The Cycling Performance Management Chart (Podcast #59)

Performance Management Chart uses and pitfallsWhat is a cycling performance management chart and what can it do for you?  Is it just a way to graph your fitness?  Does it tell you if you’re ready to race?  Will it keep you from overtraining?

The performance management chart (PMC) is one of the lifelines between an athlete and their structured training work load.  Many of my listeners, customers and athletes have asked me what all those squiggly little lines and numbers mean?  Sure, there’s a basic concept of “keep on climbing” the fitness mountain, but it’s a far more nuanced tool than just that, revealing information about your fitness, form and where you may potentially be overdoing it.

After the jump we’ll discuss the basics of the PMC, how you manage your training and your fitness using a PMC, how to read all those little lines and how you can use the PMC as a tool to maximize your performance.  I’ll also talk about what the PMC CAN’T do, which is perhaps the most important thing to know.

Check the show notes after the jump for more:

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By |July 7th, 2015|Coaching, podcast, power, Training|0 Comments

Tour de France Discount Code!

Tour route 2015It’s that time again!  The weather is steamy, America is celebrating its birthday and the Tour de France is taking off again.  21 stages culminating on the cobbles of the Champs Elysee will treat us to a battle through the mountains, valleys and spacious plains of the French countryside.

I know that watching the pros race on TV in the epic fashion of a grand tour is huge motivation for me, and I’m sure it is for you as well.  In order to help you turn that motivation into meaningful fitness, I’m offering a Tour de France discount code to all of my readers.  It’ll let you take 20% off any of my downloadable training plans, no questions asked.

All I ask you do is like this page or share this discount code with your friends and riding buddies.  That’s not too much to ask, right?

Happy Tour tracking, happy training!

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By |July 1st, 2015|coupon, pro cycling, Training|0 Comments

Coaching Q&A – Ways to Boost Your Training Outcomes (Podcast #58)

Boosting Training Outcomes - Podcast 58This time of year, the focus of your questions has turned from how to get strong and fit for upcoming events to wringing the most out of your training time.  If you are anything like the 99% of cyclists for whom riding a bike isn’t a job, you have limited time to train and need to get the most out of each hour. I’ll wager that these questions that I’m getting will apply to many of you out there.  It’s true that no question is a stupid one, and since there’s a lot of valuable information in each of the topics I’ll talk about, I’ve put them together into a podcast intended to help you boost your training outcomes.

In this episode of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast, I’ll explain how you can boost your fitness and increase your training outcomes with some simple techniques.  After the jump, you’ll be able to peruse the show notes and read a synopsis of what’s talked about in this episode.

Don’t forget to hit the like and share buttons on the left to share this information with your friend, group ride buddies and teammates!

Now, learn how to boost your training outcomes with these simple tips:

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Cornering: Understanding Apexes (Podcast #57)

Cornering for CyclistsCornering is an important cycling skill to master if you’re going to ride efficiently (and safely) and understanding apexes is a critical part of cornering properly.   Since there’s so many potential spots for error, cornering is a fine balancing act comprising a number of different forces, but everything falls into place more easily when you can learn how to cut an apex properly, and how to choose the proper apex for each corner you encounter.

Cutting an apex allows you to do a number of things more safely, including carry a higher amount of speed into each corner.  Knowledge of how to properly execute different apexes will also help to keep you out of trouble with traffic, prevent panic braking and set you up for any terrain that’s beyond the curve in the road (even if you can’t see it.)  Proper use of apexes will also foster and encourage proper cornering skills like correct weight distribution and looking through the turn to the exit point.

In this excerpt from my upcoming “corner like a pro” online course, I’ll diagram different apexes and explain the nuances of each one.  Click through for more information and the key points to take home:

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By |June 9th, 2015|Coaching, podcast, technique, Training|0 Comments

Ride Stronger: VO2 Max Repeatability Workouts

20090906000556_bicycle-racerAmong the many weapons in the armament of the cyclist who wants to ride stronger, one of the least practiced and most important is VO2 max repeatability.  The ability to accelerate and push your body to the limits, recover at threshold and repeat that process over and over is one of the most versatile and important skills for a cyclist to possess.  It’s also the one that’s almost always lacking in the cyclists that I consult with or coach, and it’s one I drill home in my training plans.

The real question most people follow up with is “why?”

Before I answer, first let’s delve into VO2 max a little bit.  For our purposes, a VO2 max level effort (or a Zone 5/Z5 effort) is a suprathreshold effort that is sustainable for around 3-8 minutes (depending on the intensity of the effort.)  It is a mixture of aerobic and anaerobic energy production and is most often used in pursuits, attacks, bridging small gaps and short climbs.  By the numbers, it’s an 8 to an 8.5/10 on an RPE scale, 105%-120% of Functional Threshold Power and >105% Lactate Threshold Heart Rate.

After the jump, I’ll give you some more detailed information and a couple workouts to help you build your Zone 5 Repeatability (Z5R) ability.

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By |June 1st, 2015|climbing, Coaching, Training|Comments Off on Ride Stronger: VO2 Max Repeatability Workouts