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:

@9:56 – What is a gran fondo?  What is a century?

@23:34 – What skills do I need to be successful in gran fondos and centuries?

@44:26 – Tips and tricks to ensure you have the best century or gran fondo possible.

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 winding down the competitive road season, you might want to think about reloading for the fall cyclocross season!  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: 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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SRAM True 22 Unveiled

SRAM Force 22 crankset chainrings intro01 600x399 300x199 SRAM True 22 UnveiledCampy started the trend a few years back.  Shimano jumped on board with Dura Ace 9000.  Now SRAM is following suit with the release of their two new group sets, dubbed "Force 22" and "Red 22."  Obviously the 22 in the name refers to the total number of gears available, and also obvious is the official release of the Red hydraulic brake offerings that have been teased for months.

What is less obvious are the changes to the existing Red group and the changes to the Force group.

After the jump, we'll take a quick look at those changes.


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Review: SRAM Red Shifters

red bike 300x300 Review: SRAM Red ShiftersIt all starts with some spy photos: blacked out parts, blurry shots of cyclocross races, SRAM team guys with suspicious shift levers and cranksets.  Then SRAM made a splash early last year by redesigning their flagship group and releasing it just prior to the spring classics.  They have marketed their new group as the best mechanical group on the market, making waves about Boonen winning Flanders and Roubaix on the new gear and have Hammered the media with their successes.

But how is it, really?

Some of you may have gathered that I'm something of a SRAM fanboy, and having ridden SRAM for the past 5 years (starting with the old original Force which is still kicking on my cyclocross bike) I wanted to do this methodically, piece by piece.  I've started with the shifters, as they're the most important part of the group (in my opinion) and will compare them to the old model Red shifters that they have replaced.



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2013 Tour of the Battenkill Route Released

While I've long talked about riding dirt roads and getting out into the back roads of east rural nowhere (all in an attempt to find your inner child and just plain enjoy riding your bike) there's something special about racing on dirt.  There's a modicum of uncertainty as the tires slip, the increased resistance ratchets up the pain meter and your face cakes with dust (or mud, depending) and sweat.  It's a thrill like nothing else, unless you're heading over for the Tour of Flanders or Paris Roubaix.  Since most of us aren't pros, and we don't generally have the time to fly to Europe just for a sportive….

 2013 Tour of the Battenkill Route ReleasedEnter Tour of the Battenkill.  The toughest one day race in America.  America's Queen of the Classics.  America's answer to the Hell of the North.

It's 63 miles of pain, 5,000 feet of grinding elevation, and about 25% dirt, gravel or broken up, nasty roads.  Combine that with an early April race day, and you could have anything from a beautiful sunny day to a greasy, nasty, gritty fight for survival.

Oh what a race it is!

It's no secret that this week was the release of the 2013 route, which you can see below:

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Posted in anticipation, Classics, climbing, coaching, racing, Road bike, spring | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment
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