10 Devastating Cycling Mistakes I’ve Made (So You Don’t Have To)

Everyone makes cycling mistakes when they're starting out.  Even the best riders, the most experienced racers, and the best coaches make mistakes too.  Sometimes those mistakes are small hiccups in your training and sometimes they can be dangerous or hazardous to your health.  I've made a ton of cycling mistakes in my journey from beginner to racer to coach.  Each one has been a learning experience, and each one has formed my training, racing and coaching strategy.

In today's Tailwind Coaching Podcast, I'm going to share the 10 most devastating cycling mistakes I've ever made.  I'll tell you how they happened, how they can ruin your cycling fitness and how you can prevent them from happening to you.

If you like the podcast, don't forget to head over to iTunes and rate the podcast 5 stars to help me reach a few more cyclists each episode!

Click through the jump to listen and check out the podcast show notes, which contain all the links I've mentioned in the podcast.


Evaluating Ride Data and Race Data

With the huge number of electronic gadgets attached to a bike these days, it's inevitable that cyclists will be inundated with data.  From speed, cadence and heart rate to power data (and even new technologies such as muscle oxygenation data), there's a mind-boggling collection of numbers to consider. But why even bother collecting data? Evaluating ride data is one of the biggest reasons most cyclists collect data and it can tell you a lot about your ride if you know how to look at it the right way.

In this video, I'll walk through evaluating ride data from several race performances.  I'll describe what I look for and how you can use that information to improve your training and riding.


Put Massive Power and Staggering Snap in your Sprint

In cycling, sprinting is more than just “pedal really hard a bunch of times.”  If you've ever watched a professional sprint, you may realize that there's a certain absolute beauty in the type of activity they excel at.  While they may be boring on TV, field sprints are perhaps the hardest parts of any race.   Yes, a mountaintop finish requires power to weight ratio, the ability to suffer and some amount of tactical prowess, but sprinting well is a combination of massive tactical brainpower as well as leg power.  Cycling sprint training is the bridge between getting strong and actually knowing how to execute a proper sprint out on the road.

Today, we'll talk about building leg power, neuromuscular fitness and technique and finesse that you'll need to succeed.  You'll learn that a sprinter needs more than the ability to go fast.  I'll explain how cycling sprint training should be broken down into the composite parts so that you can effectively train all parts of the system together.  If you ignore one part of the equation, you may wonder why you're not getting faster, you may wonder why others are beating you, and you might even end up with an injury.

Click through to the show notes and make your cycling sprint training more effective.  Don't forget to check out our podcast show sponsor Stages Cycling: any purchases through this link will contribute a few dollars to supporting the show.  You can also rate the podcast on iTunes, share this post and download my free Sprint Training Tune Up plan!


Effective Peaking and Tapering for Cycling Performance

Peaking and tapering are essential to a high quality performance in a race or event.   They are often overlooked by your average cyclist and may be the missing piece in your successful training program.  Without a well thought out, well executed peak, your body may be too tired to perform or too flat (from lack of stimulus) to successfully execute the necessary work to succeed in your race or event.  If you ignore the importance of a proper taper, you'll find yourself struggling to build further fitness or worse, dip a toe into the frigid waters of overtraining.  In either case, you'll find yourself disappointed and struggling to piece together what went wrong.

In this episode of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast, you'll learn what peaking and tapering are, why they are an integral part of any training program and how to apply the concepts of successful peaking and tapering to your own training program.

Click through for the show notes and remember that the sponsor for this episode of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast is Stages Cycling.  Check out their power meters and help support the show, and don't forget to rate the podcast on iTunes!  You can also check out my new resources page and get a head start on reading some of my most popular articles!


Tips to Avoid Getting Dropped

Getting dropped is one of the realities faced by each and every cyclist at some point.  The feeling of watching the group ride away from you can be demoralizing, but it's also a great learning experience.  What caused you to get popped off the back?  Did you make a tactical error?  Did you crack physiologically and just couldn't stay with the pace?  Did you break a chain or cable?

In this short podcast, I'll give you a few tips to help you avoid getting dropped from your next group ride, race or gran fondo group.  If you want to learn how to stick with the group, this is the podcast for you!

Click through for the show notes and remember that the sponsor for this episode of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast is Stages Cycling.  Check out their power meters and help support the show, and don't forget to rate the podcast on iTunes!