The importance of base building is often overlooked by many cyclists, especially those who have ignored or ill defined their season goals. Your aerobic base is the foundation for all future interval workouts, and without it, the risk of injury and/or burnout is distinctly higher than in a cyclist with a proper aerobic base. More importantly, poor endurance will ensure you falter before the end of your chosen events, so while it may be boring and redundant, it is one of the most important parts of your training.
Route planning is something every cyclist eventually has to tackle. While the idea of just going out and riding whatever roads strike your fancy that day is exhilarating, sometimes planning a route may be a necessity. Maybe you have a few friends joining you, maybe you have a club ride to plan or maybe you have some training that you need to plan a route for. In any case, planning a good route is more than just putting (virtual) pen to paper, and we're going to explore how to ensure a good plan and a good route.
[dc]W[/dc]ith a week to go until Thanksgiving, the northeast is still seeing temperatures in the 50s and 60s. This means the season is (for better or worse, depending on when you started your season) extended another few weeks. But with the shortened days and dropping temperatures comes an increased need to protect oneself from the cold. It's not quite as simple as throwing on a ski jacket when you walk the family pooch, and requires a few pieces of more specialized equipment.
FIGHT THE COLD
When the mercury starts to drop, a host of cold-related problems can rear their heads. Along with severe conditions like cold induced asthma and frostbite come other hazards that are less dangerous but no less serious. We're all familiar with the typical feeling of cold, the feeling of shivering and being generally miserable. But cold also has an effect on our body's physiology; blood is pulled away from extremities to warm the core. Additionally, the cold itself can compromise muscle function by decreasing peak contractile force and slowing the time to peak force generation. Huh? In layman's terms, this means there's not as much blood in your legs and the muscles contract weaker and slower, so keeping ourselves warm and comfortable is important to our performance (and our health.) To combat the cold and keep us safe and performing well, it's best to start thinking about layering up against the frigid climate.
More info on how to survive the chill after the jump: