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Motivation Monday: What’s London Got To Do With It?

If you read my last “Motivation Monday” you'll know I was somehow suckered into riding the Monkey Knife Fight in April.  I'd suggest you read the previous column to learn a little more about the race itself.  The short, short version of it is this: it's a spring classic, PA style.  That means dirt roads, gravel, steep climbs, shitty weather and lots and lots of fun.

Since I've been suckered into this via a good buddy of mine (thanks again Nate…) I can't let him take me out to the middle of nowhere and leave me for dead.  No sir.  That's not an option.

This week, I'll explore a little of my training theory and what I'm going to do to get my butt in shape to actually finish this ride without breaking down and crying.

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Motivation Monday: Monkey Knife Fight For Fun and Fitness Profit

It's been no secret that last year was a tough year for me when it comes to riding a bike.  I spent much of the year planning and executing a plan, but not a typical training plan.  No, buying a business (most of you know I'm a chiropractor by trade) was a plan unlike any other that sucked most of the time out of my life.  I raced all of four races last year and put in the fewest training hours I've logged in any year in the last half a decade.

Because of that, and because I now have the additional responsibilities of running a practice, it's time for a renaissance of sorts.

“Friends don't let friends get fat”

I had been looking for a little motivation to build my early season on.  Sitting on the trainer isn't the most fun, so a fun early season target would be most welcome.  What was out there that would be worth doing, though?

This most recent challenge, which I intend to document in a series called “Motivation Monday” is based on a challenge/request from a friend of mine (thanks, Nate!)  Nate, much like myself, spent much of last year on the sidelines, albeit for very different reasons.  Those reasons don’t really matter, suffice to say he was in the saddle less than I was.  Recently, when he texted me and asked if I had any interest in an early season ride, he framed it a little differently then most requests people make:

“Monkey Knife Fight – April 14th.  I've been intrigued by this ride for a few years and I should really stop being fat.  Any interest?”

How can you say no to that?

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Happy New Year Training Tips and Zwift Workout!

With the final hours of 2017 slipping away, I spent some time on my Elite Drivo trainer this morning putting the finishing touches on a new holiday workout for you!  Most cyclists view their new year training as a continuation of their usual routine.  But there's no better time to switch it up and make a difference than in the new year!

I've also got a couple of tips in the video below that will help you kickstart your New Year training.  Remember these two things:

1: Most of us are amateur athletes.  As I said in my last podcast of 2017, amateurs plan their training around their life, while pros plan their life around their training.  That means every single minute of training time is precious.  You need to make every minute count, so aim for quality over quantity.  Spend those precious hours training your weaknesses, building a solid functional base and ensuring your body is strong and resilient to ensure a quality cycling season.

2: Consistency is the key to improving your fitness.  If you're not riding with any consistency, you're wasting your time.  Building fitness requires your body to consistently be stressed to force it to adapt.  Get on a plan, stick to a training schedule and you'll see bigger gains than you ever saw before.

In addition to those points, take a look at the short video I put together giving you the details on my new Zwift Aerobic Round Robin workout:

I've also updated my Tailwind Coaching Season Planning Worksheet for 2018.  Yep, it's still a free download, and it's got a couple of additional bits of information attached to it.  There's also a nice coupon code attached to it that applies to any of my downloadable training plans.  All you have to do is download the worksheet and you'll get the coupon code in your inbox!  So what are you waiting for?  Get planning for 2018 and above all, have a happy, healthy and safe new year!  I'm looking forward to helping as many of you as I can in 2018!

The Best Time Of Day To Train For Massive Fitness Gains

Most people don't think about what time of day they train and how that can affect their fitness gains.  In fact, a lot of people simply look at their training plan, jump on their bike and go when they have some free time.  And that's fine if you're looking to make some improvements from baseline.  But what if you're looking for that extra few percentage points to help get you onto the podium?  What if you're pushing for that big century goal and you need to shave off a few more minutes?

If you're a pro, you plan life around training, but if you're a Joe, you plan training around life.  When you have to plan training around life, time of day can make a big difference in the fitness gains you see.

On this episode of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast, I'll explain to you how the time of day can affect your training.  We'll go over how to determine the best time of day for your body to train and what you gain by figuring that out. You'll also get a few tips and tricks to help you minimize the impact of training off your “peak” time of day.

So if you're ready to biohack your training time and get bigger fitness gains out of the hours you spend on the bike, click through the jump and listen to this episode of the  Tailwind Coaching Podcast.  Don't forget to share with your friends and rate the podcast on iTunes!

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How to Measure Cycling Training Improvements

When a cyclist starts on a training program, there's an expectation that their training will yield improvements.  They should get faster, climb better, become more efficient, or finish higher in the standings.  But other than those end goals, how do you measure cycling training improvements in the middle of a training block?  And more than that, why would you want to measure cycling training improvements during a training block?

Evaluating your training performance during a training block is hugely important to planning your next blocks of training.  If you don't know how your current program is affecting your fitness, how can you adjust it to make further improvements?  If you're not improving enough or worse, detraining due to lack of volume or intensity, you need to know that as soon as possible.

Additionally, measuring your improvement during a training block will give you a good idea where you stand in relation to your goals.  If your power numbers are way down or your aerobic decoupling is poor, you know there's work to do before you can be competitive.  It's sort of a benchmark on the path to your benchmark.

With the “why” out of the way, let's get down to the “how”.  Click through the jump to listen to this episode of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast and learn how to measure cycling training improvements in a ton of different ways.

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