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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Coach Wharton

What is BikeScore?


What is BikeScore?

BikeScore is a way to gain "points" for your workouts.  It is basically a points system that tells you how much training stress a workout gave your body. The more points, the more training demand that workout placed on your body. This value takes the concept of time spent working out, as well as how hard the workout was, to give you a score.  Each workout at Cycling Center Dallas has a BikeScore. With BikeScore, we can give you a specific target for each workout, as well as measure a gradual increase in your training over time, by gradually increasing your overall BikeScore each week.  Here are some typical BikeScores you may obtain during a ride...

 - Less than 50 - very low (recovery complete by following day)
 - 50-150 - low (recovery generally complete by following day)
 - 150-300 - medium (some residual fatigue may be present the next day, but gone by 2nd   day)
 - 300-450 - high (some residual fatigue may be present even after 2 days)
 - Greater than 450 - very high (residual fatigue lasting several days likely) 

Most of the workouts at Cycling Center Dallas are between 70 and 90 points per hour.  The closer the bike score gets to 100 for an hour workout, the harder the workout is going to be.  However, a ride outside can be much higher due to the longer duration.  Remember that bike score takes into account both the intensity and the duration of the workout.  So a long hard group ride or rally could easily get up into the high 200s, or even 300's, and will probably leave you with some fatigue the next day or two.

How do we use this in class?

To obtain accurate bike scores for you we first need to know your correct Critical Power(CP).    BikeScore takes into account all the time you spent above and below CP, and how long your workout lasted. We have a BikeScore goal assigned to each workout located Here:


So, for this workout, if you were to complete the workout goals at your CP, you would have earned 82 points.  If you start paying attention to the bike scores, you will notice they gradually increase a point or two per workout each week.  This is because we plan the workouts to gradually increase in difficulty as you adapt to the training and become stronger. So you will be getting more points per workout as well as a gradual increase in your overall points through the training block.  After your workout, you can also find your BikeScore in your the report that was emailed to you.


How can knowing this make me a stronger cyclist?

Being able to plan and measure your training doses is a powerful tool.  Now, instead of shooting in the dark with workout goals, we can now give you a “progression” strategy to get you to your goals more efficiently and faster.  We challenge your body with appropriate intensities, and slowly grow the load in a way you can adapt to and continue to meet the demands of each workout. Each block slowly grows your BikeScores, and finishes with some testing so we can go into the next training block with your new CP values.

Now, what you do on your days away from CCD also will accumulate BikeScore Points.  If you have an on bike power meter, you can obtain your BikeScore from outdoor rides, and get a complete picture of your training. Download this data at home and share it with us, or bring in your head unit, and we can download it while you wait. Either way, this information will help us, help you, achieve your goals when cycling! And remember - if you don't have it already, you can also purchase a copy of PerfPro Analyzer. At this time PerfPRO Analyzer is only available for Windows, but it will allow you the ability to look further into your workouts and augment them with outside ride data.

Next week we will be taking a look at the the Relative Intensity (RI), and where this value fits into workouts you are you doing at CCD.

Find out the 3 SECRETS as to why the Cycling Performance Classes are so effective!

Get a peak at the 3 core concepts that combine the science of physiology and performance training into cycling workouts that are INDIVIDUAL to you, and lead to better results.

Coach Wharton

21 Days, 21 Tips for Cycling in July! Day 5: Is Sprinting Really Worth It!?

Sprinting on a bike is really fun, really exciting to watch... and really not terribly important for the recreational cyclist. That said - it's still something to practice, because it's a great way to improve your fitness, because it leads to more muscle and bone, a stronger heart, and improved economy when you're NOT sprinting.

Now, I'm NOT a sprinter, but I still train and coach short, intense intervals periodically, and here's how it's done.

Sprinting requires a lot of power, in an almost instant transition. A pedaling cyclist is using their aerobic system most of the time; sprinting requires that you use one of the simplest foundations of muscle contraction - the phosphagen system. It lasts between 2 and 15 seconds. Today's stage, for example, was about 13 seconds of incredible intensity, so the cyclists were literally 'Firing on all cylinders'.

First, remember - you should probably be at least somewhat fit, so call us if you have questions or doubt your ability. We'll work on other things first.

Second - WARM UP THOROUGHLY. Sprinting cold is asking for trouble. Spend at least 20 minutes warming up, increasing intensity and power, staying on top of your hydration, and keeping your carbohydrate stores topped off. A few pick-me-ups, or false sprints, where you just increase power output over 15-30 seconds in a steady rise, until you are breathing hard, and sweating a bit, will definitely help.

Third - cycling sprints on Television are rare, and usually occur at the END of an event. They're just too hard to replicate too often in a stage, or even over the course of three weeks. Do just a few, between 3 and 10 seconds, and make sure that you spend AT LEAST 3 minutes recovering, and HOPEFULLY more like 5. Professional sprinters can take up to THIRTY minutes between sprint efforts. It's just that taxing!

Fourth - Start in a gear that allows you to accelerate instantly. I usually begin in my big ring, but somewhere in the middle of my cassette. When my legs begin to spin out, I shift to a harder gear and attempt to spin out in that gear. If I'm lucky, I'll get one more shift before exhaustion sets in, and my power begins to drop.

Finally - if you're outdoors, BE SAFE. Sprinting for a sign on the road, or a painted line is one thing. Sprinting to beat a changing light or to get ahead of a train just is NOT worth it. Be safe, know the road ahead of you, keep your chin up and your eyes forward, and be prepared.

Sprinting is sort of like the candle on a cake. The mix is all chocolate and red velvet, the icing just pure, delicious sugar, and the candle, when lit, is something to wonder at.... and then quickly blow out! They're fun, they're hot, and they're VERY short-lived. The fitness gains include increased power output over longer periods of time, a higher metabolism, and the growth of muscle and bone, because of their intensity.

Thanks, and if you have any questions about this tip or your cycling, give us a call or just stop by before our evening classes!

Coach Wharton

21 Days of the Tour de France, 21 Tips for Cycling in July! - ROUGH ROADS!!!

Can you believe it? We're only four days in to the Tour de France, and there's been enough drama and action for a month's worth of cycling!

It seems like the people that design the course every year, scheme of ways to challenge the cyclists and their teams, while providing incredible sights for tourists and the global audience. Today's section, with over 18 miles of roads built from cobblestones, will literally jar the handlebars out of a regular cyclist, and when the weather is poor, these roads are almost impassible.

Riding a bike out on the road is always a challenge. There's wind, weather, temperatures, traffic, and of course, construction zones. While we all wish for smooth asphalt, courteous drivers, and no debris, the fact is that this is rarely the case.

When you ride on rough roads, there are a few things you can do to make the ride a little easier.

First, take a little air out of your tires. Modern tires are so good that they can be ridden well below their maximum pressure, and a tire with some cushion can absorb a lot of impact and road buzz.

Second, ALWAYS wear gloves. Gloves help you ride with less strain, and most modern gloves absorb impact as well.

Third - keep your chin up, and look down the road. Usually, there are areas where motor vehicles have already rolled, and their weight has compressed the earth a little, under the areas of their tires. When you ride in the right or left wheel well, things definitely get smoother.

Fourth - this is one area where you MIGHT consider a lower cadence, if only to help you maintain some torque and balance.

Finally, if you encounter rough roads more often than not, consider riding a wider tire, or buying some wheels with wider rims. Modern racing wheels are actually getting wider, and modern tire recommendations are now down to below 100 psi for most cyclists, unless they're really big.

Thankfully, most modern roads don't use cobblestones or brick. Cities and States employ asphalt and concrete. But asphalt can be rough on the joints of a cyclist, and concrete can break up from weather. Ride aware, ride within your limits, and be prepared with good equipment and fitness.

Cycling on rough roads doesn't have to be a drag, or prevent you from exercising. They're just another skill you can award yourself when you've overcome their challenges, giving you more opportunity to ride when and where you want, for whatever reason!


Tools and Methods for Fitness while Traveling. Part 1:Suspension Training


This post offers all the information you need to get a toned core and full body strength if you find yourself on one or more of these categories:

·         You Travel frequently

·         You have limited time for training

·         You would rather not workout in a gym facility

·         You're already engaged in endurance training and need strength and core work to  supplement that activity.  

Travel can throw a monkey wrench into the best-laid fitness plans. Although the occasional break in routine can be a good thing, repeated or unexpected interruptions in your training can result in poor consistency, as well as the added mental challenge of having to get back on the wagon and get the forward momentum rolling  again.  

When you add up all the other stresses of travel, such as such as too much sitting, irregular or poor nutrition options, unfamiliar sleeping situations, and time zone changes,  and you don’t have workout options easily available, it’s easy to throw in the towel and resign yourself to temporary defeat.  Some of the same challenges can present themselves to the time-crunched professional who is attempting to train and balance work, family, and a fitness schedule. 

Having the resources and the plan to keep your fitness priorities a part of your routine on the road, can keep you from slipping off the wagon, keep you feeling good about your training, and will counteract some of the negative effects and general stress of travel.  This article goes over some of the tools to help you stay on track when on the road, or when your schedule gets too chaotic and too many things are competing for your time.
Each training tool is linked back to an online library of exercises, as well as instructional videos for several movements that you can use as resource to plan a workout in your hotel room, an empty conference room, a nearby park, rest stop, or anywhere you happen to be!

Suspension training

Suspension training was created as a way to train and maintain conditioning with limited training space or equipment.  The equipment is lightweight and easy to store and throw into a suitcase or gym bag for travel.  This tool can be used anywhere, from the hotel gym, to a local park, the pool deck, or within your house (or hotel room).  Unlike traditional weight training that often focuses on specific muscle groups, suspension training targets movements and requires the body to stabilize itself in all planes of motion during each exercise. 

Suspension training uses gravity and your own body weight as resistance through pretty much any type of movement you can think of. You can improve or maintain functional strength, balance and core stability, coordination, power, and flexibility in many ways that are extremely relevant to general fitness and daily living activities, as well as cycling, running and swimming performance. 

There are several suspension trainers on the market and they generally work on the same concepts.  We will be using the TRX suspension trainer for the purpose of demonstration.  It can be anchored to fences, trees, poles, rafters, or anything you can get to that is stable enough to hold your weight. The handles should be about 6 inches off the ground when anchored, and there are extenders you can use if up find your anchor is too high.   

How to set up a Suspension Trainer in your home
A door anchor will be needed to anchor the suspension training as shown here:

The solid square piece goes on the backside of the door and the nylon piece has a loop on the end of it. This is the piece to which you will connect the suspension-training device.  Just make sure the door is either closing toward you, or locked so it won't accidentally pull open when you have your weight loaded on the suspension band.  

We have put together some resources to help you develop a plan of action if you are traveling or just want to start incorporating some strength work into your routine.  

Examples of a few fundamental movements that can be performed on a suspension trainer 


Resources for Suspension Training
A video library of movements that can be performed with the suspension training can be found HERE.

Some movements that complement each other along with more detailed form instruction and short clips you can follow for practice and repetition can be found HERE

Cycling Center Dallas, under Coach Christenson's leadership, has suspension trainers and offers intro sessions as well as group classes, check the schedule for class times and descriptions.

If you would like to purchase your own, you may do so from the TRX Website or just google 'suspension trainer' (make sure to check out the reviews to make sure its decent product).


Tools and Methods for Fitness while Traveling. Part 2:Elastic Bands and the Rip Trainer





Tools and Methods for Fitness while Traveling: Part 2 - Elastic Resistance and the Rip Trainer

band_copyElastic Bands

These convenient devices are a versatile, lightweight tool that can be used for simple movements for beginners, and can increase in difficulty all the way to complex, multi-planar movements for more advanced or specific training.

Bands are inexpensive and easy to transport.

The resistance given by bands and tubing is elastic, which is a unique element to this mode of training. As elastic stretches, resistance increases so the load put on the muscle increases throughout the movement. This is different from traditional weight training, and other modes of body weight training, which rely on gravity.

The versatility of bands also allows you to perform exercises from a sport specific position or when mimicking a sport specific movement (i.e. swim stroke, or golf swing).

When performing any exercise the resistance can easily be adjusted depending on how close or how far away you are standing from the anchor point. If you want more resistance…step further away from the anchor, which adds tension. If you want less… take a step closer to reduce tension. Bands also come in a variety of thicknesses and tensions that provide a large range of resistance.

Bands can be anchored with a standard door anchor at ground level, chest height, or from the top of the door depending on the exercise being performed.  They can also be tied around or hooked to anything stable such as rails, fencing, tree branches, whatever you can find that is accessible.

              Bandanchoredhigh  bandanchoredmid  bandanchoredlow        bands

  • High Anchor: Resistance level will be coming from above.  Good for pull-downs, triceps extensions, and high to low chops.

  • Mid Level Anchor:  Resistance angle will be at about chest level. Good for Presses and Rows, flys, reverse flys and rotational core work.

  • Low Anchor: Resistance angle will be coming from the floor.  Good for shoulder presses, bicep curls, upright raises, squat presses and low to high chops. 

The Rip Trainer:riptrainerpic

I wanted to give this tool a shout out because it is one of my favorites.   Personally, not many exercises that I do give me quite the combination of core and full body resistance and strength, than some of the movements I can do using this tool.

At the core, it’s simply a bar with an elastic band attached that can be anchored in that same way any band can, to a door anchor, or anything else that is stable and available.  You get the stability of pushing the resistance through a solid bar, and the flexibility of moving through any plane of movement you wish.  Exercises can be performed asymmetrically for increased core stability and awareness,  and sport specific movements such as a golf swing or slap shot can be mimicked more realistically, or movements can be combined or stacked on top of each other, for a more demanding or cardio-focused workout.  

The only drawback is that you will need more space for some of the exercises than a hotel room might offer. You also may need to purchase an additional band if the medium resistance back that comes with it is too hard or too easy for you.  The bands come in Light, Medium, Heavy, Xheavy and XXheavy.

Ready to progress?

We have provided a video library of these exercises Here.  Feel free to browse through to get some ideas or select a series of exercises to put together a workout. 

We do have a couple of videos providing more detailed instruction of some of the movements HERE

Just starting out?

Start Simple: A pressing, a pulling, a rotational and a lower body movement makes for a great beginner's full body program.

Get creative! Increase the number of repetitions and reduce rest times between sets, perform more complex movement, increase the resistance of the band or the speed of the movement.

Tools and Methods for Fitness while Traveling. Part 1:Suspension Training

Coach Wharton

A Quick Highlight of Some Features With the Latest Release of PerfPro Studio

It's interesting to see how the CompuTrainer Calibration changes over the course of a workout, whether from intervals or steady-state. Look especially at the beginning and again around minute 50.

Coach Wharton

Using PerfPro Analyzer and Studio to Acquire Critical Power and Anaerobic Work Capacity/W Prime, and then USE IT in PerfPro Studio

Cycling Center Dallas is proud to be among the first users IN THE WORLD to employ on-site Anaerobic Work Capacity/W Prime in real-time. What is AWC/W'? It's your BANK ACCOUNT of ENERGY ABOVE Critical Power. It's HOW MUCH ENERGY YOU HAVE AVAILABLE WHEN YOU ARE WORKING HARD. It's NEW, it's ACCURATE, and it will HELP YOU BECOME A BETTER AND SMARTER CYCLIST. Come by the studios for a free class, or if you're outside the D/FW area, purchase a copy of PerfPro and let Online Bike Coach help you improve your Stamina, Speed, Strength, and Skill this pre-season!

Coach Wharton

Consistency, Consistency, Consistency! Do the Work, Reap the Rewards.

Dr. Alison Elmquist is one of our most CONSISTENT Clients at Cycling Center Dallas!

One of the most important themes in any training program is the commitment to consistency. As a coach, I see it every day. The cyclist that shows up, warms up, comes prepared to work, and perseveres through good days and bad, is the one who sees the benefits and improvements over time. 

Think about it - As much as I want people to show heart and display spirit when they come to the studios, it's the simple act of a routine that best determines outcomes. Too often we see people show up with great intentions, but over time, work, family, stress, fear of failure, and other mental blocks conspire to have them drop out over time. But those who are willing to sacrifice just 60-90 minutes at a time, and go through the routine, ideally at the same time and same location each week, begin to 'get it', mentally and physically. The body responds better when it begins a routine. Now, as you all know - plateaus DO happen. But it's honestly better to get to a plateau through a routine of work, than it is to plateau at lower level of performance, and WISH you were a stronger, faster, cyclist. 

The studios exist because they offer a venue that is Consistent in location, Consistent in the quality of coaching and expertise, and Consistent in the time schedule that can offer something to everyone. If you are a cyclist and you CANNOT make one of our scheduled time slots, then give us a call or send us a note. We're here to help you improve, be it your schedule or ours (as long as it's reasonable... Remember, we're up at 4am most mornings, so asking for a custom class at 10pm one night a week, while feasible, may not be reasonable, just sayin'.). Studies show that a cyclist training just six hours a week in a program of gently increasing intensity and duration of intervals, can lead to improvements in power output and Critical Power of 10% or more. 10% more power can mean up to 1mph for a recreational cyclist, or an extra hour of stamina out on the road. So think about consistency in your training plan, your venue for training, weather, time, atmosphere and the environment. Then think Cycling Center Dallas, and come visit.

Coach Wharton

Coach Kurt Chacon's Videos Are Now On Our Webpage!

Click on this link and you will better understand our holistic approach to a better body for better cycling!


Cycling for Fitness Clinic

Jan52012 (47 of 54)What: Cycling for Fitness Clinic. Where: Cycling Center Dallas 1373 West Campbell RD Richardson, TX 75080 (Right next to Richardson Bike Mart). When: April 20th,  9am. Who: Novice and intermediate cyclists who want to learn more about how to use their bicycles to increase fitness, lose weight or improve their health. What you need: A working bike, comfortable workout or cycling attire, water and towel. Part 1: Learn the basic rules of the road, get information on how to ride outdoors and on the roads safely, basic bike checks, learn how to shift and properly use your gears. Also, Learn how to set up the bike on a trainer and practice clipping in if you have cycling shoes(not required). Part 2: Walk through and participate in an indoor training performance class. We will explain and walk you through how the technology will help you progress in your goals for increased fitness and health, or increased strength and stamina. You will also get a workout so come prepared to sweat a little and bring a bottle of water and towel. All levels welcome but this class will be tailored toward beginner cyclists as well as a those who want to learn more about indoor training concepts using wattage. THIS IS AN INDOOR ONLY CLINIC SO IT WILL BE HELD RAIN OR SHINE. Sign up here: Contact