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As a cyclist finishes their base training, it's important to evaluate how strong your aerobic base truly is. By using a metric called “aerobic decoupling” you can quickly and easily determine if your base work was effective and if you're ready to progress into harder high-intensity interval training. But before you can evaluate your aerobic fitness, you need to learn what aerobic decoupling is and how to use it effectively.
What is aerobic decoupling and why do we care about it?
If you're training with power, aerobic decoupling is a key measurement to evaluate as you perform base training. Aerobic decoupling is a numerical measurement of aerobic efficiency and endurance. It's representative of your body's ability to process oxygen and produce energy (as detailed in Biohacking Energy Systems) and is a marker of overall aerobic fitness.
Before you can appreciate the value of aerobic decoupling, here's a refresher about how your body produces aerobic energy and the concept of heart rate drift.
To produce energy, your body takes in oxygen through the lungs and passes it to working muscles via the blood stream. Oxygen and a fuel (fat, protein or sugars) are processed in the mitochondria to create Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the actual energy molecule that allows your muscles to contract and create pedaling force. Constant demands on the aerobic energy system can create a phenomenon known as heart rate drift.
Click through the jump to read the show notes for episode 78 of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast:
Building functional threshold power is one of the biggest objectives of most competitive cyclists. Cyclists everywhere like to brag about how many watts they put out at threshold. Coffee shop talk is dominated by phrases like “watts per kilogram” and “threshold intervals” in the pursuit of more cycling power. Interval training programs are based on the concept of how much power you can put out at threshold.
I'm telling you that functional threshold power is indeed one of the biggest goalposts we measure fitness by. The way we've consistently tried to train it has evolved over the years, but the basic concept remains the same: increase aerobic power at and under your threshold. There are a few ways to improve your functional threshold power without having to spend hours, days or weeks doing 20 minute threshold efforts.
Quite simply, if you want your functional threshold power to grow, you can either train longer, train smarter or train harder. Click through the jump to listen to my latest podcast. You'll learn two keys that will help you train smarter, giving you a jump on building functional threshold power in the base phase.
The end of the cycling season is a tough time for many cyclists. The weather turns cold and the days shorten. Cyclists everywhere are forced inside to trainers and rollers for winter training. But the fall cycling season is the perfect time to get your house in order for the coming off-season.
Since you should be tapering into your off-season, you have more time to think about your next season objectives. Set your goals and objectives for the next season. Sit down and evaluate the past season and see where you can make improvements in your preparation and fitness. You are on the bike less, so you can do all these things that you have been neglecting in favor of putting in training miles!
To help you strengthen your off-season preparation, I'm going to give you a couple of tips to get you started. Click through the break to find these 5 things the best cyclists do at the end of the cycling season and learn how to turn autumn gloom into spring success:
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…)
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.