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Cyclocross Burnout

 

How has your season Gone? feel free to book a phone consult to tell me about it!) 

Canadian Cx Nationals have happened and the weather has turned towards fall/winter/cyclocross weather in most places. Cyclocross season is here, but where is your motivation? And who stole those fresh September legs!

Regardless of where you live and how you built or failed to build your fitness for cyclocross season, it is a bold goal to take on 1, or 2  (or more!) races for 1, or 2 (or more!) months. Most of us come out of a mountain or road season and neglect to take a mid-season break or rebuild our endurance. We jump into one or two (or more) cross practices (which are races) a week plus the early season races to test our legs, get the intensity and those coveted early points.

The problem is we get tired from the repeated back to back weekends of racing.  We miss our weekend fun rides, our endurance decreases, and the weather starts requiring more work to get motivated and prepared for. 1 or 2 (or more!) bikes need to be prepped before each race and repaired after each race. Then work comes Monday. This is tiring even typing and remembering trying to race cyclocross as an unsupported pro!

So what should you do?

If your goal was to race until a certain race then that may still be possible. Take a week off the cross practices, go to bed early and do only easy workouts all week. You will feel better next weekend. If you can take the full week easy and get some longer endurance rides in on the weekend. This should make next week and next races go much better. If there is no obvious reason to race twice weekly (including weekly races) than stop doing that and focus on the key races remaining on your calendar.

Getting your indoor training environment setup to make workouts quick and get to sleep earlier will help with short days. Keep focused and don’t forget endurance and lower intensity workouts. Skill workouts in the mud and wet, along with practicing your clothing choice will pay dividends in the late season mud races.

For the remainder of the season ride your favorite discipline most of the time for outdoor training and spend time working on your cyclocross skills. Most people need to work more on cornering, dismounts/carry/mounts much more than they think. If you seat is inside your armpit or you are not grabbing your top tube before most barriers then there are 2 pretty easy ways to boost your efficiency.

Are you racing without a goal?

If you did not have a big goal race or end date then I would end the season now. Why race yourself into deep fatigue and low motivation for no reason? Take a week, or two (or more!) off and try to grab a few more road or mountain bike rides while you can. Start looking towards 2018 and planning training gradually towards that goal after the important break. SmartAthlete.ca for thoughts on ‘when to start training for your big goal’ 

 

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

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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>

Diagnosis or Change ?

Clients periodically come to me with a condition or something they feel is outside of themselves. This could be a health condition, bad ‘luck’ in races, low energy, injuries or poor response to training. They think of this one thing (or combination of outside circumstances) as the ultimate reason for their poor results or health. My first response is to ask:

What should we be doing (that we aren’t) that would make you better, regardless of the diagnosis?

Are those daily actions you will need to take once you have your ‘diagnosis’ the same as things you can do right now and see if they make a difference in a couple of months?

Are we delaying positive daily action in favor of chasing a diagnosis?

clinic virginia by Donna wolf 2016 d

Could a skills session help improve results? Meet people? Avoid crashing? Avoid ruining more of your equipment. 

If, for example, you think your problem is your cortisol level and you want it tested … Instead of waiting for the diagnosis, can you start to improve your sleep, diet and have some fun with friends? Avoid intense exercise for a bit. Focus on bringing yourself ‘down’ a bit more often and supply your body with the fuel it needs.

If you are damaging equipment or your body in crashes… It is likely not just bad luck or the fault of your competitors or the organizers. There might be an element of the sport you can work on to get faster and safer out there. Bike Skills training is a thing and it is important for beginner riders right up to the pros. If you can’t bunny hop a cyclocross-barrier, track-stand forever or navigate a pump-track without pedaling, there is some room for practice (it is fun!).

If you are having knee pain… Could you back off the riding for a bit? Start easily into strength training. See a therapist who focuses on movement and who can help you learn movement variety and how to increase your work capacity? Could you check your sleeping and working positions to ensure they aren’t contributing?

If you are low on energy have you checked your sleep, consumption of iron building foods and done a triple check of the sugar and processed foods in your diet? Have your tried upping your calories, including those pesky carbs and seeing if you feel better? Remember more fuel = more work capacity = more fitness.

If you are not reaching your cycling goals have you talked to a coach? (you can do it free here). Have you checked that you are within the ‘norms’ of training? (i.e. stop doing suffer workouts everyday and work on event specific skills/terrain). Sleep more, eat better, enjoy riding.

These things don’t happen overnight but if you dedicate your daily actions to moving a little closer and getting a little better you can get where you want to go.

Work honestly on the basics consistently.


If you are in Toronto on Dec 6, Aurora on Dec 7 or Barrie on Dec 8 we would love to have you join us for the “Saddle, Sore Version 2” Book Launch Party DETAILS HERE


Sign Up for the Smart Athlete Newsletter for all the latest news, articles, clinic dates

 

Different Events to Save Your Summer

Worried that you don’t have a big scary goal or a fun event on the schedule for the summer? Try these cool events to change up your normal race challenge or add some scary goals to your summer.

MountainView Enduro

Midland, Ontario
August 7th, 2016
Low key way to try ENDURO!

 JAM-FUND Gran-Fundo (featuring Jeremy Powers)

Mass, USA
Big, fun, hard ride, Meet J-POW and many top riders
 July 16th 2016 = Event Links
 * Also see their Hilltowns event in July 

Whistler Gran Fondo

Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Sept 10 2016
It’s not a race, so there’s no pressure. You can ride whatever pace you want. You can even stop for a sandwich along the way – they’re provided. And no matter what pace you choose, you’re not likely going to be riding alone. There will be a fast bunch at the front if you want to keep up with them and you can count on local spectators cheering along the way. The scenery is better than you would see in a magazine. The ride ends with a massage and a party, and everyone’s invited.
https://www.bluemountain.ca/things-to-do/events/east-coast-open-canada-cup

Shimano Gran Fondo

Peterborough, Ontario
 Aug 28th 2016
Awesome area to ride – try a road event

Substance productions Eager Beaver 100

Collingwood, Ontario
August 13, 2016
late summer gravel race will be a perfect test for fitness and skill at the end of the season as you get ready for cross.  Choose between 100 mile, 100k and 50k options. Lots of climbing and less than 1k of pavement.

Albion Great Enduro

Albion Hills, Bolton, Ontario, Canada

Sept, 17, 2016

September has a huge need for an epic event, and Superfly Racing in conjunction with the boys at CHRONOS/GIRO are working together to keep the EPIC in September!

With a shorter, Albion-only course of 25km, AND a 40km loop including Palgrave, there is something for everyone!  Add a 2-lap, 80+ km race, and you have a truly epic, 3.5 – 7 hour romp through some of the funnest – yes, funnest, trails in the GTA!

http://www.superflyracing.com/race-series/the-great-albion-enduro/


Ossington Crit

Ossignton, Toronto, Ontario
Jul 23 @ 12:00 pm

Downtown Toronto racing returns! The fine folks at the newly formed Ossington BIA have decided that their first annual street fair, OssFest, needed a bike race, so the Ossington Crit was born. There are four races throughout the day to assault your senses. Starting with two events where local racers will be competing for local glory, they’ll be followed by Elite/ProAm Women’s and Men’s race. Got any young future racers scooting around your house? Bring them by for the kids’ rally that will be held in between some of the races. The day will be full of thrills and excitement for everyone.

Info/Register


East Coast Open Canada Cup [DHI #2]  June 26, 2016 all-day

The Blue Mountains, Ontario, Canada
Downhill racing for all levels, and an Ontario DH Canada Cup close to GTA !