planning and preparation

Mountain Bike Recovery

In a previous article, Adam talks about the importance of rest, recovery, and the difference between the two.

How Much Warm Up?

One thing many working-class racers are looking for is to simplify their training. They want straightforward, direct answers to their training questions and concrete solutions to their challenges. In line with that, one of the most common requests I get as a coach is for a set, simple warm-up routine that will work every time. The problem of course is that there are no easy answers and concrete solutions, and there is no magic warm up routine that will work for everyone.

Why Do You Race?

A few years ago a client came to me with a difficult but common question. She was having some challenges in her life outside of cycling, and it was making it difficult for her to maintain her focus and motivation for another season of racing. At the same time, her racing goals were important to her and she did not want to give them up. The advice she sought had nothing to do with how to train or what intervals to do because her problems were existential, not physiological. So, she asked me, why do I race? What is it that keeps me in the sport year after year?

The Cycles of Cycling

In previous articles, I set out blueprints for a training plans that would take us from winter base training to summer peaking. In order to execute those plans successfully, we have to be specific about each aspect. Training of any kind is essentially a process of stressing a system, letting it recover and adapt to the stress, and then stressing it again at a higher level. This cycle of training exists at every level; from intervals and recovery in a single workout to a hard season of racing followed by a rest in the fall or winter.

You Gotta Have A Plan

In the 30 years or so I've spent racing bikes, the month of January has always stood out as the most dynamic, and perhaps most important of the season. In normal winters I would have two weeks off at the holidays to recover from cyclo-cross season and head somewhere warm for road racing in February or March. Some years I went to Europe after 'cross nationals and raced another six weeks without a break.

Evaluating Your Year

The Roman god Janus was often depicted with two faces because he could look forward and backward at the same time. His role in Roman society was as a household deity who presided over gates, openings, and doorways, able to see the future and the past, and has lived on in our culture as a symbol of new beginnings. The month of January is thought to be named in his honor.

Warming Up For Cyclocross

I’ve written about warming up before (, and certainly the information in my previous article applies to cyclocross. However, there are additional considerations when warming up for cyclocross that are unique to ‘cross, or at the very least, more important than they are for other disciplines. Course inspection is the primary additional concern that affects all other factors.

Vacation Time

It never fails. After a winter of logging long miles and a spring of racing into top shape, summer rolls around and the bottom drops out of your form. With the first half of the season done and many target races come and gone, July is notorious for being many road and MTB riders' worst month of the year. A summer stage race or criterium series is a great incentive in the early season, but can turn into concrete shoes once it's over. It can feel like you haven't trained in ages, the heat's making you lethargic, and there's just no motivation to get out the door and ride anymore.

Swapping The Cycles

These days, there's an abundance of training information available that didn't exist even 10 years ago. Books written by Eddie B. and Greg LeMond were bibles in the 80s, and while they're still relevant today in some ways, they've been supplemented by more modern, scientific training literature. But despite all the good information that's out there, or maybe as a result of it, many racers still have the same question: what should I do for training today?