Is More Always Better? Not Always

As the warmer weather sets in, many of us increase our overall training volume by adding more time to our weekend exercise. This is a good thing for the most part, but we must consider the fatiguing effects of this extra volume and increase the emphasis on recovery. Our weekly routine of cycling intensity and strength work remains the same, but we're adding significantly more hours on the weekend, increasing our volume. This has a big impact on our bodies and energy systems. Read More

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VQ & You

My journey to endurance sports began in 2012, about a year after I stopped a 22-year, pack-a-day smoking habit. My goal of running a marathon was my biggest motivation in quitting for good after several attempts. Read More

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How to Prepare for Any Race

One of the great things about endurance sports is there is a flavor for everyone. Do you like going long? No problem. Dirty Kanza, Ride Across Wisconsin and Ironman are probably right up your alley. Love slogging away for infinitesimal gains? Time trials and triathlons provide the outlet you’re looking for. Are you an anaerobic anomaly? Look no further than your local criterium or the velodrome. The wide range of endurance activities (all of these including the bike, of course) might make you think that everyone needs to train in vastly different ways. Read More

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How Much Should This Hurt?

Take your pick of cliché statements from motivational posters. In order to improve athletic performance, you have to exceed your previous limits to induce new change. But by how much do you need to exceed those limits? Put another way, how much should it hurt? The stimulus for growth can come from time, intensity or frequency of training. This is only the stimulus. Real growth occurs during recovery as the body responds to the stresses that were placed upon it in an attempt to gird itself against future assaults. If the stimulus imposed is too drastic, or rest is inadequate, you will overwhelm the body’s ability to respond and adapt. Read More

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VQ & You: Tony Lakier

I received an e-mail from Dave Noda, asking me and other VQers to share our VQ stories. My immediate reaction: why should I? I am out of action, I have a broken hip! (My son gave me the t-shirt I am wearing as a write this. Emblazed on the front is: “I broke my hip saving my bike from being damaged by black ice on the road.”) Read More

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Successfully Introducing Strength Training

The fall is a time for many things. It marks the end of the race season for many athletes, a transition to slightly less focus and a shift in workout emphasis. During the season, it’s important to work on limiters--areas that specifically detract from your ability to perform in your goal races. In the off-season, that focus should shift toward addressing weaknesses--areas that don’t necessarily limit your performance, but are out of balance with the rest of your fitness profile. You all know the adage about the weakest link. Addressing limiters helps to improve the areas in which you’re already strong by creating a stronger overall system. One area that is a common limiter is functional strength. Read More

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What Am I Looking At?

Technology has pervaded nearly every aspect of our lives. We constantly have our phones, tablets, computers and a variety of other accessories--and all the information they contain--right at our fingertips. As has been the case for the past several years, the same is true for athletics and more and more athletes, from beginning to experienced, are adopting technology as part of their training. Read More

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How Hard is "Hard"?

Physiological rules guide training prescriptions. Different energy systems relate to each other in a predictable way. Training is designed to strengthen those energy systems and tailored to maximize the ones that are specific and necessary for success in your chosen events. But as in most of life, there are exceptions to the rules. Read More

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Race Recap By John Williams, Jr.

I’m sitting in the hotel room with my bike packed away for travel and ice on my sore shin. So, somewhat immobile, I thought it might be wise to record my experience at the 2013 El Tour de Tucson for future reference. I doubt words can give the physical element the sensation it requires, but this is my attempt to record and share. Read More

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Peaking at the Right Time

Information is your most important tool in doing this right as often as possible. Every time you try to peak for an event, take note of the outcome. What worked and why? What didn’t and why? Use this information to avoid some of the pitfalls the next time around. Realize too that just because ... Read More

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