Get More Sweet Spot Training

Sweet Spot ZoneSweet spot training is one of the biggest “bang for your buck” workouts available to an athlete, especially early in the season.  WEven when you’re late into a season, sweet spot training can give your regular interval work a significant boost.  Even once your season has been shut down and you’re cruising through the off-season, some weekly sweet spot training can help to keep your fitness from degrading too much as you wind down and rest.

Unlike high-intensity interval work, sweet spot training takes longer and leads to slightly different adaptations.  It takes up a little more time than typical high-intensity interval training, but it is easy to recover from and the value per minute of training is huge.

In this podcast, I’ll go through the definition of sweet spot training, some of the benefits and some ways to get more sweet spot training into your workouts.  As a bonus, you can pick up a free copy of my power testing and fatigue resistance tool (which I’ll explain how to use during the podcast) at the end of the show notes!

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By |September 23rd, 2015|Coaching, coupon, physiology, podcast, Training|0 Comments

Am I Overtraining? How Can I Prevent It? (Podcast #62)

OvertrainingAthletes are a notoriously hard working bunch, carving out a dozen or more hours each week to train for their chosen sport.  Especially with cycling, there is a misconception that “more is better” and it often leads to overextending yourself.  Remember that training stress stacks up on every other stress in your life: family, work, kids, paying bills, doing tasks around the house, etc.  It’s easy to turn a blind eye to the stress you deal with every day and focus solely on your training stress, but in reality, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

This is generally the reason the busiest athletes find themselves stuck in an every declining spiral of training, declining performance and training harder, hoping to reverse the trend.  Overtraining is a condition where the body is taxed beyond it’s ability to recover, and is a very real condition that I see in a certain percentage of athletes.  And yes, it’s mostly the guys who get up at 4AM to train for 2 hours, get to work by 7AM, work hard all day, get home by 6PM only to eat, walk the dog, spend time with kids and go to bed late.

Then they repeat it the next day.

And the next day, and the next, over and over.

When performance starts declining, typically they add more training, maybe an after work session or a longer morning session, hoping to see the trends reverse and performance to climb again.  Usually, it doesn’t work, overtraining sets in and suddenly, they’ve dug a deep hole they’re stuck in.

In today’s podcast I’ll discuss the signs and symptoms of overtraining as well as some of the ways to dig yourself out of the overtraining hole if you find yourself there.  Don’t forget to leave comments below or on the Tailwind Coaching Facebook page, don’t forget the coupon code at the end of the show notes and don’t forget to share with your friends by clicking the bubbles on the left of the page!

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By |September 17th, 2015|Coaching, injury/medicine, physiology, podcast, Training|0 Comments

VO2 Max Training in 30 Seconds

Graph of vo2 max training in 30 second blocksVO2 max training is one of my secret keys to building strong cyclists, and it’s the key to unlocking bigger functional threshold power (FTP) gains later in your training.  Physiologically, VO2 max is the maximal amount of oxygen your body can use during high-intensity exercise.  FTP is simply a fraction of that maximal amount under which your body is primarily producing energy through aerobic means. Basically, think of VO2 max as your fitness “ceiling”.  You can only increase your FTP so far before you start running into that ceiling, so you have to “raise the roof” on your fitness if you want to bump your FTP up further.

Here’s the part most people don’t realize: you don’t need to backload your program with a ton of 5 to 8-minute intervals in order to accomplish the goal of VO2 max training.

VO2 Max Training In 30 Seconds?

Microburst training is one of the many tools I use to build fitness in the athletes I coach.  Surprisingly, microburst training (which is a fancy way of saying really short, really hard repetitive interval training) is a quick way to boost your cycling fitness and make you stronger and faster. It’s been tested time and time again, and while it’s TRUE that you can build big fitness in 30 second blocks, you have to be prepared to bury yourself in the pain cave for a while.  If you’re able to handle the intensity, you’ll end up realizing fitness gains you never believed you’d find in such a short time.

But how can blocks of 30 to 50 seconds build fitness that will allow you to crush those 4, 5 and 6 minute efforts in races and fondos?  After the jump, I’ll explain why it works, cover the physiology of it and give you a few workouts that you can integrate into your weekly training.

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By |September 11th, 2015|Coaching, physiology, power, Training|0 Comments
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