Hunter explains the concepts, analysis, and benefits of data collected with a power meter that measures each leg's power output separately from total power.
It has been said that if you fail to plan, you may as well plan to fail. If you want to get the most out of your training program, you need a plan. Click to read more!
The days are getting shorter, the big events have passed, and our attention is turning to preparation for next season. Tim explains how the proper design and execution of this off-season phase pays big dividends later.
Winners think differently. They are constantly focused on moving forward, getting things done, taking action, and improving. Click through for more about why winners win!
Determining our power zones is one of the most basic elements of power training. Click through to read more about each zone and how they work together.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Friday, July 22, 2016
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Thursday, June 23, 2016
By PCG Elite/Master Coach Todd Scheske
That is: how to actually win a race.
It is true that without the fitness portion you will have a harder time implementing any strategy or tactics, but strength, without good strategy or tactics, isn’t going to win you a race most of the time. I know, personally, that I’ve won races against stronger competitors. I have a saying that goes something like: “the strongest rider almost never wins, but the smartest rider almost always does.” Being smart in a race is likely more important than what your FTP is, or your 5 sec power.
So what things should you be thinking about in terms of being a smarter rider? First of all, STAY OUT OF THE WIND. Sounds simple right? Look around at how many riders will ride next to the group, or (try to) move up when it is single file into the wind. Racing is about conserving energy until you need to unleash something, not dribbling out power sitting in the wind, accomplishing nothing. Learn to flow with the pack. I’ve seen race files of clients that did the same race as I did, and yet they had half the percentage of zero pedaling. This is where you can also start to use the “power” of the analytics available as well. Look at your road race files and see how much time you spend generating less than 5 watts. If you have a low percentage of (near) zero pedaling, and you were not in a breakaway, then you may need to look at why and find ways to save energy. Remember it is not a contest of who does the most KJ of work!
Secondly, ask yourself two fundamental questions: “What am I doing?” and “Why am I doing it?” This will help you with the first point above and also help you start to correct for mistakes on the road. I hear often from athletes, “I just found myself….” Don’t just let things happen to you. Own what you do. If you find yourself, say, sitting on the front, ask the questions: Q: What am I doing? A: Sitting on the front. Q: Why am I doing that? If you aren’t setting up a teammate or helping chase something, etc., then stop it. Even if you are chasing something, ask the same questions!
Third, respect everyone and fear no one. If you ride with respect, you mitigate the tendency to ride dumb. Kind of like the proverb that says, “Pride cometh before a fall.” I’ve seen strong riders sit on the front, pulling people, because they think they are “hurting them”. Most likely, the reality is you aren’t. So respect that they are fit and strong, and don’t just pull people, or don’t lead out a headwind sprint from 500 meters, and then expect to win. When you respect other people’s ability, you recognize that you cannot be foolish in the race and waste energy. Along the same lines though, don’t fear anyone. Don’t negate your chances by thinking that you aren’t good enough. You are lining up to race, so you deserve to be there. Ride like it! Confidence and respect set the stage to make good tactical decisions and plan solid strategies.
So yes, use the power meter and be strong, fit and fast. However, make sure you are a smart rider too, so that those tools are put to good use. Use those tools to be even smarter by knowing yourself even better.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Your fitness is increasing, and you are getting stronger and faster. You are also getting more fatigued.
As a coach, I rarely have to encourage athletes to get on their bike and ride. Most athletes who are motivated to seek out and pay for a coach are also motivated to train hard. More often than not, I have to encourage the athlete to train a little less and spend more time recovering. It’s true, the more and harder one rides, the stronger they will get, but only up to a point. If they don’t allow their body to recover, their hard work won’t get translated into increased fitness. In fact, it will work against them, and drive them into sustained fatigue, which can lead to over-training if not addressed.
I like to remind people that riding, what people consider training, actually breaks the body down. It creates injuries to the muscles that must heal. It’s the rest and recovery that allows this damage to heal. In the process, the healing results in increased fitness. Shortchanging the recovery process shortchanges your training. You need to balance the riding with the resting. In this regard, resting and recovery is an important component of training, as much as the working out. It will serve you well to remember that recovery is as important as riding for increased fitness, and is indeed part of training, as are proper attention to nutrition and hydration. Focusing only on riding will not address all aspects of fitness and training.
The training stress balance metric (TSB) is a way to monitor your fatigue and need for rest when training with power. As you workout longer and harder, your TSS will increase and your TSB will decrease. The lower the TSB value, the more accumulated fatigue you have. In order to get stronger and fitter, you must sustain fatigue and drive TSB into negative territory. But you can’t keep it there indefinitely as you pile on the miles. You need to ‘come up for air’ periodically and allow yourself to recover and get your TSB back above zero. Experiment with your own ability to tolerate fatigue by watching your TSB and discovering the point where you need to rest and recover before piling on more stress.
So as you attack this training and racing season, remember that recovery is just as important as training, and in fact is an equal part of training.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
By Hunter Allen
Virginia boy shows good…..AGAIN!
Ben King won stage 2 of the Tour of California in great style. Ben is known for success in his long breakaways, as he won his first big race, the Pro National Championships in a long break and just recently this past fall, he was in a 90 mile breakaway at the World Championships in Richmond, Va. True to his successful pattern, Ben was aggressive on the first climb of the day, where his best 20 minutes of the race occurred at 411 watts up the initial climb to Angeles Crest Highway. He and Evan Huff battled for both KOM’s with Ben getting second on each, however their aggressiveness in going for the KOM points is what created the separation for the breakaway. At the very top KOM, Ben sprinted with some of the biggest watts I have seen him ever do, averaging 1182W for 13 seconds, and a max of 1408W!
For the next two hours, Ben was in the breakaway with three companions and Ben averaged 330W normalized power for the entire time, so needless to say, he was working hard in the break! The break gained over 7 minutes at one point and they needed every bit of that gap in order to make it to the finish. There were two additional Sprint points and two more KOM’s in the stage as well, and Ben won both of the sprint points, while Evan took the KOM’s. Normally, you would expect the riders in the race to pedal only about 85% of the time, spending the remaining 15% coasting and resting for the finish, however Ben only spent 9 minutes NOT pedaling in the 2 hour and 5 minute breakaway or .07% of the time! Clearly he was doing his share of the load.
In the finish, Ben and Evan were able to drop the other two companions and that was largely because they both drilled it hard over the remaining hill, averaging 444W for over 3 minutes. This really put the hurt on his breakaway companions. In the final sprint, it was just Evan and Ben battling it out for the win and Ben was able to rest his legs averaging only 136W for 46 seconds, before the final sprint of 16 seconds where he killed it with a max power of 1302watts and averaging 1152W for the win!
Many thanks to Ben King for sharing his file!! Way to go Ben!!
Image Credit: Cycling News - Read More about Ben King
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Original found in the Performance Cycling Conditioning Newsletter Volume 21 Number 3
Wednesday, March 30, 2016