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.Read More
Like any endurance event, mountain bike stage races are fundamentally about managing your energy. Training for the event is simple in many respects but the added dimensions of off-road riding make it important to develop fitness for harder efforts that are dictated by the terrain as well as your competitors.Read More
It can be demoralising when you are unable to do your workout to the targets that you have set and it can be less effective if your targets are too easy. It isn’t unusual for people to have different thresholds for workouts on the indoor trainer compared to those outdoors.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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?Read More
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?Read More
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:
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?
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?Read More
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?Read More
Over recent years I have helped many people train for ultra-endurance bike packing events and over that time I have learned a lot about effective training methods. I thought it would be useful to write an article explaining the details of what I have found to be the best way to train and prepare for a bike-packing event. So, how do you train for an ultra-endurance bikepacking event?Read More
I was having a quick scan around the internet at the information available on training for endurance events and thought it would be useful to write an article on training for Mountain Bike Marathon Events. So how do you train for a mountain bike marathon event? The best way is to break your training down into specific areas to meet the demands of your event, here are 6 of the most important:Read More
Perhaps the most effective thing you can do to improve your ability to run or cycle faster for longer distances, longer than 2 hours up to several days, is to improve your speed or power at your aerobic threshold. I thought it would be a good idea to explain why this is and how you can use the knowledge to get faster, so I wrote this article. So, why is aerobic threshold important? Your aerobic threshold dictates how fast you can go for durations of more than around 2 hoursRead More
There are a lot of applications available to track and analyse running, cycling and other endurance training sessions. I have used quite a few over the years and I thought it would be useful to combine my experience with that of my athletes and an in-depth survey of currently available diary application and analysis tools. So, what are the best cycling and running training and analysis applications? In no particular order, my top 3 applications are Strava, TrainingPeaks and Final Surge but I think combinations of applications work best. Read on to find out why.Read More
What you eat and drink during your long bike rides, races and events makes a huge difference to how fast you can go and how long you can ride for without having to stop or slow down. I have done some research and combined with my personal experience as a cyclist and a professional coach, here are some ideas that might help you.
So, what should you eat and drink during your long bike rides, races and events?Read More
Life can be busy and it can often seem impossible to find the time to train for the event that fills your dreams. However, it isn’t impossible to reach ambitious goals and sustain a busy life, although of course there has to be some sacrifice.Read More
You may have heard that fitness develops during recoveries and not during your workouts. Here is a bit more detail on the subject and the reasons why recovery is so important.
So, why is rest and recovery needed for you to get fitter and faster? Training is a process of stressing your body to create a response and then waiting for it to respond and build up stronger before stressing it a bit more so that it responds again. Each of these stress/response cycles is a step towards increased fitness with the response occurring during periods of recovery and adaptation.Read More
I’ve been thinking about how people get fitter and stay fitter, in fact how we get better at anything, whether that is developing skills, being happier or achieving amazing sporting goals. It is all about creating and maintaining good habits. I thought it would be useful to share some of what I have learned from over 50 years in sport and my experiences as a professional running and cycling coach. So, why do you get fitter by developing good habits?Read More