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Friday, November 28, 2008

Different Workouts..similar results

Dmytro...here is a screen shot of the two workouts in question showing very similar training stress from another software...

Strength Season!

So we had Matt F. in for a strength session earlier this week. Matt and I warmed up with active flex. This warmup helped give matt some great options for warming up before his bike, strength and cross training workouts. Movements like Lunge Elbow to Insteps and Glut Bridges help activate muscles, work on mobility and balance.
Then (as in video above) we worked on form in a number of strength exercises, including some olympic lifts we will use over the winter. Steve joined us to help with some pullups and then we all enjoyed the main workout.


The video does not include Matt's main workout which was a very tough 5 round Barbell Complex that challenged Matt's Core and 'total body' strength as he moved continuously through moves like deadlifts, snatches, front squat and push jerk.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Winter Blah Buster ??

Steve gave an interesting variation on cross training a try yesterday. Instead of going for a run or riding the trainer he did several sets of various strength circuits with a bit of rowing. Might be a great idea for breaking those winter blahs. Make sure you don't overdue it, watch your form and get instruction if you are not sure how to put a workout like this together. On the simpler end try adding a couple strength exercises in every 10 or 20min during your indoor sessions.

Let us know how it goes !

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

SNPD Athletes Around The City on the Weekend

Lots happening this past weekend despite the snow. OCA celebration night and Cross Provincials had the cycling community out in the big city for some fun and competition.

Emily Batty Taking Female Athlete of the Year with a successful trip to Worlds, and many podiums across North America, including the World Cup at St. Anne!
Link to Story/Pictures

Bob Bergman out racing at Cross Provincials and capping off a very big season that saw him come in as a first year racer in M3, upgraded to M2 and build to the fitness and confidence to race at the front of M2. Great Job.
Link to Story and Pictures

Monday, November 24, 2008

One more Week - Cold Weather Riding

Well, I set a goal at the beginning of October that I would not ride indoors until Dec 1st at the earliest. When I set the goal I figured it would be pretty easy as it was warm and so I figured a couple rainy days would be tough but I'd get it done. So then December came and it has been cold, pretty consistently really cold. But I kept it up ... some days wearing 3 layers of bottoms and several more up top but getting the job done each day.

No horrible days yet but a few tough ones for sure. It has been a good chance to try out new clothing and techniques for riding more and I think this should help moderate the hours spent indoors this winter, along with a healthy dose of XC skiing and snowshoeing.

Top 5 things I have learnt to help keep me out longer and workout quality high for several hours in the cold (important if you are going to put in the time and effort)

1) Bring extra gloves, those really small stretchy ones have saved me on a few days and can go over smaller gloves and under bigger ones.
2) If using bottles try to alternate them every 45min - 1hr between back pocket and a cage. On that note ensure you drink regularly ... you do sweat and breath and perform work so you need to hydrate/fuel.
3) Bigger Sun Glasses, a Balaclava and your choice of moisturizer/oil/sunblock helps to keep windburn to a minimum.
4) Try to keep lower body clothing high quality and as flexible/compact as possible while staying warm ... this will help keep pedal stroke close to your regular 'summer' position/stroke.
5) Once confident in your dress and backup measures (spare gloves/jacket/cell phone/Money) try to avoid loops that come to close to home as even the strongest mind can feel the pull back to the warm fire and hot cocoa !

Enjoy the Weather

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Different Workouts..similar results

Did a few different workouts in the last week...a few different intervals and one steady state workout with some CrossFit at the end.

I have loaded a report from software I use to look at the intensity of a workout...As you can see the Interval workout scored lower than the steady state workout...mostly due to the CrossFit at end of the Steady State session.

The two workouts had very similar calories for very similar durations...

Couple of very different ways to accomplish a simlar goal...

Note: All of the intervals were based on a ramp test of 10 watts per minute until failure.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Snow Racing !

A few of our SNPD athletes out keeping the racing spirit alive despite 6-12inches of snow received overnight.

Winter Wow 40km MTB
M. Farquharson - 2nd Junior M.
B. Berger - 1st Master M .
P. Glassford - 1st Senior M.
R. Mirvish - 1st Serious F.
M. Davie - 1st Not-so-serious F. (3rd serious F.)
B. Smith - 4th Vet m.

Willow Beach Cross
B.Bergman - 2nd Master B Men

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Adventure !

After a Summer of success in US Xterras and locally at MTB-XC Ocups Sarah Caylor was out doing some adventure racing with a team of friends. Scampering through the bush for 4 or 5 hours is a great way to spend the weekend !

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I was at course over the weekend that covered a lot of great topics. There were health professionals ranging from Kinesiologists to Doctors there and it was a great chance to make some new contacts and interact with some pretty smart people. The one thing that struck me though was that while not universal every person there had a interest in learning more, from the instructor, from the other professionals ... they were already very successful but also focused on getting better. Definately a motivating weekend and one that will keep me moving both in work and training over the next few months.

1. Successful people are constantly trying to get better

2. Successful people are life-long learners; always searching to 'know more'

What did you learn today?

Monday, November 10, 2008

UCI CycloCross Weekend

Friday, November 7, 2008

Endurance riding - the pros and cons of where to ride...

Peter did some endurance on his own for a few hours before we met up (thankfully so he was at least a little wee bit tired...)

Peter did that part of the ride on gravel roads and as usual kept his intensity right in his endurance zone over 95% of the time...

This is done by using gear selection and cadence choice in various gears to ride at the right intensity and keep the power on the pedals as constant as possible.

This often means slowing down on the uphills - speeding up on the downhills - and moving along at a pretty steady pace on flat terrain.

You can really see in the second part of the ride when we went off-road together that Peter's heart rate gets much more variable.

This happens for a few reasons...Peter was waiting a little and recovering (waiting for me) when normally he would go harder to keep the heart rate in endurance on those sections...

But also from the terrain - corner after corner with little pedaling allowed Peter to keep recovering...so less time really in his actual endurance heart rate zone and much more variable power.

Riding off-road for endurance is very beneficial for many reasons...technical practice...upper body sport specific endurance and strength...FUN...However when trying to incorporate these rides into training you do have to be careful not to Overdo it...

Especially with non - elite athletes many of us do not have the power required to actual ride aerobically off-road...and therefore to get more of our benefits we should maybe stay to the road or gravel roads where it is easy to ride a nice constant pace.

The other method is mixing up road and off-road rides...I often prescribe athletes to ride road for 1 hour on flat to rolling terrain - 45 to 60 min of flat and fun terrain off-road - and then maybe 30 to 45 min of hillier off-road terrain to end the ride.

Riding Fast

So Steve and I finally got out for a MTB Ride together. It has been awhile but I always like getting out and riding with Steve as I get a chance to watch his lines and get even better at picking the fastest / smoothest / most efficient lines possible. On the flip side Steve gets a chance to watch how I am riding and provide feedback on things like gear selection (ie. spinning too much or too little) and body positioning over technical ups and downs. While people often assume that once someone becomes 'pro' they do not have any need to work on technical skill, there is always something to be improved, made more automatic or routine. Even at a 'elite' level I find these sessions, whether in training or in pre-riding for a race, very helpful.

The other cool thing is getting to see Steve keep up with me at endurance pace. This always reminds me that there is so much more that goes into a cycling performance, especially an off-road one. From nutrition, sleep, strength/core, mindset and technical skill there are many elements that determine whether someone will be able to keep up to a faster rider ... without even talking about someone's actual 'cycling fitness'. Steve hasn't been riding much at all lately and despite this, these other factors made for a very solid 90-100min effort. These 'extra elements' are some of the things that our Personal and Deluxe Coaching Clients see improvements in and I think in many cases, as Steve showed today ... these elements make a big difference in whether all those hours spent pedaling get translated to results.

Monday, November 3, 2008

More LSD

So after all the talk last post about Riding slow, thought I'd post part of my ride today (which followed some strength work in the morning with Steve LINK ... and some testing on the bike). I am back training, putting in some long miles, and enjoying exploring new places and seeing how far I can get each ride. That said both Steve and I are both big believers that each ride should have a focus and whether you include a long endurance ride or several in your weekly training, at any point in the season, it should have a purpose beyond being simply long. I thought I'd discuss a few things today's ride illustrated and perhaps give some ideas for motivating and helping maximize your next long ride.

1) Probably my biggest 'sticking point' with clients is to teach them and insist they work on keeping their efforts steady, which means pedaling most/all of the ride and making sure they shift/adjust cadence enough to keep their wattage/effort steady for the ride duration. This helps 'maximize' the time you are on your bike but also helps in many race situations. The tendency is always to back off as climbs level out and on downhills but there is no reason your effort while riding can't be focused and steady ... except in extreme situations (steep downhills/offroad/busy corners etc.) Looking at my file today the Variability Index (VI on left) = 1.0, which means that there was minimal variation from the average wattage (ie. power spikes and drops). Visually you can see the yellow wattage line rarely changes more then 5 or 10 watts in either direction ... and never for more then an instant.
- During your long ride this week try being conscious of your time spent coasting and letting off as gravity as climbs level off. You will notice an increase in the difficulty of your rides as you aim to decrease both of these, but this should translate into some improved endurance and tolerance for steady work (and your next group ride will seem tremendously ON/OFF!).

2) Today I decided I would challenge myself and see how long I could do 100RPM without going over 145bpm, which was assigned limit for today's endurance ride. This is the green line in picture above and on the left you can see the circled avg of 101rpm. This was very challenging in the last 30-40min and the HR increase/wattage increase somewhat reflects this (terrain became much more variable as well though). This will be a good workout to watch over the next few months to see if wattage at this HR can be held steady (coupled) for 3hrs or longer. Also would be great to see wattage in this hr/cadence range increase as a) fitness improves and b) ability to use a slightly higher cadence improves.
- For this week see what you can average, start conservative with a goal of 85 or 90RPM and see how that goes, it will be frustrating at first trying to keep your effort and hr in zone, along with cadence but you will gradually get comfortable and learn how much shifting you need to do to maintain all metrics.

Have fun !

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