Cycling Center Dallas Blog
Cycling Center Dallas Blog
Here we talk about all things cycling - training, wattage, group rides, bike rallies, triathlons, weather, coaching, coaches, nutrition, ponderings, musings, and equipment! If you have a topic or a question, send us a note and we'll try to answer for you!
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cyclingcenterdallas
23:05

No classes until Monday night

And don't forget - if you want to reserve your spot for the January block of classes, GO TO BIKEREG.COM and search "Cycling Center". The January class will come up, and you must register and sign up there!

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cyclingcenterdallas
23:14

Hills, break them up, or break yourself down trying.

Every time I hit hills on the CompuTrainer, I'm reminded of that great poem about "John Henry and His Hammer". No matter how hard you try, you usually end up dead, and the hammer is still on the bike, or on the floor in the form of sweat and tears. But I KNOW they're working. They hammer your legs. They hammer your mind. They hammer your heart. And THESE hills. THESE Gatineau Park Redux Hills. Man, they are KILLERS. They start right at 95%, then slowly creep up to about 105-107% over about 2 minutes. Then, the last minute, they rise up to the 120's and 130's. Your heart rate is soaring. Your cadence is slowly dropping. You're fighting for breath, for speed, and for that last pedal stroke that will help you get THAT MUCH CLOSER to the finish.... But for me, tonight, it wasn't meant to be. Bam. I had to drop the numbers and.... Wait. Let's look at the numbers. My normal threshold is, what, 275, and this hill was at... 310???? 310???? GOOD LORD NO WONDER it sucked. But hey - you spent THAT MUCH MORE TIME at or above Threshold, and you held on longer each hill, and when you noticed that the Threshold was at 310, you dropped it to 290 and you actually made it over some hills, and... Not a bad workout! HEY! Cool! Never woulda thunk it! The morning classes are going to LOVE THIS PROGRAM!

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cyclingcenterdallas
20:17

Pairing up with a Training Buddy

There's something wonderful about pairs. I'm talking about pairs of cyclists, who are fairly evenly matched, usually in terms of performance, but also in terms of age, ability, experience, family and career track. I hate to admit this, but I purposely put people like that side-by-side, so that they can push themselves and each other to limits that would otherwise be completely dependent upon solo efforts. My psych 101 classes taught me that two people pulling a rope against each other will pull at 105% or more of the effort they would use to pull the rope against a machine or an inanimate object. So getting people who are naturally competitive, and putting them side-by-side, so that they can see each other out of the corner of their eyes, maybe even bump elbows, see the numbers in context, and even sweat on each other, can really bring out the best in people. Thursday night's class had two pairs of cyclists who fit this category. A pair of young women, teammates, one more experienced in indoor cycling than the other, but both of roughly the same age, and from similar backgrounds in the sport. The other pair were Masters men, one with gobs of experience, the other with an incredible zeal for the performance that he has gained and the fitness he has seen in the last several months. I paired these 4 folks together, male & female, and watched the sparks fly. The interval session was again sort of a non-traditional workout for December. We did 21 separate sprint intervals, most of them about 15 seconds long at 200% of threshold. I made SURE that the athletes did not start pedaling hard until they had met the beginning of the slope of the wattage load, and then they were better able to keep the pedaling below 25mph. The workout was teh extension of the technique protocol, and it placed emphasis on anaerobic power, sustained slightly longer than the 6-8 seconds that your ATP system is in use. But in this case, the power doesn't let up - instead, you tend to start losing speed. In the Real World, the power will drop, while speed will stay about the same, but by then, the race is usually decided. In any case, this was a great opportunity for those paired riders to work together, as well as against each other, and push themselves to the limits. The result was a fantastic workout that left all four riders sort of whimpering in the corner, but completely satisfied that they had exceeded everyone's expectations - their own, their 'buddy's, and their coach.... I'm convinced that this type of workout, while effective, is more effective in a group setting, and even more effective when the athletes are familiar with each other. I think we'll see these guys & gals continue to excel. It'll bear fruit this Spring, just wait, be consistent, and be patient. See ya'll on Sunday!

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cyclingcenterdallas
16:12

Fog? Rain? Dreary weather too harsh for outdoor cycling?

COME ON IN! That's what the Cycling Center of Dallas is all about! It's about fitness, fun, and friends, in an environment that is consistent and safe, and offers a workout that is really, really effective. This morning, when visibility was down to 1/2 mile or so, and the clouds were hiding all the high rises, and even the flagpoles, the Center was open, and classes were held. At this point, it's up to the participants who paid for class to get there, and this morning, there were only a handful of no-shows. Add in the fact that it's flu season, and holiday season, and you're going to get people disappearing for a while here & there. No biggie. We'll be here when you get back, ready to burn those holiday calories off and get the New Year started off right! Watts per Kilogram (emphasis on the Watts)!

cyclingcenterdallas
21:04

Less of a lung and leg buster, more of a technique class

Tonight's class was more about technique than actual suffering, though it did generate a healthy amount of that, and it also got plenty of stress out of anyone's system who applied themselves. There were no participants who shirked their duty. The protocol for the workout was multiple 15 second, and later 20 second intervals at 200% of Threshold, with about 1:45 recoveries. The workout proved to be plenty difficult, but it was more about how to get and hold a high wattage and cadence for a decently long period of time, without compromising in terms of speed or cadence. I got a late start, and missed one interval, but the most important thing that I discovered was that if you started pedaling right when the slope of the interval began, you were good to hold at least 110 rpm and not get any wheel slip when the interval hit 200%. However, holding on for the full 15 to 17 seconds (it varied slightly each time, to keep you on your toes), was really, really difficult. Everyone in the class commented on how they were cross-eyed by the end of each interval, and the recoveries from each extended out slightly longer each tme. We were all glad they were over. But again, this is the type of workout that I believe we'll see more often in the spring. It mimics the type of road racing around here - flat with lots of jumps and attacks where you have got to accelerate, recover, and try it again. I'm going to have the Thursday AM crew do their Tuesday workout, the 60-60's, since they missed it due to the weather and my cancellation policy. We'll see what they have to say after they're done.

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cyclingcenterdallas
22:55

SUNDAY MAKE-UP CLASS FOR TUESDAY MORNING CLIENTS

TUESDAY MORNING CLIENTS I'll be having TWO, read that correctly, TWO make-up classes on Sunday morning, the first at 8am, ending at 9:30, the second at 10:30, ending at Noon. Please post your desired time of attendance HERE, so I can properly account for the programming. It looks like the weather will be cold and windy, so this will be a perfect excuse for a make-up class. I look forward to seeing you there.

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cyclingcenterdallas
22:51

How do you get 9 riders on an 8 rider Setup?

Well, you don't. BUT, with a little help from a friend with a fluid trainer, you can get 9 riders to perform a workout, even if only 8 are plugged in, so to speak. This evening was fun. Gary and Michael were duking it out, as usual, while Kelly poked and prodded Chris to gut up and do some hefty watts. Ben was in back, on his own, but certainly working, while Amy and Larry pushed and ground their way through the session. Dorothy? Well, let's just say that Dorothy was routinely seeing things from the inside of her heart, and outside on the power meter, that she'd never seen before, or nearly as often, and Katie, while a victim of some technical difficulties, made do with a series of do-it-yourself intervals that stressed her system just as hard as those who were on the grid. I need to get unit 8 worked on or replaced. Could it be the COM PORT? Wow, never thought of that.... I'll see if I can do anything with it, but I have a backup just in case. More intervals tomorrow night.

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cyclingcenterdallas
12:05

Tuesday AM Class cancellation due to weather, policy, makeups, etc.

Well, this had to happen. In two plus years of running the studio, I've rarely canceled class. But last night, with weather reports showing two more storms coming through around 11pm and again at 1am, I had to make an executive decision and cancel classes. NO, it's not because I wanted to sleep in on an excuse (I was up at 5, anyway). It's because I don't trust Dallas drivers, Dallas County transportation workers, and Dallas roads. I'm not going to jeopardize someone else's property just so we can have a class and get a workout. In dry conditions, I would have kept class going. But the difference in temps between 5 and 8 am was less than 1 degree, and I don't feel comfortable compelling people to show up, especially if there is a risk like that involved. I've buried a jeep in snow from hitting a black ice patch, and I've also received calls from clients who were stuck behind wrecks in bad weather. You're not going to lose fitness by missing one day of workouts. Besides, we'll make it up, probably on Sunday morning. I'll make that announcement soon.

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cyclingcenterdallas
11:54

Monday Night - bad weather? NO PROBLEM!

Monday night in Dallas was sleety, icy, cold, and... it was PERFECT WEATHER for an indoor training session! Four hardy classmates braved the weather and rush hour to get on their bikes and dip puddles on the floor as we went through some early-off-seaon Anaerobic intervals. The workout was simple.... One set of 27 60-second intervals at 122% with 60-second recoveries. All on, or all off. Another lung-buster. Sure, the first few were fine. The middle ones, not so bad, but felt. It was the last 10 or 8 or so that REALLLY got your attention. You see, these intervals play with your metabolic and recovery system like nobody's business. Every minute of effort, the first 20-25 seconds, your body is ramping up to meet the oxygen needs of the muscles, and to purge the byproducts of muscle contraction, and recycle the energy. But the last 20 seconds, you're fighting a losing battle. You're producing more byproduct than you can metabolize, and your body is trying desperately to regulate its' acidity by purging Co2 through the lungs. Then, when the interval is over, your body STILL has to purge that Co2 to get back to homeostasis. So everything is delayed-reaction. You don't start feeling normal again until 30 seconds in to the recovery, and you don't start getting desperate until thirty seconds in to the interval. The trick to these is training the body to recover as quickly as possible - the watts per interval are not as important. These are great race duplicators, they do wonders for your Vo2Max, and we'll be seeing a lot of these in January's sessions.

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cyclingcenterdallas
14:40

Welcome North Texas Cyclists!

I want to welcome you to the Cycling Center of Dallas' web log. We'll be using this area to post workouts, protocols, chart quarterly progressions for athletes, and get feedback from clients and prospects. You're welcome to post comments or ask questions, and we'll do what we can to help everyone optimize their performance on two wheels. Roadies, MTB'ers, Triathletes, and Trackies will all benefit from the progression and periodization that the Cycling Performance Program offers, while general SPIN enthusiasts will get a lot from their bodies as they roll their way through classes. Finally - Dallas has needed a Bicycle Education Program for a long time, and we are now in the serious development stages. I want to hear from you, so don't hesitate to pipe up and fire away with questions, comments, or relate experiences. This is about you, so shed the guilt and fire up the keyboard, okay?!

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