Form & Fitness Q & A
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Fitness questions and answers for December 19, 2005
The Cyclingnews form & fitness panel
Carrie Cheadle, MA (www.carriecheadle.com)
is a Sports Psychology consultant who has dedicated her career to helping
athletes of all ages and abilities perform to their potential. Carrie
specialises in working with cyclists, in disciplines ranging from track
racing to mountain biking. She holds a bachelors degree in Psychology
from Sonoma State University as well as a masters degree in Sport Psychology
from John F. Kennedy University.
Dave Palese (www.davepalese.com)
is a USA Cycling licensed coach and masters' class road racer with 16
years' race experience. He coaches racers and riders of all abilities
from his home in southern Maine, USA, where he lives with his wife Sheryl,
daughter Molly, and two cats, Miranda and Mu-Mu.
Kelby Bethards, MD received a Bachelor of
Science in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University (1994) before
obtaining an M.D. from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 2000.
Has been a racing cyclist 'on and off' for 20 years, and when time allows,
he races Cat 3 and 35+. He is a team physician for two local Ft Collins,
CO, teams, and currently works Family Practice in multiple settings: rural,
urgent care, inpatient and the like.
Fiona Lockhart (www.trainright.com)
is a USA Cycling Expert Coach, and holds certifications from USA Weightlifting
(Sports Performance Coach), the National Strength and Conditioning Association
(Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach), and the National Academy
for Sports Nutrition (Primary Sports Nutritionist). She is the Sports
Science Editor for Carmichael Training Systems, and has been working in
the strength and conditioning and endurance sports fields for over 10
years; she's also a competitive mountain biker.
Eddie Monnier (www.velo-fit.com)
is a USA Cycling certified Elite Coach and a Category II racer. He holds
undergraduate degrees in anthropology (with departmental honors) and philosophy
from Emory University and an MBA from The Wharton School of Business.
Eddie is a proponent of training with power. He coaches cyclists (track,
road and mountain bike) of all abilities and with wide ranging goals (with
and without power meters). He uses internet tools to coach riders from
David Fleckenstein, MPT (www.physiopt.com)
is a physical therapist practicing in Boise, ID. His clients have included
World and U.S. champions, Olympic athletes and numerous professional athletes.
He received his B.S. in Biology/Genetics from Penn State and his Master's
degree in Physical Therapy from Emory University. He specializes in manual
medicine treatment and specific retraining of spine and joint stabilization
musculature. He is a former Cat I road racer and Expert mountain biker.
Since 1986 Steve Hogg (www.cyclefitcentre.com)
has owned and operated Pedal Pushers, a cycle shop specialising in rider
positioning and custom bicycles. In that time he has positioned riders
from all cycling disciplines and of all levels of ability with every concievable
cycling problem.They include World and National champions at one end of
the performance spectrum to amputees and people with disabilities at the
Current riders that Steve has positioned include Davitamon-Lotto's Nick
Gates, Discovery's Hayden Roulston, National Road Series champion, Jessica
Ridder and National and State Time Trial champion, Peter Milostic.
Pamela Hinton has a bachelor's degree in Molecular
Biology and a doctoral degree in Nutritional Sciences, both from the University
of Wisconsin-Madison. She did postdoctoral training at Cornell University
and is now an assistant professor of Nutritional Sciences at the University
of Missouri-Columbia where she studies the effects of iron deficiency
on adaptations to endurance training and the consequences of exercise-associated
changes in menstrual function on bone health.
Pam was an All-American in track while at the UW. She started cycling
competitively in 2003 and is the defending Missouri State Road Champion.
Pam writes a nutrition column for Giana Roberge's Team Speed Queen Newsletter.
Dario Fredrick (www.wholeathlete.com)
is an exercise physiologist and head coach for Whole Athlete™. He is a
former category 1 & semi-pro MTB racer. Dario holds a masters degree in
exercise science and a bachelors in sport psychology.
Scott Saifer (www.wenzelcoaching.com)
has a Masters Degree in exercise physiology and sports psychology and
has personally coached over 300 athletes of all levels in his 10 years
of coaching with Wenzel Coaching.
Kendra Wenzel (www.wenzelcoaching.com)
is a head coach with Wenzel Coaching with 17 years of racing and coaching
experience and is coauthor of the book Bike Racing 101.
Richard Stern (www.cyclecoach.com)
is Head Coach of Richard Stern Training, a Level 3 Coach with the Association
of British Cycling Coaches, a Sports Scientist, and a writer. He has been
professionally coaching cyclists and triathletes since 1998 at all levels
from professional to recreational. He is a leading expert in coaching
with power output and all power meters. Richard has been a competitive
cyclist for 20 years
Andy Bloomer (www.cyclecoach.com)
is an Associate Coach and sport scientist with Richard Stern Training.
He is a member of the Association of British Cycling Coaches (ABCC) and
a member of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).
In his role as Exercise Physiologist at Staffordshire University Sports
Performance Centre, he has conducted physiological testing and offered
training and coaching advice to athletes from all sports for the past
4 years. Andy has been a competitive cyclist for many years.
Kim Morrow (www.elitefitcoach.com)
has competed as a Professional Cyclist and Triathlete, is a certified
USA Cycling Elite Coach, a 4-time U.S. Masters National Road Race Champion,
and a Fitness Professional.
Her coaching group, eliteFITcoach, is based out of the Southeastern United
States, although they coach athletes across North America. Kim also owns
a resource for cyclists, multisport athletes & endurance coaches around
the globe, specializing in helping cycling and multisport athletes find
Advice presented in Cyclingnews' fitness pages is provided for educational
purposes only and is not intended to be specific advice for individual
athletes. If you follow the educational information found on Cyclingnews,
you do so at your own risk. You should consult with your physician before
beginning any exercise program.
Saddles for pelvic support
Knees and hamstrings
Oversize bars and stem
Changes in training programme
Left inguinal hernia repair rehabilitation
Saddles for pelvic support
Short background info: (not nearly enough for you)
I'm a 26 year old elite amateur; I've been riding MTB and road for almost ten
years. I'm 1.79m, 63 kg, inseam 86.5 cm. I have a rather long lower leg, with
tibia and femur being the same length, plus a 15 degree left foot varus and
a 5 degree right foot varus. I use size 44 Shimano M221 shoes) with the cleat
positioned as far back as it will go. On almost all bikes I've been riding this
has resulted in saddle as far forward as it will go, often with a no set-back
Back in 2003 I was diagnosed with patella femoral pain that resolved during
the transition period but has been "present" ever since. (I found NMES on vastus
medialis very helpful, sort of improved my patella tracking) I've been able
to avoid it through stretching. I've always had pretty tight ITB and painful
piriformis) and my right thigh is somewhat larger then my left - this results
in much smoother pedalling from this leg.
I have a history of "always" changing bike setup; what feels good one day feels
crap the next. The last two years I've been riding Scott bikes (Scale 10, RC-10
and CR1PRO). This year I've been using the Arione and before that the Aliante
saddles for three years. About a year ago I came across the Lemond Lewedge website
and felt this could be the solution to my fragile left knee; at first I simply
put a round shim around the inner bolt of the left cleat and suddenly I could
feel my vastus medialis engaged while pedaling! So this spring I ordered the
Lemond kit - I placed one Lewedge on the right shoe and tried both two and three
on the left. I used this setup until I got a new pair of orthotic insoles in
June. Using the new insoles, three Lewedges felt "too much" and at the same
time I felt that the Lewedge ruined the shoe/pedal interface, making it feel
unstable, so I removed them.
At the UCI Marathon World Cup 1 Falun, Sweden (my home town) I was aiming for
a realistic top 10 finish but thing didn't go as planned. For the first time
in my cycling carer I it felt like I was only using my right leg, as my right
thigh was burning from lactate and I felt I couldn't use my left; I pulled out
after 100 km unable to ride anywhere near my ability. The next day my right
leg felt like I had ridden 200 kilometres and my left felt fresh.
I asked them to modify my orthotics to compensate fully for the forefoot varus
on both feet with 5mm versus 2.5mm - I road that during the remainder of the
season without too many problems. Due to too much lab work I hardly rode at
all during November and just started training again; this time on my ergometer.
During the first two sessions I again felt that I was using my right leg to
a greater extent and this made me decide to get to really try and solve the
problem. I went back to your posts on cleat placement and checked where I was
today compared with your suggestions. I was roughly 20mm in front of the pedal
axle, so I moved the cleat forward about 10mm. This is the first time that I've
moved the cleat forward and had a good feeling on the first ride. I had to adjust
the cleats a bit more toe out but now it felt really good. At the same time
I removed my cycling orthotics and replaced them with the one from my running
shoes (not modified for varus). I did a four hour ride without pain and my pedalling
felt symmetrical; the only thing I felt was that I was missing a little varus
shim on the left shoe.
Now back to my original question - would choosing a particular saddle improve
the stability of my pelvis? In that a flat saddle (SLR) would make me drop my
hip to a greater extent than an Aliante? Also when shimming for a forefoot varus
as great as 15 degrees, like I did with three Lewedges, I feel like I'm creating
a leg length discrepancy.
Steve Hogg replies
My experience is that when there is a pronounced difference in forefoot varus
between feet, that is more than 3 degrees difference, there is always a lateral
pelvic tilt present and often but not always, a measurable leg length discrepancy.
It is worth having a scan to determine whether there is a measurable bone
length difference between left and right sides.
I will guarantee that you struggle to sit square on the seat and this is
the cause of your occasional 'no power' feeling with the left leg.
Now your question is about stability on the seat as it relates to the shape
of the seat and I will get to that, but a few observations first.
On a mountain bike with its more upright position, a lot of pelvic asymmetries
that affect the evenness of pedalling with both legs that are obvious on a
road bike diminish and occasionally for practical purposes disappear. This
is because the more prone torso position of a road bike presents a greater
challenge to pelvic stability on the seat because of the greater effective
horizontal torso length usually dictated by the bodies' position on a road
In effect what I am saying is that one of the things I would try in your case,
is that if your bars are low for an MTB, I would lift them up somewhat as
an experiment, and judge the height by how it affects stability on the seat.
If too high you may be reasonably stable on the seat but have a poor steering
feel so the best compromise is what you should be striving for.
The other thing I would do is find a good hands on physio or similar and
find out just how your structure is in a global sense and start some sort
of stretching or exercise regime to even out any obvious asymmetries that
Now to your question. I divide seats into four basic categories.
1. "Flat width" seats which are seats that when viewed from behind taper
down from the centre to the sides gradually or not at all.
2. " Rounded width" seats which are seats that when viewed from behind taper
down quickly from the centre to the sides.
3. " Flat in profile" seats which are seats that when viewed from the side
have little of no dip in their length.
4. " Dip in profile" seats which are seats that when viewed from the side
have a noticeable dip in their length. I would call all seats with a perineal
cutout " Dip in profile" seats whether they appear flat in profile at a glance
I have found that "Flat width" seats generally aid pelvic stability on the
seat for those who drop one hip or the other. Using one doesn't stop the hip
drop, just makes it less pronounced than it is on a "Rounded width" seat.
The seat that you should have a look for is made by Wilderness but I can't
remember the name of it. It is moderately wide and very flat at the back and
it rises towards the nose in a hump more than any seat I have seen. What the
hump does is give you a reminder every time you creep forward on the seat
if indeed you do. The very flat width of the seat at the back means that any
tendency to drop the one hip will be minimised but not eliminated.
The two seats that you mention, Aliante and SLR? Both are rounded width seats.
The Aliante is the wider and is also a Dip profile seat. The SLR appears to
be Flat in width but isn't. The rear of the seat is not where the rider sits
on an SLR. Just forward of the rear there is an angled depression on each
side of the seat which is where the sitbones end up. This makes it in effect
a Rounded profile seat as well. If you are going to use an SLR, I would advise
an SLR Gelflow. It has more padding which pretty much causes it to become
a Flat width seat and the perineal cutout means that it is also a Dip profile
Knees and hamstrings
Dear Steve Hogg
In your last fitness Q & A you
wrote the following:
"This in turn means that the calves can get on with what I think is their real
job on a road or tri bike, which is to contract eccentrically in concert with
the hamstrings doing the same during the pedal downstroke. Both calves and hammies
cross the knee joint. Working together eccentrically, the net effect is to pull
the knee backwards."
I have some concerns with the biomechanical principles that you have addressed
in this statement. Both of these muscle groups that you are speaking of cross
two joints, the gastrocnemius crosses the talocrural joint and the knee joint.
At the talocrural jt the gastrocs performs planter flexion and at the knee it
works concentrically to create flexion. Two muscles of the hamstrings cross
two joints the third only one. All three muscles can flex the knee, semimembranosus
and semitendinosus work concentrically to extend the hip. If the talocrural
jt and hip joint were completely stabilized (which is not the case during a
pedal stroke) they would work together to pull the knee into flexion. This is
of course obvious, however you have commented on the eccentric qualities of
these muscles. Eccentric contractions are by definition the resistance by a
muscle against lengthening. Eccentric contractions do not perform positive work,
they perform negative work. It is not possible to accelerate a joint using an
eccentric contraction only decelerate a joint. So in the case of the gastrocnemius
if this muscle is working eccentrically it is preventing lengthening, i.e dorsiflexion
of the talocrural and extension of the knee. If the semimembranosus and tendinosus
are working eccentrically they are preventing flexion of the hip and extension
of the knee. This is contrary to what you have written in the attached statement.
To complicate things further during the power stroke (downward) the hamstrings'
two joints are performing incompatible movements. The hip is extending which
shortens the hamstrings, while the knee is extending which lengthens the hamstrings.
Unfortunately the hamstring or any two joint muscle can not concentrically contract
within one section and eccentrically contract at the other. If the hamstring
is activated powerfully eccentrically at this time it would prevent extension
at the knee.
With the same line of thinking an eccentric contraction of the gastrocs would
pull the knee into flexion, or more importantly work as an antagonist against
the contracting quads which are creating extension.
The movements going on during a pedal stroke are inherently complex due to
the many multi joint muscles working together along with all the stabilizers
and I have certainly not even brushed the surface of there relationships. To
summarise my concerns would be to say that your statement suggests that eccentric
contractions can create a moment that produces movement (in this case extension
at the knee), but this is not true as eccentric contractions produce a moment
that slows down a movement. So as stated if the calves and hamstring worked
eccentrically together they could not possibly produce an extension moment but
would prevent an extension movement.
On the other hand if a concentric contraction of both muscles were to occur
with perfect timing and force this would create a moment that would lead to
extension. I included a very primitive vector diagram to illustrate this point.
When the force vectors of the two muscles are broken down to their two components
one can see that the x axis vectors can negate each other while the y axis can
combine to create extension. This occurs with a concentric contraction (the
muscles are creating force to shorten) contraction. If I am way off here set
Steve Hogg replies
The effect I am speaking about is real and can be verified by anyone who
wants to go through the process outlined in various posts providing they exercise
some common sense. I suspect that the cause of your dilemma is not that you
are "way off" and need to be "set straight" but probably a less than accurate
description on my part of 'eccentric' contraction.
For the last 19 years I have been basically a bike mechanic whose major job
evolved through circumstance and need into solving positioning problems on
bikes. The result is that in a 'knowledge of bodies' sense, I am self educated
and a lot of definitions I have learnt are from context rather than being
taught and examined on them. This is probably not the best way to learn technical
terms. To be more accurate second time around; the hamstrings contract while
lengthening on the pedal downstroke. This can be verified by placing hand
on the upper hamstrings while the rider is on the pedal downstroke. The calves
do the same and this can be verified in the same way.
If the type of cleat position I favour and recommend is correctly done for
a given individual, and seat height and setback are somewhere in vicinity
of where I would put them, then this effect is quite pronounced. The effect
is "the hamstrings flex the leg at the knee and extend the leg at the hip.
When working in concert with the calf muscles, they can also act as extensors
of the leg at the knee." to quote Anatomy of the Moving Body by Theodore Dimon
Jr, the only book where I have seen this effect mentioned.
In so doing, the load of extending the knee is spread over the largest amount
of leg musculature with benefits in power and endurance. In contrast many
people with 'by the book' positioning load up the quadriceps markedly. I think
that my error was to confuse an eccentric contraction with a contraction in
one part of a muscle that was lengthening as a whole. Thanks for tackling
me on this. The worst thing that has happened is that I have learnt something.
Oversize bars and stem
Not strictly a fitness question I know, but just wondered if anyone could help
me with this dilemma, here goes: I need a shorter stem for my race bike. I want
to use my current bars, which are Deda, these have a diameter of Ř31.7mm.
The bore of the stem I have my eye on is Ř31.8; I realise this is only a tiny
difference, but I'm concerned this will force the bars into an unnatural shape
when clamped in the stem, resulting in stressing the aluminium and could result
in a fracture of the bars (usually when you least want it - bunch sprints, descent,
What do you think? Has any one else used Ř31.7 bars in an Ř31.8 stem. Or do
you think the difference is such a small amount it won't matter, that there
will be enough 'give' in the stem and bar to take up the difference in diameter/shape?
I don't know what tolerances they make bars to, but I doubt they can draw bars
to less than ±0.1mm on diameter. Therefore meaning the stem should be fine,
but some confirmation would be good. I'm a design engineer by trade, so I'm
very conscious of stressing materials, particularly aluminium, in a way they're
not meant to be stressed and ensuring correct fit.
Steve Hogg replies
I have mixed Deda oversize bars with other brands of oversize stems for some
time without problems. For the exercise I just measured five pairs of Deda
oversize bars of different models and sizes and on my verniers they all measured
31.8mm when measured in the centre of the bulge. I don't think you will have
Scott Saifer replies
I haven't tried a 0.1 mm difference but have seen the effect of an 0.4mm
difference, which though larger is still pretty small. That difference didn't
allow the stem clamp around the bars to be adequately tightened to prevent
rotation. The stem appeared to contact the bar all the way round, but apparently
was not pressing effectively. Similarly a seat post that is just 0.2mm too
small for a frame will not hold without damage to the frame. I'd suggest getting
bars and stem that match exactly, even if it means buying another part that
you are not sure you need.
Changes in training programme
I am a 42 year old cyclist and have been riding and racing for the past 20
years. I usually try to do a weight training programme every year that includes
three days in the gym in the off season and transition to one maintenance day
during the spring and summer months. My question is should I take a day off
from the gym when my legs are still very sore from the previous workout? I am
finding as I get older it takes about 72 hours to recover from a lifting session.
Does this mean I should cut back to two days in the gym or should I just tough
it out and dream of better days on the road?
Ric Stern replies
Many coaches recommend weight training during the winter. It's not a new
phenomenon, and I suspect its use goes back to the beginning of cycle sport.
It's a popular off-season activity for many cyclists, who may believe that
it will help them cycle better for e.g., during hill climbs, TTs, and sprinting
- as these activities often *feel* like they are strength limited.
However, actual research doesn't show any significant effect in trained cyclists,
and first principles suggest that for endurance cycle racing weight training
would not be required to increase endurance cycling performance, and maybe
detrimental to endurance cycling performance. An
overview can be found here.
If your cycling is limited during the off-season due to e.g., inclement weather
or darker nights, then any additional exercise would be good for you, as it
may help you to better maintain your weight or if the volume/intensity is
high enough may cause fat loss.
For endurance cycle races (e.g., any race > 90-secs in duration) the primary
determinant is aerobic capacity (i.e., VO2max and lactate threshold) and these
are *best* trained in the specific modality that you compete in (i.e., on
the bike), as many adaptations that occur are both joint angle and joint velocity
specific. Thus, for road racing, criteriums, and TTs, on the bike training
is best. However, in the former two events there is often an element of sprinting
involved at the end of a race. Weight training can help increase peak (sprint)
power (which is why track sprinters are so large) when there's an increase
in muscle cross sectional area (hypertrophy). The down side of this is that
aerobic performance would be decreased with this increase (of cross sectional
area) due to a relative decrease in muscle mitochondrion density and capillary
density. Therefore the increased mass would slow you down uphill and when
e.g., TTing, etc., but may help with sprinting.
With your stated goals of losing fat mass, and a total decrease in weight
(presumably to help climbing) an increase in muscle cross sectional area (to
increase peak power) may not be the best training option. Peak power (i.e.,
sprint ability) can be trained perfectly well on the bike for endurance cycle
races. Sessions that include both sprinting from ~ 32 km/hr or greater, in
a moderate gear for 15-secs, within a long session, or sprints from stationary
in a low gear for 10-secs whilst remaining seated are good sprint training
sessions. Additionally, it's important to learn tactics for road sprints and
knowing which wheels to follow, etc. This is best done in a group training
sessions when you sprint for a designated point.
For time trialling, one of the best sessions for increasing performance is
to complete one to four interval of 15 to 30-mins duration at a power just
below that which you can maintain for about one hour. This session would be
repeated one to three times per week, depending on other goals, scheduling,
There maybe some reasons to do weight training (e.g., inclement weather and
you can't stand the indoor trainer), a change in physique/body shape, or you
have a manual labour job that requires a high strength requirement, but for
endurance cycling - for the vast majority of people who race - it's unlikely
that weights would be beneficial and could be detrimental to endurance cycling
performance. Weights have been shown to help increase performance in low fitness
and untrained subjects, but not in trained cyclists.
Left inguinal hernia repair rehabilitation
I would like some advice on rehabilition from a left inguinal hernia repair
I had on 25 November 2005.
I am 49 years old (male), ride on average 300km to 350km per week - three faster
group rides and four rides by myself. My max heart rate is 198. I use a Polar
725 heart rate monitor with cadence.
Any comments & advice you can give would be helpful; things like when should
I get on the bike, and what type of training (how hard, how long)?
Kelby Bethards replies
First off, there is more than one kind of hernia (even inguinal) and not
all hernias are created equally. There are direct and indirect inguinal hernias
and there are different ways to repair them. Do you know if the hernia was
large or small, per your surgeon? Did he/she use mesh or standard repair?
The key part of the rehab/return to cycling is the ability to perform a Valsalva
manoeuvre, or what we do when we "bear down". Although we don't do it too
much riding we do it enough to warrant talking to your surgeon about when
you can safely return to cycling. I would bet at six weeks you will be ready
to go, but I don't know the details of your repair so, talk with your doc
there to find out when it is safe to, lift heavy weights again. The reason
I say that, is because if you can do that you should be safe to cycle. The
trick with a lot of surgical fixes, is that we the operated on, tend to feel
pretty good before the healing tensile strength is ready for us to feel good.
That's when re-injury can occur.
I'm a 48 year old Masters rider, who's had some success in cyclocross, time
trials and the occasional triathlon, with a 40km time trial best time of just
under an hour or so. I used to be a very good triathlete, until injuries severely
limited my running. Now I ride about 800-1000 miles a month from April - October
and about 400-600 the rest of the year; many of those miles are to and from
work from April through October. I also run twice per week and swim twice per
week for 30 minutes each, and lift weights twice per week.
In the winter I spend a lot of time during the week at lunch on a health club
lifecycle, with workouts lasting 45-60 minutes. Are you familiar with this apparatus?
Does it translate well to cycling fitness/performance? If I switch it on to
the race mode, it seems to give a reasonably accurate measure of watts. Do you
believe this to be true? With a goal of improving my time trialling, what sorts
of workouts should I do on the lifecycle during the week, when I can't get outdoors
or on my home trainer due to my work schedule? I've never been very strict at
following a schedule, especially during the summer when it seems I just want
to be out riding rather than following a schedule. Thanks for the advice, I've
found your column to be rich in good information.
Dave Palese replies
You'd be wasting energy and time trying to make a useful comparison between
the LifeCycle and road performance numbers. The same can be said for any other
type indoor training device you can't take with you on the road. These devices
and the numbers they generate and useful inside of their own little world.
And that is fine. If you are doing a workout 4 weeks in a row on the same
machine, then the numbers are very useful for comparison session to session.
That said, these machines can be very good tools for staying fit and building
fitness through the long winter months or when you have a demanding schedule.
There is no substitute for your own bike when it comes to getting the most
specific workout, but even for differences in position and set-up, you can
still get alot out of the LifeCycle.
To workout your time trial abilities, you need do nothing less than the same
workouts you would do on you bike. A typical 2x20' Time Trial workout on the
LifeCycle would be very beneficial. Use the same heart rate numbers you would
use on your bike. Track your average watts fro each interval and push yourself
to improve them over the course of a few weeks. Have fun and good luck!
This relates to the December
12 posting about motivation
I cannot believe your response. Thank you so much. I have set one goal for
this upcoming season: the Excel Stage Race (second week of May). That's where
I want to be at my best. So, from what I gathered from your reply is that I
should set minor goals along the way. Thing is, which goals do I establish?
For instance, go to the gym 3 times a week, run once a week, etc.? What goals
can I set to know that I am on the right track? I data from aerobic TT's on
my trainer. Is that a good goal setting device (i.e. to lower the times or go
longer at similar HR's)? What are some other good goals to set along the way
One thing I am confused about is your recommendation about intervals. From
what I thought, intervals were not really to be done at this time of year; concentration
on lower to moderate intensity stuff keeping HR below 85% of max. I have been
doing isolated leg stuff, but I am burnt on it. It's the same for spin-ups,
too. I mean, how can you use variety for those "recommended" exercises for this
time of year?
Thank you again for such a great reply. I did not expect that. Hopefully, we'll
be in touch soon.
Dave Palese replies
I guess it should have been clearer.
My comments and suggestions weren't intended to be the answer to all your
needs, both short and long term. Just some thoughts on how deal with your
lack of motivation. A 2-3 week plan to get you back on the horse and headed
in the right direction. I'm sorry if you were left with more questions than
The questions you pose in your reply are big ones, much deeper and complex
than we could or should try to address in this forum. This is what a coach-rider
relationship is for. Defining the season goals and designing plan to hit those
But to answer you intervals question, Yes, if your were following a structured
and periodized plan pointed toward top performances in May, now would be an
odd time to do any consistent "interval" training. But in the context of our
initial discussion, "How do I get my motivation back?", my suggestion of doing
your favourite interval session if you ended up on the trainer is a sound
one if it gets you working out more consistently during a period of depressed
motivation. Make sense? Have fun and good luck!
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