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Bike Fitting - Testing

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Friday, November 26, 2010

New Fact Test Capabilities !

We are getting the Fitmate which basically adds a new element to the FaCT test we have used reliably for years. The Fitmate adds the element of VO2 / how the athlete's respiratory system responds to the test.

This adds a whole new element to the assessment as we are able to better isolate current Fitness, Compare fitness, Find Limiters, Assess Respiration and set more specific zoning. So a great assessment that gives more answers/directions but that builds on the Reliable Basic Lactate/HR Fact Test.

Key stuff to know is that if you are going to be paying for testing make sure you are getting reliable results and interpretation ... Ask tough questions and see what you get back. Anyone who has worked with Steve knows he delivers.

Interested in training your limiters and not just guessing ?

Email Steve to Book your Tests now!

*** Also we have one used spiro and the new Go model in stock with a ton of interest in this element of performance this year ... and Christmas coming fast ***

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Congrats to Jared Stafford on His MTB Male of the Athlete of the year Award

Congrats to SNP Athlete JStaff on Being named the 
Male MTB Athlete of the Year by the Ontario Cycling Association. 
Jared Won Provincial MTB U23, National MTB U23, Ocup Overall, 
Attended World Championships with Team Canada 
and had a very exciting cross campaign this fall.

Enjoy some time off (studying!) Jared! 
Thanks for Trying Weird Ideas and Trying your hardest !

Also congrats to Pulse Racing, Amanda Sin and the other award recipients for their awards !

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Motivation to Get On it ! To Tear Into It !

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Getting Your Veggies ?

This is an exciting time of season as many people are getting back into training or starting up with coaching for the first time! This means great motivation for change and self-improvement in most cases.
One of the first things we notice when going over a client's information is that their nutrition is lacking vegetables (Not necessarily fruit, that seems to be the easier one to include)
These are key to a healthy diet for anyone ... athlete or not but busy athletes require more nutrients like fibre and antioxidants so do not handicap yourself by excluding these nutrient dense foods !
Salads are a great way to get all your veggies in a single meal. Try to make the salad more then just the Spinach ... try new leaves like arugula, collards, purple cabbage ... and combine them !
Aim to always include some good fats like avocado, olive oil, flax seed oil, and raw nuts. Raw broccoli adds crunch and powerful phytochemicals to a salad. Besides being colourful, radishes contain vitamin C, sodium and calcium. Shredded cabbage is rich in vitamin A, B, C and E, as well as high iron and sulphur. Onions have antibacterial properties, and are gentle blood thinners. Colourful carrots add crunch like broccoli, and they are rich in beta-carotene.

The sweetness of fruit can also balance nicely with the savoury taste of whatever protein and veggies you may be serving. I like to stick with what is local and in season as much as possible, but don't rule out quality canned and frozen veggies either as they still retain lots of good nutrients. As with any food make sure preservatives/ingredients make sense to you or that they are minimal to none.

And finally don't go crazy on store bought dressing ... a bit of fruit can go along way or stick with homemade vinaigrette using ingredients like olive oil, herbs and freshly squeezed lime/lemon juice
Steve and Peter
Ready to Perform in 2011? Coaching, Bike Fit, Testing www.steveneal.ca

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What's your Limiter ?

After a 4 day course with the folks from FaCT Education I (Peter) came away with confidence that we (SNP) have been doing a great job and that Steve has been a great mentor for myself.

The FaCT methodology, beyond the lactate testing protocol we have done for many years now, looks at training not for a time of year or certain race but instead tries to evaluate the limiter for an athlete and then target that limiter to let the athlete as a whole improve. This would be analogous to a chain being only as strong as its weakest link. The FaCT test has advanced to include many cutting edge tools over the last few years that once available to the public could really change the way we test and train.

Steve Neal Performance, and many other smart coaches around the world, have used this strategy in some form for many years but looking for ways to optimize and improve our assessment and targeting of limiters is necessary. A basic FaCT test (lactate + HR + performance(wattage/speed)) can give an decent start to see where your system gives out but what system causes that limitation is where we can continue to improve our accuracy of assessment. For arguments sake we can look at race situations and field tests like CP20s and reap information about where our bodies tend to fail, the 'link in the chain' that fails first is what we want to know, and where hopefully FaCT can help in the coming months - years.

In the meantime what can we do ? Steve and I have spent many hours, including a couple of hours just recently while stretching & drinking espresso on the floor of CROSSFIT ORANGEVILLE discussing the many different places we and our clients are limited. For many people there will be a system in the body that will give out and cause our performance limitation but beyond the physiological systems most people, especially working adults, have major limiters in 'non-physiological' systems that once addressed can see major improvements. These are less easy for athletes, and sometimes coaches, to admit because of the obvious business stress provided by the realization that for many people coaching (ie. a weekly plan) is not really going to help. Rather, for many athletes taking some lessons on stretching, breathing, bike skills, bike maintenance, strength training, psychological counseling, sport psych training etc. would do a much better job then a simple training program.

Consider the working athlete who sits all day, drives to much, eats to little. Technical bike skills (including mechanical skills), Chronic stress, limited flexibility, strength imbalance, psychological factors, nutritional deficiency/sensitivity are but a few areas that athletes, even pros, often need to address before or perhaps in-conjunction with formal training of the physiological systems.

So the goal of a good coach and/or a smart athlete is to examine and address limiters. This process should include physiological testing, as it should demonstrate improvements in performance even with the strengthening of the non-physiological limiters. So decide on a test that evaluates your limiters and ideally the demands of your goal sport and then objectively decide on the 1 or 2 things holding you back. 'Train' those 1 or 2 things and then retest.

That is largely what I had reinforced this weekend ... I hope these ideas help you. I will try to put up a few cases studies and more ideas about addressing limiters over the next few weeks.

Feel free to post to comments if you have ideas or questions about limiters. 

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Workout of the Week

This week let´s ease back into some training

On the bike get in some shorter rides under 1 hour with easy effort.

Especially if on the trainer, include some work to challenge coordination.

Something along the lines of 3-6 x 1min at 110RPM in an easier gear will help get the body back in action.

Off the bike try to get in a 1 hour stretch session this week. This is best used on a day you could go ride but an objective assessment of your stress and recovery level indicates 1 hour away from stress would make you healthier.

try taking 5 stretches and doing 5 x 30sec on each exercise for each side.

Really focus on easing into and out of these stretches, making sure the first hold is not too agressive.

Rope hamstring, lunge (quad) stretches are great examples of stretches to include for most people.

Any questions please post to comments and-or inquire about our training plans and stretch clinics !

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cyclocross Nationals

Congrats to Jared Stafford on his 2nd at Espoir CYclocross Nationals ! 

Also special mention to Bob Bergman for coming back from some illness to a strong 20th in the M2 Class.

For interest,  here is the link to the race results for Cyclocross

You can click on different racers and see how their rankings correlate to various events, and how they scored points based on the HB race.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Welcome to new Apprentice Coach

Just a quick note today to welcome our 2011 Apprentice Coach, Paul Cooney.

Paul will join our team adding a specialty in working with cadet and junior aged athletes in the Durham/NewMarket region. He is also working with several Masters Athletes who will greatly benefit from his experience as an accomplished Master MTB racer and SNP athlete.

The SNP Apprentice Coach Program is designed to give coaches a practical cycling specific education based around their clients and also Steve and Peter's years of coaching athletes with goals ranging from World championships to general health.

If you have any questions about the Apprentice program or you are considering coaching for 2011 please do not hesitate to contact us. Peterglassford @ gmail.com

Monday, November 1, 2010

Workout of the Week - 2 ways to get fast this off-season.

For the Fall season most clients will continue to ride as weather allows. We usually back well off training and make things much more flexible and less focused. The big goal after a week or two of relaxing and recovering is to start workin towards high level function in off-bike habits. For some clients this may just mean reestablishing a routine for good nutrition and bed time but for others this is a time to start to learn new, better habits.

The big 2 places to look for improved performance is though establishing strong habits in nutrition and sleep.

Get your 4-6 well rounded meals in and you will see great improvements in energy, recovery and likely body composition, especially if right now you skip breakfast and/or lunch. Get the frequency down and then you can start looking at optimizing the content.

Sleep sounds like such a simple place to improve your performance but for most people their is significant performance to be gained from getting the better park of 8+hrs of quality uninterrupted sleep per night. How many of us are able to retire that extra hour early? Have you designed your sleep space to be completely dark ? Quiet? relaxing? Look at better curtains, eyeshades, ear plugs, keeping pets out of the room and the removal of electronic devices to help improve your recovery and energy more then any powder or vitamin ever will.

 After we are confident that life is working towards a optimal level we can start considering some more focused training.

This Week's Workout is : 
 - Have Breakfast
 - try going to bed TO SLEEP 30min earlier
 - Ride if you have the energy

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