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Cycling Coaching Questions and Answers #3

As an online cycling coach, I get a lot of questions emailed to me.  Every so often, I take a sampling of those questions and answer them for the benefit of everyone who listens to the Tailwind Coaching Podcast.

In this Q&A episode, I'll tackle plenty of training and fitness questions.  If you've ever been dropped on a group ride, you'll want to check out what I have to say.  Some others have been confused as to the best way to test functional threshold power or evaluate their performance improvements.  Folks from the southern hemisphere will be pleased to learn about training in the heat.  Beginners get some love with some questions about riding harder vs riding longer and Gran Fondo and long distance racers get some attention with a discussion about long distance training.  Finally, check out a basic power meter setup with a question about the bare minimum you need to start training with power.

Without further ado…

Coaching Questions and Answers

Below you'll find some links and information to expand on what I've covered in this podcast. 464yepvn (more…)

Is there value in “junk miles”

Traditionally, Labor Day marks the end of the road and crit racing season and the start of cyclocross.  For me, that means it's time to shut down the training and wind down for the season.  Most people start easing into the off-season by riding for fun and putting in a few “junk miles.”  I've mentioned in the past that fall is my favorite time of year to ride, and this year will be no exception.  Getting away from training is often a refreshing change of pace.

This year, I've spent most of the year away from my bike, so there's no training to get away from.

For the first time in many years, I've put in less than 2,000 riding miles.  I've done minimal training and I've raced fewer times than I have fingers on one hand.  My riding has been limited to 40 miles every 10 days or so.  With that little riding, it's been impossible to train with any regularity.  I've been stuck with short, high-intensity efforts in a desperate attempt to find some form and fitness.  Alas, it was not to be.

This year, my riding has basically been “junk miles.”

Just this morning after a short hour on the deep back roads of NJ, I came to this realization.  I also realized that I have learned something through this year's lack of training.

Click through and learn what junk miles mean to me and what they could mean to you.

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Don’t Let Your Power Meter Kill Your Performance

A power meter is now a ubiquitous piece of equipment for many cyclists.  With the emergence of affordable power meters more and more riders are training with power.  Training has become more specified and directed.  Coaches have options to evaluate fitness improvements that they never had before.  Athletes are able to build their own training programs and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses with minimal direction.

But for all the benefits, your power meter may be hurting your performance when the chips are down.  Click through the jump to see if you're guilty of any of these performance killing power meter faux pas:

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“Friction Facts” Bicycle Chain Lube Process

Bicycle chain lube has come a long way in the past 20 years.  Gone are the days of dripping 3-in-1 oil on your chain, wiping it with an old washcloth and calling it good.  These days, chain lube is researched almost as much as any other component on your bike.

In the quest for “marginal gains, ” chain lube is one of the new frontiers.  While aerodynamic gains are still the king of the hill in terms of gaining seconds during a time trial or race, chain lube efficiency can save a few extra watts.  Combine those few watts with savings from ceramic bearings, derailleur pulley bearing, and pedal bearings and you could be saving 5-6% of your energy.

Friction Facts is one of the kings of evaluating your drive train efficiency.  They have published tons of material on chain lube efficiency in the past.  After doing some reading about the process, I decided to give it a try and see how effective (and long lasting) it is.

Check out my experience after the jump and learn how you can try this bicycle chain lube process yourself at home.
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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.

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