The At Home Training Camp with some Olympic inspiration

"You can't leave footprints in the sands of time if you're sitting on your butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?" – Bob Moawad

One of the questions I get a lot is “What is a typical week for you of training?” That is a tough question because training is a very fluid endeavor, so week to week my body might need a different stimulus to get the same response. I change my training according to how I feel. However, there is one thing I have been doing for a number of years that has been working very well and it is the winter training camp series with Pacificsport. My coach, Houshang Amiri, the head coach at the National Cycling Center has been running week long winter training camps here in Victoria that I have participated in that I find really help to boost my cycling fitness in the off season. In this article I am going to catalog a “week in the life” of Melanie so that there are no secrets in the kind of work I do in the off season to try to become a stronger and faster cyclist…

Continue reading “The At Home Training Camp with some Olympic inspiration”

Coach Mel: Sport Specific Technique and Strength Part II

Cadence work mostly increases your heart rate through leg speed and builds speed endurance but not necessarily leg strength. Our next workout will focus on building leg strength. Doing both the cadence work and this on-the-bike strength work together is a great idea, since they will complement each other.

If you are doing long rides outside, I would suggest adding some hills. When you ride the hills, instead of trying to go up it fast, put your bike in a big gear and grind it out at about 60 rpm. This will keep your heart rate down and turn the climb into a leg-press workout to build strength in your climbing-specific muscles. You can do this workout off road with a lot of success. If you need to do your long rides indoors still, I would suggest turning up the resistance for 3-8 minutes with 5 minutes in between to mimic a hill interval workout with low cadence. You can do these intervals both seated and standing but make sure you are comfortable seated because you need to maintain traction on your mountainbike.

On days where you don’t have time to ride for a long period of time, but have been doing gym workouts lifting weights, this time of year might be a good time to turn these workouts into a circuit. I do this workout at home with a ball, wobble board, weights and Powercranks. Powercranks on the trainer are a challenge. They are cranks which are on an individual clutch system which basically means you are single-legged pedaling all the time. You need a fairly high resistance to keep on top of the cranks, so it becomes a strength workout and you also get the benefit of the technique improvements associated with single leg pedaling. Double bonus! If you do not have Powercranks, or you don’t have space at home to do this kind of workout, do it in the gym with a spinning bike or on your trainer doing some single leg intervals instead of just pedaling.

Continue reading “Coach Mel: Sport Specific Technique and Strength Part II”