It is sometimes difficult to know what cycling workouts to do and why, particularly with all the information available nowadays. This article considers how you can determine the demands of your goal event and set workouts to help you train for those demands.Read More
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
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:-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
So how much sleep do endurance athletes need? A general rule of thumb is between 7 and 9 hours per night for adults, but studies suggest athletes may in fact need closer to 9 or 10 hours per night for optimum performance.Read More
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.Read More
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:Read More
As a rule of thumb, the average person running at an easy (conversational) pace on a flattish surface burns about 60 calories per km run (that’s 100 calories per mile). For most of the part this works well, but it gets a little more complicated when we consider things like pace, terrain and outliers to the norm (ie excessively heavy or light individuals).Read More
So how did stress have such a drastic effect on my training? When we are using up a lot of energy on stress this can limit the energy we have left for good quality training; in addition to this when emotionally stressed it can take us longer to recover. Unfortunately it is difficult to monitor this closely as emotional stress is very subjective; what causes debilitating stress for one person is a perfect motivator for another.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
So can walking help you be a better trail runner? As a way of cross training and getting in some guaranteed easy miles absolutely. But it’s a bit more complicated than just walking all the time and then becoming a good runner; you do still need to do some running to get fit, it’s more about varying the effort and intensity of your training, if you walk you are guaranteed to be working less hard than if you were running so it enables you to maintain some exercise without over straining. This can work particularly well for trail runners in several different waysRead 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