I am very excited for this polished video highlighting 5 steps to learn to bunny hop over Cyclocross Barriers. I also share the key training tool you can use to learn to flow over things (and eventually jump, unweight and bunny-hop too!)
These are 5 articles I have written for MapMyRun/MapMyRide recently that address common barriers to training for certain elements of cycling. If you want to get faster at cycling than you often think about getting faster on hills, or for time-trials, or in corners but your surroundings may not be perfect for this or, they may be quite different from the goal race you are taking on this year. Whatever your ‘big crazy goal’ is this year these 5 articles will help you think about your skills, fitness and other abilities more creatively and arrive at the start line ready for a personal best.
I am so excited for the launch of the ‘Cyclocross Mounts and Dismounts course’. It consolidates many of the drills I use to help clients learn to get on and off their bikes for cyclocross, mountain biking and other disciplines. It is also meant to help overcome bad habits and compensations that might be slowing you down after years of racing cyclocross.
Learning to Dismount and then Get back on your bike smoothly, is something that changes cycling profoundly. Mounts and Dismounts are essential skills that I believe transfers to many other areas of riding, such as cornering and wheel lifts.
One of the biggest sources of friction in coaching is communication. I have never blamed athletes for this. At best it is clunky to communicate through apps and training devices … but all this is slowly changing as things happen automatically. There are a few newer features and apps I think you should check out from TrainingPeaks.com and HRV4Training.
How did You feel represented by 5-options of smiley, or not so smiley, faces!
This should now pop up in the mobile app and on the website when logging a workout … go with your gut feeling on these ratings. First feelings/thoughts not what you think your coach wants to hear!
RPE … how hard was the workout
You can also rate this after you finish the workout in the workout pop-up window and a slider scale from very easy -> moderate -> All Out!
To Augment your comments – use the Training Peaks Mobile App and ask yourself
WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW MANY, HOW MUCH, HOW FEEL YOU?
Telling your coach (or your future self) what you did on that day, where you rode, who you rode with, how many reps, what strategy/goal did you have, how you felt and any other things that are relevant like gear, stops for lunch, blips in your device files, or saddle sores and other ‘niggles’ that might be important for future injury/illness decisions.
Use HRV4Training to get resting HR, HRV **AND** post ‘metrics’ and ‘annotations’ to Training Peaks
This app is great. It works. It is simple and has been around for ~5 years. I have used it for over 3 years. The data is good and it just requires your smartphone camera and your finger. While HRV and HR is great to have the added bonuses of 1-5 minutes (you choose duration) to meditate each day AND send metrics/comments to your training peaks account to sit with all your automatic training file uploads is HUGE.
As an endurance athlete, you are always looking for that little bit extra speed, comfort, safety and/or power. You want to get faster at cycling. While huge changes, fad diets, and crash-cycles of superhard intervals are tempting, it is often the small changes done over time that elicit the results we want. These 5 areas are relatively simple to change and make improvements, especially if you use them for long periods so that the small benefits can compound. This compounding concept is important to understand when looking at your habits and training. Not every interval will register its benefit immediately today. Often it is the consistent practice at a relatively low and manageable level that gives us results, not one hero day or super strict week of dieting.
This post will provide you with 3 drills to improve your cycling skills and balance. While they are not presented in the order I would always use and certainly a step (or three) beyond what a beginner may be comfortable doing they do provide you with some ideas and variations to scale back from, work towards or challenge yourself with today!
1) The Outrigger – Putting a Foot Out for balance and to ‘dab’ versus falling over or putting out your arm
2) Ratcheting – use a partial pedal stroke and move your body around while STANDING
3) The bump and run – a fun challenge that progresses your ratchets and moves you towards the track stand
When I hear that bike riding is causing pain, I think of these few things first.
You brake with any finger except your index finger – modern brakes do not require multiple fingers or middle fingers. Use your index finger. Many wrist, forearm and shoulder pain is aggravated, if not caused by this. At best you are using a lever in a different way than it was designed. Use all the fingers you can to hold onto the bar!
Your cleats are not jiggly – replace cleats at least once a season (more if you ride more or dismount a lot, or only ride one bike/set of shoes). Watch for them to click, or feel jiggly during higher rpm or bumpy sections. This can cause lower leg and foot issues and also I have seen knee pain. When you install your cleats try the farthest back setting (on mtb cleats especially).
Your seat is very far back on the rails or pointed up – position yourself more forward (knee cap over pedal spindle or slightly ahead) so you are setup to lean forward and pedal up hills. A pointed up saddle is never indicated and is a frequent cause of numbness and saddle sores.
Your suspension is not setup well – read your manuals or ask for help!
Your saddle doesn’t agree with your pelvis – don’t settle for sores and numbness, look into bikefit help, try loaner saddles
If you have knee pain in the front of your knee, try raising your saddle. If you have pain in the back of your leg (hamstring) try lowering your saddle. Do this by taping your seat post and lowering 2mm at a time.
These are 3 drills that will help you progress your cornering skill
Cornering is a multi-faceted skill with unlimited variations. Just think about how many conditions a cyclocross racer would face, and then multiply that by how many bike types and styles of riding there are! Cornering a mountain bike in B.C. Canada will require different positions, braking techniques, and different tires than if you are in a more desert location like Sedona.
Like many sports, it is wise to do isolated drills to increase your number of repetitions and practice the exact skill you want to use in your adventures. By minimizing distractions and time spent getting to that perfect corner in the forest you can make a lot of progress.
These are 3 of my favorite corner drills.
off bike – practice leaning the bike while holding your body position and while looking with your lean
Leaning the bike while riding in a straight line – practice shifting your hips back and forth
Cone Drills – Slalom and Figure-8 – these are common ‘bike drills’ but using them in tandem with the above and really focusing on your bike LEANING and your hips/gaze shifting will help you make huge breakthroughs
The Consummate Athlete Podcast is a Podcast I run with my Wife, Molly Hurford (theoutdooredit.com)
The show has athletes, coaches, experts and, most importantly, regular people doing a variety of awesome things involving movement.
The goal of the show? To explore new and different ways to move that will make you better at your main sport(s) and a healthier and happier person. We have had parkour, biathlon, xc-skiing, and even dance! But who are we kidding? We are both avid cyclists and many of the people we know and many of the people we dream of talking to are cyclists.
If you want to be a better cyclist try these three episodes first. If you like the show we would love if you subscribe and try a few others that are more out of your cycling ‘safe zone’!
Geoff Kabush – How to be super fast on any bike (and set a beer+pushup record)
Download and notes: http://consummateathlete.wideanglepodium.libsynpro.com/mtb-coffee-sport-development-geoff-kabush
Stephen Seiler on Periodization, Polarized Training Concepts
Download and notes: http://consummateathlete.wideanglepodium.libsynpro.com/polarized-training-hiit-athletic-needs-steven-seiler
Frank Overton – Beyond Sweet Spot Training
Download and notes: http://consummateathlete.libsyn.com/beyond-sweet-spot-frank-overton