Author: Peter Glassford

Pick a Big Crazy Goal

What is Your Big Crazy Goal this Season and Why did you pick it? 

I did an Ironman last weekend. It was my first triathlon, which is sort of a crazy way to start doing a triathlon, but I like a good challenge and I had a lot of relevant experience that made a challenging (CRAZY), but doable goal.

 

I thought a post on WHY a mountain biker would decide to spend time away from his mountain bike to learn to swim, ride hunched over in aero position and run for extended durations on the pavement.

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Why and How can we pick BIG, CRAZY GOALS that will serve us well in the run up to the event, provide a great experience during the event and provide skills/experiences we can use in life and future adventures?

 

Do our goals serve to let us grow or do they create stress at home because we miss too many important family parties, picking the kids up at daycare, missing dinner with your family? Do our goals move us further away from other bigger, longer term goals?

 

For me, this meant considering if the time spent on swimming/running would hamper my ability to qualify for races or take me further away from being a ‘Consummate Athlete’, or have too much risk to health (ie. long term ankle/foot injury from running).

 

Crazy GOALS TO BOOST YOUR GOAL FITNESS

psyched for triathlon - peter with speed concept

For a mountain biker, it might be worth scaring yourself by signing up for a big 200km Gran Fondo. The time on the road building endurance and speed skill will boost your fitness off-road. For a road cyclist looking at Leadville or a marathon MTB race the pedal stroke, technical skills and time spent climbing will often make road riding seem more comfortable and easier to focus on the steady road efforts.

 

MEDIUM VS. LONG TERM

Goal setting can be belabored, it is easy to spend too much time dreaming of ‘when we get there’. A goal in the long-term, dream stage might be intimidating but if success is achieved along the way, as a consequence of striving for excellence there are many wins before the ‘big-crazy-day’.
Giving thought to the process that you will take to get to the big-crazy-goal will help you decide if it is a goal worth chasing. It is, after all, largely about the journey.

 

WHY did I choose Ironman as my Big-Crazy goal? 

 A) scare myself into learning to swim, not just ok but sufficient that I could swim for extended periods, save my life, adventure at something like a Mudrun/OCR, Otillio Swim-Run, go surfing or just float down a river. Swimming WAS a basic human movement I lacked and one I wanted to really learn … anything short of an Ironman didn’t scare me enough to learn.

 

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Molly on bike during Ironman Canada

 

B) Molly (my wife) wanted to do another Ironman. She had done one about 5 years ago, but very narrowly avoided DNF and was a wreck for much of it and for a while after. She was a second test subject to design/adjust training for, and since we had a similar goal this also meant we could do more adventures (err… training) together.

 

The social side of the goal and the fact we were stacking some learning/coaching with some social/relationship time made this big-crazy-Ironman goal make sense. We were able to go to the pool together and take over a lane, do a lot of running/walking together, some strength and a little bit of riding. This is not to mention the comfort of traveling to and navigating the hectic race-week environment and logistics!

 

Most importantly I was able to run and swim with a few friends in preparation and we have made a big summer trip out of MTB Nationals, the Ironman and a CX clinic in Virginia that we have been planning and looking forward to for many months. This is a big part of why goals and goal-setting with consideration on the process are important!

 

 peter aero (2)
C) To Refine my aero position and look into tri/TT possibility and also understand demands for clients doing either discipline. Aero is becoming big in many disciplines, including mtb-xc, so why not force me to learn more. If a 2nd go at Leadville is in the cards–I am not saying it is–this will be very important as well.

 

** BIG thanks to Trek Toronto for helping get me on a very fast SpeedConcept for the event, I am going to have a post on all the gear I used in the coming days (will link here)**

 

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Getting my position assessed and working on aero with Scott Kelly / Dundas Speedshop

 

D) Coaching I like to know what athletes are going through. I can’t know every event but I pride myself on the range of movements I know well and this helps me build better training for clients. With more clients coming to Smart Athlete from the Tri-world to develop their bike/run I wanted to immerse myself in the training, literature, tools, tactics and race environment.

 

Through the Consummate Athlete Podcast, we had several guests provide really great information about doing your first Triathlon, going faster in one of the sports or learning the sports. Carolyn Gaynor talked about guiding visually impaired cyclists through Ironman, Rich Pady walked me through each sport and transitions, Terry From Total Immersion talked about learning to swim for beginners and

 

   Check all the episodes that mention Ironman HERE

Being able to chat with new coaches I wouldn’t usually chat with (i.e. swimming or tri specific) was a great experience. There are always concepts, technologies and, well, awesome people, in areas outside our usual. Pushing our boundaries in sport and being open to learning is awesome if you think about it this way.

 

tribike pumptrack
Specific Ironman Bike training in Bromont, QC

 

So that is the story. I did it, I am done with triathlon but the year of adventures, skill acquisition, reading, new contacts/friends and training methods I can carry forward into new adventures, challenges and projects made this Big-Crazy goal well worth the investment and discomfort. Hopefully, this post will help you choose a great-big-crazy-goal this coming year.

 

So what is your next Big Crazy goal (and what are the benefits of completion and the process)? 

Feel free to tell me about it here, if you have questions or doubts. With some planning, many wild goals become much more accessible than you may think!

How to read long title on training peaks mobile app

I am getting some feedback from folks on using the mobile app, which is great because it means folks are using the mobile app and logging comments/workouts more!
The Issue
I will occasionally (often) use the title of workouts for extra notes specific to clients (wattage, reps, pace etc).
This is great, but the title gets cut off when you hold the phone vertically so clients miss or at least can’t read the whole title and then go to the desktop website (or check their emails).
Don’t go on a search it is easy to see the full title!
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Portrait’ or ‘vertical’ phone orientation – see title is cut off
On the training peaks mobile app you can ROTATE YOUR PHONE to see long titles and expanded views of the calendar, graph, workout window. 
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(rotated phone – screenshot with full title w. pace )
The Mobile app is great for checking workout on the go and for logging those valuable comments,
  *get the training peaks mobile app on itunes or android here
hope that helps!

Banish Race Day Nerves

One of my latest articles on MapMyRide/MyFitnessPal is on race nerves and how to optimize your ‘excitement’ for race day.

It goes through visualization techniques, avoiding common mistakes that ‘back of the pack’ riders make, developing a routine and training for Race demands.

Remember the goal is not to avoid being nervous but to focus your energy on the elements you can control and reduce the number of things you have left to chance or that you are unfamiliar with by preparing for the event and its demands.

Check it out in Full on MapMyRun 

Troubleshoot Popular Power Meters

One of the trade-offs with power is that we must deal with having electronics strapped to bicycles that undergo tremendous forces and extreme conditions (temperature, precipitation, altitude, dirt, sweat and a few other possible bodily fluids …) You wouldn’t expect your iPhone to survive so be ready to deal with some device troubleshooting and do your best to protect your power devices.

Trouble-Shooting for Power Meters

  1. DO NOT take it into bad weather – cold and rain especially, just leave it at home.
  2. If it gets wet dry it out ASAP, take any covers off and put in front of a fan for a few hours.
  3. Calibrate daily – yes daily.
  4. Change the battery
  5. Calibrate again
  6. Calibrate with another device (use a friend’s)
  7. Connect it to the internet and see if there is an update to the firmware.
  8. submit a ticket to the company to have it refurbished (usually not that pricey)

Power Tap Wheels

Power Tap Wheel Links / Support 
https://www.powertap.com/support/faqs/hubs-wheels
 
Manuals for Power Tap Hubs => https://www.powertap.com/support/user-manuals#hubs-wheels
 
Send back to Powertap => 
  1. Call or email PowerTap Customer Service (1-800-246-5975 or support@powertap.com)
  2. Warranty Info https://www.powertap.com/support/warranty

Stages Crank Based Power Meter

1) have you re-zeroed torque and got offset number?
 
2) updated firmware?
 
3) replace battery
 
4) Submit a ticket for repair/refurbish 

2017 Bike Skills Sessions

cx-clinic-in-virginia-august-28-2016-molly

View the entire Smart Athlete Calendar on Frontdesk

Or Email with interest in one of the sessions peterglassford@gmail.com

 

-> more dates pending and by request

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Pre-Rides & Skill Sessions at Race Venues

 

-> Ontario Cup #7 – Provincials Sir Sam – Friday, August, and Saturday, August

Private/Semi-Private Sessions

Available around any of the times/days specified above and below at same venues or by request.

jouko racing - clients

Gravel and MTB Marathon (Leadville) Skill Group Rides

 

-> Collingwood  Guided Hill reps and rock skills – Sunday, June 25th   – 2hrs, all welcome

lap dogs clinic 3

Collingwood Cyclocross Prep Weekly Sessions

 

Testing

Fridays in Collingwood or by request at your home or Trek Store Toronto

Testing can be indoors or outdoors depending on your goals and limiters.

at Active Life Collingwood – Book Now

 

What I Wish Clients knew Before Training with Power

This is an ongoing list as more and more clients train with power, power becomes cheaper and more questions get asked! Please feel free to email me with things I have missed or questions you may have.

Having power doesn’t mean that all other metrics are useless (RPE, Heart Rate, VAM etc.) 

I wrote an article for MyFitnessPal about using both HR and Power (and any other metric/info you can use … including your brain!)

Power can be wrong, misleading, depressing, not available, frustrating … be prepared to take a breath and carry on like you would at a race–or like you would have before power. 

I have been there. Pushing really hard, thinking everything was going well then a glance down at Mr. (or Mrs.) power meter makes me want to curl up in the ditch and phone home for a pickup and some hot tea.

Focus on doing the work, recovering well and using the data you have to move forward. While the power meter ‘doesn’t lie’ it very well can be set-up wrong, miscalibrated or, more importantly, your perception of what you SHOULD be doing is off. I talk about the idea of setting realistic FTP or thresholds in this Consummate Athlete Podcast episode. 

Capture- paul dashboard hr and power and tss

Don’t forget you still need to steer around the Trees (or jump pot-holes)

Too often clients forget the technical, tactical, mental, preparational and the multitude of other factors that influence a race. Your CP20 or best 20-minute power is not your race results and often the people with the best power tests are not the best on the race course (also your cp20 is not your threshold / FTP). Use power as one aspect of your preparation.

Power doesn’t always go up in tests or workouts. You still can complete a workout if power isn’t what you think it should be.

You can learn about setting and updating heart rate and power threshold in this article.

Steve Neal and I discuss power testing and nerves in this Consummate Athlete Podcast Episode as well.

Testing in the field or with a coach can be helpful to understand what zones or power levels you should expect to ride at. Read more about testing

Generally, avoid riding your power meter in rain/cold … think of it like an iPhone w. no case 

This is less of an issue as the devices get better BUT I would still avoid riding through rivers where possible. Same goes for temperatures below freezing. Some power meters are easier to do this with but it may also mean riding a winter bike outside and leaving your ‘power meter bike’ on the indoor trainer.

Buy extra batteries now and start a routine to charge your devices to avoid ‘losing’ them mid-workout or when traveling. 

Learn to calibrate and do it every day to avoid misreadings.

Want to learn more about your new power meter and training with power?

Book a phone consult to discuss all your questions – Easy to schedule with Front-Desk 

4 Videos to help you with indoor rollers

It is the season to ride indoors … a lot!

Here are 4 videos to help you master rollers and work on Bike SKills in the winter. A winter riding rollers will help you do more volume, enhance your pedal stroke, build balance, integrate yourself with your bike. The key is learning how to apply pressure to your seat, pedals and hands to make the bike move under you and maintain balance. Have fun!

Any problems shoot me an email (peterglassford at gmail .com) (can include photos or videos of your setup and even you riding if need help / troubleshoot)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lC98HimakE]

Dismount Indoor Rollers (with style) – Ep83 – Bike Skills Project …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lC98HimakE
Dec 29, 2012 – Uploaded by Peter Glassford

Looking at different ways to get off of your bike while riding on rollers . See 


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTNOnFI6rV4]

Getting Going on Rollers – Ep71 – Bike Skills Project – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTNOnFI6rV4
Dec 17, 2012 – Uploaded by Peter Glassford

 


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNsejaeLs9Q]

Falling off Rollers – Ep72 – Bike Skills Project – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNsejaeLs9Q
Dec 18, 2012 – Uploaded by Peter Glassford

 


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9mFZMEzn7I]

Roller Setup Tweak – Ep73 – Bike Skills Project – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9mFZMEzn7I
Dec 19, 2012 – Uploaded by Peter Glassford

Thanks and please share , like, tweet , email to a friend in need!

 

Get Outside – Why and How to CrossTrain

Check out the latest Newsletter Here – http://eepurl.com/csSBAz  ( subscribe at the top!)

Or subscribe to Smart Athlete Email here ! 

Preview:

Last week we talked about staying inside and optimizing cycling training but for a successful winter you need to combine staying inside for quality workouts with getting outside for fun, skill-based workouts that expose your body to variety.

I discuss getting outside and some options in this video: HERE

You can learn about common issues with low heart rate in the cold HERE

To Train outside the key is to have a few sport options. None of them really need to be done with great skill, although overtime you will become more proficient at these activities. All sports must be gradually taken on however, do not let your cycling fitness mislead you to think your muscles and connective tissue are ready for running.

<Read More on the Smart Athlete Newsletter>

Heart Rate low in cold weather ?

I usually have a couple of clients get frustrated in the fall and winter that their Heart Rate does not go up as high as they think it SHOULD.

 

I put the word SHOULD in capitals because that is always a red-flag in training (and life) when we assume things should be a certain way. It is always worth stepping back and asking if there are reasons it SHOULD NOT be that way, or whether you need to be maxing out your heart rate every day, especially in the fall/winter when races are further away. Remember that most workouts have a range for power, heart rate or other metrics and being at the top of the range does not earn bonus points, large trophies or strava kudos.
   *check out the book ‘the myth of stress’ for more on this 

 

A first consideration when Heart Rate is low relative to the expected is that a low heart rate with poor performance is to be taken seriously and countered with some very intensity exercise (ie. under 100 bpm) and/or complete time off with only relaxing yoga and other rejuvenating activities. This expected value is usually based on one or both of how we are feeling (RPE) or power (Watts). If you are feeling pretty good for a cold ride outside (you won’t feel as amped as sunny day) and/or your power is in the expected range then a low heart rate is not an issue. Care should be taken not to drive the heart rate higher in the range and risk riding too hard, even pushing watts out of the endurance range. This can ironically result in heart rate depression due to overtraining.

If you are not over-training or tired than you are set to learn more about training in cold weather and troubleshooting some more. You are likely familiar with Heart Rate going higher during warm/hot weather. You may also have seen a higher Heart Rate while at altitude. So enviroment can make your heart have to work harder, or make the heart rate HIGHER. For hot environments this is due to the shifting of blood to vessels at the skin’s surface to cool core temp. This means more blood to more vessels and so more work for the heart to maintain output to working muscles.

  *these situations that challenge the heart can be great training stimuli and should be sought out to increase your fitness.

 

If we consider this shifting of blood to surface and increase in Heart rate and work for the heart in hot conditions than assuming a decrease in work for the heart and more blood in the vessels in cold weather is a pretty safe assumption. So our Heart Rate will be lower when it is cold.

 

There are a few other considerations for cold weather heart rate beyond the physiological reasons above. We may wear more clothes, pedal at lower RPM  and/or just go slower in these situations so heart rate may just be lower because you aren’t putting out the same workload or changing your cadence and, in both cases, decreasing the work the heart has to do.

 

A good way to test and overcome these last few reasons for lower HR is to do a periodic sprint or high cadence drill (like a spinup) to get some more activation and ‘wake body up’. You may even find this helps you stay warmer, and perhaps increase the cooling needs to the heart and normalize your heart rate to your expected range.