Balance: An Introduction to Left/Right Power Data

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.

Annual Periodized Planning, Part 2

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!

Periodizing Your Transition Period

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.

Five Key Attributes of Winning Athletes

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!

Power Training Zones 101

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, January 14, 2016

The World Championships in Richmond Virginia 2015


Ben King's Breakaway Ride

Worlds. Amazing. You had to be there.   Thousands of people, incredible course, the best riders in the world and stellar bike racing.   Richmond Virginia shined and really laid out the red carpet for everyone and it was heart warming and reassuring to have drivers honking at you with “Thumbs up” and taking pictures of cyclists as they rode around the outskirts of town for the week, instead of giving you the other finger.  Ben King, local boy makes good.   Ben not only rode in the breakaway for 90+ miles, but not was he only one from the breakaway to finish the race, but he in the front group at the base of Libby Hill on the last lap.  Only then, did he lose contact with the front group, finishing in 53rd place, 55 seconds down on Sagan.   Let’s have a look at this amazing power file from the World Championships.

First off, one of the differences between the World Tour level and all the rest is the sheer amount of work that has to be done in the race, just to complete it.  Work is kiloJoules and 1 Joule is a watt per second, so 1kJ is 1000 Joules.   Ben did 6,402 kiloJoules of work in the 6 hour and 24 minute race.   For those of you that regularly get crushed after doing 3000 kJ of work, can you imagine doubling that?  This is equal to over 7000 kCalories burned and that’s a lot of burritos.  A normal Continental pro race here in the US, is between 2500-3000kJ,  and this is a critical difference between abilities of the Continental pros and the World Tour pros.   Translate this into Training Stress Score and reminder that 100 TSS equals the same amount of training stress as 1 hour at FTP and Ben did 418 TSS for the race, so the equivalent of 4 hours back to back at FTP.    Some other highlights include 7,838’ of climbing, an Intensity Factor of .81(81% of FTP for 6 hours 24minutes),  an average power of 276watts and normalized power of 323 watts.  Yes, 323 watts for 6 hours 24 minutes.  Three. Hundred. Twenty. Four.  6 hours. 24 minutes.   Can you do 323watts for 20 minutes? An hour?   How about 6 hours?  Oh yeah,  he weighs 148lbs.  So that’s 4.88 watts per kilogram for the entire race.   Those are the statistical highlights of an epic world championship race.    Let’s dig into some of the finer points.
Worlds in Richmond by Ben King.   The beginning shows his bridge to the breakaway and the initial part of the breakaway as it gets established, the middle section of the breakaway with a relatively smooth and steady pace.  The final part of the race in the peloton as the pace ratches up a notch with every lap completed.

There were three main obstacles in the Richmond Worlds’ course,  the first being Libby Hill with its’ cobblestones and serpentine route up the hill, the second being the super steep 15% gradient cobblestone climb up 23rd street and then the third was the drag up Governor’s hill, right beside the Virginia Governor’s Mansion.   Each of these were not long hills, but all were hard with the addition of cobblestones, and gradient.   Libby Hill was certainly the most packed for spectators and ignited the fireworks for the riders, with a stinging one minute and 20 second sprint over the top of the hill and then a charge to the second obstacle, the 23rd street hill, which was the launching platform for Sagan’s winning attack.   Ben’s climbs up Libby hill were hard, but consistent.  The hardest was second climb up the hill, while the breakaway was being established and Ben averaged 471 watts.  Laps 12, 13, and 14 were the most aggressive as Ben put out over 900 watts for a maximum on each of these trips up the climb.




The Sprint up 23rd street came on the heels of Libby Hill and to add insult to injury, the hill was at a 15% grade and cobbled, with thousands of people cheering at the top of their lungs.  This climb was done using in single file in the peloton and in the small breakaway, the width of the road still only allowed them to go up two abreast.  This hill while hard in the breakaway, wasn’t that decisive until the final lap, when Sagan launched his winning move.




The difference in his wattage between when he was in the breakaway and when he was back in the peloton is significant.  As you saw in Figure 1, the time Ben was in the break had much lower maximum watts with a lot more smooth and steady power output.  This is classic of a breakaway and the ability to keep your power smooth and minimizing the bursts of power contribute significantly to the conservation of energy.    The difference in Variability Index (normalized power/average power) is only 5% between the two time periods, but that is significant in a race as long as this one.   Clearly, the last 5 laps of the race were difficult for anyone in the peloton, but to survive the breakaway for 90 miles and then sit in the peloton having to respond to all the surges in power, really goes to show you just how incredible Ben King is as one of the best pro cyclists in the world.



The World Championships in Richmond were a real spectacle and Ben King put on a show.  What a great ride by a good ol’ Virginia boy that made all American cyclists proud, not to mention the thousands of Americans watching the race.   This was a special day and a very special ride by Ben.   The power that he released on this day is equal to any of the classics in Europe and goes to show that he has what it takes to win a big, big race. 

I predict his 2016 season will contain one of these wins.

Hunter Allen has online training programs available at www.TrainingPeaks.com/hunter  including some great winter plans.  Hunter attended the Richmond World’s with some of his Peaks Coaching Group coaches and got to cheer on Ben King up all the hills.  You can contact Hunter directly www.PeaksCoachingGroup.com for personal coaching and camps.

Reprinted with permission from Road Magazine November 2015 Issue

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Power and the Trainer: Planning a Season of Change


Power training and indoor trainers simply belong together. The pure efficiency and controlled environment of training indoors partner amazingly well with precise training based on specific targeted power numbers. The combination of accurate power measurement and controlled smart trainers have taken this to new levels, and because more and more people are now training indoors with their bicycle power meters, we are seeing significant improvements in the effectiveness of indoor training.

But there’s always a catch.

Training indoors with precise performance numbers can have some negative effects on your training. The introduction of clear training targets measured by watts has brought about some bad training habits, and they’re often disguised as the desire to improve performance as we focus on increasing just one number: average watts.

Here are two ways to look at indoor power training differently to improve your results.

Power vs. Duration

The Challenge

The introduction of power to indoor training has created a focus on “more power” that can actually be detrimental to long-term improvement performance; I often see athletes striving constantly for more power (increased watts) as the key to their breakthroughs, often repeating similar workouts in their pursuit to track their improvement by tracking their power numbers. This obsession with power leads to problems with training focus. We can become overly focused on increasing power and forget about increasing power duration and fatigue resistance.

The Solution

Change your thinking this winter. Focus more on power duration instead of pure power output.

Here’s a simple example. Say you do a lot of 2 x 20s at tempo, sweet spot, or FTP training levels. This probably means you’re trying to get more watts each session, often turning tempo and sweet spot work into FTP intervals. I recommend that you focus more on increasing your time in those zones and let the power come up more naturally as you grow more fit. Instead of doing each 2 x 20 a few watts higher, progressively expand the duration of your time in that zones. You could start at 2 x 15 minutes of SST and progress to 2 x 20 minutes and then then 3 x 15 minutes, which leads to 3 x 20 minutes of SST. I progress my athletes incrementally (often 1- to 2-minute increments) over the course of their base training, but there’s no reason to sit stagnant; I will rarely plan more than three workouts at the same time length before increasing the time demand. Just remember that your power numbers will be coming up as the time increases, so you’ll need to test and monitor other data to gradually move up your power targets.

The Reason

Why give this a try? Results! Increasing your power duration/fatigue resistance is more likely to improve your results than adding a few more watts of pure power in the base training phase. How many times have you made the break and got into the lead pack only to be dropped or be unable to hold? You had the power, but you couldn’t sustain it. It’s time to change that.

Power vs. Cadence

The Challenge

Power training is exactly what it sounds like: training by power. However, this has led to such a focus on output numbers of average power that I see more and more athletes not using their indoor training time to work cadence drills and focus on potentially improving efficiency. 

The Solution

Start using more of your available data to track and encourage the introduction of efficiency drills into your training. I have my athletes focus on three types of drills during their base build:

1. Fast Pedaling

This is the simplest of all the drills, but I add a twist. I suggest doing fast pedaling drills 2-3 times a week as 10 x 1 minute with 1 minute of rest, but I like to break them up by doing 5 x 1 minute just after warming up (before the actual workout effort), then completing the final 5 x 1 minute after the workout effort (just after cool-down). We want to get cadence above 125 rpm for the minute, to not focus on power, and to focus on spinning without bouncing.

2. Over Fast Pedaling

This is a slightly more complex drill (I call it “rate coding pedaling intervals”), but it’s very effective. Just like the fast pedaling drill above, these are 10 x 1 minute, but you need to start them in a mid-range gear, get your fast pedal up to max for 30 seconds, then shift into one easier gear, spin fast for 15 seconds, and shift again to one easier gear for the final 15 seconds. This fast pedal format will teach you to “over-spin,” as each gear shift will help you spin faster than you thought possible and help improve your neural muscular pathing and performance.

3. Progressive Pedaling Intervals

During the base training phase I also use cadence targets in my longer intervals to help develop efficiency and fatigue resistance. For example, I might prescribe a 45-minute Tempo effort with progressive cadence. This means the first 15 minutes will have a target of 75-85 rpms, the second 15 minutes 85-95, and the final 15 minutes above 95. This helps us focus both mentally and physically on the effort and on maintaining good cadence targets. This is harder than it sounds, but it’s worth it!

The Reason

Why give this a try? Improving efficiency is low-hanging fruit for many cyclists. Building both short-term and long-term efficiency can improve your ability up to 10% as demonstrated by this training response chart supplied by Dr. Andrew Coggan.




The benefits of indoor training are clear: efficiency, a controlled environment, focus, and more. Just make sure your power meter doesn’t cause you to repeat the same old training focused only on more power. Make the most of this season. Do things a little differently to get the results you want.

Want expert help with your training this season? Contact us to find out how we can help!

Article originally featured on Pez Cycling News



Tim Cusick is a USA Cycling Level 3 coach and a PCG master coach. He and our other coaches create custom training plans for all levels of athletes. Tim can be contacted directly through PeaksCoachingGroup.com or info@peakscoachinggroup.com


Photo credit: Shutterstock


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Recipe: Sweet Potato Apple Curry Soup

Nothing beats sneaking in a wintertime ride and coming back home to something warm. What’s on the menu? Soup! Hearty, wholesome, nourishing, warm soup. It’s that time of year when you finish a ride with friends and quickly change out of that damp kit into some warm fleece, jeans, a touque, and a sweater (clearly I’m Canadian, but this can also apply to you softer California types who think 60 Fahrenheit is freezing!).

Soup can make a quality meal paired with a nice whole grain baguette and/or lean protein on the side, or it can even serve as a starter to a meal or a healthy snack. The thing I love about soup is that just about anyone can feel quite accomplished in the kitchen after making a soup. It doesn’t take a seasoned pro to put amazing soup on the table. Trust me. Generally, if you have a few basics on hand like broth, garlic, onion, and ginger, as well as a few basic spices (salt, pepper, curry, chili powder, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, etc.) and maybe a few limes and lemons, you can pull off some good flavors.

Sweet potatoes and potatoes are my favorite things to have on hand at this time of year, as well as beets, all of which make for amazing soups. Add a blender, and voila, your soup goes from chunky to creamy. Trust me, you won’t believe you made it. Neither will your friends.
Sweet Potato Apple Curry Soup Recipe - Peaks Coaching Group

Sweet Potato Apple Curry Soup

Serves 3

Ingredients

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 large apple (or 1 1/4 cups of applesauce)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water

Instructions

Peel and cube both the apple and sweet potatoes. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger, nutmeg, curry powder, salt, and pepper and cook until toasted, about 1 minute. Add sweet potatoes and chicken broth; cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and add apples. The broth should just cover the potatoes; they may even stick out a bit. Cover and simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Puree soup in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

This pairs very well with a blackened white fish or salmon with a lime drizzle on top.

Nutrition Info
(entire recipe)

730 calories
119 gram carbohydrates
12 gram protein
23 grams fat


Article originally featured on Pez Cycling News



Anne Guzman is a PCG nutritionist, a registered holistic nutritionist, and a sports nutrition consultant with a degree in kinesiology. Her passion lies in sports nutrition for endurance athletes, as well as general health and wellness. Anne raced full time on the women’s professional circuit in North America with some bouts in Europe from 2008 until 2011, and before cycling was a provincial and CIAU champion and national bronze medalist as a Varsity Freestyle Wrestler. Currently Anne works with athletes to help them reach their potential by combining their own training plans with her nutrition plans. Anne believes that many athletes undermine their intense detailed training regimes by not backing them with sound nutrition. Her personal experience as a cyclist and athlete is a great asset to her business as she understands the needs and nuances that come with the sport. Anne can be contacted through PeaksCoachingGroup.com or at info@peakscoachinggroup.com. Read more nutrition advice on her blog.

Photo credit: Taste.com.au

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Annual Periodized Planning, Part 2

Annual Periodized Planning Part 2 - Peaks Coaching Group

It has been said, “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. Jumping on your bike and riding at random will help for a short time, but without a plan, you’ll eventually plateau out and fail to make gains. In endurance sports, periodized planning is the format most frequently followed.

In part one we reviewed the three steps of planning preparation. Now we’re moving on to actual creation of the plan. Just to summarize, the total plan steps are:

Phase 1 is plan prep:

1. Set a goal.
2. Complete your diagnosis.
3. Develop your needs analysis.

Phase 2 is creating the plan:

4. Create the periodized plan.
5. Implement workouts.
6. Track and tweak results.

Step 4: Create the Periodized Plan

One of the most important things to consider in the development of an annual periodized plan is your key event data. The development of your plan should focus on getting you to perform at your “peak” on that day. Using that as the target, the periodization steps start to fall into place.

Part 1: Schedule your key event. This is simple. Start working with a calendar or basic spreadsheet and record the key date you need to perform. Then count back one week from that date and mark that day as the peak, because you want to target your peak at least a week before your big event.

Part 2: Count backward from your peak. Now that you know the date you want to be on form, count backward from that date to determine the start day of your training. Training plan lengths vary from 12 to 32 weeks; I typically target 24 to 32 weeks to maximize results.
  • Twelve weeks: Reasonable form can be achieved in twelve weeks, but you need to forego some base training and complete a more high-intensity approach. This doesn’t mean you start out doing all-out efforts on the bike, but progression into sub-threshold efforts at around 90% of your functional threshold power (FTP), typically known as sweat sport training, comes early and progresses quickly to efforts at FTP and above.
  • Twenty-four weeks: Peak form can typically be achieved in 24 weeks. This allows for the development of a solid aerobic base through the use of long(ish) steady miles and sweet spot training, with a steady progression of overload through duration and/or intensity.
  • Thirty-two weeks: This length is ideal for peak form, allowing for full preparation for training season and steady progression. It also gives you a little more wiggle room for dealing with those little issues that tend to take you off the bike for periods in a season.
Part 3: Plan your rest phases. Training traditionally tends to flow on a three-week-on, one-week-off type of cycle. This is a pretty good starting point. As we age, we tend to need a little more rest, so I suggest beginning to consider reducing toward a two-week-on, one-week-rest cycle after forty years of age, though this is highly subjective.

Part 4: Plan progressive overload. This is crucial to the success of your plan. The body needs overload to keep improving or it will adapt to the same training stimulus and load and quickly plateau. The trick is understanding the relationship between duration and intensity in this process. A good rule of thumb is in the first half of your training plan, plan your progressive overload driven mainly by increases in duration without picking up much intensity. As you move into the second half of your training season, intensity starts to play a greater role, but be careful here; larger steps up in intensity create the need to reduce overall duration. This framework planning can be done by simply planning each week’s training frequency (number of days), duration (weekly time in training), and training intensity (aerobic, anaerobic, easy, hard…there are lots of systems here to determine).

Step 5: Implement Workouts

With the framework of your annual plan laid out, now you need to start to flesh it out. It is important to use your needs analysis here. Here are a few ways to begin:
  • Enter what you don’t have first. If you’re planning a vacation, have an important work trip, or need to take a specific time off, record it all. Also, if there is a specific day each week you cannot train, mark all of those days.
  • Train your limiters. In your needs analysis you determined some limiters. Focus on these throughout the entire plan, but be cautious on how much you do. If, for example, your limiter is anaerobic capacity and your needs analysis points towards building more, you don’t want to start your training plan with five days of anaerobic capacity training right out of the gate, nor do you want to ignore that limiter to the end of the training plan. During the early phases I suggest adding two to three limiter workouts in each four-week training block, then increasing the frequency of limiter workouts as you get deeper into the training plan (season). So add these key workouts to your schedule first. By always scheduling the more important workouts second (after days off as mentioned above), you’ll keep the focus on your needs.
  • Fill in the plan. Try to follow the progressive overload principle. It can be challenging to predict the intensity element, but do your best. If you’re training with a power meter, utilize the intensity factor (IF) metric to help predict.
  • Flush out the whole plan. This will take a little time, but it’s worth the effort. Once you see your plan completed, it will give you some good insight and will allow you to tweak key elements before implementing the plan.

Step 6: Monitor and Track Results

Now that you have the plan, you need a system to monitor and track results. There great systems out there to do this. I recommend Trainingpeaks.com, which offers free basic accounts that will help you track your workout and training plan compliance, which basically tells you whether or not you are doing the work you planned.

The important thing is to be able to track your ability to do the planned workouts while measuring the success of your plan. The easiest way to measure your success is to develop and implement a test strategy. Testing is simple if you use a power meter; you can measure the increase in watts over a given time period. This does not work as well when using a heart rate monitor, because your heart rate will generally stay the same at maximal efforts; you’ll just put out more power. A proxy to power is to measure distance traveled. For example, if you’re testing 20-minute efforts with a power meter, you can simply look at your average watts (and hopefully increases in your average watts over the season). For heart rate, I suggest using the same course to test and measure how far you get (total distance) for the allotted time period. There are some outside factors here (wind, bike condition, etc.), but it will give you a base understanding. If you’re improving, your plan is generally working. If you’re not improving, you might need to reevaluate.

At the end of the day, a training plan will help you meet your training goals, make improvements, and do well at your targeted events. But remember that cycling is meant to be fun! If every day becomes a workout grind, mix it up, do something different, and keep it all fresh.


Want professional assistance with your annual planning? Contact us to find out how we can help!

Article originally featured on Pez Cycling News



Tim Cusick is a USA Cycling Level 3 coach and a PCG master coach. He and our other coaches create custom training plans for all levels of athletes. Tim can be contacted directly through PeaksCoachingGroup.com or info@peakscoachinggroup.com


Photo credit: Cris Solak, Peaks Coaching Group Brasil


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Balance: An Introduction to Left/Right Power Data

Introduction to Left Right Power Data - Peaks Coaching Group

About three years ago we were introduced to power meters that separate left-leg and right-leg power from combined power. Since this ability to capture each leg’s contribution to total power is a relatively new concept in the power world, it has been difficult to really discern whether or not this information is useful or meaningful, mostly because we didn’t have software to analyze the new channels of data. This was not unlike the early 2000s when we first had power data but no real way to analyze or understand it. Since then we have come to a standstill in our knowledge.

I have been studying left/right power data intensely for the past two years. I wanted to discover for myself and my clients (and ultimately all cyclists) what it means and how to create meaningful analysis and coaching advice from it. In these two years, I have worked with the core development team of TrainingPeaks’ WKO4 software (Dr. Andrew Coggan, Tim Cusick, and Kevin Williams) to create some new analytics from this information, along with unique charts and graphs to more completely understand how each leg contributes to total power.

As you can imagine with any new analytic tool, there are many new concepts to learn, and I’m sure you’ll hear a lot from us on this topic to help you decide if a left-right power meter is in your future and how best to use it.

Just like the first steps of power training, we start with some testing. You tested your functional threshold power (FTP) and power profile values when you first bought your power meter (and hopefully are continuing to test regularly), and you’ll need to do a little additional testing with a left-right power meter. The first test to complete will take four consecutive days of testing, so be sure to plan this in advance so it won’t significantly impact your overall training plan.

This first test should ideally be conducted on a five-minute hill, but if you don’t have one of those nearby, you can also test on a flat road, preferably into a head wind to give you a little more resistance to push against. For the hill test you’ll be alternating between standing and sitting while climbing. For the flat test you’ll be alternating your focus (intention) on your left and right legs. I’m going to describe the hill-climbing test here, and as we go I’ll provide alternates if you’re using the flat test. The goal is the same for both tests: to learn how you create power from each leg and how that contributes to the total power output.

Before you can embark on your new journey, however, you’ll need to understand some of the new analytics in TrainingPeaks’ WKO4 software, so that you can interpret the data you generate.

Gross Power Released and Absorbed

The first concept to understand and review is gross power released and absorbed. During pedaling, each leg releases power and absorbs power throughout each pedal revolution. On the down stroke, the left leg releases power while the right leg absorbs some of the power released by the left. It’s highly possible that the opposing leg can significantly absorb more power than you might expect and negatively impact your total power. The opposing leg’s job is really to get out of the way on the up stroke while preparing for its own down stroke. This allows you to produce more releasing power, which is what ultimately moves the bike forward faster. When the left leg is on the down stroke and the right leg is opposing it on the up stroke, we call this the left power phase. When the opposite is occurring with the right leg on the down stroke and the left leg on the up stroke, we call it the right power phase.

Every rider has a unique pedal stroke. Some of us release more power through the left leg than the right. Some of us punch at the pedal stroke with one leg while the other leg smooths the power over the circle. Still others absorb more power on one leg than the other leg. There are other things happening during the pedal stroke too, and we’ll discuss those in later articles. For now let’s stick with gross power released (GPR) and gross power absorbed (GPA); they are the more important concepts to understand in the first tests.

Gross Power Review Charts


Take a look at the gross power review chart above (the lower part of the screenshot with the red, blue, green, and purple lines). This is the first chart to look at in the pedaling metrics pack bundled in the WKO4 software. The red line is right-leg GPR during whatever time period you’re reviewing, and the blue line is left-leg GPR. (Remember, GPR is the power you release on each pedal stroke to propel the bicycle forward.) The green line represents right-leg GPA, and the purple line is left-leg GPA. (Remember, GPA is the power that is being produced that does not move the bicycle forward; it is generally resistance, or negative power.)

Minimizing GPA produces more overall power. The chart above provides a bigger-picture understanding of how asymmetrical one leg might be compared to the other. We see here that the blue line (left GPR) is generally higher than the red line (right GPR), which means that the left leg is releasing more power than the right. At the same time, we notice that the green line at the bottom of the chart is generally above the purple line, which means that the right leg is absorbing more power than the left leg. So from a quick glance we could infer that while the left leg is releasing more power, it’s also absorbing more power, so the left phase does not contribute any more power to moving the bike forward than the right phase. We need a closer look to see if this is indeed the case.


The chart above shows a five-minute standing interval test (five minutes at VO2Max, standing the entire time) to demonstrate the relationship between left/right and standing/seated power outputs. This chart is the mean max gross power curve. It contains the same data as the gross power review chart, only plotted on a logarithmic curve to more clearly reveal which leg is releasing and absorbing power. This chart is highly useful when reviewing intervals or very hard efforts. Again, reducing the GPA while maximizing the GPR will increase your total power. In the chart above, the left leg is releasing more power and both legs are absorbing the same amount of power. When standing, the left leg contributes to more total power than the right leg, as the GPAs are nearly the same, but the GPR on the left leg is almost always 10-15 watts higher than the GPR on the right leg.

These two charts (gross power review and mean max gross power curve) are going to be the main charts to study, along with the pedaling reports, in order to understand your left/right power.

Leg Asymmetry Pedaling Tests

Now that we know the concepts and charts, let’s dig into the pedaling tests! Each day will have the same essential test, but each day will have a different goal and pedaling emphasis.

Each day you will complete three five-minute intervals at your VO2Max power (roughly 113-115% of your FTP). The first interval will be standing the entire time, the second will be seated the entire time, and the third interval will be alternating standing and seated: stand when you want to and sit when you want to.

Pedaling Asymmetry Hill Climbing Test

Day 1: Complete the test with no emphasis on either leg. Just climb naturally.

Day 2: Emphasize the leg that releases less power to see if you can balance out the GPR/GPA.

Day 3: Emphasize the left leg only for all efforts.

Day 4: Emphasize the right leg only for all efforts.

Pedaling Asymmetry Flat Test

Since you aren’t standing here, do the first interval with your hands on the hoods, the second with your hands in the drops, and the third with your hands wherever you’d like them to be. Complete the four days of testing exactly as in the hill-climbing test except stay seated the entire time and modify the hand positions as described. If you have aero bars, you could do the tests in and out of the aero bars to see if this might have an effect on your pedaling asymmetry as well.

Pedaling Asymmetry Testing Protocol

Pick a route you can repeat each day. It must be the same route, and all efforts must start at the same location. Try to make each of the four testing days as identical as possible.

Warm-up: Ride for 20 minutes toward the testing area. If you have to ride a little longer, that’s fine, but maintain a nice endurance pace (56-75% of FTP).

Main set: After warm-up, do 5 x 1-minute fast pedals to get your cadence to 110-120 rpm. Hold it there for one minute, then recover for one minute at 80 rpm. The goals here are to ensure you’re properly warmed up and to preserve muscle glycogen for your intervals. Once at the testing area, get psyched and do 3 x 5-minute VO2Max efforts. Remember, the first interval is standing for the entire five minutes, the second is seated, and the third is standing when you want to and sitting when you want to. If you’re doing the flat test, the first interval is on the hoods, the second is in the drops, and the third is wherever you prefer throughout the interval. Rest for 5-8 minutes between each interval. After completing the third interval, ride home at tempo pace (76-90% of FTP).

Once home, connect your power meter head unit to your WKO4 software to look for key data and to make notes in your post-ride descriptions. This is important so you can compare notes from each day of testing. First, determine if one leg releases more power than the other when standing and sitting. If there’s a difference in the GPR between the left and right legs, then check for a difference between GPA when seated and standing. For example, we see in the chart below that this rider releases 10 watts more power with the right leg than the left while seated. This is a significant difference. At the same time, the GPA of the left leg is also higher by 5 watts.


From this data we can calculate the net power released (NPR). For the left phase, we take GPR Left (165 watts) - GPA Right (12 watts) = NPR Left (153 watts). For the right phase, we take GPR Right (175 watts) - GPA Left (17 watts) = NPR Right (158 watts). In this case, not only is the right leg releasing more power, but it also has to overcome a higher GPA from the left leg. So if the GPAs were equal, the right phase would be 163 watts, a full 10 watts higher than the left phase.

Addressing Bilateral Leg Discrepancy

What can we do about right/left power discrepancies? In this case, the rider can try two things. First, simply using more effort/intention to push harder on the down stroke with the left leg will help close the net power release. Second, lifting up with the left leg may increase the net power released on the left phase. Since the left GPA seems to reduce the net power released in the right phase, subtracting that resistance would make the right phase even higher than the left. I suggest starting with pushing harder with the left leg while seated and then reassessing. Fortunately this is exactly what you’ll be doing in the next test!


In the chart above we see the results from the second day of testing for the seated 5-minute effort. Here the rider’s right leg GPR is much higher than the left for natural pedaling, so he emphasized a higher force with his left leg to release more power on that side. The left leg indeed got much closer to balancing the left/right GPR, but the left-leg GPA stayed the same, effectively reducing the NPR on the right side. This second test indicates that better symmetry on both the right and left legs while seated requires the left leg to both push and pull to even out the power production. As we will see, the following two days of testing prove this theory correct.

The third day of testing emphasizes the left leg for all efforts to possibly prove some of the observations from day two and to demonstrate the impact on the GPR/GPA of the left leg while both standing and seated. With this athlete, the left leg becomes more balanced in GPR, but the GPA of the left leg remains around 4 watts higher than the right, which is very close. In the chart below, notice how much closer the GPAs are for the entire five-minute interval. This is most likely an indicator of more pulling up on the left leg.  


The fourth day of testing emphasizes the right leg and shows a very high right leg GPR when seated, thus giving the rider no real actionable intelligence. However, day four was highly revealing regarding the standing interval; I’ll have to save that for another article!

While it might take some time to understand all the theory behind left/right power analysis, the four-day testing protocol will help you appreciate the wealth of new data. The built-in pedaling chart pack in the WKO4 software makes it really easy to understand the charts, so you can save the hard work for the intervals. The goal of all this testing is to find out if you have a leg strength imbalance that might be effecting your power output. It can also identify a problem with the way you ride your bike (your actual position and form). These issues can be tough to find without digging deep into the analytics and throwing in some testing for good measure. Remember, testing is training, and training is testing.

If you'd like expert help with analyzing and using your left/right power data, contact us today! We can help.

Article originally published in Road Magazine

Hunter Allen is a USA Cycling Level 1 coach and former professional cyclist. He is the coauthor of Training 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 via info@peakscoachinggroup.com or through PeaksCoachingGroup.com.

Photo credit: Cris Solak, Peaks Coaching Group Brasil

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Recipe: Baked Squash with Grilled Chicken Salad

Simple, quick, and fresh! Squash is a great addition to your diet. It’s very affordable and keeps for weeks (unlike most other produce), and there are many types of squash to choose from. Winter squash is a staple in my kitchen; it's low in calories, high in beta carotene and vitamin C, and known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Choose organic squash whenever possible.
Baked Squash with Grilled Chicken Salad Recipe - Peaks Coaching Group

Baked Squash with Grilled Chicken Salad

Serves 1 (500 calories)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium acorn squash
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 ounces chicken breast, cut into strips
  • blackening spice mix to taste (see recipe below)
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup broccoli, steamed or raw, chopped
  • 1/2 cup beets, shredded (a food processor makes this simple) 
  • 1/4 cup peppers, chopped 
  • 1/2 medium zucchini, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup drained chickpeas, drained 
  • 1 tablespoon croutons 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place on baking sheet. Drizzle each half with maple syrup and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Alternatively, you can microwave the squash for 7-10 minutes or even peel, cube, and steam it for 7-10 minutes, drizzling with maple syrup after steaming.

Blacken chicken with spice mixture and place in a saucepan over medium heat; cook until done. Set aside.

Mix spinach, broccoli, peppers, zucchini, chickpeas, and croutons. Add chicken and toss with balsamic vinegar and oil (or other dressing of your choice), salt, and pepper.

Enjoy!

Blackening Spice Rub for Chicken

1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (omit for less heat or substitute chili powder)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin

Mix all ingredients and use as desired.


This recipe is part of our four-week Power to Performance meal plan. Check out all our pre-made nutrition plans or contact us to find out how we can provide nutrition assistance customized specifically to your needs and goals. The next level awaits!


Anne Guzman is a PCG nutritionist, a registered holistic nutritionist, and a sports nutrition consultant with a degree in kinesiology. Her passion lies in sports nutrition for endurance athletes, as well as general health and wellness. Anne raced full time on the women’s professional circuit in North America with some bouts in Europe from 2008 until 2011, and before cycling was a provincial and CIAU champion and national bronze medalist as a Varsity Freestyle Wrestler. Currently Anne works with athletes to help them reach their potential by combining their own training plans with her nutrition plans. Anne believes that many athletes undermine their intense detailed training regimes by not backing them with sound nutrition. Her personal experience as a cyclist and athlete is a great asset to her business as she understands the needs and nuances that come with the sport. Anne can be contacted through PeaksCoachingGroup.com or at info@peakscoachinggroup.com. Read more nutrition advice on her blog.

Photo credit: TheNaptimeChef.com

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Annual Periodized Planning, Part 1

Annual Periodized Planning - Peaks Coaching Group

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. Jumping on your bike and riding at random will help for a short time, but without a plan, you’ll eventually plateau out and fail to make gains. In endurance sports, periodized planning is the format most frequently followed.

Periodization is a system of training used to improve peak results, prevent overtraining, and reduce the risk of injury by progressing slowly from one phase to the next. There are three different forms of periodization training: linear, reverse linear, and undulating. Each system has its benefits, but we will focus on linear periodized training throughout this article series.

To get the most out of your plan, you need to develop and follow a solid process. I break mine down into two phases and six steps. 

Phase 1 is plan prep:

1. Set a goal.
2. Complete your diagnosis.
3. Develop your needs analysis.

Phase 2 is creating the plan:

4. Create the periodized plan.
5. Implement workouts.
6. Track and tweak results.

So let’s get started!

Step 1: Set a goal.

All goal setting begins with a specific objective (what?) and a deadline (when?). This makes the goal specific, measurable, and time bound, typically focused on success in an event or series of events. This is usually the easy part, but just setting a general goal typically leads to general results. Here are a few tips to improve your goal setting to build an annual periodized plan.

1. Set training goals as well as performance goals.

Most endurance athletes plan a goal around an event, such as a state championship or big triathlon. This is a great way to be specific, but now you need some training goals. Training goals are a series of milestones to increase the odds of success in your goal event. Milestones can be things like monthly mileage totals, increasing power test, or just the number of workouts you complete. For example, if you plan to improve your sprint finish, a training goal might be to add two days of sprint training per month. Choose a series of smaller, incremental goals and activities that will help lead to success in your target goal event.

2. Use only positive goals. 

Too many times I see goals like “don’t miss more than ten riding days” or “don’t let power drop below 300 watts.” Turn it around. Force your thinking into a positive approach to motivate you to success.

3. Write down your goal and post it somewhere you can read it often. 

This is simple but effective reinforcement.

Step 2: Complete your diagnosis.

At the core of all successful periodized plans is a process of diagnosis. This process is often ignored or treated lightly, but it is crucial. Diagnosis should occur as a simple two-part paradigm as follows:

1. The ability of the rider.

Begin by understanding your ability. For my athletes, I use a power profile test or historical power profile review to understand their strengths, weaknesses, and limiters. An excellent resource for this is the power profile chart by Dr. Andrew Coggan found on TrainingPeaks.com and in WKO4 that compares your power over a range of times. The key here is to look at the shape of the profile, which reveals where an athlete is stronger or weaker against others. This increases our base understanding of the rider.

You’ll also want to understand your psychological abilities. Do you struggle with race anxiety? Do you take a mentally tough approach toward training?

Classic TrainingPeaks.com power profile (top) with lines added to show the shape of the profile compared to WKO4’s strengths and limiters chart. Each clearly show the rider’s profile, strengths, and weaknesses.
You also need to do a deep review of your historical training and performance to develop a clear understanding of historical training load frequency, intensity, and resting patterns.

2. The demands of the event.

Now that you know yourself as a rider, you need to understand the demands of the event, both general and specific. General features could be total duration, general terrain, unique challenges, and more. Specific demands are based on the course and how the event plays out. If the target event is completing a gran fondo with four long climbs, you need to train your ability to sustain and repeat long steady power efforts. If the event is a crit, you need to push FTP, anaerobic capacity, and repeatability. 

Bring the diagnosis together by looking at all facets of your review.

Step 3: Develop your needs analysis.

Now that you’ve completed your diagnosis, the next step is crucial: write it down and create a needs analysis, a prescription to the diagnosis. This connects your performance needs to your training needs. For example, if you’re focused on a gran fondo with four large climbs but your power profile suggests this is not a strength, you need to do more work on threshold and steady-state climbing; your need is to increase threshold and ability to steady-state climb and repeat. To make this a training goal, think deeper: add one or two long steady climb workouts at sub-threshold/threshold to improve performance on multiple climbs. This is a way to think out what you want to do in advance of writing your plan.

These three steps make up the plan preparation phase of annual periodized planning. Next time we’ll take a look at reviewing, creating, and implementing the plan based on what we’ve learned so far. Stay tuned!

Want professional assistance with your annual planning? Contact us to find out how we can help!

Article originally featured on Pez Cycling News



Tim Cusick is a USA Cycling Level 3 coach and a PCG elite/master coach. He and our other coaches create custom training plans for all levels of athletes. Tim can be contacted directly through PeaksCoachingGroup.com or info@peakscoachinggroup.com


Photo credit: Cris Solak, Peaks Coaching Group Brasil


Thursday, October 29, 2015

How to Set Up Your Indoor Trainer for Virtual Training

How to Set Up Indoor Trainer for Virtual Training - Peaks Coaching Group

Now that many of us are dealing with cold, wet riding conditions outdoors, it’s time to start preparing our indoor training studios. Whether your studio is a two-foot slot in your garage or an entire room in your house, let’s get to it!

Dumb vs. Smart Trainers

“Dumb” trainers are the standard stationary trainers that do not receive or produce electronic control or data. They stand alone and are not controlled by a computer. Two popular dumb trainers are the CycleOps Fluid2 and the Kurt Kinetic trainers, but there are numerous varieties of this type of trainer; for more details and the history of dumb trainers, check out this article on SlowTwitch.

“Smart” trainers are the new generation of stationary trainers that use computer programs to control resistance and power output. These trainers communicate with various computer devices via ANT+ and Bluetooth technology. Three well-known smart trainers are the CycleOps Power Beam, the Wahoo Kickr, and the CompuTrainer.

Both dumb and smart trainers are available in two subtypes. The first type is the trainer that connects to a bike by mounting the bike’s rear wheel on the trainer. The second type connects directly to a bike’s drivetrain, requiring that the bike’s rear wheel be removed and the rear derailleur installed on the trainer.

Indoor Training Computer Programs

Old-school training videos are great, but we don’t have to stop there! Talented minds around the world have created computer software to bump up our indoor training and add entertainment and structure, both of which are sorely needed in the middle of winter. There are several worthy software choices out there, but our favorite is ErgVideo.

Setting Up Your Studio

Now we come to the real question: how do we connect our trainers to the software to make indoor training more fun? You’ll need the right equipment and setup.

Equipment Needed

  • Trainer (dumb/kinetic or smart)
  • Bicycle
  • Power meter
  • Computer with ANT+ adapter
Optional Equipment
  • Fan
  • Bike block
  • Cheering section
Setup

The most important piece of equipment you’ll need is an ANT+ adapter. This is crucial because it allows your power meter or smart trainer to talk to your computer. Garmin’s USB ANT Stick is used by many cyclists, but there are of course other adapters widely available. You’ll need one adapter for each software program, so if you run two programs simultaneously, you’ll need two adapters. The adapter acts as a communication link between your power meter or smart trainer and your computer running the software.

I highly recommend that you purchase and use a USB port extender, even if you’re using only one USB adapter. This helps reduce a lot of wireless interference from your computer (which often happens with both PC and Mac). Make sure your extension cable is at least six inches long.

If you run into any problems, check out the help pages for whatever software you’re using (you can find ErgVideo support here). Most software developers want to make sure you enjoy their products and do their best to offer a lot of support. If you can’t find an answer, create a support ticket and get help directly. I’ve found these companies to be pretty responsive whenever I had questions.

Get ready…you're going to have fun this winter!


Peaks Coaching Group Chris Myers
Chris Myers is a USA Cycling Level 2 coach, a USA Triathlon Level 1 coach, a USA Swimming Level 2 coach, a certified sports nutritionist, and a Peaks Coaching Group elite/master coach. He and his fellow PCG coaches create custom training plans for all levels of athletes. He can be contacted directly through PeaksCoachingGroup.com or info@peakscoachinggroup.com.

Photo: Hunter Allen trains indoors with ErgVideo.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Recipe: Quinoa Black Bean Energy Bowl

This simple creation delivers a multitude of fresh flavors! Try this protein-packed lunch with all the essential amino acids you need for a strong immune system, optimal recovery, and optimal health. Triple the recipe to enjoy leftovers later in the week.
Quinoa Black Bean Energy Bowl - Peaks Coaching Group

Quinoa Black Bean Energy Bowl

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you don't like heat, wait to add the pepper last, start with half this amount, and add to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper 
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels 
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (1.5 cups)
  •  1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup dried tart cherries or raisins
  • 1 lime (optional)

Instructions

Rinse quinoa thoroughly with cold water in a fine-mesh strainer and let it drain.

In a medium saucepan, bring vegetable stock, quinoa, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for twenty minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Return pan to low heart and stir in frozen corn. Simmer five minutes or until heated through. Stir in black beans and cilantro.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until lightly browned. Transfer to a large bowl. Add quinoa mixture, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and dried cherries, tossing to combine.

Top with cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice and enjoy!

Nutrition Info

515 calories
90 grams carbohydrates
25 grams protein
11 grams fats
15 grams fiber

This recipe is part of our four-week ultimate performance vegetarian meal plan. Check out all our pre-made nutrition plans or contact us to find out how we can provide nutrition assistance customized specifically to your needs and goals. The next level awaits!


Anne Guzman is a PCG nutritionist, a registered holistic nutritionist, and a sports nutrition consultant with a degree in kinesiology. Her passion lies in sports nutrition for endurance athletes, as well as general health and wellness. Anne raced full time on the women’s professional circuit in North America with some bouts in Europe from 2008 until 2011, and before cycling was a provincial and CIAU champion and national bronze medalist as a Varsity Freestyle Wrestler. Currently Anne works with athletes to help them reach their potential by combining their own training plans with her nutrition plans. Anne believes that many athletes undermine their intense detailed training regimes by not backing them with sound nutrition. Her personal experience as a cyclist and athlete is a great asset to her business as she understands the needs and nuances that come with the sport. Anne can be contacted through PeaksCoachingGroup.com or at info@peakscoachinggroup.com. Read more nutrition advice on her blog.

Photo credit: DailyBurn.com

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Nutrition in the Off-Season

Cycling Nutrition in the Off Season - Peaks Coaching Group

It’s one of the biggest questions I get this time of year: What nutrition changes should we make as the road season ends? How much can we indulge in celebratory foods? Should we keep eating the same way, just maybe a little bit less overall? Are there specific changes in nutritional needs during the transition period and approaching off-season?

There are many different potential answers to these questions, depending on several factors. At what level are you training? Do you hang up the bike often in the off-season and replace it with other activities like weights and running? Are you more of a recreational, amateur, or professional cyclist? Are you resting briefly for two weeks and then starting back up with a pretty big training plan with continued volume? Are you trying to lose weight? Regardless of your answers, it is likely that you are reducing the intensity of your training for a period of time as your road racing has come to an end.

For our purposes here in this article, let’s assume you’re cutting back on hours and intensity for a few months, you’re not racing, and you’re transitioning into some more fun riding, trail riding, running, and maybe some resistance training.

I often hear the question, “Should I cut out my carbs?” Certainly not. You’re still an active training athlete, which requires good recovery and glycogen replenishment. Also, if you plan to put on a little muscle in the off-season, you’ll need carbohydrates to support that muscle growth. Plus carbohydrates are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and energy for your day-to-day life.

At this time of year, the key for racers cutting back volume and intensity is to reduce the g/kg of carbohydrates and (depending on the athlete) reduce some of the grams of fat. Note I did not say to go on a low-fat diet; rather, reduce some of the fat if you had to increase it in season to keep up with your caloric deficits from big training loads.

Without races and long, intense training sessions, carbohydrate loading will fall from your nutrition plan. For example, you might drop your daily carbohydrate intake from 7 g/kg down to 4-5 g/kg, especially on rest days and shorter aerobic rides. Long weekend rides will still require adequate carbohydrate intake and replenishment as you start to ramp back up later in the fall.

The more intensity and duration your workouts have, the more carbohydrates you require to sustain optimal performance and recovery. Reduce intensity and duration, and yes, you should reduce your carbohydrate intake accordingly.

How to Eat Less and Not Starve

The reduction of carbs (and potentially fat) can often be difficult after a season of what can seem like endless eating (even when not hungry) in order to go the distance on long training weekends or in stage races. Your body is used to this now, and though suddenly the training and racing aren’t there, the hunger doesn’t just turn off in a day. This leaves many cyclists gaining weight as the off-season goes on. This isn’t a great idea. Taking that weight off will be much more difficult than putting it on.

I have a few recommended food swaps that can help us during this time. We are mainly focused on nutrient-dense foods that are lower in calories to replace nutrient-dense foods higher in calories and strategically chosen to make carb loading easier (such as dates and rice or potatoes).

Below I have created a chart of more common in season carbohydrate choices used to keep glycogen stores up high vs my recommendations for carbohydrates that can help to keep you feeling full while lowering the caloric intake in the less intensive off season.

Nutrient-Dense, Higher-Calorie Carbohydrates Nutrient-Dense, Lower-Calorie, Filling Carbohydrates
Dates Strawberries, cantaloupe, apples, honeydew
Potatoes Squash and sweet potatoes, cooked or in soup
Rice Broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, zucchini
100% fruit juice 100% vegetable juice
Granola and dried fruit Oatmeal or wheat berries with fresh berries
Maple syrup Stewed berries or apples on top of pancakes
Raisins Fresh berries
Rice pasta Spaghetti squash or zucchini as pasta replacement

Keep the Quality

You may have noticed that both lists above are super nourishing foods! This off-season time of year is a great time for lots of big green salads you may have had to skip during heavy-duty stage races, as well as lots of broccoli, melons, soups with sweet potatoes and leeks or squash, berries and oats, and spaghetti squash (one of my favorites; if you haven’t tried it, it’s amazing, basically like spaghetti strands). One cup of traditional pasta has approximately 220 calories, where one cup of spaghetti squash has 46 calories. So you can have twice the volume (2 cups of spaghetti squash) with more nutrients than pasta and still get less than half the caloric intake. That’s a win-win!

Another win is broccoli. What a nourishing and filling carbohydrate! A single cup of it is a high source of carbs, plus vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin K, beta carotene, folate, potassium, and B vitamins, all while containing only 25 calories. Dish up a couple cups of it or cook a broccoli soup with potato blended in for a hearty fall meal served with a side of local whole grain bread or flat bread. For the best palatability, steam your broccoli and don’t overcook it.

Make the Nutrients Count

Remember, when it comes to athletes and performance, we need to look at grams per kg for carbohydrates and proteins. When the season tapers down, we can lower the grams of carbs per kg, but it’s still important to have the carbohydrate stores you need for the training you do. It’s quite likely your protein can stay the same with weights entering the picture. The focus is mainly how to lower the grams without feeling like we’re starving all of a sudden compared to how we felt in season. The solution is to choose filling, lower-calorie carbohydrates while making sure to get enough grams of carbohydrates to support optimal performance.

Hopefully of the substitutions presented here will give you some ideas this fall, but keep in mind that this is not about no more carbs, just about reducing them only to the extent that you can still sustain a quality training routine at a lower intensity and with less volume.

It’s normal to put on a few pounds in the off-season. However, if that few pounds creeps up to ten or fifteen, you have yourself a late-winter battle to get them back off, especially if you live in a cold climate that doesn’t allow for longer rides, and if you struggle with weight loss in the first place. Save yourself the trouble and make some simple changes as we head into fall season. Have fun, change things up, and enjoy the changing seasons!

Want expert help with your nutrition this winter? Click here to find out how we can help! You can also check out our pre-made meal plans and our eBook on post-workout recovery nutrition.

Article originally featured on Pez Cycling News



Anne Guzman is a PCG nutritionist, a registered holistic nutritionist, and a sports nutrition consultant with a degree in kinesiology. Her passion lies in sports nutrition for endurance athletes, as well as general health and wellness. Anne raced full time on the women’s professional circuit in North America with some bouts in Europe from 2008 until 2011, and before cycling was a provincial and CIAU champion and national bronze medalist as a Varsity Freestyle Wrestler. Currently Anne works with athletes to help them reach their potential by combining their own training plans with her nutrition plans. Anne believes that many athletes undermine their intense detailed training regimes by not backing them with sound nutrition. Her personal experience as a cyclist and athlete is a great asset to her business as she understands the needs and nuances that come with the sport. Anne can be contacted through PeaksCoachingGroup.com or at info@peakscoachinggroup.com. Read more nutrition advice on her blog.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com