This comes from Bicycling Magazine.
The article talks about different leg recovery methods. At the end of each one, I give my take on them.
Method: Water immersion
Science: Some studies suggest that a cold water dunk after a hard ride helps clear lactic acid and reduce inflammation. Others conclude that it helps athletes feel less fatigued and sore.
Convenience: Unless there’s a spring-fed lake at the end of every ride, you’re out of luck. And you’ll deplete your ice supply if you frequently do this at home.
Dork Factor: At home, low. Setting up a garbage-can ice spa at a venue? So ridiculous, it might be cool.
Coach OB Online Cycling Coach’s Take: I have not done this. I think it started with runners. To me, the thought of putting my legs, and other body parts, in icey-cold water is NOT appealing!
Method: Compression clothing
Science: Research suggests that compression tights can help reduce blood-lactate levels and speed recovery. Studies show athletes feel fresher and experience less muscle soreness after wearing them. For optimum effect, you may need to wear them during hard efforts, not just afterward.
Convenience: If you pack ‘em, you can wear ‘em.
Dork Factor: As high as the knee socks, but cancelled out in similar company
Coach OB Online Cycling Coach’s Take: I have the Skins RY400 recovery tights and I LOVE THEM! I use these after a hard training session or a race knowing I need extra recvoery for the next day. Only drawback is that they are hot in the summer time! And my family laughs at me when I wear them without anything over the top.
Method: Drinking chocolate milk
Science: In a study of cyclists who rode until fully depleted, the pedalers who chugged chocolate milk afterward were able to hammer about 50 percent longer on their next ride before fatiguing than those who consumed a commercial carb-protein recovery drink.
Convenience: As close as the nearest 7-Eleven.
Dork Factor: Zip. Chocolate milk’s hipness never expires.
Coach OB Online Cycling Coach’s Take: LOVE chocolate milk! I have done this after races especially when I know it might be a while before I am able to take in quality food. I think this is a good one to follow!
Thanks for reading!Read More
The following is a piece I wrote for the Cincinnati Cycle Club newsletter. You can access the site by clicking here.
Know When to Say WHEN
Hot enough for you? I thought for sure by the beginning of August we would get a break from the heat …. not a chance….
So, don’t forget to keep well hydrated at all times. Take in extra water and keep that lemon wedge in your day bottle. For me,Read More
Strength work done
Structured trainer work done
Base miles in
So I did all this and my FIRST RACE IS SATURDAY! What do I do???? I mean I am nervous ……..
Well, hopefully you have checked off the above items so you are as “physically” prepared as possible. You have trained to the best of your ability, there is nothing more you can do there. Have confidence in that and believe in yourself!
Now that you have your head screwed on straight, there are some simple guidelines to follow when attending your first race. I believe in making sure all the little things are taken care of properly and without stress. This makes accomplishing your over-all goal that much easier! You have spent a lot of time, energy and money to get here. Why waste all that with not being as prepared as you can be?
Here are some thoughts in being prepared:
- Have your bike READY the night before! Do NOT get to the race only to discover there is a mechanical issue!
- Take in some extra hydration the day before your event.
- Eat a well balanced meal the night before. This will make sure your tank to fueled for the race.
- Make sure all your gear is ready to be packed the night before. No last minute washing or “OH CRAP, WHERE DID I LEAVE MY HELMET???”
- If you are not sure there will be an adequate place to warm up, bring your trainer.
- When packing your bag it is always better to OVER PREPARE than under prepare. Better to have it and NOT need it than need it and NOT HAVE IT!
- Check out my “Race Bag Check List”. Coach OB Race Bag Check List.
- Eat a good breakfast. You won’t help yourself at all by skipping that even if you have butterflies.
- Continue snacking and drinking before you get there.
- Plan on getting to the race 2 hours before your start. This allows you plenty of time for that wrong turn, to wait in the registration line, unpack your bike and get your things ready without getting extra stress by being late. If you need to do a course recon, bet there earlier.
- You should be fully dressed in your kit and ready to warm up 1 hour before your start.
- Have a warm up plan. This depends on the type of race, but you should have some sort of plan to follow.
- If you need a “feeder” during the race, get that straight now.
- Be at the start area, or within ear-shot, 10 minutes before your GO TIME. DON’T MISS YOUR START!
This will be a huge learning process for you. You will make mistakes – learn from them – and DON’T make the mistake again!
Be as prepared as you can be!
RACE WELL!!!!Read More
Racing season is here! Don’t get to the race and forget your shoes! Coach OB Race Bag Check List.Read More
I am often asked if it is a benefit for a cyclist to spend time in the gym during the off-season to cross train. My answer is a most definite YES! The gains made during the fall and winter will pay dividends during the cycling season. Not only does the gym serve the purpose of building strength, but it also adds diversity to your winter program. By dedicating at least 3 months to working out in the gym at 2 sessions per week (separated by at least 1 full day), you will see and feel the gains you’ve made when March comes around.
I divide my gym work into 3 phases; Getting back into it, Strength building and, then, Endurance. After spending the entire spring and summer pedaling around, a few gym sessions are needed to get the legs and body into the gym routine. I advise 4 to 6 sessions before you start the strength phase. The strength phase is exactly that; building strength. It is a slow, meticulous process, but plain and simple, it works! During this time, 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps on each device is recommended. My program and the program I write for my clients is about 70% legs, 20% core and 10% upper body. Obviously, the exercises are concentrated around the “like movements” we have on the bike; pushing and pulling with the legs, pulling with upper body and basic core strength.
After 2 to 3 months of solid strength building, it’s time to introduce the Endurance phase. This happens 1 day per week while keeping 1 day for strength. On endurance days, the weight is cut by about 50% and double or tripple the reps on certain (not all) exercises. By doing this towrds the end of your program, it helps get the muscles ready for those steady base miles and the start of long endurance efforts on the bike.
Very important note: to avoid injury and to gain the most out of the experience, doing each and every exercise correctly with good form is crucial. If you are not going to do it right, don’t do it! Seek the advice of a trainer or professional if you are in doubt about the correct way to do each exercise.
There are many ways out there to build or add to your fitness in the off season. Doing something as simple a structured weight program is a great way to help ensure you are going into 2011 with some base strength.
Eat Well! Sleep Well! Train SMART!!!!
Coach OB Omelette -
This is a great choice for breakfast on those days when you will not be exercising.Read More