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.


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.