Tubular tires seem to be going out of style these days, but there is still a very loyal following of people who love the supple feel and unmatched ride quality of a tubular tire. As I noted back in my Vittoria Rubino Pro III review, there’s a huge spectrum of tires, from the “lightweight and supple for racing on smooth roads, durable, high volume and puncture resistent for riding gravel grinders, or somewhere in between for everyday training tires.” In the case of Zipp’s Tangente Tubulars, we’re talking not about a high durability training tire, but a lighter weight racing tubular. And after a season of riding (and racing) Tangentes, here are my thoughts on these “aerodynamic wonders.”
There’s no question that social media has infiltrated every facet of our lifestyle. From the best cycling hashtags on Instagram to the ubiquitous “butt shot” of the local Sunday group ride that is posted on Facebook, we have an insatiable need to connect with others on social networking. Cycling is no different, as evidenced by the rise of Strava, the largest cycling social media sharing site out there today. But Strava is far more than people just sharing their rides and their achievements online: it has become the driving force behind many people’s cycling experiences. Offering almost monthly challenges and goals (often revolving around excessive mileage or vertical gain) and offering virtual rewards in the form of “badges”, Strava has become the impetus for people to train.
How has that success and impetus impacted us as a cycling culture? How has it changed the way we train? And of course, the ultimate question remains: have those changes been for the better or worse? That’s what I’ll explore on this edition of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast, including topics such as:
In this age of power meters and quantified training, athletes spend hours upon hours, days upon days poring over power files and searching for a way to get ahead of the competition. They hope against hope that there’s a magic bullet out there that will suddenly catapult them to the front of the pack. And all too often, they believe that magic bullet is raising their functional threshold power. But is a simple number the key to destroying your rivals on the Sunday group ride, the Saturday criterium or the Tuesday Night Worlds?
In today’s podcast I discuss the concept of efficiency as it relates to FTP or what I refer to as “Efficient Threshold Power”. I’ll talk about some of the following concepts:
It’s no secret to anyone who is familiar with this blog and with my podcast that I have an eternally romantic view of the Spring Classics. The Belgian Holy Week of de Ronde and Paris Roubaix is one of the most captivating weeks on the calendar for me, and here in the northeast US, the Tour of the Battenkill is no exception. It’s also no secret that I have a love/hate relationship with America’s Queen of the Classics, as evidenced by the ridiculous cramps I suffered in 2011 and the awful back spasms that knocked me from the race in 2013. That doesn’t mean I don’t still love it, though.
As of today, 11/15/14, registration is finally open for the Tour of the Battenkill 2015 Pro/Am Race and the Tour of the Battenkill 2015 Open Race/Gran Fondo. As I do every year, I’ve analyzed the route, pored over the details of the climbing and descending, and I’ve put together my 2015 Battenkill Training Plan. For those of you who want a little extra edge, remember that you can always add Training Plan Support for a “semi-custom” training experience. Keep in mind that this 20 week monster plan is power meter compatible, heart rate monitor compatible and even suitable for those training just on perceived exertion. You can add it to your cart below, or you can visit the Tailwind Coaching Battenkill Training Store for a few other suggestions to help you on your quest for the famed chocolate milk.
America's Queen of the Classics returns for it's 10th year! Featuring a new start/finish at the Washington County Fairgrounds and a new course clocking in at 68 miles in length, featuring 8 dirt road sections totaling 15 mile of unpaved punishment and throwing 4029 vertical feet of climbing with a maximum gradient of 17% at you, the 2015 edition of Battenkill is sure to be a monster.
Be prepared to lead the pack with this 20 week training plan. Used to increase threshold power a massive 21% (on average) and power racers to several top 10 finishes and podiums in last year's race, this year I've revised the plan to further suit the changes in this year's race course, especially the dirt road uphill kick to the line!
I've also added a bonus strength training workout to help you get on top of the muscular fitness necessary to succeed in a race of this magnitude (requires a kettlebell, purchased separately, or access to a gym.)
With the onset of cold and damp weather many cyclists abandon outdoor riding in favor of sitting on the sofa. Granted, with the NFL season half way done and the drama heating up like an episode of “The League”, it may sound really fun to just kick your heels back for a few months and give in to holiday laziness. But should you really just back completely off activity for a few months to recover? Should you spend it doing nothing but 12 ounce curls (I.E. drinking copious amounts of beer?) Should you throttle your activity back so much that you put on 10 pounds of insulation? Well, I’m going to say, unequivocally…
You should be spending your off season (or “not so” off season, as I talked about back in podcast #27) doing something that will ensure your success in the coming months. This could be cross training, this could be hitting the gym and lifting some big heavy things, or it could mean sitting on the indoor trainer. But which of those things will help you create an effective off season?
In today’s podcast I’ll talk about building a solid base of fitness during the cold months. I’ll cover: