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
12:13

A Weekend With RaceDay Apollo Co-Developer David Tilbury-Davis

A couple of weekends ago, our White Rock Lake studio was honored to host one of the two partners for some very powerful cycling and triathlon training and analysis software, David Tilbury-Davis. Mr. Davis is a triathlon coach with the British Triathlon Union (BTU), and will be relocating from his base in Spain to a new location outside of Houston this year. He came to Dallas to explain to an elite crew of coaches, what RaceDay Apollo is, and what it can do for the coach and the athlete. Read More

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10:27

Three Months in, and we're starting to see some real results!

I am posting this today from our Richardson Location, where we'll be hosting an Open House, from 2 to 5pm, complete with food, drinks, music, and live demonstrations of the studio and trainers, but the story behind the studio really has to be the results that we're starting to witness as a result of the programming and participation. Read More

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13:34

The Holistic Approach to Cycling Performance, Part I - Posture Analysis

When I started coaching twenty years ago, I was privileged to begin at a time when what we knew about performance, and what we didn't know about performance regarding cycling, left a wide gap of knowledge that needed to be filled. Fortunately, in 1996 and 1997, I returned to Dallas, where I hired a Personal Trainer, so that I could become a better mountain biker. Coach Kurt Chacon helped me understand that just because I was skinny and had a high metabolism, it did not mean I was going to be a stronger mountain biker. Texas Mountain Biking required a LOT of upper body muscular endurance and core strengthening, and over six months, Coach Kurt helped me gain about 5 lbs of muscle, which aided me towards getting several Top 10 finishes in my category in TMBRA. We forged a friendship that has now led to Coach Kurt becoming one of the Coaching Professionals at Cycling Center Dallas! This post is going to expand upon the synopsis above - in order to improve ALL of your cycling demands, you have to focus on ALL of the Physiological Requirements, and it ALL begins by assessing your body's composition and physical structure. Recently, Coach Kurt performed one of the first assessments in our newly opened Richardson Studio. The gentleman undergoing the examination was in his 60's, had about 8 years of consistent cycling experience, and had reached a plateau that he wanted to surpass. Coach Kurt followed this protocol to determine what this rider's core strengths and weaknesses were on a biomechanical level. The assessment began with the rider standing upright against a solid-colored wall, beside a plumb line. Upon observation, it became immediately noticeable that this cyclist had serious postural deviations from normal populations. Posture ALWAYS begins at the feet. The plumb line is spotted roughly between the heels. Image The plumb line should ideally run through the umbilicus, bisect the sternum, chin, nose and forehead. From the waist down, you can see an immediate offset between left and right. The left foot is closer to the median, and upon discussion, Coach Kurt learned that this rider placed all his weight on his left leg. Looking further up, he determined muscular differences, and upon further discussion, Coach Kurt learned that he had broken his right hip and had it pinned back together. Favoring one leg over another had led to pain and chronic arthritis in the left knee. ImageMoving up from the pelvis, the photograph reveals a torso that is shifted to the left. The right hip is markedly higher, and the right shoulder is markedly lower. Diversion from the sternum is also much more obvious. ImageEyes, teeth and ears, should ideally be perpendicular to the plumb line. Obviously, his torso is shifted to the left, and his head is tilted back to the right to compensate for the left torso shift. In just this sagittal plane view, this rider definitely has needs that extend beyond "Watts". How would a bike shop fit a bicyclist with these deviations?? Good Question! Now, let's approach this client from the coronal plain....Image Once again, we begin at the feet. The plumb line starts at the lateral malleolus, which is the "bump" on the outside of your ankle. Ideally, the plumb line should run through the hip joint, the shoulder joint, and right behind the earlobe. As you look at this photo, you can tell immediately that this client has shifted his entire center of gravity forward. Image Moving further up the frontal plane, the plumb line would ideally pass through the hip joint, and the chromium process. This individual instead, despite his perception that he is standing upright, is instead flattened in the lumbar region, is kyphotic in the thoracic region, and is body-weight forward. Unfortunately, as cyclists age, if they do not pay attention to these critical muscle groups along the back and spine, gravity has a tendency to 'win', due to positioning. Being over the handlebars is the same gravity strain as sitting over a keyboard, or driving in traffic. Musculo-skeletal diligence is required to maintain proper posture for effective propulsion, and this cyclist is already facing several form-induced performance handicaps. ImageLooking at the lateral, upper view of the frontal plane, the plumb line would again, ideally be located just behind the ears. This individual is about 8cm or more out of the plane, and look how the head juts forward almost beyond the torso. Image The final part of the posture analysis comes once again from the feet. Notice that in this individual, the right leg's vastus medialis (the thick muscle that you see when you pedal from 3 to 5 o'clock on a pedal stroke), almost touches the plumb line, while the left musculature is at least 2cm lower. The right foot is again forward, and there is very little development of the rider's soleus or gatrocnemius. This implies that the rider has been literally depending on too few muscle groups to perform the work necessary to propel a bike forward. ImageNow take a look at this image. Technically, this would be Scoliosis, but when a professional looks at the muscle imbalance and postural deviations in the trunk, one begins to think this is a Scoliosis of function rather than structure. In other words, this IS a musculo-skeletal imbalance that CAN be improved!!!! One of the most famous physio-therapists of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, Pavel Kolar, says, "You may not be able to alter morphology, but you CAN live a pain-free life." This individual has unfortunately developed a number of muscular compensations to avoid previous episodes of pain which may have resulted from his injury and rehab that did not take an athlete's perspective. Image In this final photo of the Posture Analysis, the viewer can really see how the right shoulder of this cyclist is below the left. The spinous processes of the lower thoracic vertebrae are visible. This is often referred to as "Naked Spine", and it reveals where the Kyphosis is the most severe. You can see Scoliosis that is concave on the right. The head is also shifted left, but tilted right. From the epicenter of the trunk, even with a scoliotic spine, some of it should be on the plumb line. The fold of the scoop of the Supra-Iliac, reveals that the right side is also higher than the left. Not shown, but revealed during the assessment, was marked deltas in stride when Coach Kurt had the individual walk. Future videos of this individual will be taken to show gait imbalances which directly translates in to pedal stroke imbalances. Finally, it was revealed that this individual suffers fatigue in one leg over the other. Can the reader guess which one? Based on this assessment and overview, it shouldn't be too difficult to determine. With all this information in hand, Coach Kurt now has the ability to compare this to range of motion in all his joints. Video analysis of this individual on a stationary trainer and performing basic functional movement assesments further revealed that, in coach-speak, this athlete was "pedaling with one leg". The imbalanced power output, combined with the significant postural deviations, leave the coaches at Cycling Center Dallas with the impression that this individual is metaphorically 'riding down the road sideways'. One might think that this assessment leaves the athlete in a dire situation or with limited prognosis for improved Stamina, Strength, and Speed. BUT, NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE BODY TO ADAPT TO NEW STIMULI AND RETURN TOWARD AN OPTIMAL STATE! This individual has agreed to multiple training sessions with Coach Kurt which will focus exclusively on joint mobilization, flexibility and target strength training. Evidence is revealing that static, traditional resistance training methods may not be the best way to enhance posture, balance, or performance. THIS is the reason that I hired Coach Kurt when I was a Bike Gypsy, and it is the same reason that his knowledge is so valuable today. Cycling Center Dallas takes a Holistic Approach to Cycling Performance, and our professionals have over 60 years of combined experience to help you optimize your performance through an optimal body. It literally begins in the mind, and extends through to the tissue, the bone, the muscle, and the DESIRE. Let us help you, help yourself. Call Coach Kurt at either 214-533-2634, or email him at Kurt@cyclingcenterdallas.com to set up a free consultation. Technology, Application, Attention, Success. We focus on YOU.

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10:07

“How can I improve, Rich?”

Here in North Texas, rally season is in full swing, after what ended up becoming a weird, wet, and mostly colder spring that kept more riders inside than outside enjoying the rides. Now, I'm all for indoor training, but let's face it – we do what we do indoors two or three times a week, so that we can enjoy ourselves more fully outdoors when the weather is good. After what seems like a pretty mediocre first half of the cycling season for me, things in the past two weeks have been looking up, and my form is actually coming along pretty well. I'm proud of my strong rides in the last two rallies, and this is where the theme of today's title comes from. Here I am, almost 40, riding at the front of the pack, taking solid pulls, shedding weaker riders, and finishing strong, on what may be about SIX HOURS A WEEK of training. Maybe. Yet after the rides, when the top 10 or 20 of us are reliving the ride, recovering with drinks and food, and watching other cyclists come through the finish line, I am always approached by other cyclists with the perpetual question... “How can I get better at this?” It's a loaded question, and it can NOT be answered easily. But the simplest answer is the one that I'll borrow from Eddy Merckx, and will also augment. “Ride Lots” and “Train Smart”. The development of a cyclist mimics the growth curve of a human being... It resembles a lazy “S”. It's concave-curvilinear from birth through early adolescence, when it sort of flattens out, and then it becomes convex-curvilinear, where it starts to trend toward a flat horizon. The limitations of the curve are based on three things: age, the time limitations you place on yourself for training, and experience. Talent is also in there as well, though it's hard to measure when you need to focus on the previous three issues. Most of the people that come to me are older (above 35), have less experience, and really don't have that much time to train, given the mix of career and family obligations. “Ride Lots” becomes “Ride When You Can”, and that leaves us with the effort where I can help... “Train Smart”. Training Smart means that cyclists who want to improve need to go through systematic, dedicated, perpetual adaptation to higher intensities of cycling. In my studio, we use Wattage to measure that intensity. We use CompuTrainers and ErgVideos to give cyclists a 12 week protocol of Progression, hitting specific energy systems that improve specific aspects of cycling's demands. Cyclists go through 4-to-6-week “Meso-Cycles” where they will be challenged on one specific energy system in which they'll be optimizing their performance. Then, we test to see if it has led to a specific result, and change to a different energy system, on a different Meso-Cycle. Progression in intensity continues until the end of the Period, which is where we back off slightly, re-test, and then once again shift modes. Cyclists who use this protocol, show up for every class, warm up properly, come with the right attitude, pre-workout and mid-workout fueling strategy, and GIVE IT ALL in the time allotted, will see results in the following four areas of cycling demands. Stamina – Stamina is perhaps the most critical of all the values by which a cyclist can gauge improvement. Stamina means that you have the ability to ride further, longer, and stronger. Hills don't leave you exhausted. You don't bonk on longer rides. Think of Stamina as being the model by which your speed and efficiency both increase. Gaining Stamina is all about holding a steady pace at a moderately hard effort. Your rides get longer, if not necessarily faster. Speed – Speed is all about improving Stamina while also learning how to react to terrain and other riders' actions more quickly. Speed is about finding the right gear, at the right time, and pedaling early enough to get over terrain, or to bridge to the natural separations that occur in a group ride, with enough subtlety that it is barely noticeable. Speed is about being fluid. Speed is a reactionary response to a perceived demand. Strength – It's hard to define the concept behind “He's a Strong Rider”. Strong Riders mix Speed and Stamina to 'crack the whip' and tax their legs, lungs, and heart so that THEY dictate the terms to the terrain, the wind, and the pack, if they're riding in one. “Strong” riders are efficient, but they're also able to recover more quickly from hard efforts, or repeated hard efforts. They also derive strength from mental development, which is equally crucial. At the Cycling Center of Dallas, riders develop both physical and mental strength from workouts via the shorter, sharper intevals that we go through in certain meso-cycles, and the different (and decreasing) recoveries that they get in between those intervals. Skill – Skill is something that is mostly developed through experience, both indoors and out, but indoors, experience is gained from knowing just how hard an effort is, what cadence is best for that effort, and what it will do for the rest of the ride. I always tell my clients - “It's not the fact that you can do one, single effort at a certain wattage output. It's the fact that you can string together multiple efforts at a lower wattage that will help you define your improvement as a cyclist.” We'll talk more about meso-cycles and the “Four S's” in later posts, but for now, think about this – If you're a professional in a career outside of cycling, and you enjoy the sport for recreational purposes, but you feel you have room to improve, “Train Smart” is your best option. At the Cycling Center of Dallas, you'll be challenged every session, on a proven plan, and will continue to see improvements in your capabilities as a cyclist, through fitness, and fun!

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08:06

Full classes and Open Classes

[caption id="attachment_68" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Group Sweat at the Cycling Center of Dallas"]Group Sweat at the Cycling Center of Dallas[/caption] Quick update for those who missed out on the first week of classes.
  • The Tuesday/Thursday 6:30pm classes are full. No positions will be added at this time.
  • Tuesday/Thursday at 7:30am is full.
  • Two slots are available at 6am on Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Two slots are available at 6:30pm on Monday/Wednesday.
Please contact Coach Wharton immediately if you are interested in joining class. The program has begun, but I can make exceptions for Threshold Testing over the weekend.

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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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