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Getting into the Zone

Written by ALP Cycles Coach, Jennifer Sharp

Dreaming of longer, warmer days and the race season yet? Me too. And we haven't even reached the winter solstice! Despite the desire for warmer weather, winter can provide a great opportunity to do some reflection of what went well in 2017 and what you'd like to improve upon.

Lactate Threshold intervals, VO2 work, micro intervals - we all want our performance to increase year after year so we stay glued to our trainers in the colder months. But what about things you can do off the bike? Are you devoting some time to honing your mental game?Whether your season is based around one race or 20, having a solid mental game plan that you can follow year round can set you up for success. 

Take any goal you have. Apply good nutrition, intervals, equipment, coaching, etc. But what happens when you show up to the start line and find yourself overwhelmed, unable to focus, and distracted by what your competition is doing?

What if you had a plan for what to do before you rolled up the starting line? 

This past year I had a big goal: a masters world championship title on the track. Thankfully I had a bunch of races throughout the summer to keep me motivated so the interval and intensity part of the performance equation pretty much took care of itself. I knew that to perform my best on a particular day, I would have to turn up my mental game several notches. So I read, a lot. In the month leading up to worlds, I read a chapter out of "Thinking Body, Dancing Mind" by Jerry Lynch, everyday. It provided an amazing foundation of what to think about before, during and after competition. 

The areas I paid particular attention to included narrowing down my pre-game ritual, truly being in the moment (critical for maximum performance during the pursuit, where you can win or loose by the slimmest of margins), and gratitude for the process. 

For my pre-game ritual, I created a Dee-Lite pandora station, complete with Jamarquoi, Bobby Brown and other funky, upbeat music to listen to while I warmed up on the rollers. (Yes, I admit I just dated myself.) I had a lot of practice out at the Boulder Valley Velodrome this summer as we did several time trials so I got to see if that music was going to work. The moment I put my head phones on and started my 38 minute warmup, I allowed myself to get in the right head space. I will say this about track: it is the most painful and yet rewarding experience I've ever had on two wheels. Tricking your mind into believing everything is going to be alright is how I've learned to cope with the pain of going full gas all the way to the finish line. "Groove Is In the Heart" assured me that everything was going to be okay.

On race day, I listened to my favorite music and lined up for the individual pursuit on the back straight - smashing my previous personal record in the 2k pursuit by 7 seconds, securing bronze. (Just a mere 4 seconds off of the winners pace - I now have a new goal for 2018!)

Bronze medal in the 2k Pursuit. Photo by Craig Huffman. 

Bronze medal in the 2k Pursuit. Photo by Craig Huffman. 

While the pursuit is a calculated effort, the mass start events are much more tactical and require quick wit and punchy accelerations. I studied my competition from the previous year's worlds (thanks to some video recordings available on YouTube) and knew that the biggest contender had a habit of going 1.5 laps from the finish.  I can't stress enough how important it is to know your competition and stack the odds in your favor in order to beat them.  

During the scratch race, I positioned myself well - near the front and anticipating "the move." Yet when my competitor went, I was a half pedal stroke behind and though closing in on her at the finish, I wasn't able to catch. Rather than dwell on what could have been different, I came up with a game plan on how to beat her in the points race. 

They say success is 99% failure. I applied the lessons I learned from the scratch race and came to the start line focused on the task at hand. Yes, I listened to my pre-race Dee Lite music and I was in a great mindset going into the points race. I studied my competition and she had competed in the sprint tournament earlier that morning and was obviously fatigued. With Ben (my husband and coach) trackside, I watched and listened for his cues and also paid attention to my own intuition on when to make the move for the intermediate sprints. I attacked, countered, used bike throws, and timing to perform the best of my ability, clinching a world title in the women's 35-39 points race. 

I attribute this win to a lot of factors: great coaching, an amazing support network, and starting with my original intention of performing my best and honing my mental game. The velodrome can be a pressure cooker. Having a pre-game ritual can really calm the nerves and get you in tune with the battle you're able to fight. Whether you race on the track, in cyclocross, mountain biking or road - if you don't already have a pre-race routine, now is a great time to think about what you'd like yours to look like. And here's to a great 2018 season!

It's an honor to hear your National anthem standing on the top step. Photo credit: Craig Huffman

It's an honor to hear your National anthem standing on the top step. Photo credit: Craig Huffman

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Training during winter and the holiday seasons

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Training during winter and the holiday seasons

by ALP Coach Patricia Schwager

The winter and the holiday seasons are coming closer. Most of my athletes enjoyed their off season break sometime back in October or early November and by now it is time to be back in training for next season.

How do we manage to get back into training and build up for 2018 despite the holiday stress and possible dark, cold and nasty winter weather? It is time to come up with a plan! That's also why working with a coach year-round is important. A good winter training/ build-up is key to perform in 2018. Here are a few tips on how to make the most of the training during the winter and holiday seasons:

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-Have a goal: as always, having a goal is more motivating. By now you should have thought about your 2018 goals or events. If not, think about a goal for 2018. It doesn't need to be a race. It can be an event, challenge or ride.

-Mix your training up with different activities, especially this time of the year. Some examples include: weight lifting/strength training, hiking, MTB-ing, cyclo-cross, running, yoga, snow shoeing, skiing etc. This will also help you to keep balance and stay motivated.

-Work on skills and weaknesses. Fall and winter time is a great time to work on your skills and weaknesses. There is no stress or pressure of having to perform in the next race or event and that means you can really focus to work on your skills and weaknesses. The more you work on it the more you will improve.

-Wear the right gear. Make sure you are wearing the right clothing for the dark, cold and wet winter weather conditions. Having the right gear vs the wrong gear will make a big difference. We highly recommend the winter bike clothing from Pactimo!

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-Ride with a group. It is a lot easier to stay motivated if you meet up with folks for a ride or other activity. The ride and training goes by faster with good company!

-If you are in a time crunch with all the holiday activities: think about the holiday season and plan ahead. Let your coach know if you like to have a few days off to spend time with family, friends or for travel etc. Schedule 1-2hrs per days for yourself to get your training done and then spend the rest of the day doing holiday activities.

Happy training!

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Black Friday- a T.R.U.M.P Workout

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Black Friday- a T.R.U.M.P Workout

Looking to burn off some of your holiday eating and get fit at the same time? This workout is for you. A throwback to a blog post we did last year- The TRUMP workout. 

No matter how you voted, how happy or unhappy you are about it, Donald Trump is our new President. 

Here at ALP Cycles Coaching, we decided to use this opportunity to create a new workout. Just like President Elect Trump, this workout will take you by surprise, kick some ass, then leave you feeling mentally and physically drained. 

We present to you our T.R.U.M.P workout. 

T- Tempo

R- Race Winning Interval

U- Under/Overs

M- Muscle Tenson Interval

P- Push-ups

Warm-up for 20-30min and include 4x1min 100+rpm intervals to wake up your legs. 

Main Set-

8 minutes at Tempo (zone 3) 95+rpm 

2 minutes rest

3:40 minute RWI at VO2 (zone 5)- Start with a 10 second sprint and keep drilling it for 20 more seconds. Then, settle in at VO2 (zone 5) for 3 minutes. Finish with an out of the saddle 10 second sprint like you are sprinting for the finish line of your 'A' race. 

3 minutes rest

6 minutes of Under/Overs. For 6 minutes, alternate 1 min at Tempo, 1 minute at VO2.

2 minutes of rest

5 minutes of MTI at Sweet Spot (Zones 3/4)- aim for 60-70rpm. Keep your upper body calm, relaxed, and core tight.

1 minute rest and then get off your bike and 

30 seconds of Push-Ups. 

Get back on your bike, rest and recover. Still feeling peppy? Then do a second set. 

Cool down for 15-20min, foam roll, stretch, and drink recovery drink (we like Breakthrough Nutrition's NBS recovery drink). 

Happy training!

 

 

 

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Coaches Education

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Coaches Education

Each month, the ALP Cycles Coaches get together for a coaches meeting. We discuss training, ask each other questions, throw around ideas, plan events, come up with ways to take over the world, etc.  

In October, we gave each other homework:  we had to research a topic that we wish we knew more about as coaches and then we would present it to each other. This way, we get to not only learn the topic we wish we knew better, but 3 additional topics that would add to our coaching knowledge and know how. Below are our "coach learnings". 

photo by SnowyMountain Photography

photo by SnowyMountain Photography

Cyclocross Training- written and researched by Ruth Winder

Cyclocross is all about short power and skill. I've been a track and road racer most of my career, so far, with a bit of mountain biking here and there. Learning to balance the short intense efforts with recovery during race season is a lot like track racing. I've been taking my knowledge from track and learning how to apply it to a CX racer. With so much racing, first its important to make sure you recover during the week. Mid-week, keep the legs open and ready to go again with some shorter efforts before your openers for the weekend. Remember to practice your skills; at the end of the day it doesn't mater how fast you are if you can't handle your bike well. 

Coach/athlete Communication- written and researched by Patricia Schwager

Communication between coach and athlete should be a two-way street. Some of my athletes reach out often and ask questions or send me feedback which is pretty much the ideal coach/athlete relationship. But often times, athletes struggle with communication and in reality, it is up to me (the coach) to ask the athletes how things went at the race, how their training is going, how they are feeling etc. I learned to reach out to my athletes before a race, send them a quick note with good luck and some last advice. I provide them feedback or advice based on notes I see in their TrainingPeaks files. Or in case there is simply no feedback at all, I will ask questions in their TrainingPeaks files like; how did you feel in this workout? Why did you not do this ride/ session? Were you feeling tired today?

Remember your coach is here to answer your questions and give you advice! The more feedback an athlete is providing, the easier it is for a coach to get to know the athlete and to work with an athlete. Communication is key for a good coach - athlete relationship!

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Sport Science - written and researched by Jennifer Sharp

It's a little out of character that given my background with communications and journalism that I picked science. Know your strengths and practice your weaknesses, right? I want to make sure our athletes are getting the very most out of their training by using current coaching methodologies as well as seeing what the new gadgets are out on the market for tracking them. Fellow coach and Boulder resident, Colby Pearce showed off his Whoop monitor that tracks optimizes performance. He's been using it for over a year and believes the information it provides could be of real value to serious athletes. This tool tracks heart rate variability, sleep quality, resting heart rate, additional stressors and more to optimize recovery. If you're ready to take your training and more importantly, recovery, to the next level - check out more information on it here: www.whoop.com. This could very well be the tracking wave of the future...

Training Plan Design - written and researched by Alison Powers       

             For my “coach learning” homework, I wanted to learn about training plan design. I often wondered how other coaches planned their athletes training, builds, recovery, peaks, etc.

            The day I was getting ready to reach out to friends, who are also coaches, to see if I could pick their brains about how they develop a training plan, I had 4 athlete phone calls.  All 4 female and all 4 training and racing Cyclocross. But the similarities ended there. Although all 4 riders were training for CX, each had a very different work schedule, race schedule, and most importantly, things they needed to work on and improve. One rider needed to work on improving leg strength so she could have better power on courses with grass. Another rider admitted that she was breaking going into every turn. So we added cornering drills to build confidence and speed into her plan. One rider was fading at the end of races, so she needed to work on her repeatability at hard efforts, so she could finish strongly. And, for the last rider, every time she got off her bike to run, it killed her legs. We needed to add some foot work and CX specific running to her training plan. Right then and there is when I figured out that it didn’t matter how other coaches planned training for their athletes. What matters is the athlete. Each athlete has different things they need to work on, different life schedules, different recovery speeds, etc. Workouts need to be specific and leave no grey areas. Because of this athlete variability, no two training plans can ever be the same.  Knowing this, I have renewed confidence in my own training plan design and all of us ALP coaches.

            A few things I did learn and will start incorporating; Workout Builder in TrainingPeaks. By taking the time to build workouts for each athlete, we can see estimated IF and TSS for each ride and workout. With this info, we can better plan for peak performance and/or optimal recovery.

            Thanks to some updates to TrainingPeaks, we can now see the difference between Heart Rate TSS and Power TSS. This is especially helpful in CX and mountain bike racing and training as HR can stay elevated while the athlete runs, coasts through technical terrain, and/or corners and this can dramatically change TSS and recovery post ride/race.

            Thanks to doing a little homework and research, I have learned to have more confidence in my own coaching and planning ability and have learned how to use more tools to help our ALP athletes.

We hope you can use this knowledge to better plan, design, and monitor your own training and recovery. 

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What Makes a Great Coach?

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What Makes a Great Coach?

It’s the time of year when many people start to think about 2018 and their cycling and performance goals. Having a coach in your side can help you on your way to achieving those goals. Having a great coach in your corner leads you, teaches you, helps you, and makes sure you achieve those goals. A good coach and a great coach; there is a difference.

Here at ALP Cycles Coaching, we believe we know what a great coach is, but to be sure, we put the question to social media. What makes a great coach? The answers varied and included things like; understanding, common sense, and the ability to explain a plan. The ability to listen and a partner in success. Personality, versatility, and phone calls. Someone you trust. Someone who has the ability to balance goals, personal life, vacations, recovery periods, and work travel. Racing experience. Ability to motivate and encourage. Enthusiasm. Genuine concern for athlete and their progress. Constructive feedback. Helping an athlete recognize their strengths and weaknesses.

With this social media feedback and our own experiences as coaches and as athletes being coached, it would seem that a great coach is a partner and a teammate. A great coach is on your side with your goals in mind, showing and teaching you the way to achieve your goals—through thick and thin, through good times and bad.

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Interested in a training plan, but not full on coaching? That’s ok! We have you covered. We have created a 12-week off season training plan complete with strength training exercises, videos, and on bike cadence and leg speed drills. You will not find a more detailed and in depth 3 month training plan. The goal of this off season strength and training plan is to make you are more complete athlete with challenging full body strength and coordination exercises and workouts, and on the bike workouts to increase your leg speed, leg strength, and endurance. Check out the TrainingPeaks training plan here.

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A great coach can inspire confidence on the bike. Photo by Mahting Productions

A great coach can inspire confidence on the bike. Photo by Mahting Productions

 We put the question to our ALP coaches. A great coach is someone who is organized, has passion for the sport and it’s athletes and competitors. A great coach has a true desire to help people reach their goals. A great coach is someone who is always learning and striving to be their best by sharing their knowledge and wisdom with their athletes. Someone who is always there for an athlete, no matter if everything goes as planned or if things are a bit difficult. A great coach is always keeping up what her/his athletes are doing and the athlete is never without a plan or communication. A great coach learns from their mistakes and turns failures into successes by practicing what they preach to their athletes. A great coach provides a high level of accountability and is truly invested in their athletes both on and off the bike. A great coach is part physiologist. A great coach is a true teacher of the sport.

When looking for a new coach, many people do not know what to expect from a coach. Why is one coach $150 a month and another one is $300 a month? Other than a training plan to get me fitter and stronger, what else does a coach offer? This is where coaching and coaching services vary- big time. There is no set standard on what a cycling coach should provide. Some coaches provide an excellent training plan but do nothing to teach you how to race the last 5 laps of a criterium so you have the best chance at winning. Some coaches are so excited to help you reach your goals that they don’t take the time to listen to how you are feeling and responding to the training. Some coaches have big names and big business but send out their training plans 2 days late leaving you guessing. You must take it upon yourself to determine what you expect from your coach.

So, what makes a great coach? From the social media feedback and personal experience, for each person a great coach something a little bit different. A great coach to one person may not be a great coach to another person. Each athlete is looking for something different in a partner and a teammate to reach their goals. The most important take away is to find a coach that you know will be your partner, your teammate and will work with you 100% toward your personal goals. 87% is not a great coach- 100% is a great coach.

A great coach can teach the athlete race tactics and give confidence in a race plan. Photo credit to SnowyMountain Photography.

A great coach can teach the athlete race tactics and give confidence in a race plan. Photo credit to SnowyMountain Photography.

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Train Smarter, Not Harder

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Train Smarter, Not Harder

Written by Jennifer Sharp of ALP Cycles Coaching

“How many of you have overtrained?” ask Dr. San Millan to a room full of 25 coaches and athletes.

Every single person raised their hand. 

Everyone, at some point in their athletic lives, will overtrain. In the summer time it’s easy to throw in extra mileage even though you’ve done 15 hours of riding that week and it’s only Friday - what’s the harm? And while it’s okay to pile on the extra miles every once in a while, making a habit of it means you’ll eventually find out why rest days are super important. And that lesson could cost you a week, a month, a season or a full year.

Fact: Cycling is painful. You frequently push your body to extremes and keep going.

Myth: Overtraining only happens to professionals.

Fact: Overtraining can happen to anyone who is not building enough recovery into their intense racing and training regime.

Myth: Overtraining is curable in a few days.

Fact: Overtraining causes neurological, mental, hormonal, emotional and nutritional imbalances and the effects can be long reaching. 

It’s actually pretty easy to over train. We’re bombarded with TSS and CTL and ATL charts and graphs. We’re obsessed with tracking our upward growth and it’s hard to not be a slave to a performance manager chart. We get used to pushing through pain. But what those CTL’s, ATL’s, TSS’s and TSB’s don’t show in flashing red lights: “CAUTION - OVER TRAINING AHEAD” until it's too late.

The Performance Manager Chart: where's the caution sign?

The Performance Manager Chart: where's the caution sign?

Can you tell when an athlete is prone to overtraining?

As coaches, we’re constantly monitoring our athletes data. Thankfully power coupled with heart rate data can paint a picture of that individual athlete’s reaction to training stimulus on a daily basis. We watch for trends and see if we can explain patterns. And we’re also reliant on our athlete’s feedback to clue us into things we may have missed on first glance. Like decoupling of the heart rate,  lack of motivation, stress, insomnia, or mood swings. All of these factors come into play for each individual in their own unique way. Unfortunately in regard to overtraining, there’s no one specific marker that is the cause. Rather it’s a combination of factors.

So, how do you track different metrics to see if you’re headed down the path of overtraining?

One suggestion is to do a blood test in the offseason to obtain a baseline measurement. You could include this into your annual physical requesting your hematology, biochemical and hormonal markers. Then about  1-1.5 months prior to your peak event, do another test. Have a trained professional compare the results and determine if you should back things off if needed or continue the training as prescribed. 

Another cheaper method of tracking is through daily monitoring of your resting heart rate. You can expect to see a 5% fluctuation from day to day heart rate but anything above or below that could be a sign of overtraining. If you see a big outlier in your heart rate, play it safe and smart and call it a day.

How do you avoid overtraining in the first place?

First of all, listen to your body. If you’re tired, rest. Use a heart rate monitor, as mentioned above, to track your resting heart rate.  You can use the metrics portion of TrainingPeaks to log your sleep quality, overall feeling, soreness, menstruation, fatigue, weight and more. Use it! Eat a well balanced diet and stay on top of hydration. If you have a prescribed off day - take it. It pays to train smarter, not harder. 

Metrics located in TrainingPeaks are a great way to track various markers that paint a clearer picture for your coach. 

Metrics located in TrainingPeaks are a great way to track various markers that paint a clearer picture for your coach. 

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Cyclocross- an athlete's tale

By ALPathlete Andy Bennett (coached by Jennifer Sharp)

Going into my second career cyclo-cross race, my goal was to minimize the time off the bike. I knew I would be able to gain time on the field if I could ride the “run ups’ and bunny hop the barrier. During my race warmup/pre ride I spent extra time on these sections to make sure I was comfortable approaching them at race pace. The first “run up” was shorter of the two, but far steeper than the other with a technical run in. Being able to ride this section would allow me to gap others coming into the next switch back section. Ideally, having a clear shot into the run up would provide me with the best chance of riding it. If I was coming into this part of the course with riders in front of me, I would slightly back off allowing space between us. I did this for two reasons:

·       If the other riders were not able to ride the “run up” this would create a bottle neck, which I would be stuck behind

·       This extra room would allow me to accelerate into the “run up”, allowing me to carry more momentum into the steepest section

The second “run up” was longer with a couple different lines, which allowed for passing if need be. However, leading up to this “run up” I tried to pass the rider(s) in front of me to avoid a bottle neck situation, or having to use extra energy passing someone on the climb. For me, key for riding this “run up” was keeping my speed up on the loose off camber left hand turn leading into this feature.

I was extremely comfortable with the barrier section, growing up racing BMX has enabled me to learn how to bunny hop over various objects with little or a lot of speed. Learning how to bunny hop on my cross bike has taken some time to adjust to.

There are two hand positions one can use while bunny hopping on a cross bike.

·       Hands up on the hoods

·       Hands placed on the flat bar

I prefer having my hands up on the hoods while bunny hopping; I believe it provides with a little extra leverage while pulling the handle bars up into my torso. I have found having my hands on the flat bar works better at slower speeds, while your hands are on the flat bar (like a mountain bike) you can help lift the front wheel up onto an object as you accelerate. Trying to do this while your hands are on the hoods is rather difficult because you’re reaching forward more, causing more weight to be over the front wheel. Having practiced bunny hoping allowed me to be extremely comfortable while I jumped the barriers.

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Thanks for the insight Andy! Good luck!

 

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To Run or Not to Run  

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To Run or Not to Run  

Come Cyclocross season, or during the lead up and build to CX season, we are often asked about running. Should our athletes run in preparation for CX? The short answer is- yes. But, it’s not that that cut and dry.

When it comes to running and CX racing, it’s important to think about what type of running is done in a typical CX race. To break it down, here are basic questions to make the answer, and your training, a little more simple.

Photo by SnowyMountain Photography

Photo by SnowyMountain Photography

Is there running in cyclocross? Yes

Is the running fast? Yes

Is the running long and/or for many minutes? No

Is the running basic, in a straight line, on even terrain? No

Is the running variable (i.e. uphill, downhill, different speeds/terrain)? Yes

Does the running require explosiveness? Yes

Does the running require riding a bicycle afterward? Yes

With these questions and answers in mind, we want to make our run training specific to what the demands of CX racing are.

There are two goals when it comes to running and CX racing. 1- maintain momentum, and 2- be able to get through the run section and still have the ability to get back on the bike and race hard (as opposed to recovering).

Now, back to the original question; To Run or Not to Run? If you (the racer) get off your bike and slow down (lose momentum), then you should probably add some CX run specific drills to your training. If you (the racer) are so gassed after getting back onto your bike that you have to soft pedal and recover for a bit, then you should probably add some CX run specific drills to your training.

What are CX specific run drills? We know that the demands of running in CX are so much more dynamic and explosive than being able to run a fast 10km on pavement.  The demands of running in CX racing are dynamic, require the ability to have fast leg turn over, jump and land over obstacles, run up steep hills, climb stairs, etc. After doing all of this, the CX racer must get back on their bike and continue riding and racing hard. Good drills and skills to develop this are- quick feet ladder drills, agility drills, plyometrics, and short and/or steep run (sprint) ups. Do these skills and drills on all difference terrain to develop the ability to be strong, powerful, and quick on all terrain.

During race season, if you spend 20-30 minutes one day a week on these skills, your overall run speed, and ability to ride hard after running will improve immensely.

Happy Training!

 

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Do’s and Don’ts of the Off Season

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Do’s and Don’ts of the Off Season

By Swiss Miss, TrainingPeaks Certified, and ALP Coach Patricia Schwager

The off season is here and that means time off, time for vacation, or time for activities that you can’t really do during race season. Unless you are racing CX races- then your situation is different.

There are some things you should and shouldn’t do during the off season. Even though it sounds like an easy time, the off season is an important time. Believe it or not, things you do during the off season have a big influence on your next race season.

Spending your time on the couch for a whole month isn’t the right thing to do and neither is riding/working out like crazy.

I have had to learn it the hard way- I admit that. I’ve made mistakes during my past off seasons. Mainly because I can’t sit still and just like to be active. Resting can be hard too!

-Your last race of the season might be in the books for a while but keep riding! It is a good idea to get in some longer rides during September and even into October. Make use of the (hopefully) nice autumn weather and your good fitness from a summer of racing and training.

-The next step is to take a real break (2-3 weeks). After a long race season, it is important to rest your body and mind.

-It depends on when your first race will be in the new season, but your structured training should start again in November.

-The idea is to build up your fitness for next season step by step. Your coach should be able to provide you with a good plan that fits your needs and help you to prepare for next season.

-Next to riding your bike, this plan should also include strength and cross training. This is essential as it builds up full body strength that got lost during race season. Next to improving your fitness, it will also challenge your mobility and balance and helps to prevent injury.

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Interested in a training plan, but not full on coaching? That’s ok! We have you covered. ALP Coach Coaching has created a 12-week off season training plan complete with strength training exercises, videos, and on bike cadence and leg speed drills. You will not find a more detailed and in depth 3 month training plan. The goal of this off season strength and training plan is to make you are more complete athlete with challenging full body strength and coordination exercises and workouts, and on the bike workouts to increase your leg speed, leg strength, and endurance. Check out the TrainingPeaks training plan here.

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-Off season is the perfect time to work on your weaknesses (bike handling skills, leg speed, etc). Talk to your coach if he/she doesn’t already address this point!

-Work on your bike handling and riding skills. This can be very simple, go to an empty parking lot and set up some cones or water bottles. Work on skills like: picking up water bottles, cornering, track stands, bunny hopping, riding figure 8’s, taking off jackets, arm warmers etc., riding no-handed, 180 turns, the list goes on. Being able to master these skills will make you feel more comfortable on your bike and make you a better bike rider.

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-If you have to adjust things, like your bike position (for example), use the off season to do it. The same counts for getting used to new shoes, new cleats, pedal systems, saddles. It is never a good idea to dial in or change important equipment once race season has started.

-Try to avoid weight gain in the off season. It is ok to enjoy some goodies but don’t overdo it. Being a little bit heavier during winter is no problem as long as you can lose it come spring time.

-Analyze your past race-season and set goals for the next season. Sit down and reflect on the past season, what went well, what went wrong and where can you improve or work on. Set your goals for next season and write them down.

As an ALP Cycles athlete, you will get a review and goals questionnaire. This helps us coaches a lot because feedback from our athletes is very important. We will go over the completed questionnaire and discuss the answers and options with our athletes. We do this because our goal is to make coaching even better for the approaching race season.

Enjoy your off season!

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Final results ALP climbing challenge 2017

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Final results ALP climbing challenge 2017

The 4 day ALP climbing challenge is done and we did the math! The final standings are posted below (this includes the additional ft from any socialmedia posts that were tagged with  #alpclimbingchallenge) We had 41 people that joined our Strava group for the climbing challenge. 24'881ft were reached to win the challenge (congrats to Lynne Anderson) We d'like to nominate Kate Hrubes for most inspiring, she did a ride with 90 hill repeats at 4am....Overall we saw a lot of very impressive numbers, congrats & great job to everyone that joined! Stay tuned for our KUHL-est photo winner....

ALP climbing challenge 2017 top ten:

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1. Lynne Anderson 24'881ft (10h53)

2. Nina Donohue 22'432ft (10h19)

3. Rachel Plessing 20'520ft (9h55)

4. Terry Petersen 17'786ft (10h46)

5. Kate Hrubes 14'168ft (9h47)

6. Cory Popovich 13'878 (7h15)

7. Libby Russell 12'696ft (7h43)

8. Lily Williams 11'729ft (9h53)

9. Alison Powers 11'516ft (6h28)

10. Jae Meyer 10'775ft (6h50)

#alpclimbingchallenge

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