Over the past 6-7 years, more and more athletes that I work use a smart trainer for their indoor cycling, and some of the new athletes that sign on to work with me only have experience with a smart trainer and ERG mode on for indoor workouts.
So is this a good thing or bad thing or is it neutral? Like most things, this is not a binary decision of “good” or “bad”, but a continuum. My initial thought was that there’s more bad than good, but I wanted to find out more.
Just like we train with specificity to best meet the demands of our events, we should also fuel with specificity. What does this mean?
Event day is NOT the time to experiment with new energy and hydration sources. We want to have fun and perform well, not be dealing with gastrointestinal distress. Or perhaps it’s a mix that doesn’t bother our gut, but tastes so terrible you have no desire to drink it. While a fun farm to fork fondo type of event might be more forgiving if you’re riding casually, you still don’t want gut issues.
How can this be avoided?
I’ve been riding indoors for almost 30 years now and most of those years were spent staring at some kind of movie, video, show, webinar, etc. Sometimes it was less than exciting, but it was effective and got me through the cold, dark months of winter.
Around 2014, I started hearing about this thing called Zwift, back when it beta and was just the island. I was intrigued and listened intently as it was described by some of my friends who got on the beta release, but it seemed unnecessary to me and just added a layer of complication that I didn’t want.
After it moved out of the beta version and started gaining some momentum and membership, I felt even stronger that this wasn’t something that I needed and always got...
KEEP YOUR WATER BOTTLES FROM FREEZING ON YOUR COLD WINTER RIDES
I can remember the first time I rode long enough in temps that my water bottle started freezing up. At first I didn’t believe it, but I unscrewed the top and sure enough, I had made my own personal slushie. It was a bit of a badge of courage, until I really needed a drink and then it was just annoying and keeping me from hydrating.
I have to admit that I still get a kick out of riding in conditions to freeze bottles, I also take...
This is a great article written by one of the giants in a scientific approach to endurance training, Doctor Edmund Burke. I first came across Dr. Burke with his High-Tech Cycling as pictured here. Since then I have learned much from his books and other literature, and indirectly through his influence in the sport. He is surely missed but his works live on.
Keep these key concepts of:
Check out what Dr. Burke has to say and let me know your thoughts, questions, or comments below. What’s your goal for 2023?
Starting the Year Off Right
By Edmund R. Burke, Ph.D.
Most of you could ride almost as well as Miguel Martinez or Alison Dunlap.
You probably couldn't ride their times or beat them in a race, but if properly trained, you could approach your potential as they have theirs. While we each have different genetic gifts for off-road cycling, most of us have the ability to fully realize our promise if we go about our training with intelligence and restraint.
Coach B.L. is the head coach at BJL Coaching and an avid racer and cycling enthusiast himself.