Robert Panzera of Cycling Camps San Diego on Strength & Conditioning, Goal Setting, & Periodization TrainingSubmitted by admin on Wed, 12/15/2010 - 19:52
This is an excerpt from Cycling Fast. It's published with permission of Human Kinetics.
Climbs and descents make or break cycling races, according to cycling coach Robert Panzera. In his upcoming book, Cycling Fast (Human Kinetics, June 2010), Panzera covers hills and all elements that can make a cyclist faster, from conditioning to nutrition and key skills.
Panzera says even small climbs make a difference the closer a cyclist gets to the finish line. "Climbs are additive, meaning a 200-foot gain in elevation may not seem like much in the first few miles, but near the finish, it can seem like a mountain." He advises cyclists to take special note of hills toward the end of the race because these hills split the race into two groups-the leading group going for the win and the chasers trying to pick up the remaining places. In Cycling Fast, Panzera offers 10 tactics for managing hills and staying in the lead:
- Be near the front for corners that are followed immediately by hills. "This helps you prevent being gapped," explains Panzera.
- Shift to easier gears before approaching hills. "This prevents dropping the chain off the front chainrings when shifting from the big front ring to the small front ring," he notes. "Quickly go around riders who drop their chains."
- Close gaps on hills immediately, but with an even, steady pace. "Once the group starts riding away on a hill, it is nearly impossible to bring them back," Panzera warns.
- Keep the pace high over the crest of the hill, because the leaders will increase speed faster than the riders at the tail of the group.
- Relax and breathe deeply to control heart rate on climbs.
- Dig deep to stay in contact on shorter climbs. "Once a group clears the top, it is difficult to catch up on the descent," says Panzera.
- On longer climbs, ride at a consistent pace that prevents overexertion.
- Always start climbs near the front. If the pace becomes too fast, cyclists will be able to drop through the pack and still recover without losing contact with the pack.
- Hills are a good place to attack. "Know the hill's distance and location in the course before setting out on an attack or covering an attack by a competitor," advises Panzera.
- Try to descend near the front, but not on the front. Being near the front, as opposed to the back, gives cyclists a greater probability of avoiding crashes.
Cycling Fast covers the latest information on new high-tech racing frames, training with a power meter and heart rate monitor, and coordinating tactics as part of a team. Readers can learn how to periodize training and use the numerous tips, charts, and checklists to maximize effort.
The Bike, The Run, The Swim DVDs will take you through the nuances of technique and then go over detailed training plans in depth.
"The Core Strength: Pilates for Triathletes" is a superb teaching of core strength taught and flexibility by June Quick, Certified Pilates Instructor, licensed Physical Therapist, Certified Athletic Trainer, and Stanford University Swimming consultant. She explains the movements that are demonstrated by a beginner and pro triathlete, how to make some more advanced movements when you're ready, and pre-hab to prevent common athletic injuries.
If you're new to triathlon and learn better visually, this is the package you want. It's like having a coach start you out. If you've been around the track a few times, pun intended, you may still pick up some technique and training pointers.
Championship Productions forwarded these to me for review and I'm glad they. I had not heard of them but these are some really good training resources.
"Since the beginning of the 20th century, three-week tour races have been extremely demanding. Compared to the old days, the current trend is toward shorter, more intense daily stages. In the years to come, it is expected that the average amount of time a cyclist spends in zone 3 per stage will be more than 30 min.
Physiological Demands of the Different Phases of Tour Races
In general, three-week tour races have three main competition requirements: flat and long parcours (usually ridden at high speeds inside a large group of riders), individual time trials (40 to 60 km over level terrain), and uphill cycling (high mountain passes).
Every tour race includes seven or more flat stages of about 200 km, lasting four to five
"Human physiology is affected in different ways at high altitude. In general, the various systems of the human body—pulmonary, cardiovascular, endocrine, skeletal muscles—respond and adjust in an effort to provide enough oxygen to survive in the hypoxic environment of high altitude. Some of these life-supporting physiological responses may also enhance athletic performance, particularly in endurance sports.
The scientific rationale for using altitude training for the enhancement of aerobic performance is based on the body’s response to changes in the partial pressure of inspired oxygen (PIO2) and the partial pressure of oxygen in the arterial blood (PaO2). PIO2 at sea level is equal to 149 mmHg. At Mexico City (2300 m, 7544 ft), PIO2 drops to approximately 123 mmHg. At the summit of Mt. Everest (8852 m, 29,035 ft), PIO2 is approximately 50 mmHg or only about 30% of sea level PIO2.
"Most studies examining pedaling cadence have focused on pedal optimization in terms of economy/efficiency and local muscle stress. In this section, we will summarize the findings of the numerous laboratory studies that have attempted to identify which cadence is optimal. Unfortunately, few investigations have analyzed the question in well-trained cyclists riding their own bikes, making it difficult to apply the findings to actual cycling.
Optimal Cadence and Oxygen Cost: Economy/Efficiency
The two main messages to emerge from the numerous studies published since the beginning of the 20th century are as follows:
- Low cadences (50 to 60 rpm) tend to be more economical/efficient than high pedaling cadences (> 90 rpm)
- Paradoxically, most individuals prefer to pedal at high, theoretically inefficient/uneconomical cadences (examples include Boning, Gonen, and Maassen 1984; Cathcart, Richardson, and Campbell 1924; Chavarren and Calbet 1999; Coast, Cox, and Welch 1986; Croissant and Boileau 1984; Gaesser and Brooks 1975; Garry and Wishart 1931; Gueli and Shephard 1976; Jordan and Merrill 1979; MacIntosh, Neptune, and Horton 2000; Marsh and Martin 1997; Marsh and Martin 1998; Seabury, Adams, and Ramey 1977; Takaishi, Yasuda, and Moritani 1994; Takaishi et al. 1996; Takaishi et al. 1998).
A detailed look at the published studies suggests that both general conclusions need to be approached with caution. Several factors may alter the optimal and preferred pedaling cadence, including absolute and/or relative power output (i.e., watts or percentage maximal oxygen uptake [V·O2max], respectively), duration of exercise, test mode (cycle ergometer tests versus riding a bicycle on a treadmill), fitness level of the subject (cyclist or noncyclist), and the high interindividual variability, even among trained cyclists of similar fitness levels, reported by most authors.
In general, during laboratory tests performed by noncyclists at constant power outputs (usually = 200 W), pedaling at low rates (~ 50 to 70 rpm) resulted in
Like swimming, and running, there is technique to cycling. More specifically, there is a technique for optimizing your pedaling. If you're going to on your bike a few hours, why not do it right from the beginning.
I found a terrific excerpt from a book that was recommended to me by a friend/triathlete. Click here for the book, Swim, Bike, Run. One of the authors is Wes Hobson who runs Triathlon Camps. He also co-authored the DVD, Science of Triathlon, available at our online store.
"Many studies have focused on pedaling mechanics. Just as we think we know everything we need to know, we learn more. Knowledge evolves as more discoveries are made and as theories are developed, proved, disproved, and overturned. The simple act of pedaling has seen many of these evolutions, with elliptical chain rings, one-directional cranks, camming cranks, power cranks, and vastly differing technical advice (supply power 360 degrees, pull up on the backstroke, lower your heels, point your toes, and so on). We like to keep it simple. The pedal stroke hinges on a simple motion: moving in a circle, the most mathematically perfect shape in the world.