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The Cycling Blog

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Cycling Training Using a Heart Rate Monitor

cycling science training Dec 05, 2016

A lot of training programmes speak of doing an activity at a certain percentage of maximum. Often this will be maximum heart rate.

But here’s the thing...

Unsurprisingly, there is no one size fits all method. We are all, as ever, individual.

I'm going to share with you now:

  • some of the different environmental elements which affect heart rate
  • variation in people
  • different approaches to working out heart rate zones
  • a way of measuring heart reate without any monitors at all

When I work on people’s training programmes, these are variables which I consider to help tailor the right programme for each individual rider. 

Let’s look at some of the variables.

One is certainly very appropriate here in Brisbane. As I write it is about 30 degrees C outside.

If your core temperature rises so does your pulse.

What that is likely to do is to see you using a greater amount of carbohydrate – burning through the stores faster - than you would have done...

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Understanding Lactate for Track Cyclists

cycling science Nov 22, 2016

Michael Jordan here, the Track Cycling Academy's Physiological Performance Analyst.

Now here is a lovely graph. What does it tell us?

More than we ever need to know! But I like it a lot!

This graph, to me, is the basis of a lot of physical training theory. OK, there are so many more lines that you could plot on here. But then you’d have clutter.

My job with the Track Cycling Academy is to take something extraordinarily complex and to make this simple, so that you can go in to a session focused on executing the job, and not worrying about all the other combinations of session you could be doing.

Here’s another thought...

Before we begin talking about our graph:

  • You eat food, which represents your energy.
  • You process the energy to fuel.

Let me take a direct quotation from my favourite Exercise Physiology textbook, which is McArdle, Katch and Katch. My 2016 edition arrived in March 2016. This, to me, is really exciting. I haven’t been to a cinema in 10 years. I am...

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The Importance of Aerobic System Development in Track Cyclists

cycling science training Oct 10, 2016

Whether you're a track sprinter or track endurance rider - developing your aerobic system is CRUCIAL to your cycling success. 


Aerobic fitness is the base level energy system which requires oxygen.

By working on your aerobic fitness base, you’ll achieve a number of things - here's a few:  

  • Your ability to recover will be improved
  • Your ability to sustain higher functional threshold powers over a long period of time will be strong
  • You will improve your ability to back up between racing sessions and events
  • Your immune system will be stronger
  • Your ability to develop and improve on your anaerobic and ATP-CP systems will be more successful

In addition to the more obvious benefits of developing your aerobic system, there are a few that are often an afterthought.

For example, a sprint athlete who is to reach the final rounds will complete anywhere between 6 and 11 races (including the flying 200m qualification), sometimes on the same day (dependent on...

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2 Key Components for Your Cycling Success

When we’re talking about cyclists who are at the top of the game, often  we see them as fast and powerful machines who look like they’ve spent most of their time working on speed and power.

Whilst there is a substantial amount of speed and power work completed during the season, many fail to see the work our great cyclists have done in the gym or on the road during in the early part of the season.

When you look at your overall season, it’s important to look at the layers of training required to perform at your best at the pointy end or competition phase of your season. 

Structuring your training is like building a house, the foundation has to be very strong before you can put the windows, doors and roof on.

Having a solid foundation in track cycling is ensuring that you have two main components:

  1. A strong aerobic fitness base
  2. A strong strength base 

1. Aerobic Fitness 

Aerobic fitness is the base level energy system which requires oxygen.

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Why is Testing in Track Cycling so Important?

cycling science training Apr 11, 2016

To truly reveal an athlete’s capabilities, limits must be tested.

Testing = Measurability

Without testing, how will you measure improvement?

Without testing, how will you work out strengths and weaknesses?

Without testing, how will you work out key areas to focus on?

Whilst there’s always a right time and place to conduct testing in the overall training macrocycle, it’s a very important component and one that can easily be achieved WITHOUT fancy testing equipment and apparatus.

We’re going to use 'athlete X' as a case study to demonstrate the importance of testing and the information it can provide to both the athlete and coach.


Name: Athlete X

Gender: Female

Discipline: Track Sprint

Season Goals: a. Sub 11” flying 200m b. Win National Sprint Title c. Improve Peak Power

The information provided above is generally the type of information that a coach will receive from an athlete when they commence a training plan.

As you will note, all...

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Ride Faster with Cycling Aerodynamics

Wind resistance is a barrier that every track and road cyclist - or any cyclist in general for that matter - has to overcome.

Whilst the human body is not very aerodynamic in it’s natural shape, many new technologies and position advancements have been developed over the years to reduce wind resistance in two ways:

  1. Updating equipment design (bike, helmets, lycra suits etc.)
  2. Changing body position on the bike

It only takes for you to head out on the road bike into a head wind for you to experience the full effects of wind resistance.

To push through the barrier, which is simply a large mass of air, most cyclists will apply more force through the pedals and try and counteract the wind with force, as opposed to changing body position or equipment.

What makes wind resistance worse, is SPEED - the faster you travel, the more wind resistance you’ll experience, and the more effort that will be required to overcome it!

In Kerrie’s FREE video on ‘How to Ride...

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Periodised Programming for Cyclists

Do you realise the IMPORTANCE of Periodised Programming for your cycling development?

Having a periodised training program that specifically prepares you for your major season goals is CRUCIAL and is something that is the backbone to every World Champion and International Cyclist’s success.


Your program will need to encompass your short, middle and long term goals.

If you’re planning on working on your own periodised plan, make sure you have your goals in front of you so you can plan accordingly.

For more on goal planning, check out our blog on ‘How To Ride Faster’ for our FREE Goal Tracking Worksheet.

PERIODISATION = the method of structuring training programs to produce maximum performances at the right time.

In structuring our training programs for the cyclists we coach, we generally look at the most important events of the year and prioritise them accordingly.


Because it ensures we...

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