Real Science, Real Simple: Tailwind Coaching

Setting Tempo

photo 3 300x300 Setting TempoFrom the latin “tempus” meaning time, tempo has come to represent a large number of definitions across different parts of life.  Typically read on a page of music notes, determining how fast or slow a piece should be played, it takes on new meaning when applied to cycling.  We’ve all heard the ubiquitous phrase of “setting the tempo”, usually at the front of a peloton (note that said phrase is often augmented by specific adjectives denoting suffering, like “infernal” or “blistering”.  And more often than not, someone of the Jens or Fabian stature is the said disher out of epic pain, simply adding to the mystique of the setting of that tempo.  But I digress…)  We’ve come to realize pace, speed and tempo are almost interchangeably linked, much like the internal tempos we become acutely aware of the deeper we delve into the cave of pain, either of our own volition or that of those sitting in front of us.

Getting back to tempus, we could articulate many different bodily machinations as fitting it’s definition.  The pounding of our heart as we grind our way up our favorite climb is a perfect example of the rhythmic undertones of tempus.  Our breathing falls into this category too, as inexorable as the march of the second hand on your wrist watch.  But in cycling, as in the face of a clock, we think of tempo as the metronomic revolutions of our legs upon the pedals, incessantly ticking away a beat to accompany the rhythm section playing throughout our bodies.

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Choosing A Power Meter – Podcast #44

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photo 3 300x300 Choosing A Power Meter   Podcast #44Power: it’s the ultimate in training metrics.  Nothing beats the pinpoint accuracy of training with an output measurement such as power.  You can know at each moment of each ride how hard you are working, if you’re burning matches and if you’re going to be paying for this effort later in the day.  The question most people end up asking themselves is “which power meter should I choose?”  And rightly so.

With the myriad of power meter options on the market, offering tons of different features at different price points, where should you start looking in your quest for technological bliss?  And when it comes time to plunk down your hard earned cash on (arguably) the biggest training tool you’ll have (aside from a coach), which one should you choose?

In this episode of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast, I talk about some of the ins and outs of choosing a power meter, from considering how much mechanical ability you have to how much money is in your bank account.  As you listen, you’ll hear me discuss:

  • @ 8:55 – What is a power meter?  How does it work?  What categories should you think about when choosing a power meter?
  • @ 26:49 – Discussion about each type of power meter, including Stages, Powertap, Garmin Vector, Power2Max, Quarq and SRM
  • @ 49:39 – Which power meter would I pick (and which have I picked in the past?)  The answer may surprise you…

If you like what you hear, click through to the Tailwind Coaching Podcast on iTunes and rate it 5 stars so that I can reach more listeners and help more people get stronger on their bike.  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 winding down the season, you might want to think about planning your next season and squaring away your training!  Check out my modular training plans in my online store and think about building your offseason strength with some weight workouts.  And don’t forget to save 10% with the coupon code in this week’s podcast.

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Strength Training For Cyclists – Part 2 (Podcast #43)

giant thighs 5 300x199 Strength Training For Cyclists   Part 2 (Podcast #43)In part 1 of “Strength Training For Cyclists” I talked about how your body adapts to different kinds of exercise.  We learned about the concept of different pathways that create physiological adaptation and a touched on a couple of ways these pathways interact with one another, turning you into a sharp physical specimen where there used to be couch potato.

But there was a problem: I covered all these concepts about how your body uses some common physiological mechanisms to build fitness in different muscle types, that’s true.  But the one thing not talked about was how to put all that sciency stuff together.  I’ll tackle that in detail in today’s podcast, including:

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Strength Training For Cyclists – Part 1: Podcast #42

WeightLifting wallpapers 26 300x120 Strength Training For Cyclists   Part 1: Podcast #42Want to be a stronger cyclist without touching your bike?  Did you ever wish there was a way to build cycling prowess without sitting on the trainer for hours on end during the dark and cold winter?  Do you dream of a lean, muscular physique like the sport’s top rouleurs?  Well, there’s definitely a way to go about making that happen, if you’re willing to put aside some bias and start hitting the gym (or the home gym if you’re motivated enough.)

For years, many coaches thrashed the idea of strength training when cycling was the primary sport.  But those attitudes are (thankfully) on the way out.  Frankly, a coach who doesn’t believe in strength training is either not well versed in physiology or is just not interested in developing weight based workouts for his/her athletes.  In fact the recent success of numerous former track athletes in the professional road race ranks should have people clamoring for some weight lifting (most trackies are avid weight trainers during the off season.)  Think of guys like Brad Wiggins, Michael Morkov, Jack Bobridge and Geraint Thomas if you want a few examples of trackies who took to the road successfully.  So what’s your reason for not hitting the weight room?

With that in mind, today’s podcast will discuss some of the components of strength training and exercise adaptation, including:

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Century and Gran Fondo Training – Podcast #41

Gran Fondo New Jersey 300x225 Century and Gran Fondo Training   Podcast #41Last time on the Tailwind Coaching Podcast I talked about how to get started with road racing.  So far, I’ve received a lot of positive commentary on it, but a number of people felt that I was leaving some things out.  Comments were made to the effect of “What about gran fondos?” and “What about centuries?”

I realize that the majority of cyclists out there aren’t racers, but still find joy in searching out tests of their endurance, climbing or overall fitness.  Many of those ways involve planning for a century or gran fondo.  Do you want to complete that event, or do you want to CRUSH that event?

In today’s podcast, I’ll discuss what you need to know to not only be successful in pursuit of that goal, but to shatter your expectations.  I’ll cover:

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