How to Train Like an Olympic Cyclist 

August 11, 2016
Training Consistency is Key for Podium Performances

Training Consistency is Key for Podium Performances

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games kicked off this past weekend and already the mens’ and women’s road races and time trial medal winners have captured the heart’s of cycling fans.  Watching the Olympic performances can inspire you to get slimmer, faster, and stronger.  More so, you can find inspiration in the Olympics to take your health and fitness goals to new heights.  Here’s what Olympic cyclists are doing that you can too. 

Olympic cyclists take nutrition seriously – on and off the bike.  Many cyclist have different preferences as to how they prefer to get their fuel while riding – whether that is in nutrition bars, gels, and liquids. Regardless, Olympic cyclist dial in their race day nutrition needs and execute their strategy accordingly. 

Olympic cyclists train with power and heart rate.  Some mistakingly think that technology takes away the “riding experience” or that it is too costly for their level of riding.  However, times have changed and power meters are much more affordable.  They offer objective bio feedback to help you perform your best.  Our most popular are Stages Power Meters beginning at $1000.  Stages Power meter is the lightest, smallest, most technologically advanced unit available today.  Another option is the Pioneer Power Meter offered at $2000 and is a bit more sophisticated.  A third favorite is a company that’s been around for a while now – PowerTap Power Meter.

Olympic cyclist master race day jitters.  They set clearly defined goals; establish race day success rituals; have a bike that fits; have the right bike parts, and wear the appropriate cycling accessories for the event.  These may seem obvious but the small things add up to bigger gains. 

Olympic cyclist recover smart.  Included in the recovery process is quality sleep.  According to the post, This Is Your Body On Sleep, reduced sleep negatively impacts your HGH production, and your body’s ability to restore its muscle glycogen supply.  May pro cyclists add rolling or massage, stretching, compression, and low intensity activity to aid in recovery and getting a good night’s rest. As a bonus, many cyclist sleep in compression garments because they claim that it lowers perceived muscle soreness the day after a big day on the bike.

With envy, many fans watch the Olympic cyclists and wonder how they can mimic the fitness and performance of such talented athletes.  It seems that pro cyclists are often thought to be blessed with nature’s special gifts – a huge heart, enormous lungs and infinite leg power.  That may very well be the case; yet, the truth is that most of us have the physiology to be a decent racer – if we trained as much as they do and if we adopted their training habits.  Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado to unleash your inner Olympian! We have all the bike parts and cycling accessories to help you take your fitness to new heights! 

Weather Woes? 3 Ways to Bike Through Through the Arctic Outbreak

November 13, 2014

BikeParts.comAs a cyclist, you can either hate the winter, or make the best of it. As temperatures  plummet to record lows across the country, some bundle up and dress to embrace the winter chill while others opt for the dreaded trainer. Sure riding the trainer can be a necessary compromise, but it doesn’t have to be all bad. Indoor training is a lot more convenient, and potentially more effective, than riding outdoors.  It’s also an optimum means to saying lean and fit to ensure you can have more fun on outdoor rides when the weather improves.  The trick is knowing how to master indoor training.

Learn to love the trainer.  The post, Don’t Be a Hater! Overcoming Trainer Woes, offers key suggestions to improving your trainer experience with equipment being a key factor.  Having the right equipment can make your indoor workouts less boring and more effective. When we’re talking about equipment, sure, we mean having the right bike parts and having your road bike on the trainer, but we’re also talking about having a fan, a trainer tire, a riser block, a sweat towel, a trainer mat, indoor riding clothes, a cadence sensor, a power meter, and a heart rate monitor.  You might not think all of these cycling accessories  add up to a great trainer workout, but according to the post, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Trainer, it can make all the difference in the world.

You might be wondering how so?  Shared in the post, 3 Indoor Cycling Workouts Under 1 Hour, are effective workouts to pair technology with your over/ under intervals, power intervals, and speed intervals.  Without the distractions of outdoor scenery, using these tools aids in motivation by setting time goals or power goals to engage your brain.  Another motivation technique includes using the technology tools as valuable feedback for precise and strategic cycling in specific zones which adds to up to greater gains later in your cycling season.

If all else fails, forego inside riding all together and get a fat bike!   Fat bikes were originally invented for winter trail riding and racing in sub-arctic Alaska and simultaneously, for touring the deserts of New Mexico. But they have gained severe popularity! Their utility has expanded to include all forms of cycling; they thrive in snow, sand, desert, and mud, as well as, riding what is considered normal mountain biking.  In fact, fat bikes are the fastest growing segment in the bike industry.  Fat Bikes Are Big in Colorado – Check here to find out why!

Sure enough, Winter riding is not without hardship. Evenings comes early, forcing riders to pedal home in the dark. Snowdrifts squeeze streets, eliminating a comfortable side lane for bikes. Frozen fingers and feet are common issues for the unprepared.  With that in mind, maybe indoor training isn’t so bad after all?

Follow Your Heart: Using Commitment to Reach New Heights on the Bike

February 13, 2014 InspirationCommitment.  A simple word but can be viewed two fold.  Commitment as being dedicated to a cause or an activity.  Or, commitment as an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.

When you think of being committed to your cycling, which definition rings true for you? Like many, both seem true.  While we all like to consider our training plans and racing regimens to be a true testament to our cycling passion, we also face the time restrictions and sacrifices our cycling commitments force us to make.  Cycling can be a loved and hated passion.

Yet, in between loving and hating our two wheeled friends, there are varying degrees of commitment.  While you tell yourself you are pushing the limits in training, or taking on big audacious goals in the new season, you might find there are still new ways to commit.  You may secretly know where your love of the bike is wavering and in true Valentine’s day form – there is an opportunity to stop hiding out and playing it safe.  You can commit on a deeper level to your fitness and well being.

There are a host of ways to embrace commitment.  It all starts with a desire for more – to improve from a present state to a future state.  For many competitive cyclist looking back to the 2013 cycling season, it begins with personal reflection.  Evaluating the past season with objectivity gives insights as to what worked and didn’t work in the previous year. Committing to strengthening and improving on areas of weakness rather than just concentrating on what you do well elevates your skills and experience as a cyclist.

Looking forward to the 2014 season, commitment takes form by asking yourself  what it is you would love to accomplish?  Don’t just play it safe and do the same events year after year.  Step it up.  Commit to something bigger.  Ask more of yourself.  Choose different events – or do the same events – but faster!  Make your goals SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound),  but also inspiring.

What other ways can you commit to cycling?  Could it be using your heart rate, or power meter offers options in calculating mileage and other fitness related variables.  Try a new tool and see if it makes adding up the miles a little easier.  Consider getting new bike parts to fuel your newfound commitment to your cycling goals.

Committing yourself to your fondest goals and desires can be comforting while also frightening.  Yet, digging deeper into your dreams and desires and fully committing to their success can be personally rewarding and extremely fulfilling.  Reach new heights on the bike this season – commit to it!

Heart Rate Training – What You Need to Know

December 19, 2013

Heart rate monitors are a funny thing – they can be completely useless or extremely valuable depending on how you use them. Heart rate training has been viewed in many ways over the years, from very precise to not so precise. Now, a growing number of coaches and exercise physiologists support the use of heart rates as an important part of biological feedback, as heart rates are a direct reflection of what is happening internally.

But first, what myths do you need to bust around heart rate monitoring for cycling training?  For starters, you can only compare heart rate values with your own previous benchmarks. Meaning, comparing your heart rate  with your your friend or your teammate is irrelevant. The reason for this is that we all have a different anatomy of our cardiovascular system.  Also, not being aware of the factors that affect heart rate can be a pitfall in effective application in heart rate monitor use for training.

So how do you get started?  The post, The Variables and Trends of Heart Rate Training,  walks you through the steps of learning your “threshold” heart rate range, setting up heart rate training zones, and identifying the daily variables that affect heart rate.

But before you begin to analyze data, you actually have to have a heart rate monitor to get started!  Following our our staff picks at Peak Cycles Bike Shop:

If you do not have a trainer or coach to keep you disciplined during your workout, a heart rate monitor can be a great substitute. It can tell you when your exercise is falling below your ideal intensity so you can instantly improve your performance.  It can be a great bio feedback tool and also help you to monitor your fitness, prevent overtraining, and take your performance to the next level.