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Suck it In
Every minute of every day we breathe – now that's an obvious point! But how often do you consciously notice how you are breathing on your bike and how you can change it to make it more effective? Cycling is unlike running or swimming where you get direct feedback if you aren't breathing properly (eg. drowning or the stitch). In cycling we can be unaware and still get away with ineffective >>
Get off the Roundabout
Cycling is one of those sports where it is very easy to go from event to event and do the same thing, the same time, and the same mistake. If you do what you have always done, you will get what you've always got – the same result. This is why it is important to look at each event as a unique learning opportunity to find out how you can make the next one better. When we want to take someone >>
How do you get the result you are looking for?
We are often tricked into thinking our result depends on one factor such as training, nonetheless there are a number of factors that determine your result. One of the tricks to continuous improvement analyzing every race or event in many different dimensions and seeing where you can improve. Then you can set out a plan to attack these points and next time you will go better. 1. Fitness  >>
Conscious Training
Endurance training can be long, repetitive, and at times it can even be a little boring. It is easy to get into a rhythm burning calories, floating along, looking at the countryside, enjoying the sun but not actually improving. Our bodies are wired like this: we do something once and a pathway is carved, so that next time we do that same thing our body returns instantly to the pre-paved >>
Ride to your potential
Potential: (n.) a latent excellence or ability that may or may not be developed; (adj.) capable of being or becoming What is your potential? Essentially it is your latent capability of excellence that is yet to be developed. Everyone has room for improvement and everyone is capable of achieving their goals. Your potential could be finishing Taupo, it could be doing a better time than last >>
Do you want to Improve?
We are creatures of habit, and it is very easy to slip into joining our mates every other day, doing the same loop on the days in between, and low and behold six months have gone by. To improve, our bodies need to do something different in training EVERY week. Something has to change, and that something can be directed from a coach, based on what you need to change to improve your performance.  >>
Tapering for Taupo
Tapering involves decreasing specific variables of training (eg. volume) to reduce fatigue, and freshen up to ensure peak fitness for Taupo. There are a variety of ways to go about tapering and it is a careful seesaw between reducing fatigue without compromising fitness to improve performance. It can be a very anxious time, decreasing training volume, and a number of riders train too much in >>
Urban Cruising
What's your Urban Cruiser? Urban cruisers tend to come in the shape of rude, sexy ugly bikes that have fond memories of days already gone by with not much practical use other than to ride to get the milk. Those that were comfortable ten plus years ago, or from a distinctive era but now you wouldn't be caught dead riding on it in a training bunch. Unless of course it was a retro ride of less >>
*cough splutter splutter* it's that time again...
It's that time again with just about every cyclist I know having some problems with the change of seasons and riding. So let's have a look at cycling immunity and see if we can improve it for the rest of the winter. Regular cycling of light to moderate levels can increase your immune systems fight against infections, while prolonged high intensity training, and racing can reduce it. Elite >>
Are you Listening?
The greatest skill you can acquire to improve your cycling, running or any physical exercise is learning to listen to your body. It is easy to say, but really what is it? How do you do it? What do you look out for? Listening to your body is understanding how much training it needs to improve. What type of training, learning how to ignore the program and knowing when to push that little >>
"It's Getting Hot in Here..."
Thankfully we are finally having a good summer this year! As enjoyable as it is, continuous heat and humidity don't come without problems. This month we are going to look at why we should be aware of the changes that occur in our bodies when we exercise in the heat and how they affect our performance. Our bodies are elaborate finely tuned air conditioning units attempting to maintain >>
Defying Gravity
Hills are by far the hardest terrain out cycling. They instill fear, remarkably reduce speed (and confidence) and hurt like crazy! Let's have a look at some easy ways to help improve your hill climbing so next time you are up against gravity you can defy it. There are two ways to climb a hill: one in the seat, one out of the seat. But which is better and when? This really depends on the >>
How to use your heart rate monitor and interpret your pretty graphs
Just about every rider you see in the bunch nowadays has a swanky heart rate monitor with altitude, cadence, heart rate and speed that can be downloaded and produces a lovely graph with lines and curves to entertain you for hours. However do you understand this? And can you apply or interpret it enough for training? Let's have a look at heart rate so those lovely colorful spectacles actually >>
Pedaling in Circles
Cadence is the name given to the number of times you turn the pedals per minute (rev.min-1 or rpm). It is an interesting component of cycling because it can make a given speed very easy or very hard simply by using different gears. A good cyclist can maintain over 95 rpm for an entire ride. Some people like to "grind" at less than this however as we will describe it is less efficient, more >>
Covering all the Bases
Training for any sport involves a seesaw balance of stress and adaptation. Training is one of the first and foremost things we always look at if we are not improving or not going as well as we would like. We always look at this first when it is in fact the last thing we need to look at and instead cover the bases and look outside of our time on the bike. When setting out your program you >>
Cornering Quickly
If there is one thing that can cause crashes, slow you down, and disrupt your rhythm, cornering easily comes out on top. It's an intricate balance between braking, using your body weight, and staying upright! If there are numerous corners to contest in a triathlon or cycling event they can cost you a lot of time so let's have a look at four easy steps to help you corner quickly. Step 1: >>
The Power of Taupo
Every year more than 10,000 people cycled 160km around Lake Taupo. There is a carnival atmosphere with a wide range of participants, family relay teams, friends, young riders and veterans. For most riders, this is their "A priority" event of the year. How is your Taupo training going? Is the most frequent question in bunch rides from September onwards. The casual replies understate the >>
Cycling is Not a Contact Sport - Riding Safely in a Bunch
Riding with others is one of the scariest things to get used to when starting cycling. I distinctly remember when I first started, battling it out with the hairy-legged men around the recreational fun rides of the Waikato. Riding in small bunches, let alone big ones was frightening – especially when I could scrap beneath the height of the men's handlebars and they wouldn't even see me! Despite >>
Train Hard - Recover Hard
Improving cycling performance is an intimate balance between volume, intensity and recovery. Too many cyclists hit the road for hours on end week in week out and don't include recovery. Why do we need to recover? What do we need to consider? Training for any sport involves stressing your body to induce a training effect. Or essentially draining its resources so it has to repair itself >>
Fast Furious Fun of Criteriums
Summer time dawns not only extended sun light hours for us to work on our mid-thigh tan lines but also a chance to get out adrenalin glands thumping through Criterium racing. Many cities around NZ have summer Criterium races where bike skills can outweigh fitness and craftiness is key. So let's have a brief look at some essential skills to make sure you have fun and stay upright this summer.  >>
Training Toys
There is a vast array of training toys on the market today and it is quite easy to get engrossed in the array of colorful graphs and not actually use them to improve your performance. With this in mind let's have a look at a few examples of things you can do with a heart rate monitor and power meter to improve your time spent on your bike. Heart rate monitors are one of the most widely used >>
Gone are the days when to become good at cycling you just rode your bike. Now we have cycle computers, heart rate monitors, GPS and power monitors to tell us to ride harder, slower or to give up and go home! Apart from the immense amount of entertainment these toys provide they do actually have a purpose and that is to give you an indication of how hard you are working. Twenty years ago >>
Simple Systematic Cycling Science
Training is the single most important factor determining your cycling performance, and also one of the most common things people do incorrectly. This article outlines the principles of training or primary factors that must be in every rider’s training program to ensure constant progress. Looking for an elusive shortcut to improve their cycling performance, numerous people have >>
Weight Training For Cycling Part II
Last month Amy Taylor delivered the facts on the latest research and opinions regarding weight training. And while the jury's still out on whether it's necessary or not, it seems that the anecdotal evidence from many other riders and coaches is strongly in the gyms favour. So if you're thinking about giving it a go this article is aimed at helping you do it right. Although road cycling is >>
Weight Training for Road Cycling?
Weight training for road cycling. Should you, or shouldn't you? This month we are going to look at the costs and benefits of weight training for road cycling so you can make your own mind up on whether to enter the gym this winter. It's always a hot topic at this time of year with few light hours to train it's tempting to take advantage of indoor training. Next month, Darren Ellis will >>
Have you got that change of season’s cold yet?
The change of season’s cold is here and I’m sure for many of you the office air conditioning has helped spread Joe Bloggs’ cold onto you – even though he’s on level two. Regular cycling of light to moderate intensities can increase your immune systems fight against infections, while prolonged high intensity training, and racing can reduce it. Elite cyclists tend >>
talent /’taelent/ n. special aptitude or gift (for); high mental or artistic ability. How many times have you heard people use this word in cycling or read it in a cycling magazine? A word, as defined describing someone who has a gift, whether its physical, psychological or both. Unfortunately I have as much talent for road cycling as a legless frog trying to pedal a road bike, and like >>
Cycling Nutrition - How Important is it?
I once helped to crew a yacht down the Red Sea while I was travelling in the Middle East. The wife of the owner told me of her own travels, in particular an epic trip to almost every country in Europe…by bicycle. The bike allowed time to really absorb the scenery, and it was a relatively cheap way to get around. But she confessed to me that mode of transport particularly appealed to her as she >>
Tactical cunning, legs thrashing at unfathomable cadences, mind tormented by pain: this is track cycling. Despite the obvious entertainment provided by track cycling, velodrome junkies are relatively few and far between, particularly in New Zealand. This month we take a look at what it takes to be a sprinting power generator and give you a test to see if you have what it takes to join the >>
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