Late Season Rally – Tips to Maintain Your Fitness and Motivation

August 10, 2017

BikeParts.com Team Rider Racing in Colorado

With school starting and only about a month and half left of the Colorado cycling racing and touring season, many are filling up their calendars with the last big events of the season hoping to capitalize on the fitness gains made during the season.

Some of the popular Colorado races and tours on tap for August include:

Yet, as we transition from summer to fall, many cyclist find their enthusiasm for riding dwindling.  Have you noticed that at the beginning of the race season, enthusiasm and energy is high!  About the mid-season point, accumulated season fatigue catches up with most racers and cyclist. Recovery rate from workouts and from races slows down and finally, by the end of the season, some find their motivation just plain lacking.  With that in mind, what are the ways to maintain motivation while also capture added gains towards next year’s goals? 

The key to late season racing and bike events is really to have fun! Try new events, ride routes, and races. Now is the time to enjoy the gains of your hard work.  With fitness levels high, late season bike events offer a chance to experiment with race strategies and new cycling accessories. Venture out of your comfort zone and try racing a new road bike or mountain bike for one of the events mentioned above.

If experimentation isn’t your thing, then at least replace worn out bike parts or catch deals on bike close outsbike parts and components. Stock up on cycling apparel for the fall and winter months to keep motivation high through the transitioning season.

Or, maybe training is too grueling for you this time of year. Switch from training to riding to work.  Bike commuting helps get in the miles while offering up time for other fun activities. Other fun activities include strength training and yoga.  Both of these activities help to extend the fitness gains you’ve made through the current year.

Another option for fun is adding in some skill training. During peak training periods, bike skills and technique is often overlooked.  Why not spend some time improving your bike skills? The video: Five key skills to improve your bike handling offers great visuals and the post, Body Position on the MTB, dials in where you need to be on the bike to ride your best.  Experimenting late season avoids the risk of injury during peak races but also can offer a new challenge – like learning how to do a track stand.

Enjoy the fitness gains you have made through the season. Have fun!  Having a fun, relaxed attitude combined with a celebratory bike event is a great way to finish your season.

Advertisements

3 of the Best Race Strategies for The Leadville 100 MTB Race

July 31, 2014

The legendary Leadville 100 mountain bike race starts and finishes in the heart of Leadville at 10,200’. With more than 90 percent dirt or double track dirt roads, steep climbs, serious descents and a seven-mile climb to the 50-mile turnaround at 12,600’, there is approximately 14,000’ elevation gain. That makes for a long and grueling day on the bike!  Yet, there are tricks and strategies  to make the Leadville 100 one of your best 100 mile mountain bike races.

The post, Top 10 Tips For Your Best 100 Mile Mountain Bike Race, suggest one very important strategy.  That is, do your homework. By this, we mean, read the entire race website to learn the logistics. Get the start location, day and time right. Learn the course profile.  You may consider taping key mile targets or heart rate goals to your top tube to keep your mind focused as the miles go by.  Also, determine how many aid stations and what services such as drop bags are at your disposal. Line up the details of where and when you will leave your drop bag and be reunited with it.  Basically, the support your provide for yourself in advance of the race by doing your homework enables you during the race to have your focus 100% in the game and not distracted with worrying about other elements.

Fuel right.  By fueling right, we mean, balance your nutritional needs leading up to the race as well as the day of the race.  But bike nutrition requires focused effort.  Guidelines for fueling a 100 mile mountain bike race are: every hour take in 60-90 grams carbohydrates, 18-24 oz. fluid, 400-700 mg sodium and 100-300 mg potassium. Frequently consume, in small amounts, any combination of water, sports drinks, gels, fruit, energy bars and electrolyte capsules to achieve these targets.  If you don’t think you can stay on track with your program, consider setting an audible alarm on your watch for nutrition and drinking reminders.

Game On! Leading up to and during your race, it’s critical to maintain a positive and upbeat mindset that is in alignment with your goals.  Your thoughts, emotions, and race behaviors are components of your mental state, so take inventory of your mental state and align them with your goals.  If you find yourself slipping into the pain cave with negative self talk, have a mantra ready to repeat and get yourself back in the game. In times of suffering, it’s easy to compare your racing and fitness to others.  Here is where having your race plan and goals specific to this event comes in handy. Know your plan and race your plan.

When it’s all said and done, congratulate yourself on your race experience. Most athletes love the Leadville 100 MTB race and do it every year.  So what’s next?  Use this experience to launch towards a better result in upcoming events.  Evaluate your results based on your goals.  What worked?  What didn’t?  What can you do next race to get a better result?  Be objective and explore how your mental and physical training helped prepare you for this event.  Remember to evaluate your bike and cycling accessory selections.  Did you race the right bike?  Did you suffer from mechanicals?  Now is the time to dial in, replace, and buy the bike parts that you need going into your next event or next Leadville 100 mountain bike race.  The strategies and training you used this time around only build for a better result next time.


4 Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race Strategies

August 8, 2013

What is all the Leadville hype about?  For starters, the start and finish of the race are in the heart of Leadville, Colorado at 10,200’. More than 90 percent of the race is on dirt or double track roads featuring steep climbs and serious descents. There is a seven-mile climb to the 50-mile turnaround at 12,600′ and an approximate 14,000’ elevation gain. Whew!  That’s exhausting just thinking about it!

Not only is the race tough, but it’s gained national attention due to Colorado cyclist, Dave Wiens winning the event six years in a row. Levi Leipheimer won in 2010 and Specialized racer, Rebecca Rusch, has finished first in the last four races — 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.  For non professional athletes, what are successful race strategies to help conquer this demon of a race?

1.  Plan Right!  Sure, getting your bike parts  in order, lubing your chain, checking your tires are all good to do to prepare before the race.  But, what happens out on the course?  Crazy stuff can happen out there!  Be sure to carry an extra tube or C02  with you, have extras in your drop bag along with some tires , bike nutrition, and extra clothing.  Lube is good to carry on hand too if the course is dry.  Not sure if a certain bike part will hold up?  Have an extra one handy with some bike tools  in your drop bag to keep you in the race.

2.  Fuel Right! Proper nutrition leading into a race is critical.  Yet, staying properly hydrated and taking in appropriate levels of protein and carbs during your race will not only help keep your energy up, but it will help keep your mind fresh and alert for those technical sections.  Consider stocking up with bars, gels, and an assortment of nutrition requirements to have in your jersey and in your drop bags.  Also, consider how you are getting your fluids: bottles or hydration pack?  It’s important to plan your water intake between aid stations so if you think it will be a while between them, opt for a hydration pack.

3.  Pace Yourself! While the nerves are high and the muscles and energy are fresh, it’s easy at the start of the race to get after it and go out too hard and too fast.  Keep in mind, the more you spike your heart rate at the beginning of the race, the less you have available to pull from at the end of the race.  The trick to finishing this race is to ride a steady ride keeping your heart rate in check and knowing when to back off.  Use your cycling computer to keep yourself in check.

4.  Get Your Mental Game On!  Check in with your mental attitude, preparation, and willingness to “get after it.”  The level of digging deep and mental suffering for this race exceeds that of training rides or even shorter (60 miles or so) races.  Be prepared with mantras or mini goals to keep yourself going with the going gets tough.

There you have it!  Success strategies to get you to the finish of the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike race.  Good luck to all racers at the Leadville 100 this weekend!


Peak Cycles Crushing Colorado Mountain Bike Races

June 27, 2013

These are beautiful days on our Colorado mountain bike trails.  What makes them even better?  Cool bikes, new bike parts, and team riders crushing it on the Front Rage trails and mountain bike races.   Check out some of team riders styling with our latest mtb parts.

Team Rider Josh Murdock on the podium after crushing it on his Specialized Stumpjumper.

944708_10151539282183541_378790422_n

Team rider Sam Cory has been crushing it lately on his Specialized Demo 8!

970871_10151533447978541_1646253258_n

Team rider Taylor Schmidt at Apex Park in Golden, Colorado

954850_462221050538424_1088116634_n

Team riders at the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series Ridgeline Rampage

428585_459813607429361_918873457_n

What’s next on tap for the Peak Cycles race team?  Lots! Visit us at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to find out or look for our bike parts.com team tent at upcoming races!

  • Winter Park Epic Singletrack Series
  • Keystone enduro
  • Rocky Mountain Endurance Series
  • Snake River Mountain Bike Race & Festival
  • Guanella Pass Hill Climb
  • Leadville Silver Rush 50 MTB Race
  • Breckenridge 100

Go Big or Go Home: The EPIC Bike for an Epic Adventure

March 14, 2013

2013 Specialized EpicPowering your fitness goals matter. Motivation doesn’t happen by accident.  Sure, warmer temps and the calling of seasonal races beckon us, but it is going for BIG that really gets the blood flowing.  How BIG are you thinking this cycling season?  “If your dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough.” There is magic in thinking big: it moves us past limitations, sparks expansion, and delivers on new results. As cyclist, most are gunning for improvement so thinking BIG can serve us well.

How do you think big?  At BikeParts.com we think of BIG in terms of bikes, bike parts, and epic rides.  One of our favorite bikes, the Specialized EPIC, sets the standard for thinking BIG.  It’s a powerhouse and because it’s a bona fide winner, you ride like a champ whether you are one or not.

Here is why you want it:  A three-time XC World Championship winner, the EPIC was the first full-suspension XC bike to capture the coveted Rainbow Jersey. Available in both carbon fiber and alloy models, the Epic features Specialize’s proven 29er geometry, 100mm of FSR suspension, and is equipped with the unique Brain suspension which reads the terrain to provide the perfect ride—whether sprinting uphill or descending at speed on rocky trails.  It offers unrivaled control, speed, and efficiency.  We find one of its best features to be an all carbon wheelset.  And….it’s hot!

Here is where you want to ride it:  Epic rides are the ones that push the limits.  They take a monumental effort to complete.

So think about it.  Do your goals thrill you? Or scare you? Or both?  What will it take for you to step up your game?  Thinking big challenges your confidence and abilities to make your goals come true. Stop by Peak Cycles bike shop or visit us online at BikeParts.com to get the mtb parts you need to set up your 2013 cycling season to be BIG.


4 Pre Season Game Changers for Your Best Season Ever

January 17, 2013

Faster! Better! Stronger!

Spring is just around the corner and athletes everywhere are starting to think about key races to do well at and secondary races to use for training and motivation. Lower priority races are commonly used earlier in the season, but these races can also be used throughout the year for training and more.   Which races are you considering for 2013? Some of our favorite Colorado races include:

All races provide experience, training benefits, and as a stage to assess your  form. So, targeting a handful of races throughout the year to use as a learning experience, in addition to training, is a good idea.  But to properly prepare for the cycling season, athletes need to roll out their pre season training plan to reach their full capacity. Do you want to get faster in 2013? Here’s how!

  1. Build Your Base – Base training is fundamental to any cyclist’s training plan. Base training improves cardiovascular systems and helps you become a more efficient rider.  When we say base miles, we’re talking steady mileage of low-intensity rides with low-heart-rate.  We’re also talking about having the right base clothing  to keep you out for longer rides in cooler temps.
  2. Build Your Core – Recent studies indicate that cycling mechanics are affected by core stability. Core exercises can be done at home on a yoga mat or at a gym.  Certain types of yoga offer good core training as well.  Regardless of where or how you do it, building core workouts into your pre season training will provide lasting benefits well into the season.
  3. Build Balance – A balanced pre season program should contain resistance training (core) as well as time for other cross training aerobic sports such as swimming or x-country skiing.  Along with it’s cardiovascular benefits, cross training helps maintain balance skills, muscle strength, hand to eye coordination, and improved range of motion.
  4. Build Your Bike – Last but not least, get your bike in order.  If you are thinking about purchasing a new bike, now is the time.  2013 models are rolling out for both road bikes and mountain bikes.  If a new bike isn’t in your future, figure out which bike components need replacing and get your order in before everybody else.

Pre season planning and training paves the way for a long, healthy, and enjoyable cycling season.


New Goals, New Bikes, New Rides

January 3, 2013

Colorado Cycling

The holidays have passed, the New Year has come and gone, and now, the 2013 Ride and Race Season planning is underway.  Whenever you want to achieve something, you have to have a definite goal.  As such, it’s important to plan your season right.   Whether you are a casual rider or a competitive cyclist, training, racing, recovering and having the appropriate gear, tools, bike setup to reach your goals is critical.

For starters, what are you’re 2013 cycling goals?  As mentioned in our recent blog post,  it’s important to make your goals SMART.  As in, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.   With that being said, Colorado offers world class riding and racing.  A few of our top race and ride recommendations include:

How do you plan to train?  Riding in cooler temps and shorter days tugs at motivation.  However, having a few rides and races on your radar can help you maintain determination.  Remember, buddying up, eating well, or even joining us for our local shop ride in Golden, Colorado can help build training momentum.

Is your bike ready?  Our post, Winterizing Your Bike: What’s In Your Tool Kit? offers some great tips for bike maintenance during winter riding.  But is your bike set for the 2013 season?  Do you need a new bike or maybe even need to replace old bike parts?  Sometimes getting a bike fit can help better position you for a season of successful riding.

When you’re working toward a goal that’s important to you, the last thing you want is to face an obstacle or unexpected challenge.  Set up your 2013 right by planning ahead, getting your road bike or mountain bike in order, and getting the gear and resources you need.  With the right mental attitude and the best bike parts, your successful training and race prep is well underway.