Off-season & Online
We love our summers but we have go through long winters. This means a-lot of indoor training on treadmills and trainers. Today, there are multiple online platforms to keep us engaged and structured. However, is it all good and are there any negative side affects to our online obsession?
Our coaches at TCR give us their opinions on how they feel about online cycling and off-season training in general.
his is the time for cross-training. I am a big fan of backcountry skiing this time of year. You can get in good volume and work all the small muscles that get neglected in the summer. My weekdays consist of strength, commuting and a group ride that is social. Go outside and see the mountains!
I have been doing big rides this fall and even a 100 miles last weekend. However, I have also added the gym and some structured indoor training, short sprints (under 5 seconds) to work on my top end and VO2Peak. My buddies seem to be random with their indoor and not a lot of structure besides Zwift racing. I feel like I am getting better and still hopeful for a good race season.
How to make Zoom less frustrating and more productive!The #1 thing I see is people trying to over-complicate things! KISS principle applies.If using a smart trainer, turn ERG mode OFF! The reason is that the trainer forces you into a particular power so you can ride ‘heavy’ as a workload hits, making the pedals difficult to turn, which then makes it even harder. By riding non-erg, you are in total control of the power and it is also great for keeping the mind engaged - it can't wander as you need to focus on a good smooth pedal stroke to keep power. The other mistake I see with Zwift specifically is people ride a course during the classes that they haven’t pre-scouted and so will hit a 12% hill during the assigned recovery period - that doesn’t work well!
Tired quads or sore knees? Ask yourself the next time you’re on the bike if your quads are more fatigued than your glutes. If the answer is yes, you need to work on those glutes! It is common for quads to want to take over, but we shouldn’t let them. The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the human body so we need to use it the way it is meant to be used. The hip adductors are fantastic hip stabilizers when both cycling and running. Weakness in the hip adductors can often be a source of knee pain when cycling. Want to learn more on how to become a stronger and more efficient cyclist? Ask for a free consultation with me or John!
This note is for the "Zwifters" out there! Zwift has kept us happy this pandemic, but I am already seeing burn-out! I am not asking you to stop riding, but to think about the type of riding you are doing. You should not be racing every time you sign-on! Control your adrenalin! This leads to quick fitness but usually riders will Peak in February. You want to be fit in April, not the middle of winter. Aim for at least 50% of your rides in Zone 1-2. Pro's do 80% aerobic but they have a plan. Aerobic - fat burning rides (MFO) are good for your physiology and mental health too!
While you are ZOOMING away with Coach Selina, take advantage of seeing yourself on video. It is an excellent tool to gain instantaneous feedback on your position. Watch to see if you have a soft bent elbow, your shoulders are down and away from you ears. Try to keep a light soft touch on your bars which will indicate that you are engaging and balancing with your core!