I hope this finds you having as much fun training and racing as I am having this summer! I have a few Pro Tips that I will share with you today. A few new ones on Bike Fit Posture and Single Leg Strength and I would also like to do a quick review on Group Riding Etiquette.
With out further a-do lets get started!
Bike Fit Posture: Posture can be a make or break element when it comes to riding comfortably and just as important; riding efficiently. When the body is in a completely 'neutral' position, relaxed yet engaged we as riders get the most out of our bodies athleticism & fitness. Comfort always yields the best performance. I like to use a check list that moves from top to bottom. This is a great way to remind ourselves of what to do during those long rides when we tend to tense up. Think about how many times you feel your shoulders stressed or even notice that your elbows are locked out and your shoulders are shrugged up towards your ears. This is a natural tendency that occurs under fatigue or heavy exertion. The check list is as follows and can be easily adjusted for your specific needs. I use this almost like a mantra when racing, keeping me laser focused and in great posture for the entire race or event
1. Forehead relaxed
2. Eyes at a soft gaze
3. Jaw un-clenched
4. Shoulders down, back and set in neutral
5. Core engaged
6. Soft elbows...this is a BIG ONE!
7. Hands slightly relaxed (NO death grip)
8. Hips stable
9. Glutes, Hammies and Quads all firing
10. Knees tracking parallel to the frame
11. Feet moving in horizontal ovals
Give this a try on your next ride. Let me know how you like it and also if you have any 'custom' additions to your list that I can use!
It goes with out saying, single leg strength is extremely important to our athletic performance and also injury prevention when it comes to Cycling and/or Running. One of my favorite exercises to do during botH "In" and "Off" Season training is the TRX Reverse Lunge. It targets each leg independently and with the TRX involved, it forces us to work the stabilizer muscles and build up our proprioception. This is highly important to running and fighting off those pesky over-use injuries.
TRX Reverse Lunge video here
Ill end this with a quick review on Group riding and some basic etiquette. I bring this up as a helpful reminder on how to stay safe and ultimately get the most benefit out of the group ride.
1. Choose a group that suites your specific need for that day. Increased performance, moderate effort workout, or very social pace.
2.Pace yourself accordingly to that groups pace. ex. Do not hammer away and stress a group that is somewhat slower then you. You should have chosen a faster group.
3. No more than 2 abreast. This is for safety and also any wider makes it very hard for a car to pass. If we expect the cars to be courteous we need to do the same.
4. Never ever cross the double yellow. I see this happen all the time. You never know when an oncoming car is approaching from just over that hill. 2000 pounds of steel at 45 mph will always win that battle.
5. Leave the ego at home. Unless you are in a "drop" ride which is basically a race. Your ego should be in check, this is after all a GROUP ride.
6. Learn to work as a group. When you organize an actual pace-line, the over all speed of the group will increase. This is the general theme of a group ride intended for performance gains. Riding fast makes you a faster rider! so operate as a team.
7. Pace off of MPH. Everyone's heart rate and power is different. Most groups are designated by mph. ex. if you are in a B group ride that is intended for 16-18, I suggest pulling at 18/19 mph. This will get the avg pace right in the heart of the average you want it to be by rides end.
There are many rules that can apply to the 'art' of group riding. The short and skinny is this. Clarify the groups intentions at the beginning, while still in the parking lot. Have a designated leader who monitors and helps regulate the "theme" of the ride.
8. Nothing adds to some Velo-Camaraderie then finishing the ride off with some coffees or beers.
I am currently accepting applications for a few Coaching Slots that have recently opened on my roster. If you are interested in coaching or would like more details. Shoot me an email and I will get back to you ASAP! email@example.com
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