Training With the Zwift Mayan Expansion

Zwift continues to expand their offerings with the new Mayan expansion to Watopia.  Yes, the south pacific island wonderland just got a little bit bigger and unlocked yet another set of training options.  With the mountain, the volcano, and now the Mayan expansion, Watopia has a huge variety of training possibilities.  You can do a little bit of everything in a single 26 mile loop or you can focus on smaller loops and more specific training goals.

For more information about Zwift training, check out these links first:

Once you're up to speed on the different training options Zwift offers you, click through the jump and get the low down on the new Mayan expansion!


The Importance of RPE in Cycling Training

You've no doubt heard about an RPE scale in the past.  You may have even done some of your training by RPE.  But in a world where power meters, heart rate monitors, and analysis software rules, is there any room for this subjective measurement?

I'd honestly argue that it's more important now than ever.

In a sport that has become increasingly dependent upon technology, cyclists are losing that “feel” that separates the good from the great.  The best and most successful cyclists are able to instantly tell you how hard they are working.  It doesn't matter if they're at tempo pace or flat out VO2 max level efforts.  They know.  And knowing is the key to performing.

Click on the jump to find out what RPE is and how it can benefit your training.


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?


Cornering: Understanding Apexes (Podcast #57)

Cornering is an important cycling skill to master if you're going to ride efficiently (and safely) and understanding apexes is a critical part of cornering properly.   Since there's so many potential spots for error, cornering is a fine balancing act comprising a number of different forces, but everything falls into place more easily when you can learn how to cut an apex properly, and how to choose the proper apex for each corner you encounter.

Cutting an apex allows you to do a number of things more safely, including carry a higher amount of speed into each corner.  Knowledge of how to properly execute different apexes will also help to keep you out of trouble with traffic, prevent panic braking and set you up for any terrain that's beyond the curve in the road (even if you can't see it.)  Proper use of apexes will also foster and encourage proper cornering skills like correct weight distribution and looking through the turn to the exit point.

In this excerpt from my upcoming “corner like a pro” online course, I'll diagram different apexes and explain the nuances of each one.  Click through for more information and the key points to take home:


Staying Safe In A Group

There are times when you'll find yourself in unfamiliar company, either on a group ride, a charity ride, a fondo or a race.  You'll be surrounded by people you don't know, you're not familiar with their handling skills and you're not even sure if they are comfortable riding in a group.  In situations like these, you'll need to be on high alert and ready to defend your space and yourself.  Let's face it: if you're stable, sure afoot (awheel?) and not afraid of contact while you're riding, you're actually pretty hard to knock over and crash out.  If you're nervous, twitchy and afraid of contact (I.E. you panic and steer away from the guy bumping you) then you're going down sometime sooner rather than later.

Protect Yourself By Protecting Your Bars
Defending yourself includes the space immediately around you and especially around your handlebars.  Your bars are your lifeline to your bike: if someone knocks them or takes them out, you lose complete control of your machine and are significantly more prone to crashing.  If you're always defending your handlebars, you'll be a lot safer, you'll be a lot more stable and steady, a lot more confident and you'll be a lot less prone to going down.

In order to defend your space and your handlebars, follow these simple tips (and practice them regularly with your regular group ride buddies and teammates):