cycling

Year in review

At the end of every season you should take a break from focused training. I’m not saying you shouldn’t ride your bike...not at all! But you should stop looking at your heart rate monitor, your power data and even your personal training duration for a few weeks. This helps to relax the mind, rejuvenate and reboot yourself. We don’t often think about it, but disciplined training is mentally taxing; it’s just plain tiring. Sometimes at the end of a good season the body will feel like it is ready to keep going but the mind still needs a break. After this ‘cooling off’ period I usually add very loosely-structured training with small goals to my riders’ training diaries. These goals are usually pretty simple: do a 4-hour ride 3 times a month, accumulate 3 to 5 hours of tempo per week or maybe do a club ride just for fun once a week. These workouts and weekly goals are low stress, low commitment and allow your brain to slowly get used to the mental workload that is coming when training season arrives.

Riders should find that rides during this time of the year are meant to be fun, motivating and inspiring. This is also the time when you should review how your riding and racing season went during the past year. New-found inspiration and motivation will help you see the future and all its possibilities. You should try to assess whether or not you’ve met the goals you set for yourself this past year and whether you want to try and improve on your gains. Maybe you want to attack those shortfalls that you may notice in this review. Maybe you’ll want to set entirely different goals for the coming year. It’s all possible, and it’s up to you!

Setting goals is paramount. If you’ve never set goals in past seasons you should try doing it this coming year. If my athletes are planning on competing in the upcoming racing season, I have them try to set at least three goals to strive for. After all, if you know what goals you want to achieve you can then measure how close you’ve come to attaining your desired results and make adjustments in successive years.

Setting goals is one of my favorite parts of riding and racing because I have the opportunity to entertain all the possible things I can try to accomplish, and that’s just fun! But remember: goals should be challenging and attainable. After you set some goals you should make sure to keep a record of the training you do, being sure to add comments about how you felt during and after your training sessions. You should also make sure to set milestone markers to measure whether you are moving in the right direction in order to attain your goals.

In my next blog post I’ll talk about setting accomplishable goals for your next season.

See you on the road, Coach Jesse Eisner

Did you have goals this past season? Did you achieve them? If you need help setting goals for next season and you need direction in how to achieve those goals, let the coaches at Crank Cycling know. We can help!

Here comes the Race Season

It is coming. It sneaks up on us every year. That first race. We told ourselves that we were going to be ready. We drew up a plan, bought a new training journal, and made a list of goals. Unfortunately, the off season is filled with holidays, friends, family, and fatty foods. None of these things are truly bad. However they can put a hamper on our best laid plans.

With our friends and family requesting our presence, and commitments filling our time, training can be nearly impossible. This is a time when your own creativity can help you meet your goals.

The majority of cycling disciplines (at their core) rely on our aerobic engine. Training that engine should be a priority during the off season.

Below are some training tricks that can help you. Before you start, you will need to know your upcoming events and the longest duration (time, not distance) you will be competing. Find a date in the future that you will hit that longest duration (date of race) and work backwards, subtracting time trained at your aerobic capacity to the current date. For example, if I am planning to do a 3 hour road race in June, I will plan to ride 3 hours at maximum aerobic capacity in April and subtract 10 minutes every week till I get to the current date.

Block out your training: Find the times that will work best for your personal training. Sometimes that means you will miss your Saturday club ride. At certain times of the year I get up at 4:30 am to be on the the road by 5:15 am. This affords me two hours of uninterrupted training.

Do Doubles: Some days squeezing an hour in before work and adding 45 minutes on the trainer after the kids are in bed is the way to go.

Build a camp: If you have multiple days off and you need to work on climbing, get up early (being up early is good for meeting other obligations, too) and drive to an appropriate cycling terrain on consecutive days. If you build multiple camps over a period of two to three months, you will see your fitness grow by leaps and bounds.

Since the majority of cycling disciplines (at their core) rely on our aerobic engine, there are a multitude of alternative aerobic activities that can help us build our aerobic foundation. Go for a run, it's easy to get out the door quickly and be back before anyone notices your gone. Does your work have a gym or offer membership somewhere? Take a spin class or kettle bell class before work or at lunch.

Maximize your training time: If you are set on meeting specific goals, don't go do the epic ride with your buddies and stay away from the super slow ride that does not give you any training benefit.

If all else fails you can race into fitness. Make sure to adjust your goals, planning to do better the second half of the season. Don't stress, cycling calenders usually have a long season with multiple disciplines and lots of racing options.

Crank Cycling can build you a training plan and even offers cycling camps. Let us know how we can help you reach your goals

See you on the road, Coach Jesse

I love my PowerTap, but this is ridiculous.

I saw this story on Velonews today:   Upcoming from CycleOps: Heart-rate-based power meters and superlight carbon wheelset I am going to say this as clearly and simply as I possibly can.  There is no way to measure power using heart rate.   It just isn't possible.   Heart rate is to dynamic.  It changes due to factors such as fed state, level of fatigue, how long you have been exercising, hyrdation level and more.      Power measured via strain gauges is instantaneous,  and any effort put into the pedals can be measured right then and there, but but  heart rate may take several minutes to catch up.    So heart rate is a reasonable proxy  for effort level on long efforts, but  is practically useless for long efforts.

Like I said, I love my powertap,   I have one on my bike, and I have a studio full of powertap stationary trainers.   But don't tell us you are measuring power when you aren't.    What PT is trying to do is measure training stress using heart rate, and make it applicable across different types of exercise.   This is nothing new and it can be useful.    You can read a good article on TRIMP HERE.    But there is absolutely  no no way that TRIMP equals power measurement.

-Sean

Skills Clinic on April 16th

Crank Cycling will be holding a bike handling and group riding skill clinic on April 16th.   If you are  new to cycling or just need work on some of your riding skills such as  safely riding in traffic, over  or around hazards  such as railroad tracks, dirt, sand, and other debris,  cornering in wet and dry corners, pacelining and drafting, riding in close proximity to other riders, and more.   This clinic is intended primarily for beginner to intermediate  level riders, and  is a great way to help you finish your events   faster, safer, and upright!     You can find more information and registration here, or contact Jesse at Jesse@crankcycling.com

Milk does not produce excess mucous.

Milk does not produce excess mucous.  That is a strange title for  an entry in this blog, but  it seems very appropriate  to my personal situation today.     I am suffering from a wicked headcold at the  moment.  A headlcold that may have been exacerbated by a high volume training cycle I completed on Sunday. ( and therefore relevant to cyclists, training and coaching)    I have  a slow nasal drip constantly coming out of my nose,  and down the back of my throat,  yet I  my head and upper respiratory  tract feel like they are holding so much pressure they are about to explode.    Basically, my head is full of mucous.     ( Doesn't that paint a pretty picture?  I know some might say my head is full of something else) .   I've heard from more than one person today, that I should stay away from milk and dairy, as it increases mucous production.   My first instinct was: " I don't buy it"   But that could be because I love cheese; swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, gorgonzola cheese, I love the stuff.    Cheese is one of the primary  reasons I need to drop 10lbs before track season starts.  (You can guess the other. It start with a B and end with an eer)  The other reason for my skepticism  is that I am not aware of any physiological  mechanism wherein dairy products produce mucous, but I have been wrong before, so I decided to do a little research. The first article I found that came from a reliable source ( ie: journal article or similar)  was this:   Relationship between milk intake and mucus production in adult volunteers challenged with rhinovirus-2.

In this article, they gave people sinus infections, and then essentially  measured their snot by weight, and measured their other symptoms ( such as cough).  What the researchers  found was  "Milk and dairy product intake was not associated with an increase in upper or lower respiratory tract symptoms of congestion or nasal secretion weight."   Basically:  Milk does not make mucous.   They also found what they called  "A trend ... for cough, when present, to be loose with increasing milk and dairy product intake; however, this effect was not statistically significant"  What this means is that basically they think there  may have been a difference there, that milk may have made  the cough  more loose, but that  the researchers did not have enough data or statistical power to prove it.    To me, this seems like like a great reason TO  enjoy dairy while you have a sinus infection.  I would rather couch up some loose phlegm that comes up easily, rather than that thick stuff!

Then I found this:  The Milk-Mucus Belief: Sensory Analysis Comparing Cow's Milk and a Soy Placebo.

In this study the researchers  performed a double blind study, and gave  subject either a milk , or  soy milk beverage that was indistinguishable from the milk .   Subjects reported increases in 3 of the mucous related variables when they drank the test beverage, but the effect was the same for  both the milk, and the placebo soy beverage.   The researchers "concluded that the effect measured is not specific to cow's milk, but can be duplicated by a non-cow's milk drink with similar sensory characteristics."    Bascially, milk does not make mucous, but if you think it does, and if you think you are drinking milk, you may report more symptoms.   I am going off of the abstract on this one, and I would like to read the whole article so I can see a bit more of their statistics and physiology, but I'm not willing to pay $41.95 for the privilege.

Those first two are from the 90s, and I found more from that  time period, but this is the one that really sealed the deal:   Milk Consumption Does Not Lead to Mucus Production or Occurrence of Asthm is a well written review article from 2005 with 49 references.    These  Swiss researchers carefully reviewed the literature and determined that recommendations to abstain from milk and dairy  in order to  avoid  to increased mucous or asthma symptoms  is not supported by research.  They also report that people  who believe  "milk makes mucous"  tend to report increased symptoms with milk consumption, while people that do not believe " milk makes mucous" do not report increased symptoms.   This in itself means nothing, until they point out once again, that people who believe "milk makes mucous"  are easily fooled by a placebo.    The reviewers  go on to say that avoidance of dairy products may lead to limited intake of certain nutrients, specifically calcium.   This might not be a an issue for a cyclist suffering from a short term a headcold, but  fact that I can still enjoy my cheese ravioli for dinner with no fear of extra snot buildup in my head gives me some comfort as I  stay at home recovering ans itching to get back on my bike.

-Sean

In 2003, I wrote about how milk  is an excellent recovery drink: ( this is a very old version of my old coaching site)

Several studies have confirmed that milk is an excellent recovery drink, and  , and works as well as commercially available recovery beverages for both cyclists, and runners.

Heidi Klum Likes Milk

I

Red Trolley Classic

The Red Trolley Classic is on the schedule and registration is open.   Its'  the first big race weekend for people in San Diego and really all of  Southern California.  I've been involved with this race since its first year in 2003, and I really do enjoy putting on the race.   I've managed to keep the entry fees the same, even though the costs have risen by 20% over the last several years.  Ambulance cost has gone up by about $400 since the race started, USCF insurance fees have gone up by about $600, officials fees by about $200,   and San Diego City  traffic control costs have gone up by about $1500 over the last several years. ( from $300 a few years ago, to $1800 this year)  Fortunately the costs of the toilets and dumpsters, Ralph Elliot's announcing, traffic control equipment, and other costs have stayed relatively the same over the years.  Still, these increases mean that race entry fees  will go up  by a few dollars next year.    It also means that we have to  give some serious thought to the categories that we have racing.   The cash, and time outlays are quite significant, and I am putting my own money on the line.   We  already lose money all morning  by running the collegiate races, which have relatively small fees and mandated low entry fees.  We had to make the decision a few years ago to cut out the junior races, as we can't afford to lose money on those as well.   The women's field has been the smallest field over the last several years, and if the women's race does not have enough entries this year, we may have to eliminate that category as well.    It is simple  fact that  revenue needs to be generated to cover all the costs of putting on the race.  I would love to help support women's racing, but  I simply can't afford to take money out of my own pocket to make that happen.  So please women racers.... please come out to the 9th Annual Red Trolley, so that  we can have you there for the 10th! -Sean

You may want to read my post from last spring explaining:  Why it costs $10,000 to put on an industrial park crit.

Is power measurement the "End All Be All?"

I personally have been using power meters since 2002, and I love to use power meters to coach athletes. I'm kind of a science geek and I love to crunch the numbers and evaluate the data. I also love that fact that the power data can enhance or even tell a different story from what the athlete conveys. Power meters give truly objective and accurate information that can't be obtained any other way. They let us track progress more accurately than any other method, and they help us dial in an athlete's effort level to ensure an efficient use of time, as well as determine when "enough is enough." There plenty of resources out there on training with power, and there is ever more powerful software available to analyze, evaluate, and plan training. These are all powerful tools, that help athletes track and attain higher levels of fitnes, as well as help coaches communicate and track their athletes better than ever. The problem comes when athletes and coaches become too reliant on the power meter.

The training and coaching of an athlete is not just a simple recipe or formula with predetermined inputs and outputs. Every athlete is different, and every athlete's response is going to be just a little bit different. An athlete needs to be viewed as a whole organism, not just a set of power data. In fact the subjective feedback from an athlete is every bit as important as that power data. I think some athletes and coaches easily forget that. They just want to open up a book, take training plan from the book, and adjust it for the athlete's power numbers. It is easy to get caught up in all the charts, graphs, and information that today's powerful software provides, but all those charts and graphs just don't tell the whole picture. I would argue that power data in isolation can even confuse the issue. For example in riders look at their power meter data along with a chart that says they are in a Cat 1 range and get frustrated because they are still a Cat 3.

How and athlete "feels" is every bit as important as what that athlete does. In fact there are several athletes I have been training for years that don't use a a power meter, a heart rate monitor, or any piece of electronic equipment on their bikes whatsoever. We train primarily using RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion), or how an effort feels, and these athlete have reached many of their goals, as well as put wins on their palmares. Power meters have their place. And if i had my way, most of my athletes would train and race on them all the time. But power meters aren't for everyone. Price, functionality, and even all of that information makes powermeters and training with power undesirable for some.

For those that don't want to train with power, RPE works just fine. I used to rely heavily on heart rate monitors for athletes without power meters, but now I've gone the other way and prefer to use just mostly RPE. Heart rate data can simply change so much from day to day, and RPE conveys both what I want from the athlete, as well as what the athlete should do much better than heart rate.

Power meters have their place and many coaches and athletes love to use them, but they are by no means a requirement for success. Coaching and training is more than just looking at power numbers, and the entire experience of the athlete needs to be taken into account. Rate of perceived exertion and how an athlete feels is just as important as power numbers, and many coached athletes are successful using nothing more than than their own perceptions and some feedback from their coach.

Use the comments section below to tell me what you think.

Coconut Water for Rehydration

Coconut  Water  for Rehydration When I was in Costa Rica this last April, one of the locals I was riding with suggested we stop and have a drink of fresh coconut water.    Coconut water is basically the juice from the inside of a young coconut, before that juice becomes coconut milk.    To have a taste of the stuff, we simply stopped by a roadside fruit stand, and the owner knocked a whole in the coconut and gave us a straw.   The coconut water had an interesting taste, very mildly sweet, and refreshing.   As we sat next to our bicycles,  the local rider started telling me how coconut water was a perfect rehydration drink.   He went on about how coconut water was isotonic, meaning it has the same electrolyte concentration as the blood, and that it was actually used   as IV fluid in place of saline during WWII.    Those that know me, know that I consider myself and “open minded skeptic” when it comes to this sort of thing.  Honestly I thought the local guys was probably full of it, but I was still intrigued and I decided I would investigate further when I returned home.

What I found out actually surprised me.  Not only was coconut water isotonic to blood, but it was really used in WWII and there were several journal articles reporting the emergency use of coconut water being successfully used for IV hydration in place of saline.  Another study suggested that coconut water was just as effective as a commercially available carbohydrate/electrolyte beverage in rehydrating subjects, and the subjects actually had an easier time drinking the coconut water.     Now I had to go find myself some coconut water. ( There are no roadside fruit stands with young coconut near my house).

They don’t have the stuff at the Vons supermarket around the corner,  but I found some at the Pancho Villa Market  just a few minutes away.

The coconut water I found was 70% percent coconut water ( juice)  by volume, with 30% added water and a little sugar.    12 oz of plain coconut water would have about  70 calories, but the added sugar brings the calorie count of  the stuff I bought to about  110 calories per can.  This is still a little bit more than calories than Gatorade, and  about  1/3 less than a can of soda   The extra sweetness is not unpleasant after a long hard ride in the heat,  but I wouldn’t be opposed to have the unsweetened stuff either.  It is actually quite easy to buy canned,  unsweetened coconut water  online, so I'll probably order some soon.

Physiologically I wouldn’t say its “perfect” as an electrolyte replacement drink,  as the sodium is a bit low (it has about half as much sodium as  the same volume of Gatorade).   But then again it is packed with potassium and  you are most likely going to get plenty of sodium  from your post exercise meal.    it is  really a little low on sodium for use during exercise, but is pretty good as a post exercise drink.  Some studies have even shown that  potassium  is  highly important for maintaining proper blood pressure and heart health, so the extra potassium  could be a bonus.

My personal verdict?   My fridge is almost always  stocked with a few cans of coconut water these days.  It has become my go to beverage when I get home from a long ride.  It tastes good , gives me a few carbohydrates, and  replaces some of those lost electrolytes.

So  now is the time where I give you my shameless plug for your chance to try FRESH coconut water.   We are going to have a Crank Cycling training camp in Costa Rica this February.  It will be a weeklong camp where you can ride every day, relax by the hot springs each night, and sip  fresh coconut water    straight from the coconut.  Stay tuned for details.

Free Coaching with a Power Meter Purchase

You know you’ve been thinking about the taking the power meter plunge for a while now. We know that you want to quantify how hard you are pounding those pedals into submission (+- 1.5%) It is unlikely that your power meter will make you the as tough as Jens Voight,. Nor will it help you put out enough watts to power a small alpine village like Fabian Cancellara. But a PM can help you hone in your training so that you can see the maximum possible improvement, as well as make the most of your precious training time.But what do you do with that expensive toy once you get it? Well, the Crank Cycling coaches are here to help. Crank Cycling is an authorized dealer for both Powertap and SRM and we really want to get you on a power meter. More than that....we want to get you into a power meter and teach you how to use it. That’s why from now through the end of October, we are giving you 3 months of coaching with the purchase of either an SRM or Powertap SL. It’s as easy as that. Buy a power meter and a Crank Cycling coach will work with you for 3 months. That alone is a $495 value. So head on over to the Coaches page and check out the coaches. Don’t know which coach is best suited for you? Contact head Coach Sean Burke and he will help you figure out which Crank Cycling coach is the best match for you.

So to sum it up.... Here are the reasons why you should buy a new power meter from Crank Cycling right now:

You’ll get free coaching worth about $500 It will help you make the most of your training time You want to quantify how hard you are crushing it They look cool Jens Voight uses one, and he is a badass You know you want one This offer is only good through October 31st 2010

Contact Coach Burke at Coachsburke@gmail.com to get going on your power meter.

Racing at the Top

As the team manager for the Ranchos DET Team I have the opportunity to share in the challenges and successes of cyclists who ride at the top tier of amateur racing. One of the Riders I work with now is Bryan Larsen. He started out the year as a category 2 and has recently gotten his upgrade to category 1. Category 1 is the top of the amateur ranks. Bryan is a full time student and getting his upgrade has taken lots of hard work, focus, and balance. Bryan was recently invited to participate at the Sacramento Gran Prix as part of a Composite Team. Below is a race report of the Sacramento Gran Prix. The Sacramento Gran Prix was a Pro-Am event held on may 16th 2010 the same day the Tour of California finished in Sacramento.

Sacramento Grand Prix write up:

Hometown. Hometown crowds and friends. Same Course as the Tour of California circuit. And Money. What other reason do you need to be motivated, nervous, and excited all at the same time? And I think nervous was an understatement, as I was more nervous before this race than I had been since national championships back in 2008. My nervousness was only amplified by my crash last week at the Long Beach Grand Prix while still in contention for a descent place.

I’ll walk through a couple key points from the race:

50m in: Crash. 1 lap+50m in: crash. 2 laps: crash. Etc etc etc No joke, There was a crash at the start. And while receiving a free lap the rider(s) proceeded to take down half the 170 racer group moving at 34mph on the following lap while trying to reintegrate themselves into the pack. They ended up giving about half the pack a free lap and let them start riding prior to the front end of the groups arrival at the pit, which means I went from about 15th place to 85th place in a second.

With about 8 laps to go a two place prime was announced and I wasn’t super far from the front so I decided I might give it a go and just start late and not dig too deep. I did start late and by the time I was starting to sprint Justin Williams was basically crossing the line while I rolled in securely in 2nd. We cruised back into the pack only to see lap cards one lap later. I got real nervous when I saw this for two reasons: 1) I had just done a sprint and only had 6 laps to recover now and 2) MORE CRASHES. Everyone thought they could win the race and were doing stupid things to try and get to the front which in turn only caused more pileups. A break went up the road with about 3 laps to go with Yahoo blocking for their rider in the break. The break was caught and Yahoo decided to do a Bahati style lead out while riding the inside straight before flicking riders to swing wide right before the turns before swinging back to the inside line. Coming on two laps to go, there was MAJOR crash in the last corner. It happened relatively close to the front and I could hear it not too far behind me. The following lap we were coming into those dangerous corners, 3 and 4 and the moto decided to try and neutralize the race but Yahoo and everyone else essentially went around him. There was no way we were being neutralized with 1.25 laps to go. People were still sprawled out on the pavement in corner 4 from the previous lap’s crash. 1 lap to go. And I’m sitting about 20th. WAY TOO FAR BACK! Crash again while a group of riders were pinched through a corner. Next corner: CRASH! Everyone wanted what only one person can have and that was a win at the Sacramento Grand Prix. I found myself flying into the last corner under Justin with a little heads up on my part he didn’t pinch me and as a result I let him role by me immediately following the turn. 500M to go. I’m 7th-ish wheel and glued to Justin Williams’ wheel. Yahoo was still at the front driving as hard as they could and I was out of the saddle almost immediately and before I knew it I was pinched by a Yahoo guy and forced me into the wind to the left of the rest of the leadout train which happened to be right when Justin jumped forcing me to lose out on that valuable accelerating draft. I had to push my own wind and continued to do so. I crossed the line 4th within ¼ of a wheels length from 3rd. I’m glad I stayed upright, in fact if you had asked me 5 laps into the race how I’d finish I would have said I was going to go down. Another note: I think I heard there were 5 or so crashes in the last 3 laps!

It was a neat experience racing on the same course as Cavendish would be winning later in the day as well as standing on the same podium step looking out with your hands up. Maybe one day a few years from now . . . well, it never hurts to dream ;)

Bryan is on the far right and Justin is looking back at him

Bryan is on the far right again

At the rate Bryan is going he will be in the professional ranks soon. Good job Bryan keep it up!

Cheer Coach Jesse

Usain Bolt vs Sean Eadie

Usain Bolt is the fastest man alive, but can a top track cyclists beat him? That was a question posed in the June issue of outside magazine. Most trackies know that a top track sprinter doing a 200M time trial will go almost twice as fast as a 100m runner ( both pretty darn close to 10 seconds, with the track rider going twice the distance), but the cyclists has the advantage of the standing start. The folks at Outside magazine went to Jim Martin, and former track racer and now one of the top cycling bio-mechanist in the world. Just do a google scholar search and you'll see. Jim has done extensive work in modeling performance, so from a theoretical perspective, he was the guy to answer this question.Jim took some power data from Sean Eadie, the 2002 match sprint world champion, along Bolt's 9.58 100M and ran the model. From a standing start, it makes sense that the longer the race gets the more likely the cyclist is to win, as the runners are already slowing down after 100M and the cyclists is just gaining speed. But it is a pretty close race at 100M. Who do you think won?

The answer is the cyclists by 0.16 seconds. Bolt pulls ahead at the start, but then Eadie Passes him at 89.7 meters. Jim's models are excellent, and can be be highly accurate, but when it comes down to 0.16 seconds, I think it could still be anyone's race. If those two men lined up at the starting line in top form, I wouldn't have much confidence in predicting the winner one way or the other. I would love to see something like this happen. It would be great or Gatorade, Red Bull, or a company like that could put on a race with Bolt and a top track sprinter.....maybe Chris Hoy or Gregory Bauge...Jaime Staff is known for heaving a blistering start, so he might be a good candidate. What do you think?

99 lap pursuit

Check it out, a Pomona College student built a tiny velodrome in the library as part of a senior project.    His velodrome is only 132 feet in circumference, so that would be a little over 99 laps to do a 4K pursuit... the same as 12 laps at a 333.33 meter track like San Diego, or 16 laps at a 250 meter track like LA.  I bet  standing starts on that thing are next to impossible, and  you would probably be ill advised to put more than  say ...to riders at  a time, but it still looks like fun! -Sean

Heat Acclimatization

One of the riders I have been coaching for several years is training for the SCNCA time trial championship. Last year when he raced there, it was an unusually warm day and the heat really got to him. Steve lives in San Diego, where the weather is quite temperate, but the race is in Lake Los Angeles where it gets MUCH warmer in May. In fact the lake Los Angeles area is typically at least 10-15 degrees warmer in May than coastal San Diego Where Steve lives. So 2 weeks ago Steve started working to acclimitize to the heat by working out in his sun room twice a week. He set up the trainer, turns on the heater and just goes for it. Heat accilimitization starts to occur in is little as 3 days, and full accilimitization can be achieved in as little as 2 weeks. Acclimitiazation adaptations simply allow the body to stay a little cooler AND operate at a higher level when hot. These adaptations include increased blood volume, increased skin blood flow increased sweat rate, and changes in the sweat itself.Steve is off to race in the 50+ category. Good luck steve, those hot trainer sessions should pay off!

San Diego Velodrome Class Chariot Race

Here is a cool video, shot by Chris Grout during the adult developmental class, of a chariot race. A chariot race is a race where the riders are held at the start, and then all do one lap from a standing start. This is a great race for beginners, because there isn't a whole lot of jockeying for position, it also teaches "finshing skills" such as holding your line out of corner 4, and just keeping your wits about you when you are getting tired. This is also a cool race or drill for more advanced riders. It helps you with your explosiveness and speed, a requirement for just about any kind of racers, but even more for crit racers and track racers. You do 3 or 4 of these in one day, and I promise you you'll be feeling it! -Sean

Winning Lots of Races

This past weekend was a solid weekend of racing with lots of wins. First off was Justin Farrar in Maryland. He entered his 2nd category 4/5 road race of the year. There were 75 riders in his field. The race was on an 8 mile circuit on slightly rolling terrain with 2 steep power climbs. After lap 3 a 5-man break got away for 2 laps. Justin's teammate Iain reeled the break back in on the final lap, with one mile to go. With about 300 meters to go, Justin was boxed in 12th position looking for an opening. He had to push his way through other riders in the field. By the time he hit the front , he was only chasing one other rider to the line and he took 2nd.

Good job Justin.

Justin killin it!

The UCSD Cycling Team managed to pull off two wins, three 2nd places, one 3nd place, and a smattering of top 10 finishes. The first race was the Golden Acorn Road Race on Saturday. Colin Ng (AKA Quadzilla) took 3rd followed by Ben Ostrander taking 4th in the men's C's.

The second day of racing had the mens C's and D's combined. UCSD fielded a 12-man team and was aggressive from the gun. They sent riders off the front every lap until a break of 3 finally stuck. Colin (Quadzilla) was in the break.

The break put 40 seconds into the field and if the race had another 15 minutes, they would have lapped the field. Coming out of the last corner, Colin turned on the gas and destroyed his opponents. After the race, Colin Marveled, “ I thought it was some sort of new tactic they were doing, going slow to the finish line.” Nope, Colin was just faster!

Matt McKinzie easily won the field sprint taking 4th overall and 1st in the D's followed by Jeffrey Skacel in 2nd overall.

The athletes coached by Crank Cycling dominated this past weekend. Good job guys and gals!

Coach Jesse

Qaudzilla in the Break

Matt sprinting away from the Field

Opening Night TNR

The first night of Tuesday Night Racing  for 2009 at the San Diego Velodrome  was last night.   It was a nice warm evening and everyone had a great time.  Coached rider Todd Woodlan was looking strong in the C group, and will be surely upgrading after a few nights.  Chris Daggs raced  with the A group and was looking pretty strong himself.     I played race director for the evening,  so no racing for me just yet.  Below is a photod of me motorpacing the A group to get them warmed up. -SeanSean Motorpacing

What it takes to ride with the Pros

We put a SRM on Elite amateur riders at Redlands Stage race, and then Daggs and I did a write up on his  power output.: How much power does it take to hang with the pros in a big American stage race? For the Redlands Bicycle Classic, we put an SRM power meter on the bike of Eric Marcotte, a 30-year-old chiropractor who races as a Cat. 1.

Marcotte's power decreased each time up the climb on stage 3. (Wattage is yellow, elevation is red.)

Marcotte lives in Arizona and races with the California-based Pista Palace squad. This year he won stage 2 of the Valley of the Sun and placed fifth in the GC. He then won stage 3 at the Tucson Bicycle Classic from a break. At Redlands, Marcotte was racing in a 190-man peloton that featured 13 pro teams. Here is what the numbers revealed.

How much power does it take to hang with the pros in a big American stage race? For the Redlands Bicycle Classic, we put an SRM power meter on the bike of Eric Marcotte, a 30-year-old chiropractor who races as a Cat. 1.

Crank Cycling Time Trial Clinic

This clinic is designed to help you get fast! The focus is primarily road time trials, such as the 20K and 40k events, but triathletes can also benefit from this clinic. We will also devote a portion of the class to special events such as team time trials and track events like the 4K, 1K, and team pursuit. The morning session will be indoors at the Crank Cycling Training Studio and the afternoon session will be on the bike at Fiesta Island. This clinic features coach and exercise physiologist Sean Burke, coach and Fiesta Island TTT record holder Chris Daggs.  Classroom topics in the morning include: exercise physiology basics and energy systems used during TTs, on the bike training, weight training, flexibility training, warm ups, power outputs,  pacing, aerodynamics, and more. The afternoon "on the bike" topics include: proper starts, turnarounds, course management, TTT practice, and more. This clinic can accommodate a maximum of 20 athletes. To to make sure you don't lose out,  sign up HERE.

Chris Daggs Time Trial

Team UCSD Wins

This past weekend the collegiate team I coach (UCSD) won there first race. It was a 2 day race weekend. The first day was a criterium and the mens D racers were very aggressive, making many attacks and finishing in the top ten. Annabelle racing in the women's Ds took 4th.

The following day was Road Race on a technical course. The Mens Ds started out aggressive again attacking and counter attacking the field till Josh Rudiger and Useff Azzasi from (UCSD) got off the front. Within a lap Josh had a minute on the field with help from Useff who then drifted back to the field. By the beginning of lap 3 Josh had 4 minutes on the field.

Thats when the rest of UCSD went into action they destroyed the field in the crosswind doing an echelon. 6 man chase behind the solo rider 5 of them being UCSD. Josh hung on to win and UCSD also took 2nd, 4th(Useff), 5th, 6th and 7th.

I lead race tactic clinics for the mens and women's Ds in the off season and all their hard work and willingness to listen is paying off.

Go UCSD!!

Till next time Cheers, Coach Jesse

Does the language used by supplement companies encourge doping?

I recently got an email from an "endurance supplement" company.  The email was full of pro-athlete testimonials.  Both the language in the testimonials  and the language in other parts of the email reminded me of the language used for drugs. They kept using the word  "on".  " Shortly after going on XYZ supplement... I won XYZ race"    " When going on one  XYZ company's supplements,  you are guaranteed...."

I've received other emails from this company, and they always use the same "on"  language.     Regardless of whether the stuff  improves performance (and I'm skeptial of that), the language is similar  to what is used when talking about drugs.  My grandmother is " on"  anti-inflammatories and pain meds for her arthritis.  My uncle is "on" beta blockers for his high blood pressure.    Riccardo Rico was " on" CERA.

I think this habituates  athletes to being "on" something, and it can be a slippery slope.

My guess is that it is a marketing thing that they use, because if it sounds  kind of like you are using a  drug, than it must work like a drug, only this "drug" isn't  banned.  ( never mind the fact that if their products had the drastic effects they claim, they  would be banned from sport anyway)

The whole email kind of reminds me of  one of my favorite SNL clips.  The All Drug Olympics.

For a copy of that supplement email I received today, go HERE.

What do you think?