Regardless of whether you’re an athlete based in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere, you’re bound to experience some sort of extreme weather temperatures whilst training and or competing. In this blog, we want to offer you a few tips to perform at your best in extreme conditions.
Training or racing on a hot or cold day will catch you off guard if you’re not prepared to counteract the effects of the weather, so to start, let’s talk about preparation.
We’ve found that preparing a list of items to take with you either out on the bike, or in your bag is a great way to set yourself up for success during the session ahead. So here’s our ‘must pack’ lists for both temperature extremes:
Do you wear headphones and listen to music whilst you're warming up and warming down?
Many elite level athletes will listen to music in some capacity to help them mentally prepare to perform, so it’s no surprise that headphones and music are highly rated amongst top track cyclists.
So how does music actually help?
Science has proven that music can enhance performance in sport in the following 4 ways:
1. Dissociation through music diverts the mind.
2. Music promotes flow states for internal motivation.
3. Synchronised music movements can shift your level of activity.
4. Music evokes emotions that enrich your enjoyment.
Trialling different music genres to achieve your optimum 'arousal level' (see diagram below) will help you with your preparation and event performance.
Do you listen to music whilst warming up, perhaps on the bus on the way to a racing event, or to unwind post-event?
Drop us a comment in the box below and let us know what you're listening...
The individual pursuit is no doubt one of the toughest of the track cycling events, particularly if you're lining up for a longer distance - 3k or 4k pursuit.
With advancements in sports science, and feedback systems such as power cranks, training and refining, the pursuit has never been easier - not that it's an easy event to train for!
Sports science and power data aside, there's one simple rule that many riders don't quite 'nail' upon starting their pursuit...
The point at which you transition from an out of the seat acceleration into the saddle and pursuit bars.
So when do you transition?
When we coach athletes for Individual Pursuit events, we often give them three tips, one of which covers off on the transition statement above:
A strong start and transition will...
Peaking is when you feel and operate at your absolute best, ideally you should have a very limited amount of residual fatigue from previous training and have acquired a substantial amount of fitness.
It's a simple equation that looks like this:
PEAKING = FITNESS - FATIGUE
Understanding your body, the level of intensity and volume that you put your body under in the weeks prior to your race peak is also important.
For example, if you decide to increase your volume too much in the weeks leading into event, your ability to ‘freshen up’ and reduce your fatigue levels in time for your event may be jeopardised.
On the other hand, if you decide to reduce your volume too early, you may find yourself absolutely flying in the days and weeks before your event, but by the time race day rolls around, you’ve gone over your peak and end up underperforming.
Working closely with a coach, or closely monitoring your own training over the season is an important step in...
by Cycling Performance Physiologist & Coach Michael Jordan
Did you listen to the Webinar about training for Endurance Track Cycling? Was it useful? Was it what you wanted or needed to hear? If not, do tell me!
I described how I break down events, and the word ‘lysis’ means breakdown, so to analyse something you have to look at its component parts.
For a sprint endurance event like the kilo or a more aerobic endurance event like the Individual Pursuit my approach is pretty-well the same. If you look at the body shape of Shane Perkins and Anna Meares versus Jack Bobridge and Annette Edmondson that may surprise you.
Let me explain:
To remind you of the basics of the physiology:
The first energy system you use at the commencement of an activity is the ATP-CP system. This is without air, or anaerobic, and takes you up to the first 6 to 10 seconds.
The next is anaerobic glycolysis which will be the dominant energy source for the next 20 to 120 seconds. Yes, that...
With the change in the UCI rulings, the importance of a smooth and fast 200m time has never been more important yet we have watched many cyclists get it wrong and end up with a poor seeding going into the sprint rounds.
Finding the right entry line will differ from track to track based on the differentiation in banking gradients, transitions and track distances (e.g. 250 or 333m etc.).
Have a look at the image below...
You'll see in the image above, we've marked out the top of the banking and placed stars which represent the position or line you may take on entry into the flying 200m.
The green arrow indicates the point on the fence line where the track starts to 'run up hill'.
One of the first things worth doing when arriving at a new track is:
Study exactly where the fence line starts to run up hill in the straights.
Because if you stick to the fence line too long on entry into the 200m effort, you'll find yourself running up hill before proceeding down hill...
Executing a strong, powerful and fast standing start is something that takes a lot of practice.
The standing start is made up of a bunch of different technical elements, so in this blog we will identify one of the most crucial that, coupled with all elements, will help you get off to a cracker start!
Check out the image below, and have a look at the athlete's (Shane Perkins') hip position in both images....
Horizontally Shane's hip position between image one and two demonstrate that his hips are travelling along the same plane and are level.
In image two, Shane's hips are further forward.
Both images were taken in close sequence with image two snapped only one tenths of a second after the first.
To go forward your hips must travel forward along the same horizontal plane whilst maintaining good core and upper body strength recruitment throughout the push, rake and lift components of the pedal stroke!
Perfect practice makes perfect!
There are so many different formulas, services and custom fit guidelines around how to correctly fit your track bike.
So much so, we feel it’s all getting way too complicated than it needs to be.
If you’re new to the sport of track cycling, perhaps you come from a road background, or are new to cycling in general, then we recommend you follow a basic set up guide before getting too fancy with modifications.
So where to once you’ve purchased your track bike?
Once you’ve purchased your track bike, working out your correct saddle position, which includes its height (vertical plane) and setback (horizontal plane) is the first place you will start.
Once this is set, it should then be untouched, as you will work on the rest of the set up once the saddle position is set.
When you’re setting up your saddle, it’s very important to note your flexibility and range of motion at the time of set up. You may need to make small adjustments over...
Happy New Year!
On behalf of our team, we hope you've had a wonderful Christmas and New Year break!
How have you gone with your New Years 'resolutions' so far?
Or perhaps you don't have any resolutions, and instead are continuing on the path of your longer term goals?
Either way, we thought we'd start the New Years by offering a bit of motivation to ensure you start the New Year on the right track.
We've taken a leaf from Michelle Segar a Motivational Scientist and Faculty Director of Sport in the United States who has helped us achieve our goals over the years so we thought we'd share her 4 fold approach...
So here it is in our own words....
Make sure you think about what has worked for you in the past when it comes to goals you have achieved, but also consider why you're choosing the goals that are ahead of you.
Before you enter the next stage, you need to be sure that you're moving towards a certain direction for the right reasons.
Are you a middle aged cyclist?
Have you ever wondered what areas you need to consider in your training once you hit middle age and beyond?
In this short video blog, our Physiological Performance Analyst Michael Jordan talks about some of the key areas that middle aged cyclists need to focus on in their training.