Tired of energy bars and gels? Try this recipe!

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Tired of energy bars and gels? Try this recipe!

by ALP Cycles coach Patricia Schwager

You’ve probably heard all the rage about making your own food for on the bike. A lot of companies in the market are coming up with more organic and natural recipes for their bars and gels, but they can be expensive. Plus it’s not as much fun to buy them when you can make them inexpensively right in your own kitchen.  Over the past month, I’ve been experimenting with a few recipes for healthy and sustainable foods during training rides. My favorite food on the bike currently? Energy date balls! You might have already heard about these delights- this is my personal recipe. All ingredients are easy to find (Trader Joe’s!!) and it’s super easy to make. This recipe is best made using a food processor. Enjoy!

  • Prep time: 10-15 mins
  • Cook time: none!
  • Freezer time: several hours until firm
  • Serving size: as many balls as your heart desires :)
  • Approx calorie count: depends on what you put in your tasty balls- but on average 200-400 cal
  • Protein: depends on what you’re putting in- you can certainly add more with protein powder

Ingredients (this recipe makes 12-15 balls)

  • Dates (454g, 1 lb) buy the pitted ones to save time
  • Nuts (any kind- favorites incl: hazelnuts, cashew, walnuts or almonds) (1/3 cup) 
  • Sea Salt (2-3 dashes)
  • Coconut flakes (1/3 cup)
  • Cocoa/almond spread- TJ brand or Nutella (1 heaping tbsp)
  • Vanilla extract (1 capful)
  • ****Food Processor****

 

Instructions:

1.) Place nuts into food processor in small batches, grinding roughly 10 seconds each batch. 

2.) Toss dates into food processor in small batches, chopping until a paste consistency.  

3.) Put nuts and dates into a big bowl, and add the remaining ingredients, mixed together using a spatula or using clean hands ;-)

 

4.) Shape balls using your hands. The size is preference- I like mine about the size of a pingpong ball 

*Hot TIP: use water to keep your hands moist- it will make the a lot process easier and less sticky*

 

5.) Roll the balls in coconut flakes (this keeps the balls from sticking to your fingers)

 

6.) Place balls on a baking tray and place in freezer

*Once the balls are firm, store them in a Tupperware container or plastic bag. 

*Keep them in your freezer until you’re ready to take them on your ride. 

*Transport energy balls in a plastic bag or wrapped in foil

 

Options- be creative with your own recipe:

  • You can use a variety of nuts
  • Use cinnamon or cocoa powder instead of the vanilla extract
  • Add cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips
  • Use peanut, cashew or almond butter instead of the cocoa/almond spread

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ALP Cycles Coaches Corner: Racing and Training in the Heat

Written by ALP Cycles Coach, Jennifer Sharp

It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere and temperatures are hotting up. While each person responds differently to heat (some thrive, others wilt) there are a few things you can do to beat the heat and ensure you maximize your performance.  Below are several tips that you can start using immediately that might help.

When should I ride? Keep in mind the time of day it’s the hottest. In Colorado, that means from 11am - 6pm is HOT. We highly recommend getting up early (at daybreak, if possible) and getting in those big, hard miles early before the heat of the day. 

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ALP Cycles Racing athletes beat the heat with cold water and Breakthrough Nutrition's NBS.

What should I drink? While water is the obvious choice, athletes also benefit from a sports drink of some sort. As you exercise, you lose water and electrolytes through sweat. Hydrating before you head out on a ride is one way to combat this loss of valuable fluids. I’ve personally had great success by drinking a preload hydration mix (that has an increased amount of sodium) 60 minutes before an intense effort like a crit or short track race, or even a long, intense training ride followed by a bottle of cold water (we like Breakthrough Nutrition's NBS line of hydration, pre load, and recovery mixes). 

How do I stay cool? Two words: ice socks. Yes, it might seem a little weird when you by a box of knee high panty hose at your local pharmacy but filling it with several handfuls of ice and tying it up and putting it on your back between your shoulder blades will give you instant relief from the heat. Why panty hose? Because when the ice melts, you’ll have a small, discrete carrying case that you can reuse. In really hot conditions (85 degrees and hotter) Alison said she’s also emerged her jersey in a cooler full of ice water and then puts it on just before she raced. I also recommend carrying an extra water bottle full of ice and dumping it on your head throughout the effort to stay cool. Or get someone out on course to douse you with some water. 

 

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Benjamin Sharp (Jennifer's husband) douses her with cold water at the top of the Snake Alley climb. Photo by Erika Fulk.

How can I acclimate? If you really suffer in hot conditions, the best way to acclimate to them is to ride in them. Unfortunately there’s not an easy way around this. You can take it slow by starting your rides in the morning and working toward riding during the heat of the day. Start off exercising easy and slowly increase your intensity. Heat acclimation happens within 4-9 days of training and full acclimation occurs in about 14 days. Here’s a link to University of Connecticut’s Heat Acclimization recommendations: http://ksi.uconn.edu/prevention/heat-acclimatization/

When should I stop exercising? Cycling is earmarked with pain and suffering. We push our bodies to exhaustion and beyond normal warning signs. However, heat exhaustion and exertional heat stroke should not be taken lightly. If your body has a difficult time with heat and you feel like you may pass out - then stop. Using the tips above should help dealing with the heat. 

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A Lesson in Patience

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A Lesson in Patience

Special blog post by ALP athlete Michele Schaeffer

Last weekend I lined up for my first US Pro Road National Championship.  Did I have the race I wanted?  100% no, in all ways.  Even though I came up short of my goals and expectations, this experience was not a failure.

This time last year I was sidelined with a concussion.  BC Superweek was just around the corner and I struggled with the idea of having to watch my teammates participate in arguably the most fun (and local to us!) week of racing on our calendar.  I also found out that my coach at the time, who I immensely enjoyed working with, had to drop me as a client due to a new contract agreement with Cycling Canada.  Bikes aside, I was mid-way through writing my PhD thesis, but could not handle the screen time needed to get it done.  No bikes, no school, and days at home alone listening to podcasts became the new normal.  I was questioning my identity, my support system was changing, and I felt helpless.

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I reached out to Alison in July in an attempt to reject this “new normal” and stay optimistic about the future.  Paddy somehow agreed to take me on (as if an athlete alone is not enough – try adding in a concussion!), and over the past ~10 months she helped teach me a very important lesson: how to be patient.

October was really hard for me.  I was finally back on the bike without symptoms, but my fitness felt behind, even for off-season, and I wanted more / to play catch-up.  Thankfully, Paddy kept me on track with high quality, a reasonable load, and I slowly but surely felt like myself again.

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This season, I won a bike race for the first time.  And then I managed to win another!  I was able to find a guest ride for the stage race that has always been at the very top of my bucket list, the Redlands Bicycle Classic, and I am extremely proud of how I rode at that event.  That experience landed me a late invite to join a team at nationals.  Unfortunately, a seemingly perfect storm of events culminated with me getting sick on race day and I had to pull out on lap 4 of 9.  I could blame a variety of things for this result, but I am choosing to hold myself accountable for how the day played out.  Sometimes learning what not to do is just an important as learning what to do.  Either way, I still got to experience racing US nationals and line up with some of the top riders in the World Tour.  This is an experience (especially had you asked me last year) I never thought I would have.

Some specific personal takeaways (most of which unsurprisingly resonate with previous blog posts from our coaches):

-       Patience is key and training is a process.

-       Control the controllables, and keep focus on those things.

-       Falling short of a goal does not mean failure.

The best news: the US Pro Road Nationals course will be the same in 2019 so I get to give it another go.  Paddy and I both know how to better prepare me for a second attempt and hopefully avoid major surprises on race day.

Up next: BC Superweek *not from the sidelines* :)

Photo credit(s) to Drew Coleman (@lcn_pdx).

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A Mid Season Review

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A Mid Season Review

It's hard to believe, but it's almost July and that means we are more than half way through the spring/summer race season.

Every summer we watch riders and racers just going through the motions. Without giving much thought to their training and racing, they enter race after race, get the same result, and do the same training each week. Come July, they are burned out, don't want to ride their bikes, and personal goals have not been achieved. All of the time, money, and training have been a waste (super unfortunate).

To avoid this pattern, take a step back and evaluate the first half of your race season. How has your racing been? Have you accomplished your goals? What do you need to do to become better, faster, stronger?

Every year we ask our ALP athletes to fill out a Mid Season Review. Once filled out they send it back to their coach and schedule a phone call. After a phone call to discuss the review, the coach and the athlete make a plan of attack to ensure the second half of the season is strong, enjoyable, motivating, and goal achieving. 

Goal setting, evaluating, planning, and executing is a continuous process. To ensure you get the most out of yourself, and your training, do a mid season review. Check in on your feelings and energy levels (both mentally and physically), look over your training and race data, set new attainable goals, and make a plan to have a great finish to the year. 

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How to stay Motivated for Racing in the Summer Months 

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How to stay Motivated for Racing in the Summer Months 

By ALP Coach Alison Powers

It’s finally summer time.  The weather is nice and the days are long. However, for many bike racers, June is a tough month, motivation wise.  Early season races have come and gone, goals have either been met or not quite achieved, you pretty much know how your season is going to turn out, and the motivation to train and race is weaning.   Just as bike riding is at its best, people are tiring of riding and training.

The question becomes how to stay motivated to train and race through the entire race season which can last until September.

For most of us, having a goal is the #1 motivation to ride our bike.  This goal can be as simple as finishing a charity ride or Grand Fondo to something more intense such as winning a national caliber stage race or Master’s Nationals.  However, if your cycling goal is in the spring or in the beginning of the summer, once your goal ride or race is finished, it’s easy to lose the motivation to keep training.  This is why it’s important to have another goal in mind for later in the season. This way you keep your bike riding and racing motivation going strong. 

Before training for goal #2, it’s really important to take a mid season break. After 6 months of solid training and racing, our bodies and our minds are tired. This mid season break usually comes in June (depending on race goals) and lasts in duration from 5-14 days. My “recipe” for a mid season break is 4-5 days off the bike (no hiking or running either), 1 free day to ride as much as you want to, then 2 more days off the bike. By the end of this mid season break, the athlete is fresh, motivated, and most importantly, excited to ride their bike.

While training for goal #2, it’s important to keep it fun.  By this time in the season, most of us are tired of doing intervals, and are tired of riding the same roads over and over.  The best ways to beat these “midseason blues” are to find ways to mix up your riding.  Try riding new routes with new people or riding at different times of the day.  Mix up your interval sessions by doing them up a hill or change the length of each interval and rest period. 

My favorite way to keep training fun is to ride different bikes.  If you are a roadie, summer is a great time to hone in your bike handling skills (not to mention build great seated power) with mountain biking a couple times a week.   You can even throw in a short track race here and there to take place of your VO2 intervals.  If you are a mountain biker, spend some time on your road bike and add in a road race or two to test out your fitness and race tactics.   


Cyclocross racing is a great goal #2 or goal #3 to have.  Cyclocross mixes both road racing and mtn bike racing and is a fun way to stay in race shape and work on your skills in the fall and winter months.  Come June/July, if you are tired of racing and training, it’s the perfect time to take a break from racing, spend some fun time on your bike and aim to ramp up for the Cyclocross season that starts in late September.

Here are a few workouts to keep training and motivation fresh-

-Bottom to top intervals- using the terrain available; ride hard from the bottom of a climb to the top of the climb. Really push it all the way to the top. Recover on the back side.
             
- Hour of Power- put that power meter away and just go out and ride hard. Sprint to speed limit signs and push the pace after the sprints.

-Friendly attacking or group rides- Ride with a friend and take turns “attacking” each other as you would in a race or join a spirited group ride that challenges you with city limit sprints or climbing out of your comfort zone.


             Happy training and remember to enjoy each bike ride.

 

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ALP Cycles Racing- Cyclocross Team

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ALP Cycles Racing- Cyclocross Team

We are excited to announce the addition of a Cyclocross Women's Race team to our ALP Cycles arsenal.  ALP Cycles Racing is a women's race team based in Boulder, Colorado which augments individual professional coaching with race team techniques and camaraderie. By providing coached training rides and team races with team race strategy, ALP Cycles Racing hopes to change the way local race teams train and race. 

"Our road race team has been very successful. We now see a need (and desire) to create a Women's CX team as well", said team owner Alison Powers. 

 Thanks to SnowyMountain Photography for the picture

Thanks to SnowyMountain Photography for the picture

Just like the road team, the CX team will have coached training and skills rides twice a month with an ALP Cycles Coaching coach. They will also have team races where they get the chance to pre ride the course, learn race strategy and skill, as a team, with a coach. A 3 day training camp late August/early September will kick off the season.

"Right now, we have 13 women committed to joining the team. For our first year, our team will be capped at 15 and we'll commit to 5 coached team races." Alison said. 

To help promote and give opportunity to the team and potential new riders, team sponsor Breakthrough Nutrition, makers of the team's NBS hydration and recovery products, has offered to sponsor a new rider by paying the team dues. 

"Our team is coach lead and organized. Riders pay team dues, agree to attend a pre-determined amount of team rides and races, and in return they will receive on-bike coaching every step of the way. A Coach will be on hand at every team ride and team race. The fact that NBS has offered to pay the team fee for one rider really opens the door to someone who maybe couldn't afford to be on the team. For us and the one lucky rider, NBS = opportunity." 

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The team kick off party will be at Tin Shed Sports in Nederland late July. If being on ALP Cycles Racing sparks your interest, shoot the team an email with your name, goals, and why you'd like to join the team (Alison@alpcyclescoaching.com).

Thank you to Breakthrough Nutrition and NBS Nutrition for their support and caring for women's bike racing at the local level. 

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A Lesson in Mountain Biking Enjoyment

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A Lesson in Mountain Biking Enjoyment

By Alison Powers

When I was 14 years old, I started mountain bike racing. With very little fear, and no sense of self preservation, I crashed- a lot. I loved to ride my bike, loved to get my legs burning and heart pumping, and I was a little bit competitive. But, I had absolutely no skills. Eventually the speed, the trail, rocks, or water crossings would catch up to me and I'd fall off my bike. Being a teenager, crashing didn't seem to faze me. I'd huck ledges (broken tail bone), bomb descents without brakes (punctured abdomen), and push the speed at which I would start to afraid (broken ribs). 

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Despite racing bikes, and getting some descent results, I had had very little skills training and, other than go hard and go fast, I really didn't have any idea what I was supposed to do on my bike. I never thought about body position or weight distribution. I knew I needed to look ahead, but I didn't really understand what that entailed. I assumed descending on a bike was the same as on skis- wrong (different weight distribution). My crash to ride ratio was at least 1:1 if not 2:1. 

Fast forward into my early 30's. Fear and self preservation have entered my mind and I no longer enjoy mountain biking. I'm afraid to crash. I'm afraid to get hurt. Every time I rode my mountain bike, I'd come to a technical section, lose my confidence, get afraid, have to dismount and walk, and then get frustrated at myself for not being braver, better, etc. It was not an enjoyable experience. 

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I finally decided it was time to do something about my lack of skills. Plus, if I had aspirations to properly coach mountain bike riders and racers, then I'd better be able to walk the walk.  In came skills practice. I asked friends who were coaches to help me, I took skills clinics, I practiced on my own, built my own skills props, and diligently learned, practiced, and executed basic mountain bike skills. The ones that helped me most, and that I, in return teach are- body position, attack position, weight distribution, vision (how to look ahead), and cornering. 

Now, nearing 40, I am a better rider than I have ever been, and I have the most fun I've ever had on a mountain bike. My crash to ride ratio has improved immensely. I won't be winning any enduros (I think I'm actually get slower as my sense of self preservation gets a stronger hold on me), or hucking big air, but when it comes to riding new trails or old ones with hard sections, I look forward to the technical aspects. I like the challenge and enjoy testing my skills. 

Good skills and knowledge lead to confidence. Confidence leads to enjoyment. 

Join me Tuesday June 12th, 5:30pm at Tin Shed Sports for a free mountain bike skills clinic. This is a 3 part (free) series in learning to ride your bike with more skill and confidence. We'll work on all the things that have helped me become a better rider and in turn, you'll become better as well. 

Check out our other opportunities to learn (such as a great weekend in Winter Park learning from and riding with amazing coaches).

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What Does it Take to be the Best?

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What Does it Take to be the Best?

By Alison Powers

While visiting my parents a few weeks ago, my Mom asked me to clean some of my old stuff from the closet. I found many notebooks of old training logs, on snow training plans, workout ideas, and more training logs. As a ski racer, I kept amazing track of my daily workouts, training, goals, etc. Notebooks and notebooks of training logs.

I also found an old speech I had given when I was 18 years old.  My former ski coach asked me to come talk to the younger kids about how I made it to the US ski team and then onto race in the World Cup. I thought this was a great idea for a speech because I had never had anyone ask how I made it to the US ski team. And what should a person do to make it to the US Ski Team?

Although this speech is directed toward ski racing, it is very applicable to bike racing and to sports in general. I liked it so much, that I wanted to share it.

Here is that speech.

How did I make it onto the US ski team and on to race in the World Cup? Now that I think about it, I knew all along what it took to make the US ski team. And what it takes to race the World Cup and what it takes to win a World Cup. And, all of you know what it is too.

So what is it? What do I know now that I knew then? To be a fast ski racer and to have the kind of success I had or even more success, it takes a lot of hard work, focus, sacrifice, and talent. No big surprise, is it?

For me, my hard work, focus, and sacrifice were 100% every day. There was no half assing it or kind of doing it. 100%. All the time.

Ski racing is you, the clock, and the course. If you have not put in your time before that moment, you won't be going fast. It's you that races, it's you that trains, it's you that works hard on and off the snow. It's you that does everything. You have to do it yourself and you have to do it for yourself. Your coaches can only do so much. Your parents can only do so much. Your teammates can only do so much. At the end of the day, it's you who has to work for yourself and your dreams.

Hard work, focus, and sacrifice. Anyone can do it, but the only the strong ones go through with it.

I wanted so badly to make the US Ski Team and to race in the Olympics that everything I did revolved around ski racing. If something was somehow going to get in the way of racing or training I was not going to do it.

Focus. I was extremely focused on the hill while training. If a coach told me to keep my hands up and forward, then I was working on my hands up and forward while skiing to the course, on the course, and from the course to the lift. Once on the chair lift, I visualized myself skiing with my hands up and forward.

I also had unbelievable support. Support from my coaches at Winter Park Ski Area, support from my parents, and from my family. A person cannot be successful in sport if they are not 100% supported by family, friends, and coaches.

So pretty much, here is my message. If you want to be a world-class ski racer do everything possible to be one. No half assed tries. Full bore ski racing. If you're not on the podium today, it doesn't really matter. But it does mean, you will have to work harder than the ones who are on the podium. But believe me, it's worth it. As you start beating the ones on the podium now, it feels good. Your hard work will pay off.

If you are on the podium today, your opportunities in ski racing could be amazing. Do not slack off and let your talent pass you by. Work hard, keep working hard, and represent. Because if you don't, you'll be passed and beaten by people like me, who were not on the podium today. And they'll be sticking their tongues out at you. 

 

 

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A-line or B-line?

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A-line or B-line?

By ALP athlete Kerry Marder

I love to ride bikes.  But almost as much as I love to ride bikes, I love to watch people ride bikes.  I watch You Tube videos of South American BMX street riding while I eat my breakfast cereal. I stay up all night to live-stream the World Cup downhill races in Europe. I think I replayed the Red Bull Rampage a dozen times last year.  I live in a constant state of awe of the skill level of some of the amateurs and professionals alike out there.  And, let’s face it, we all have a favorite pro bike racer.  One that we secretly (or in my house, not so secretly) root for and follow. These days, for me, it’s cross country mountain bike racer Emily Batty.  I mean, how does she manage to make it all look so easy and still have great hair?!  Recently, I was watching highlights of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup race in Albsdadt, Switzerland.  There was a part of the course that had an A-line and a B-line, where the A-line was short and steep with a technical rock feature made super sketchy by the wet conditions and the B-line was substantially longer and gentler with no technical component.  I watched as Emily crashed hard into the tape at the bottom of the rock drop on the A line while others navigated the B line without trouble.  But, lap after lap, she came back to the A-line while others chose B.  I was fascinated by what I was seeing- the bike handling and the speed and the conditions were mesmerizing. But I was even more captivated by that which I COULDN’T see - somewhere in Emily’s brain she compartmentalized her crash and kept coming back for more.  This part of my brain, the one that tells you to shake it off and keep at it and try again and all the other things that Emily was somehow managing to do, is definitely underdeveloped in me, to say the very least.

The A-line / B-line choose-your-own-adventure race design is not new to me.  There was a September cyclocross race this past year (Lucky Pie) where racers had to make a similar choice.  A twisty and tight flat section through the grass or up and over a steep, loose, embankment.  The steep hill was clearly the A-line, if executed.  I had no fear of the A-line going into the pre-ride but then when I tried it, I ate it.  The underdeveloped part of my brain that I wanted to rely on to put that fall into a box so that I could tackle it again in the race simply wasn’t up for the task.  So on the first lap, I rode the B-line.  And just like that, I was off the back.  I watched my friends, who are no better or worse than I am, go for it.  Some had to put a foot down but they all pulled away from me while I played it safe and watched from the unsatisfying comfort of the B-line.  Somewhere towards the middle of the race I took that damned box with the big scary hill and the fall inside of it and sealed it up and drop-kicked it across my brain to a corner where I couldn’t peek in.  And I went for that hill.  And I still didn’t make it. I put a foot down but I didn’t fall.  But I also didn’t die.  My Garmin told me I would have time for one more lap and, thus, I would have one more decision to make: A-line or B-line.  At the junction, the scary box with all my fears in it was still safely in the corner and I went for the A-line again.  And this time I got it. By this point the photographer was gone and the winner was already sipping on her post-race libations, but something important happened in my brain that day and I had gained something far more useful than a pint glass or podium photo or even a top 10 finish.

 Me, finally attempting the A-line at the Lucky Pie race last year.  (Photo credit: SportShutter Terri Smith)

Me, finally attempting the A-line at the Lucky Pie race last year.  (Photo credit: SportShutter Terri Smith)

When I look back on this race, this experience, and this past year of riding in general, I understand now why so much of my training has me off of my trainer and outside on trails that scare me.  The A-line for me, I’ve learned, is never the trainer.  Because, as much as I need to know that I can rely on my legs and lungs on race day (so, yes, those days where I am just getting buried by intervals on the trainer ARE important - thanks, coach), I also need to know that I can rely on my mind when race day rolls around.  By training my brain, I can go into a race or a tough technical section or that scary A-line having the confidence to attack it and the tools to box it up and put it in the corner if it doesn’t go my way.  I have learned the tools of positive self-talk, read some fantastic books about training the mind at my coach’s recommendation, and generally worked towards - and I continue to work towards - perfecting how to not let my inner critic (or chimp, as my coach calls it) sneak up and deflate me.  Extraordinary performances, I have learned, are the product of both physical AND mental training.  On the bike and in life, I’m working on always taking the A-line.

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Time Trial- How To

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Time Trial- How To

Today, we have our monthly ALP Ride (coach/athlete ride). The goal of this month's ride is to not only pre ride the Morgul Time Trial near Boulder, Colorado- but to dial in our time trailing strategy so no matter what the course, our ALP athletes would know how to look at the course and come up with their own individual race plans.

 Alison Powers in route to winning the 2014 National TT

Alison Powers in route to winning the 2014 National TT

 

2 time National Time Trial Champion Alison Powers, former Swiss TT champ Patricia Schwager, and ALP Coach extraordinaire Jen Sharp will lead the ride and talk about the key elements of Time Trialling. These elements include-

1- How to look at a course and break it into sections- then create a plan for each section

2- How to carry your speed and momentum- especially over varied terrain and corners

3- How to create speed and momentum- especially over varied terrain and corners

4- Being aerodynamic while limiting movement and staying relaxed.

We will analyze the course, come up with a race plan, and tackle each section with 100% effort. We will video so our ALP athletes can see how they look on their bikes while going hard. We can analyze things such as- does the athlete stay aero dynamic, where is their head position, and how much movement do they have when riding?

Time trials are the purest of all bike races. It's you against the clock; where your legs do the talking. It sounds simple in theory - the fastest person wins. But it's far from the easiest discipline. Time trials are a true test of not only physical but mental fitness. Below you'll find some tips that will help you in your next time trial.

1. Dial in your equipment.

Preferably, several weeks before your race. Showing up to a time trial with a bike for the first time without any saddle time can spell disaster. If you can, get a professional bike fitter to assist you in dialing in your position. The shorter the TT, the more aerodynamic you'll want to be. Equipment also includes race wheels and a rear disc, aero helmets, booties, skin suits, etc. If you have long hair, put it in a bun and tuck it inside of your helmet or braid it. If your time trial is under an hour, take off your water bottle cage.

2. Practice, practice, practice.

 Once you've dialed in your equipment and position, you must practice being in the aerodynamic position. It will take your body a little while to adapt to this position, and riding your time trial bike in the aero position is the best way to do this.

3. Cornering.

You can't win a time trial by cornering, but you can lose it in the corners by dumping your bike, over-braking or going off course. Practice corners and 180 degree turnarounds. It's okay to come out of the aero bars to navigate a corner. Just get back up to speed and into your bars as quickly as possible.

4. Limit your movement.

 Meaning, don't look down at your computer, back behind you, in front of you and repeat. Keep your eyes forward, neck turtled, and arms in the aero bars. Additional movement creates drag and extra drag slows you down. Your legs should be moving and that's it.

5. Pre-ride the course.

If you can pre-ride the course a week or more before, do it. Practice key sections and time yourself so you know how hard you need to push it during each part. Memorize sections so you know how much further you have until the finish. Visualize the course before you go to bed each night, practicing key sections in your head.

6. Time trial is about what happens between the ears.

Positive self talk is critical to your success. Coming up with a mantra in practice will help you during a race. Alison came up with a great one, printed on the collar of every ALP Cycles Coaching jersey: Better. Faster.Stronger.

 

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