching Q&A #2: Components, Power and Nutrition (Podcast #39)It’s that time again:

It goes without saying that as the summer wears on, the itch to get out and ride more really starts to bite.  As we go out to ride more and more we also get more and more urge to dig into our performances and try to figure out how we can perform even better.  To this end, the internet becomes flooded with questions, whether they be an innocuous  “which upgrade will make me better” or a flame war instigating “which diet will make me perform better.”

This week, I’m picking a few of your most asked questions and I’m going in depth into them, including some of the following topics:

  • Is a rear derailleur a cost effective upgrade? (@9:28)
  • What is the best hand position on the bars?  Tops, drops or hoods? (@17:23)
  • What is the best power meter for a new racer?  Beginner to training with power?  Someone on a budget? (@25:18)
  • How many carbs do I need while I ride (And a discussion on nutrition and high carb vs high fat diets.) (@50:17)

Some of the information I referenced in the nutrition discussion of this podcast can be found right here: Biohacking Energy Systems: The Citric Acid Cycle

As always, if you enjoy what you hear, head over to the Tailwind Coaching Podcast on iTunes and rate it 5 stars.  Don’t forget to post any questions to the Tailwind Coaching Facebook page, and don’t forget to support our sponsors and help to keep this podcast free.

With the summer here, it’s time to get serious about your summer fitness!  Check out my modular training plans in my online store and get started on the path towards killer criterium fitness today.  And don’t forget to save 10% with the coupon code in this week’s podcast.

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