Making Fall a Successful Season
Everything about the fall reminds us of winding down the year, finishing the season and harvesting the fruits of our labor. Clichés aside, for most endurance athletes the fall is the season which includes championship events, series finales and/or ideal conditions for personal best performances. At this point in the year athletes have put in many miles and hours training and racing, reaching goals and meeting new challenges. Fall is the opportunity to combine all the success and experience to reach a higher level of performance for the year and possibly career in a particular sport. I focus on three areas covering the physical, mental, and details more in the fall than the rest of the year to insure my athletes are successful.
Endurance training by definition is stressing the body and allowing it to recover to be stressed again at a higher level. This repeated cycle of stress and recovery improves endurance, strength and speed progressively throughout the season. At no point in the year is recovery more important than in the fall. I emphasize with athletes the importance of recovery throughout the year, but I schedule more recovery into their training plan during the fall because of the accumulated fatigue during the season.
How to Stay Hydrated When Training and Racing in the Heat
Origonal post at Training Peaks
Why Electrolyte Replacement is Important
As you sweat, electrolytes need to be replaced. This is something water alone cannot achieve in preventing cramps, among other things, even if you consume the amount of water that you have lost. You may feel like you just cannot drink enough to achieve the hydration you need. This can lead to overconsumption and potentially cause intestinal problems.
The Effects of Heat and Humidity
Heat and in particular, humid conditions, can cause your body to lose it’s ability to cool itself as particles on your skin meet warm particles in the air. This can have an adverse affect on your core body temperature and you could lose function in your muscles from this temperature change.
As well as consuming fluid to cool your body, consider other strategies if the conditions demand it, such as what you may have seen recently at the Tour de France, either by pouring water over your head or tucking a bag of ice in the top of your jersey.
Improve Your Balance of Food Consumption With Hydration
When calories are used up during exercise heat builds inside your body. This directly affects the hydration process. Use supplementary food such as bars and gels in a supplementary way. Remember when using gels to also put back the same amount of fluid in millilitres as your gel contains. Fluid is needed for your body to absorb the gel so it can do it’s job.
When you are exercising for over 90 minutes, you should consume an energy drink which contains electrolytes as a source of energy. Consume a zero calorie electrolyte only drink when exercising for under this time as your muscles should not need the extra energy.
Plan ahead how much food you will need for your workout or event per hour but take slightly more than you need in case you underestimate.
Proud to be a Hincapie ambassador again for 2015.
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Dirk Friel, Coach OB, Hunter Allen
Joe Friel and Coach OB
Just got back to my hotel in Boulder. Final day of the Training Peaks Endurance Summit concluded. Learned so much from the masters themselves about training with power, coaching for cycling and building your business. Looking forward to applying their knowledge and experience to my business and my riders!
Abraham moments before his victorious ride
Congratulations to Abraham Finkelman!!!!
Abraham was recently crowned the Israeli National Masters Time Trial Champion in the 50+ category. Three days later, he took 3rd in the National Road Race! Very proud of Abraham and working with him is a pleasure!
On line coaching, training with power, Coach OB
Spring is here, and so are criteriums. Here are some helpful hints.
(Wrote this a while ago ………)
Link to Training Peaks article
April is upon us, and if you race in the United States, that means criterium season has started. Criteriums (crits) are the staple of American racing. They are fast, exciting and challenging. Just like a road race or a time trial, the crit race is a breed alone. It requires special preparation, special training, special bike handling skills and, to do well, an aggressive approach to the race itself.
Typically most crits are held on a venue that offers lots of turns, brief straight-aways and maybe even a short hill or two.
Because of the intense nature of the race itself, crits can be a buzz of energy. From the moment you pull into the parking lot, you can feel the static in the air. Because of this, it is good to be well prepared for the event. Have a “race bag” checklist. Make sure you have everything needed at your disposal. Better to have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it.
If possible, get there early to pre-ride the course. Memorize the turns, road deviations and where the finish line is after the last turn. Being familiar with the course will be a benefit when the race starts.
Link to Training Peaks article
A criterium, or crit, is a fast-paced ever challenging bike race. Most crits are held on a closed circuit and contain multiple turns, short but fast straight-aways and maybe even a short hill. To be competitive in a crit you have to have multi-faceted training. A well trained crit racer has an arsenal of skills at his or her disposal.
In a typical crit, any one of the following, if not all, could be required of you; multiple accelerations out of corners, putting out super hard efforts to bridge gaps, and producing an all-out effort for a sprint finish. Each one of these exertions should be trained individually.
Bridging the Gap
If there is a break up the road and it looks like it is going to stay away until the finish, you NEED to get up there. But you DON’T want to bring the whole pack with you, otherwise you are back to square 1. There are two options. One, go across alone or two, bridge with a few other riders. In either case you will be required to ride harder and faster than the break up the road and the group you just left. If the gap is small, your exertion will be short and sharp. If the gap is significant, you will need to pace your effort. Go too hard during the bridge and you risk blowing up. Put in the right effort and you are now in the lead group. How do you prepare to produce an effort above and beyond that which you were doing during the race?