Sunday, November 30, 2014

in or out of he saddle when climbing?

Had that very question from a client. Here is my reply: Good question. It is much more efficient to stay in the saddle when climbing unless you're after that short bust of power to break away or just to change position on the climb. When you hop out of the saddle you're calling on more muscles which is good to get away but not so good in terms of portioning out your energy over the course of the climb and ride. Spin classes and some dvd's will have people in and out of the saddle just to offer some variety and to drive up heart rates. For some people driving the effort with intensity in the saddle inside is difficult so that added use of muscle out of the saddle helps increase the work load. I've taught classes where we never get out of the saddle, and it drives people crazy. All the reason to do it ;-) In a time trial we stay seated the entree time both for aerodynamics but also better efficiency.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

3x20 minute tempo

did this as basically one solid hour effort with just a few breaks for lights; avg 305, NP 320 for the entire ride; felt great even with having done my early morning spin and circuit classes

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Spin, Circuit and then tempo efforts

rode my 8am spin (lots of upper end endurance range, some steady state and tempo for short efforts) and then did my 9am circuit class followed by these tempos efforts outside on the local crit course dodging some snow and ice but with temps in the 30's; held 325 and 323

Rules of Rest from USAT

The Rules of Rest By Jason Gootman and Will Kirousis Do you ever watch nature shows and notice how much time the wild animals sit around doing nothing? Do you ever wonder how your “lazy” house cat, Frisky, can jump 10 body lengths up onto the windowsill? Sure, his body is constructed for that kind of movement, but undoubtedly, what seems like “laying around all the time” is a big piece of why ole Frisky can do such stupefying physical feats. The best triathletes are like this too — they’re as good at resting as they are at working out, since rest plays a big role in the improvement process. It’s when you rest (and sleep) that your cells adapt to the demands of exercise and grow stronger. reading a bookRest can be hard to define, but you know it when you experience it. You’re absorbed in a good book, watching a funny movie, laying in a hammock with your husband — and not trying to get anything done. You’re content just being there chilling out. Rest is vital to your wellness and wellness is the key foundation upon which all triathlon ability is built. Rest should be a big part of your life and your training process. To expand on this a bit more and to clear up any confusion you might have, we’ve created these rules of rest that we’ve learned to use ourselves and with the athletes we coach. Rule 1: Take at least one rest day every week. At least one day each week, don’t swim, ride, run or do any other workout. To maximize the benefits of rest days, rather than fill your time with more work and/or chores, get a bit more rest than you do on days when you workout. Rule 2: The best day to take a rest day is on Sunday (or any day that you don’t work). Sunday rest days rock. You don’t have work, you don’t have chores and you don’t have workouts. Ah, the rest! So much rest! When do you do your long workouts (aka race-specific workouts)? We suggest you do your race-specific bricks on Saturdays and your race-specific runs in the middle of the week. This approach gets you a deeply restful rest day and separates your race-specific workouts, which promotes both higher-quality workouts and better workout recovery. Rule 3: Take a rest week every three or four weeks. The idea of a rest week is to rest. You do enough working out to maintain your ability. That is, you are not trying to build your ability. It takes a lot less working out to maintain your ability than it does to build your ability. In these weeks, it’s best to avoid workouts that are challenging from a duration or intensity perspective for you. Do workouts that you are very comfortable doing. If it feels like you’re hardly doing anything, you’re doing it right. Rest weeks are also the perfect time for cross-training. Rest weeks are great for yoga, rock climbing, mountain biking, snowshoe running, etc. Rule 4: Rest more in rest weeks. Take more than one rest day in rest weeks. The athletes we coach often take three rest days in rest weeks. Consider doing rest days on consecutive days for a great recovery effect. Rule 5: Quality of rest matters as much as quantity. Some people take the time they normally would be working out (in build weeks) and fill this time with extra work and/or chores. They can’t sit still. But the key to good rest weeks is, um, rest. Make it a game and see how much rest you can get and how deeply you can rest. Take a cue from the Italian phrase dolce far niente: the sweetness of doing nothing. Revel in the pleasant idleness. It’s wonderful for its own sake and you’ll be storing up huge amounts of energy to unleash in the build weeks that follow the rest week. Rule 6: Swimming is not rest. Remember, on rest days, don’t workout. That includes swimming. Yes, swimming is gentler on your body in many ways that cycling and running. But it sure ain’t rest. Rest is rest. Rule 7: Cross-training is not rest. Mixing things up is awesome! Cross-training workouts can be a great part of rest weeks and even build weeks if done right, but don’t confuse a two-hour mountain-bike ride with laying in a hammock. Doing something different is great for your body and mind, but it’s not rest. Rest is rest. Rule 8: Rest uses a completely different way of thinking than everything else you do. You’ve been conditioned to believe that life is entirely about getting stuff done, about making progress, about achieving. None of this is completely unhelpful, of course, but with it comes the bias that rest is a waste, even completely unnecessary. But reality dictates that what goes up must come down. There is day, there is night. Seasons change. Nothing ever stays the same. To consistently put out energy in a worthy cause, you must consistently take in energy. Yin and yang. Really outstanding triathletes are as good at resting (and savor it as much) as they are at working really hard in workouts. To become this way takes practice, like everything else. Make rest a practice. Practice resting deeply. Practice resting more. See if you are even more productive in your workouts (and other endeavors) as you get better at resting. We bet you will be. See if you can learn to enjoy resting. We bet you can. Rule 9: Recovery techniques deepen the effects of rest; they don’t make up for a lack of rest. Which of these triathletes will improve more and has a better chance of avoiding injuries? Triathlete A gets two hours of rest on most days, rests all day on Sundays, but never gets a massage or does any other recovery techniques. Triathlete B is always on the go, is always working, working out, doing chores or taking the kids somewhere. Triathlete B gets a massage every week and always wears compression socks. The winner is: Triathlete A! Recovery techniques are great, but they don’t make up for lack of rest — not even close. Make rest your priority and make recovery techniques a finishing touch. Rule 10: Sleep is not rest. You wake up at 5 a.m., drive to the pool, swim, head to the office, work all day, get home at 6:30 p.m., ride your indoor trainer, have dinner, kiss your wife good night and go to sleep, and repeat. You say, “I get decent rest; I sleep seven hours a night.” Sleep is not rest. Sleep is sleep. Rest is being awake, but not putting out energy. It’s a human need just like air and water. Find a way to incorporate rest into your days by simplifying your life. On workdays, maybe you can find 30 minutes during the day or an hour after dinner when you can just unwind and just be. Do your best. You’ll feel better, recover better from workouts, improve more and race faster. Learn more about Jason Gootman, Will Kirousis and Tri-Hard at The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the practices of USA Triathlon. Before starting any new diet or exercise program, you should check with your physician and/or coach.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

First Indoor Time Trial, 10k

Rode a 14:35, tied for my best ever and where I finished last winter in February. Power on the CompuTrainer showed 380, my Stages showed 389 or so. I forgot to hit it at the end of the effort, as usual. Cadence at 97 and HR avg at 168. If my 100% effort would be the state tt and nationals I'd put this at an 85%. I really did nothing but watch the current and avg power on the screen. I never looked at my computer. Had no idea where my HR was, just went by my wattage of 375+. Very pleased given it's the first indoor tt of the winter. I know I'll PR. This is first step to riding strong at nationals next summer. All of those tempo's are paying off.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

testimonial from athlete

Hi Peter, Thanks for talking to me this afternoon as it was very motivating. It is good to hear that you think that I am on track with my progress. It is also very interesting to get your perspective on the different training exercises that you have me doing on a regular basis and what they do for my cycling. You really have a strong understanding of what it takes to get to the "next level" and that gives me a ton of confidence in your program. The problem is that I have floundered around in the past with programs that did not work because they were not centered around measuring power .After talking with you today, I want to work even harder. I think it would really motivate all of your clients if they had a chance to talk to you at least once a month. You really know your stuff and have the patience to boot. To get in top physical shape and improve in a sport is Priceless ! I have recommended you to a couple of friends and hopefully they will contact you. Best Regards Tom Chicago, IL

Friday, November 7, 2014

VeloNews Article on Pre-Race Warmup

Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe,” Abraham Lincoln once said. Many cyclists embody that axiom and believe that success correlates directly with volume of preparation. But while success often comes to those that train the hardest, the axe of preparation cuts both ways. Pushing too hard can leave you fatigued rather than fit. Athletes with ritualistic pre-race routines can torpedo their race before it starts due to over-preparation. Survey the parking lot before a time trial, road, or cyclocross race, and you’ll likely see many cyclists getting slower before they start. The culprit? Two pre-race practices have been linked to short-term decreases in cycling performance when used incorrectly. Seasoned cyclists know the dangers of over-preparation in terms of training with too little recovery but are less-versed on the perils of overdoing it in the minutes leading up to a race. Intensity The length and intensity of a traditional warm-up has long been thought to give competitive cyclists an edge by promoting a process called post-activation potentiation (PAP). To elicit PAP, short bouts of strenuous physical activity activate a biochemical change in working muscles that can enhance muscular performance. This PAP activation lasts from five to 10 minutes after the warm-up period. However what isn’t so handy, as cycling researchers have discovered, is when the PAP benefit is negated by the muscular fatigue of an excessive warm-up. In research presented in the Journal of Applied Physiology, scientists compared a traditional 50-minute warm-up with high-intensity intervals to a 15-minute warm-up with moderate-intensity intervals in 10 highly trained track cyclists. The researchers found that the shorter warm-up group experienced less muscle fatigue and produced higher peak power outputs in an ensuing test. They hypothesized that, while both warm-ups elicited PAP, the longer warm-up generated enough fatigue to counteract positive effect of PAP. In other words, the cyclists that warmed up for just 15-minutes had fresher legs than those that used a traditional, 50-minute warm-up. Additionally, in a recent study in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, researchers warned that, “Warm-up exercise including race-pace and sprint intervals combined with short recovery can reduce subsequent performance in a four-minute maximal test in highly trained cyclists.” The cyclists in the study group that included high-intensity warm-up intervals exhibited less peak power in a subsequent maximal exercise test. The study’s authors recommended that an ideal warm-up should be shortened or performed at reduced intensity. How long did that energy sapping fatigue last? The reduced power output elicited by the high-intensity warm-up persisted beyond 30 minutes in the studied cyclists, indicating that performance would be diminished well into most races. The bottom line is that after any warm-up exercise, muscular performance can be decreased by fatigue or enhanced by the beneficial effects of PAP, and efforts beyond a moderate level of intensity or duration run the risk of creating fatigue. Stretching And there’s more sobering news about another pre-race activity — static stretching, a common ritual for many cyclists, has been linked to decreases in cycling performance when used immediately before exercise. A 2011 study in the Journal of Stretch and Conditioning Research found a significant decrease in cycling economy when highly trained cyclists used static stretching before moderate-intensity cycling. Endurance or cycling economy is similar to fuel economy in a car; an economical car uses less fuel at a specific speed, and similarly, a more economical cyclist uses less energy to maintain a given intensity or speed. Surprisingly, cyclists that stretched before riding needed more oxygen and fuel to exercise at the same pace. While the stifling effects of the static stretching were short-lived, they were significant enough for researchers to recommend against stretching before cycling. Static stretching also puts a damper on more explosive efforts. Using the Wingate Test, a standardized measure of anaerobic power, Spanish scientists studied the effects of different type of stretching on cycling performance and found that both the time to reach peak power and average power were negatively affected in the groups that stretched immediately before the test. The research, presented in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, concluded that, “The type of stretching, or no stretching, should be considered by those who seek higher performance and practice sports that use maximal anaerobic power.” Conclusion So what’s left? Getting a jump on the Porta-A-Potty line? Of course, this is not to suggest that warming up or stretching cannot be useful tools for competitive and recreational cyclists. Performed correctly, a warm-up can increase performance by as much as five percent. These and other studies show that moderate-intensity efforts are sufficient to improve performance and carry less risk of muscular fatigue. A properly executed warm-up should not exceed 15-20 minutes and should only include several brief moderate-intensity efforts. An intensity of 60 percent to 70 percent of maximal heart rate is sufficient, with one or two 30-second, higher-intensity accelerations. For those that still want to stretch before a race, dynamic stretching, or active movement of the muscles involved in cycling, does not elicit the same performance penalties. Jumping jacks, hip circles, and high leg kicks, for instance, can prepare muscles for the stresses of cycling better than static stretching. Since individual responses to warming up need to be taken into account, the optimal pre-race strategy for competitive cyclists will vary. However, based on this research, you may be better off worrying about chopping down that tree, rather than spending all morning honing your axe. Also Recommended Read more at

This Past Week

Spent from last Saturday through last evening in NYC. While there I spent about 3-4 hours per day walking the city and specifically Central Park. Also hit the Manhattan Athletic Club three times for 90 minute efforts on their bikes. No power on them but I used perceived effort to do some 4x6 muscle tension, 10x1 power intervals, 5x30 second power intervals, etc. Also did about two hours of lifting over the 5 days. Was back on the CycleOs 400 today and did 2x20 tempo at 306/309 (hr 140-145) and then just for fun 1x5 at 351. HR 157. While in NYC saw he end of the marathon and my friend Andrew Archer finishing with a 2:45:34. outstanding effort!

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