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.
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
Monday, March 28, 2016
We had some questions come in on this topic and we asked our coaches what they use.
Here are the results:
Coach Len Pettyjohn:
I’ve easily used more than a dozen different bike carriers over the years with teams as well as solo trips. A few years ago I purchased the Bike Box Alan and now have the most versatile and secure carrier ever. A lot of thought went into the design and Alan took all the best features from the options out there and built them into his box. It’s only available online from the UK, but fortunately the dollar is strong so it’s a relatively good value.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Friday, March 18, 2016
There it is again, your old pal. It always shows up right before that big presentation at work, before you ask for that raise, and before each and every important race that you do. Nervousness. Are you nervous? Do you feel that old queasy feeling before your race? How do you deal with it? Do you get upset? Do you let it get to you? Or do you revel in the feeling and let its energy flow through your body?
If after all these years of training, and racing you still get those feelings, you’re probably in one of three camps: (1) you hate it and feel it’s the worst part of being a competitive athlete, (2) you’ve learned to deal with it and accept it as part of the experience, or (3) you’ve realized that it’s an essential part of you and your race (or project, etc.). Those in the third camp have recognized that feeling excited before a race is actually a great thing and something to look forward to. They realize that it’s just their bodies telling them their muscles are strong and ready for a peak performance.
If you’re not in that third camp, I’d like to encourage you to recognize the inherent positive in the energy of “nervousness.” In fact, let’s stop calling it that. I think the word nervousness itself can bring on bad connotations, so I refer to the feeling as excitement instead. At some point in my career I decided to change the way I viewed excitement. I decided that instead of fighting the feeling and using essential race energy to fight it off, I would instead just let it run through my body and be used for a better performance. I’ve coached many athletes since then, and it’s interesting to see how each has a different way of dealing with this subject.
The true professionals, Olympians, etc. are all in the third camp I mentioned above; they use the energy and make it work toward their advantage. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Summer Sanders, and even the great one, Wayne Gretsky -- they all get excited. You just can’t tell it from watching them on TV. These top athletes have recognized the feeling of excitement as good, and they use it to raise their performance to even higher levels.
Have you ever been at a concert or gone dancing when a loud band was playing? You’re up there close to the stage, the music is good, the company is great, and you’re really enjoying yourself. It’s loud, but the rhythm is great and you can literally feel the music running through your body: the deep thump of the bass, the smooth rhythm of the guitar, the steady beat of the drums. What you’re feeling is the vibration of the music and energy coming from the instruments and the musicians themselves. You don’t resist this feeling; you just enjoy it and let it flow through your body. Bingo! You made a decision. Whether or not it was conscious, you allowed yourself to become part of the energy created by the band.
Now, how does this relate to athletics and pre-event excitement? Well, it’s similar because when you get excited before a presentation or race, your body naturally creates energy that moves throughout your body. It’s a powerful force, so strong that many people aren’t comfortable with it at all. Many of us learned incorrectly somewhere in our past (maybe in the fifth grade) that it’s bad. Let’s say a kid is really excited before a school play because of holding a major role, only to have his belt come unbuckled during the play and his pants fall down, causing all of the kids to laugh at him. Boom, his brain now begins to associate excitement with embarrassment and failure. For the rest of his life, every time he gets excited he feels those impending signs of doom.
Your job is to change your thinking and your paradigm and to allow your mind to relax and enjoy the feeling that your body-mind connection is creating. Change the false beliefs about yourself and your body’s energy. Here’s the key: pay attention, allow yourself to let the feelings flow through you, and decide to enjoy them. Feel the energy flowing into your arms and hands and legs, through your chest, into your back, and up and down your spine. The next time you get excited, take a minute to sit back and really feel that energy. Once you’ve done that, compare it with the energy you felt when excited about a great success, maybe your wedding, your first race win, the birth of a child, a great training run, or a big promotion or raise. How does it compare? It’s the same feeling, right? It’s the same exact feeling as when you’re excited. They’re one and the same. It’s just our incorrect thought patterns and false beliefs that create a difference between the two supposedly different feelings.
The energy of your excitement is of great benefit to you in your everyday life and races; it opens you up, allows you to perform at your maximum, and gets you focused and ready for the effort. You must use it and realize how important it is to have those feelings. They’re good! Allow your body to flow with the energy. The next time you feel that excitement, you’ll know it means you’re ready for a peak performance in the office, in your training, or in your event. Recognize it, allow it, accept it as good and important, and then put it to good use.
Make it a healthy day!
Hunter Allen is a USA Cycling Level 1 coach and former professional cyclist. He is the coauthor ofTraining and Racing with a Power Meter and Cutting-Edge Cycling, co-developer of TrainingPeaks’ WKO software, and CEO and founder of Peaks Coaching Group. He and his coaches create custom training plans for all levels of athletes. Hunter can be contacted directly through PeaksCoachingGroup.com.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Whether you love rainy days or hate them, it’s very likely that you will find yourself riding in the rain at some point; probably racing in it, as well. And rain changes things. As you watch the weather report, here are a few things to keep in mind when faced with the drips.
Road HazardsThere are several places that can become slick as glass even if just mildly wet or damp:
- Painted lines
- Railroad tracks (hopefully there aren’t any on the course, but you never know)
- Manhole covers
- Intersections where cars stop. These are usually worse when the roads are just damp versus very wet. When cars stop at intersections, oil drips down and accumulates on the asphalt. Combine that oil with just a little bit of water, and it’s crazy slick.
- Dirt and gravel that might have washed out on the road. Be on the lookout for this, especially in the turns.
This is so obvious I almost hesitate to include it, but I will: Allow extra room between you and the rider in front of you. Even if you do a great job of keeping the water away from your brake pads, it will still take extra time to stop or slow down on wet or damp roads, so give yourself plenty of room.
Hands in drops is even more important when it’s wet. It’s easy for wet hands to slide right off the top of the brake hoods. Keep your hands in the drops; you’ll have more control and won’t risk losing your grip.
Gear and Clothing
I highly recommend wearing eye wear with yellow lenses, or some other light color. If you go without, you’ll get tons of road spray in your eyes (from the wheel in front of you or your own front wheel) and won’t be able to see well. The lenses will of course get wet and dirty, but I find that a quick swipe with my finger will clear them off enough for me to see the road ahead.
If you’ve been using the same helmet for a while on these hot, humid days, chances are you’ve accumulated a lot of sweat on the pads and straps. If the pads get very wet and water drips in your eyes, you’ll feel a serious stinging (think salt water in your eyes). So now is a good time to clean your helmet and get that sweat and grim out of the pads and straps.
It’ll probably be a little cooler in the rain, so don’t forget to pack an extra base layer and maybe arm warmers. A vest is good too, but you’ll need your race number to be visible at all times, so if you plan to race in your vest, be sure to pin your number on it. And I KNOW you all know how to pin on your number!
Getting it DoneRemember: rain shouldn't stop you. It simply creates another opportunity to become a better athlete!
email@example.com or www.peakscoachinggroup.com.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Main Set: Nail it at 88-93% of your FTP for 60 minutes, with 20 bursts (every 3 minutes!) to 120% of FTP, hold for 15 seconds, and return to previous pace (88-93% of FTP)
EASY 10 minutes riding at endurance pace 56-75% of FTP
Then do 30 minutes at 88-93% of FTP and this time do big gear intervals- every two minutes. Slow down to 12mph, put your chain in the 53:13, stay seated and then use strength to explode on that gear and push it hard for 30seconds or if you reach 90rpm, stop when you reach one of those criteria first and return to 88-93% of FTP.
Cool Down: 10 minutes easy spinning at less than 56% of your FTP.
To remind you of the Coggan power training levels, see figure 1.
FTP “Well of courage”
After completing the (4) x 12 FTP intervals, ride for 20-30 minutes endurance pace (56-75% of FTP).Finish with one more 12 minutes at FTP interval to completely bury yourself! Make sure you push it hard and do your best completing a total of 60minutes at FTP for the day!
Cool Down: 10 minutes at least than 56% of FTP
On your weekends, make sure you are getting in at least one day of group riding as this is fun and it will also help to develop your race fitness with short, hard bursts and simulated attacks.
I recommend to my clients to do a group for an hour or two and then go longer afterward if they can.
This really makes a difference in your endurance and stamina for the upcoming season. On the other day during the weekend, it would be great to work on your shorter, more intense efforts. I recommend this workout:
Weekend: “A bite of it all”
Warm Up: 15minutes at 56-75% of FTP.
Main-Set: Do (3) x 1 minute fast pedaling. Then do (4) sprints- BIG RING –Put your chain in the 53:15 and start from 22mph. Only do two gear shifts in these sprints to 14, then to 13. Rest for 3-4 minutes between each and get psyched for the next sprint!
Now, finish the workout with 4 x 2 minutes on a flat section of road. 2 minutes ON, 2 minutes OFF.
Do your best to hold 130-140% of FTP on the effort. Lastly, ride at endurance pace for 20 minutes (56-75% of FTP)
CD: 5 minutes (<56% of FTP)
Tuesday, February 16, 2016