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General Fitness


What is FTP and how do I test it?

What is FTP and how do I test it?

In the first of a series of articles, the expert coaches at Njinga Cycling demystify FTP and explain why you should have it tested.

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Pedalling Technique and the Wattbike

Pedalling Technique and the Wattbike

For most of us, the last time we were taught to ride a bike was in childhood, and once we were able to ride safely that was that. Elite cyclists and triathletes have a very different experience - they have a coach who not only assigns their training, but also coaches technique.

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How You Can Improve Your Pedalling Technique: Part 2

How You Can Improve Your Pedalling Technique: Part 2

This is the second of two articles looking at pedalling technique using the unique force curve (Polar view) on a Wattbike.

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How You Can Improve Your Pedalling Technique

How You Can Improve Your Pedalling Technique

This is the first of two articles focusing on pedalling technique. In this first article we look at the theory of pedalling technique and introduce a practical tool - the Wattbike - which can be used to assess the effectiveness of pedalling technique.

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David Kirkby: Fitness and Training Blog Chapter 2

David Kirkby: Fitness and Training Blog Chapter 2

Cyclosport Blogger - David Kirkby Profile: Age: 46 About: Professionally responsible for the funds management business with Valad Property Group. Just as happy riding a bike, road or mountain. Australian by nationality and now settled in Surrey, David is married with two teenage sons and rides when he can, occasionally commuting to the work. Having completed many long distance cycling event and various sports of the years, David is going back to basics this year with F.I.T The team at F.I.T are going to work with David on a fitness plan which riders will be able to follow via a blog by both David and the F.I.T professionals.  The aim being to provide a guide to what riders need to consider in both being able to complete the event, but also their general fitness needs. David has also started a charity cycling event in Australia, covering 1000kms each year, called tour de Kids now in its tenth year.

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Howard Johnson's Guide to Training with Heart Rate Zones

Howard Johnson's Guide to Training with Heart Rate Zones

NOTE: This article is about a Cyclosport.org reader's experience on heart rate training and how it works specifically to him. Advice and insights may not be applicable to your training, but we thought it'd be interesting to share and see how training can be tailored to Howard's needs and goals. AT

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David Kirkby: Fitness and Training Blog Chapter 1

David Kirkby: Fitness and Training Blog Chapter 1

Cyclosport Blogger - David Kirkby Profile: Age: 46 About: Professionally responsible for the funds management business with Valad Property Group. Just as happy riding a bike, road or mountain. Australian by nationality and now settled in Surrey, David is married with two teenage sons and rides when he can, occasionally commuting to the work. Having completed many long distance cycling event and various sports of the years, David is going back to basics this year with F.I.T The team at F.I.T are going to work with David on a fitness plan which riders will be able to follow via a blog by both David and the F.I.T professionals.  The aim being to provide a guide to what riders need to consider in both being able to complete the event, but also their general fitness needs. David has also started a charity cycling event in Australia, covering 1000kms each year, called tour de Kids now in its tenth year.

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Magnus Backstedt: Classic Cyclosportive Advice

Magnus Backstedt: Classic Cyclosportive Advice

By Magnus Backstedt and Adam Tranter 

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Calling All Sportivers

Calling All Sportivers

Dave has ridden many, many Sportives now and it never ceases to amaze him just how "unprepared" some riders are for the task they have set themselves. Some of these Sportives are the hardest things you could possibly do on a bike. Not just physically and mentally hard, but technically difficult too. Take La Marmotte or Dave's own Mega Challenge. These are seriously difficult events and should not be taken lightly. They need thought and "PREPARATION!" Dave has seen some of the states that riders get themselves into at the finish of these events and at times it's not a pretty sight. Some riders are putting themselves at risk. They are taking on the unknown and if you ride some of the harder Sportives unprepared, you could be in for a nasty shock and could even be doing yourself a lot of harm!

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Why not to stop?

Why not to stop?

Cafe stops on a Sunday ride are a great tradition, and for many are considered as a way to refuel, socialise, get some warmth back in the hand and feet, and possibly a chance to dry off. But are they really a benefit??? Well here are three physiological reasons to keep riding.

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Ten Tips for the Winter

Ten Tips for the Winter


Ten Tips for the Winter Club Run by SportsTest


 





With next year's main objective's a long way away, Sportstest give us Sportivers some good advice about how to approach winter training and group rides sensibly.

Before:

1) Make sure your bike is in good mechanical condition and has mud-guards fitted. It about being considerate!  You don't mind a wet backside, but the rider behind you may not want a face full of dirty water, likewise whilst everyone on the run will want to assist you don't want to get stuck 20 miles from home with a broken chain, or only one gear working, and have to get a push home.

2) Carry a spare!

On the wet roads it is always easy to pick up a puncture or two, so carry a couple of spares.Â...and whilst on the subject of spares, always carry a couple of spare energy gels, they will help you get home if your legs "fall off" and the packaging can be used to patch a gash in a tyre!

3) Dress for the worst of the weather

You lose most heat through your hands, feet and head.  So always wear gloves, booties, and a hat.  If you get too hot you can always take off a layer, but if you get too cold you are stuck!  Also, it takes energy to maintain body heat in the cold you may need all your energy to get round so think sensibly.

4) Start with the easy group

If you are new to the club run, start with the easy group.  As you get stronger and more confident, you can always move up.  Often you will pick up far more about technical issue, how to hold a wheel etc, by going with the steady group, than spending the morning hanging on to the faster boys!


During:

5) Drink well from the start of the ride

Even in the winter, it is easy to become dehydrated.  Drink plenty, and from the start of the ride.  Ideally, this should an energy drink (more on this another time).

6) Don't race (especially the hills), or work too hard at the start, and share the workload

Consider the club run as a long steady ride to benefit your cardio-vascular endurance.  Racing up hills, or riding hard at the start of a long ride will not only mean you are more likely to suffer at the end of the session (the faster you go the more carbohydrate reserves you use in the early stages of the ride [again more later]) but you will be working at a rate that does not serve the aim of the ride.
Riding through and off, will not only help conserve your energy when you are sitting in, but this way the ride can become more social, and you learn to ride at the front, middle and back of a group.

7) Don't half-wheel

Aim to keep the pace steady.  Riding too hard will only make you and everyone else suffer towards the end of the ride, and mean the purpose of the ride is lost.  When you are on the font, don't take this as a chance to up the pace.  Half wheeling usually gets the competitive nature in everyone going, but often makes many suffer!

8) Record your heart-rate

Use a heart-rate monitor to record your progress, and help you ensure that you are working at the desired intensity (usually on the club ride it will be an indicator that you are riding too hard!).  It can also serve as an early warning system if you are not drinking enough, or are running out of energy.


After:

9) Plan a recovery strategy

Use the winter rides to develop your post exercise recovery strategy.  This should include type and timing of food intake, the need for nutritional products, stretching, possibly a massage, or bath (hot and cold!!!).  If you sort this in the winter, the lessons learned will help you recover faster from races in the summer.

10) Train sensibly in the week

Put the good work you have done in the club ride to the best possible use by training sensibly in the week.  Ideally this should mean riding 2-3 times as a minimum, with a structured approach considering both intensity and duration of the mid-week efforts.



About Sportstest

Sportstest are pleased to announce they are now offering their services in South West London.

Sportstest already has a national profile and reputation for providing high level sports science support services to athletes in a wide variety of disciplines including running, cycling, rowing, duathlon and triathlon to name just a few.

 Headed by Dr Garry Palmer, a world renowned sports scientist with vast experience of working with athletes to World Championships and Olympic level, Sportstest are now offering their successful testing and coaching programme at the Pavilion Sports, Health and Fitness Club, Hampton Court.

Think this sounds "too elite" for you?  Not so.  Dr Palmer can advise everyone from grass roots level through to elite athletes as each test is tailored to the individual. 


At Sportstest, exercise + science = results.

tel:  01384 70099  01384 70099
email:
info@sportstest.co.uk
web: www.sportstest.co.uk



 



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2009 Starts Here!

2009 Starts Here!

Well, as the season is drawing to a close, the nights are drawing in, and the weather has got decidedly chillier & wetter, many riders are thinking about hanging up their wheels for a well earned rest, but is that really what you should be planning?

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Climb Like a Pro

Climb Like a Pro

Michele Ferrari, depending on who you talk to (and in what context), is either a sinner or a saint.  He has without doubt left as many brilliant landmark achievements in the world of cycling as he has dodgy.  

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