Archive | endurance RSS feed for this section

Cyclists: Wanting to improve your ride PR? I have a secret…

5 Sep

OK, so some of you may know this already. I swear that this will make you a stronger cyclist. It’s my strongest sport in a triathlon and I attribute it to this. What is it? Mountain biking! Riding a mountain bike can make you a much stronger cyclist…why?

1) Mountain biking teaches you bike control. Think you have it already? Try riding on the side of an embankment, uphill over large slippery roots. It’s not so easy…unless you have your bike control down. This includes control at fast speeds, slow speeds, standing, sitting, leaning, riding over roots, trees, bridges, obstacles and so on. This helps when riding in or on less than ideal conditions.
2) A mile on the road is about 4 miles on a mountain bike. I know this to be true from my own riding, but I have also heard many road cyclists say this. 20 miles on a mountain bike will do far more for the endurance than 20 miles on a road bike, even when tackling hills on a road bike.
3) The strength gains from mountain biking will allow for easy overtaking of “spinners” on a bike course. You will be able to sustain riding in a bigger gear. Single speed riders also gain the skill of standing to power uphill. I use both these techniques in triathlon events and I can pass many a cyclist on the uphill portions of an event.

Give it a try. Buy a decent mountain bike (a real mountain bike, not the Walmart special) and start working mountain biking into your training routine. Your PR will thank you!

Another case of "scrutinize what you read on the web"…

16 Aug

I read an article today for endurance athletes (however, this could also apply to weight loss) – The article’s title questioned “Are you eating enough?” and went on to recommend online resources to determine individual daily calorie requirements. Also recommended was a heart rate monitor to track calories burned during exercise. That’s all fine and dandy, BUT I have 2 problems with their advice:

1) Websites use formulas based on age, weight and body fat (if you are privy to your body fat %) to determine RMR (resting metabolism rate – that is what you body needs to survive at rest). There’s also a couple formulas for the thermic effect one’s body goes through to digest, heat/cool, etc. and activity level (sedentary job vs. highly active lifestyle). These formulas are great as a guesstimate, but when calories in and out are of utmost importance, a guesstimate isn’t good enough. A scientific RMR test is best (these can be done at a local university or in Columbus, OH. at Baseline Fitness). As an example, my RMR would be underestimated by these websites by several hundred calories a day!

2) Like the RMR formula, a heart rate monitor is limiting unless the individual has a VO2 Max or Submax test to determine their Anaerobic threshold. HRM’s are great training tools for anyone, but when it comes to endurance training or weight loss training, having an accurate log of calories burned and average and max heart rate is very important. In weight loss, most people tend to overestimate calories burned. With endurance training, total daily calorie burn can be underestimated. Both situations hinder goals.

If you can afford $150 or so, it’s worth investing in the RMR, body fat and VO2 max/submax tests to give you the exact info you need to reach your goal, be it weight loss or taking in enough fuel for endurance activities.

3 squares or several small meals?

16 Aug

The answer is…

…it depends on what works for you. For instance, I tend to eat smaller meals every 3 hours. I just can’t eat a lot in one sitting. Buffets don’t lose money on me! Maybe you are the type who doesn’t have time for frequent meals and is satisfied by larger meals. Here’s an informative video (courtesy of Competitor Magazine, that settles the debate between eating frequently vs. infrequently:

Cross train by lifting weights

16 Aug

Loved this article in The NY Times – it’s a synopsis of the longer article, which is linked to the last paragraph. I have believed in and practiced this kind of training for years. It keeps the body guessing what the next workout will be.

For my runners and endurance athletes

27 Jul

Want to be fast like Usain Bolt? Read the following: