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Pinning On A Number Again – My Return To Racing Post Injury

Most of you are aware that I spent most of the last year on the sidelines after I crashed out of an early season race.  That day started like every other race I'd ever ridden.  I arrived early, checked in at registration, got help from my teammates with pinning on a number (37 it turned out), took an Instagram photo of it to share and then went about warming up.  Fast forward to a few weeks post surgery and my season was as shattered as my collarbone.

While waiting for my fractures to heal and my strength to return, I wondered how I would go about getting back in the pack.  I spent the rest of the year training solo to regain the fitness and form I had lost during recovery.  I jumped into numerous group rides in hopes of shaking my daemons.  In reality, I was hoping to be pinning on a number again soon.

I admittedly had a very hard time with those first group rides after getting back on the bike.  I got dropped on group rides with my teammates that I used to dominate.  My fitness was fine, I just wasn't holding the wheels I needed to be.  I wasn't comfortable getting in tight with a peloton, even if it was made of my own teammates.

I had lost my mojo.  And I wasn't sure how to get it back.

I had always found it easy to move through a pack of riders.  Find an empty spot and claim it.  Use your elbows to assert your claim to your little space in the group.  Don't be afraid to put your hand on someone else's hip and let them know you're there.  These are the things I not only taught fledgling racers, but the things I did every weekend after pinning on a number.

Now I was afraid to do them all.

As the winter wore on, I sat on my trainer and wondered how I was going to get back to racing a bike, an activity which I loved dearly but was now terrified of.

Then I hatched a plan…

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Post Workout Recovery Tips

Many of us enjoy riding hard: climbing steep grades, pushing huge gears on the flats and trying to put our riding buddies into difficulty at every opportunity.  But that desire, along with unusually strong work ethic possessed my most cyclists can be a doorway to damnation: overtraining can rear its ugly head.  The key to preventing overtraining, as well as seeing marked improvement may not be your workouts, but what you do in between them.

Check out the post recovery tips after the break and learn how to get stronger and faster by resting and recovering harder.
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The Pre Race Warmup

Have you ever arrived to a ride a few minutes later than you wanted and just jumped on your bike and rolled off with the group?  Do you remember how you felt?  I'd wager that you were probably feeling stiff, awkward and it took you a long time to actually warmup to where you were comfortable and powerful on the bike.

Knowing the consequences of “rolling cold” why do coaches and friends alike have to constantly remind each other to warm up before we ride?  We all know better, and we shouldn't have to be asked the question “why should we warm up before we race (or even ride).”

It's staggering how often I hear this, and it amazes me that people still haven't accepted that they need to warm up before they hit the road in order to have a good performance.  Even more amazing is the number of people who are under warming up, or not warming up to match the effort they are preparing for.

It's time to put a stop to this; we'll explore why we warm up, what it does for our body and then see an example warm up workout.

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The Cost Of Bike Racing? (Podcast #56)

So you're thinking about racing a bike, but you're concerned about the cost.

You're not the only one, apparently.

Recently, an article in the UK based Telegraph caused a little bit of a stir in the cycling world, claiming that the cost of racing was approximately £25,000.  £25,000!!  Adjusted to USD, that's around $39,000!  That's a salary for a lot of people!

And that's completely insane.

There's no earthly reason racing a bike needs to cost that much.  In fact, if you read other articles by the same author, you get a different impression: the author is racing at an elite level, attempting to recapture a lost opportunity of his youth.  He's not starting off racing a Cat 5 criterium, or a weekend stage race where you're competing against other guys who are coming out to have a little fun and maybe sprint for a pair of tires.  We're talking two different worlds here.

But the article did get me thinking about what IS the cost of racing a bike?  And if you wanted to start racing a bike today, what would you need to lay out in terms of dollars and cents.  That's what I'll explore in today's podcast, along with some helpful tips to get you ready to race for the first time.

Click through for a breakdown of what it takes to race on the elite level, and what you need to race on the local level:

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Crashing Out

Crashing out is a terrifying thing to experience, but it's something that every racer, at some point in their career will experience.  I'd heard the stories, read about the pros' trials and tribulations in returning from crashes and comforted friends and teammates who suffered ill fortune and broken bones.  I've even tasted the bitter pill of defeat before: A couple  years ago I released a podcast in which I described the ignominy of DNFing a race.  Almost 2 years to the day I last DNFed a race, I did it again, but this time it was something a little bit different.

This time I crashed out, or more specifically, I WAS crashed out.

And this time, my season crashed out with it.  You can see in the video below the sequence of events that put me on the sidelines for 3 months:

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