Check out this video you can use while out on runs, rides or for “your morning core routine”
I wrote an article for MapMyRide on the gravel ‘trend’ that is taking over. Many Smart Athletes are riding more and more gravel to stay away from traffic, ride next to friends and push their technical limits a bit more.
I talk about what a gravel bike is and about the advantages of gravel
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.
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
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)
Looking at different ways to get off of your bike while riding on rollers . See
Thanks and please share , like, tweet , email to a friend in need!
Check out the latest Newsletter Here – http://eepurl.com/csSBAz ( subscribe at the top!)
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 over time 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.
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?
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
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JAM-FUND Gran-Fundo (featuring Jeremy Powers)
Whistler Gran Fondo
Shimano Gran Fondo
Substance productions Eager Beaver 100
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!
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.
East Coast Open Canada Cup [DHI #2] June 26, 2016 all-day
I won a race on the weekend. This has happened a handful of times in my career, and only once before on a day with any mud (Crank the Shield 2008!).
— Hannah Lankin (@handkl) May 15, 2016
Should you train like me? It depends what your goals are. I obviously believe that we should all be able to move really well in a variety of ways–Molly and I did start a podcast on that topic–but if you are trying to be world class, you will need to focus on that disciplines key skills and not on finding swamps to run through while holding your bike. If you want to do an MTB stage race, like La Ruta or Transylvania Epic, then I would suggest working on your running, hike-a-bike, remounts and gravel road riding in addition to ‘standard’ mountain bike skills. (If you like ‘hacks’ then check out 10 ways to go faster at Leadville without training more). Being able to run, move well in a variety of ways (gym work helps) and perform in a variety of conditions is generally a good idea (and as shameless plug, the point of the Consummate Athlete Podcast…)
One of the athletes I coach and my TrekCanada team-mate, Sarah Fabbro, won the Junior Expert Women’s category. As I passed her, it was evident (to my delirious and biased mind…) that she was moving efficiently. Smooth dismount and running with her hand on the top-tube, using the bike to help keep her up on off-camber and not stressing that her tires were rubbing and/or that her chain was falling off. We had a laugh as we ran through a section together mid-race, the fun/smile is key. Run the flats/uphills and Coast/Pump the downhills. Clean the drive-train while you’re moving when long sections of pedaling arrive.
Following the example of the young riders who brave colder temps and often worse weather early in the morning
I have a rule that I don’t quit, and that I start if I register. The rule has been broken perhaps twice, three times at most. This rule of ‘the only way out is the finish line’ eliminates hesitation about the sanity or rationality of what we are doing and on days I feel like crap, it eliminates the option to quit. While I did cringe as we looked at the course before the start; thinking about what the race would cost in bike repair. We had committed to the day and so motivation to do the best I can, to see how my training experiments are going, is high. Eliminate hesitation, the only way out is the finish line.
I have the fortune of many years of great support from the Trek Store of Toronto/Barrie/Aurora and Trek Canada. We are a small team largely supported by “mom and dad” so while the store makes sure we have great equipment to minimize the chances of things like broken chains, flats, chain suck, etc. it is important to not use that as an excuse. I prepped my own bike, changed to bigger tires the day before a race and did a test-ride to make sure the discs didn’t rub and tires seated. I’m not sure that any of my equipment was that much different or specialized for the conditions. As I go through the results, perhaps there is something in the frame:tire clearance in the Trek vs. other brands, but I am not sure as many riders had good days for them on other brands: Liam on a dually Scott in second for Pro-Men as an example, where he (in his own words) had many new experiences on Sunday and was motivated to have another podium in his first year elite. Liam also has a cross-country running background. Even tires are debatable as many people did well with smaller/dry weather tires (e.g. Bontrager XR1).
The tires I used were Bontrager XR2 2.2 width, but I suspect a 2.0 or even classic mud tire with 1.8 and big knobs may have been tire of the day if you could find one. In a perfect, free bike world, I think a hard-tail would have been faster strictly because of less surface area for mud to grab onto and less overall bike weight.
3 Thoughts on Off-Season = BALANCE
I tend to use the term ‘Balance Period’ for the period of time between the final Competitive/Race Period and the start of ‘Base’ Period.
Without fail the biggest mistake athletes make is carrying the same injuries, illnesses, and bad habits from season to season by getting caught up in a cycle of training when they should be taking a break.
In the above video newsletter episode I talk about the following, with a relaxing babbling brook in the back ground:
1) Using the balance period as a chance to make progress on injury/illness with decreased training time and stress.
-> Get into your physio/chiro/coach and take care of that injury (often moving differently and resting is all that is needed)
-> take a break from what you normally do. Step back and make sure you are healthy .
2) Add back volume (easy riding) slowly and watch for injuries to come back … tinker and get help with position, diet, mobility, skills to help overcome and breakthrough on your ‘volume limit’.
3) Refocus your nutrition and go back to whole foods only. Drop out any supplements and junk food.
-> great time to clean up diet by focusing on quality and see some of that body fat come down, especially with improved sleep habits and reduced stress.
Fall/Off-Season is a great time to:
-> work on skills with skill sessions or strength session/Kin assessment (Book a Skill Session)
-> Get your bike fitness, bike fit and overall movement assessed (Book a Session)
-> Plan & Goal Setting for 2016 – Book a consult – Guidance & feedback for $25!
-> Start Coaching or try a training plan while you have lots of time to recover, learn, build and try new things.
Feel free to reply with Questions or ideas ! Or comment on facebook!