Skills and techniques

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Criterium Training and Racing Tips

Call it a criterium, a crit, or a short circuit race.  Whatever you call it, it's a tough race for sure.  It's also one of the most common races on most racing calendars.  What makes it so tough to succeed at and what training do you need to perform well in these races?

In this episode of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast, I'll tell you how to build the perfect criterium training plan.  I'll show you what specific training needs to be included in your crit training plan to help you crush the field and hit the line first.  There are also a few tips, tricks and secrets to help you make the most out of your training and races.

So if you're ready to tune up your crit fitness, click through the jump and listen for tips on dominating your next criterium.

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Muscular Endurance Cycling Training With Zwift

Zwift has revolutionized the way we train indoors with a trainer.  The emergence of smart trainers has turned Zwift into an immersive virtual riding experience.  Muscular endurance (ME) is one of the basic fundamental skills that create a well-rounded cyclist, but it can be boring to accomplish on a trainer.  Combining the two together provides you the opportunity to get tons of high-quality training and keep things from getting stale.  But before you can go about building a ton of muscular endurance and making your body bulletproof, you have to understand what the goal of a ME interval is.

So, first of all, what is muscular endurance and why is it important?

Muscular endurance is your body's ability to resist muscular fatigue under pedaling tension.  That pedaling tension is where the magic happens in your pedal stroke.  The more tension in the pedals, the more power gets to the rear wheel and the faster you go.  I'm sure you've experienced a time when you have to really dig in and push hard to catch your riding buddy.  After a short time, your legs start to get heavy and tired and you have to rest.  The more times you have to repeat this kind of move, the harder it becomes because your legs are just tired out.  Maybe your legs cramp up or maybe you just can't make the move.  No matter what the outcome, you just need more ME training in your program.

In this article I'm going to give you tips to improve your muscular endurance training with Zwift.  Click through the jump to find out how:

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Using Quadrant Analysis to Improve Your Bike Training

Quadrant analysis is a tool that can be found in many power analysis software packages.  Programs like Golden Cheetah, Training Peaks and WKO+ offer quadrant analysis features.  Learning how to read a quadrant analysis plot can teach you a lot about your training, racing and riding.  Above and beyond functional threshold power, watts per kilogram and training stress score, the quadrant analysis is probably one of the most valuable charts you can find.

It allows you to see a snapshot of what kinds of efforts went into your performance.  Then you can look at your training data and see if it matches up with your goal races and performance data.  It doesn't come easy though: it takes some time to understand the QA plot and how to use it.  Once you get it, it becomes a powerful tool in the arsenal of helping you understand your fitness.

Check out these tips to help you get the most out of your quadrant analysis plot and make your training more effective.

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The Ultimate Guide To Off Season Bike Training

If you're a cyclist looking to improve your performance, winter is the perfect time to adjust your bike training routine for the coming season.  You can get your plan for next season down and start attacking your goals and objectives early.  And by starting early, you can ensure you don't panic as you get closer to your season targets.

The thing to remember is that your offseason isn't a mashup of cross training, strength training and riding.  All of your training should be carefully evaluated and scheduled to maximize the effectiveness of each workout.  In order to do that, you need to get your off-season preparation started NOW.

Click through the break and I'll show you how to get started on building your most effective off-season bike training program ever!

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Diagnose Your Climbing Weakness

I can't tell you how many times cyclists contact me and ask me to help them improve their climbing weakness, but they don't even know what climbing weakness is holding them back!  Do you climb better in the saddle or out?  Are you more efficient at a lower cadence or higher?  Do you tend to go out too hard and burn out too quickly?  Are you leaving speed on the table by being TOO conservative?  These are all questions you can answer if you're willing and able to head out, do a couple of laps of your favorite climb and sit down to take a look at your data.

Let's figure out how to find your climbing weakness and correct it!  Click through for my best tips on determining what's limiting your climbing capacity and a couple ways to correct it?

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