Is Strava Good for Beginners Cycling Training?

The Strava website states that Strava is “Designed by athletes, for athletes, Strava's mobile app and website connect millions of runners and cyclists through the sports they love”. However, is it any use to help you build your cycling fitness? So, is Strava good for beginners cycling training? In my opinion as a professional cycling coach, yes it is an excellent tool that combines elements of social interaction, manageable competition and challenges, and features that allow you to track and direct your progress according to your needs.

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What are my Training Zones?

I’ve noticed lately that a lot of people on various social media groups are asking questions about their training zones and how they can be fit in each zone. It occurred to me that there is a lot of information out there about training zones but it still leaves people feeling confused, perhaps because there are lots of different systems which use different calculations, metrics and language.

So what are my training zones? Here is a summary of the training zones for running:-

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How To ride hills in endurance cycling events?

Riding up hills at the right pace can make a huge difference to how well you perform in endurance cycling events, so I thought I would write down some details of how to get the pacing right.

So, how should you ride hills in endurance cycling events? You should ride up hills a little bit harder than you ride on the flat and use downhill for recovery. Because of the way wind resistance works, riding harder up hills is more efficient.

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Why are some of the runs in my training plan so short?

Here are some of the benefits of short runs:

  1. A way to turn the legs and activate the muscles and mitochondria which can promote recovery

  2. A way to get in some easy extra endurance miles

  3. A way to do some good quality High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

  4. A way to warm up before some strength and conditioning

  5. A way to focus on form by putting into practise running drills

  6. A way to come back after over-training or injury

  7. A way to increase the frequency of running.

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How Do I Set Goals for Successful Bikepacking Races

We recently had a workshop on goal setting for our training group and I thought it might be useful to write an article to explain the details of how goal setting can support a successful finish in a bike packing event or any other sporting event.

So, how can goal setting help you succeed in a bike packing race? There are three types of goals used in sport: Outcome Goals, your dreams; Performance Goals, measurable things; and Process Goals, things you do. These goals integrate into a plan for both training and your event that if followed effectively should lead bring success.

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Why are you slow at cycling up hills?

A question that people often want to improve is how to get faster at cycling up hills. This is often because they can’t keep up on hills during rides with friends, in training groups or in events or races. There are two main reasons why you might not be as fast as you would like to be when riding up hills but the reason you can’t keep up or have to slow down on hills is probably not due to how fast you are on hills but how much energy you have used before getting to the hill. Improving your overall cycling fitness and managing your energy effectively alongside improving your fitness for cycling up hills is likely to give you the biggest improvements in your climbing speed.

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How Much Training Should I Do For A Bikepacking Race?

Many of us question how much training we need to do to meet our goals. It is an interesting question, as is how much training is too much? I thought I would take some time to write down my thoughts and experience on the subject in the hope that it will help you towards your goals. You should first focus how much training you can sustain now and then build up from there. The optimum amount of training at any time is a bit more than you are comfortable with but not enough to be overwhelming physically or mentally.

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How Long does it Take to Recover from an Ultra Marathon?

A good rule of thumb is to allow 1 day for every ten miles run (17km), or if it was a particularly mountainous adventure with lots of climb, 1 day for every 6 miles run (10km). However, there are a number of factors involved in recovery which can mean that it not only varies from person to person, but from race to race. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about your rest after your ultra run:-

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Clare Pearson
How do I get faster at trail running?

So how do you get faster at trail running? Well, the best way at getting good trail running is to do more trail running. However, there comes a point where you don’t have any more free time to run and your body can stop responding to the same stimulus; it then becomes a bit more complex than just doing more of the same thing.

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How to use rest weeks in your cycling training

Rest and recovery is an essential part of getting fitter and faster for any sport. There are many ways to incorporate recovery into your training and in this article, I share some of the ways I have found to be most effective during my years of experience as a cycling coach.

So, how do you use rest and recovery weeks in your cycling training?

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How do I know if I'm too tired to train?

Illness aside, if you feel tired but are generally healthy the best thing to do is to go out and have a go BUT if your heart rate is not responding or is going erratically high, or you are significantly off pace despite your best efforts, call it a day, run easy or rest, the session will be there another day. If this isn’t something that you feel you can achieve, the good news is there are other ways to track your levels of tiredness which will help you decide whether or not today is the day to train:

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How to use interval workouts for off-road endurance cycling training

Interval training is an essential part of becoming a fitter and faster cyclist but what should you do, how much and how often should you do it? Racing off-road adds complication with the skills element and what aspects of training should be on technical terrain and what should be on the road or perhaps even an indoor trainer.

So, how do you use interval training for off-road ultra-endurance bike packing races?

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How can I fit other sports around my cycling training?

Many of us like to enjoy different sports now and again so I thought it would be useful to explain how you can fit them into your cycling training in the most effective way. So, how should you fit other sports into your cycling training? You need to think about how the sport will complement or hinder particular cycling training workouts:

  1. What is the sport that you will be doing? Is it explosive with lots of sprints and recoveries like football or hockey, extremely explosive like racket sports or circuit training, more sustained like running or swimming or applying lots of force like weight training or heavy gym work?

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Should I change my cycling training plan if I am tired?

It is common for people to get tired at this time of year when the better weather comes around. This can be for a number of reasons and I thought it would be useful to write an article describing why you might feel overtired and explain what you can do to get back on track. So, should you change your training plan if you are tired?

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How to use heart rate to train for endurance cycling

I just finished a YouTube video on how to use heart rate for endurance cycling training and after a quick look on the internet, I decided it would be useful to write an article to go with it. So, how do you use heart rate to train for endurance cycling?

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