Zone 3… What’s Zone 3??

Zone 3… What’s Zone 3??

I asked one day as I was riding with a friend of mine, who just happens to be a professional triathlete in training and certified coach. After being ruthlessly dropped like a wet bag of rotten tomatoes several weeks earlier on a weekend warriors ride I realized that I had forgotten about Zone 3 riding. It was glaringly apparent that, thanks to my normal riding routine, I wasn’t really spending any time in Zone 3 so I had a gap in my performance! Oops.

Perhaps I really didn’t know what Zone 3 is!

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The Balance Between Riding And Resting

As I have gotten more candles on my birthday cake I have come to deeply value the balance between riding and resting. However, giving your body time to recuperate is not for those over 35, especially if you do high-intensity workouts. Training and riding hard will build endurance, however, ONLY if you also rest. You see: RESTING is when the body repairs and builds muscle: not in the middle of a workout. This concept took many, many years to finally sink in to my thick skull.

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Size Does Matter | Watts & Speed

Sorry guys – size does matter. At least, when it comes to wattage output vs. speed. This may be obvious to some cyclist, but to others, fully understanding power output and metrics is new-ish. What’s truly ironic is that I, the anti-electronic nut, am writing an article about all this. Stranger things do happen. Don’t have high expectations of seeing any technical jargon as you read further…

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Strength in Struggling

tinker bellOne day I woke up and realized that I had become what is known in the cycling world as a ‘Sprinter’. “Surprise!” Did the magic cycle fairy visit me the night before and sprinkle ‘sprint dust’ on my quads? No, sorry to dampen any dreams there. This did not occur by focused design or conscious training on my part either. By the time it dawned upon me that I had unintentionally achieved something quite good – I then had to figure out how it happened.

I’m a little backwards like that.

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Learning the Flow | New Places & New Faces

I have come to realize over the years that there is value in scoping out a regularly occurring competitive event (like a seasonal Criterium Race or a Cyclocross Race) before you Go for the Gold. If you do happen to win a regularly scheduled repetitive race the first time you ride it: awesome. But that is not a normal expectation because there are some dynamics at work that, even after all this time, I have only recently come to consciously realize about learning the flow.

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Just Ride Your Bike

Contrary to the popular norm, I ride my bike completely without electronics. This shocking state of affairs is the product of a happy accident – much like most genuine breakthroughs in mankind’s history… Only much, much less significant. I tend to raise eyebrows on the rare occasions when I ask: “How many miles have we done?” Or, to the bewilderment of all – I have no idea what my mph average is; I just ride my bike.

My average speed is exactly whatever it happens to be on any given day and I really, truly, don’t care very much.

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Race Day Tips

The big day is here! The day you’ve been training for, waiting for, and focused on… ok: maybe that’s over-dramatizing. Regardless, any competitive event comes with a certain amount of nervousness and proper preparation is vital. I will be the first to admit that I’m not extremely focused on ‘race day’ training per se. It sounds too much like work.

I train for life. A life of full of cycling. Because I love to ride, racing is like icing on the cake and it must be enjoyable (as much as anyone can enjoy slamming your legs to the limit). In order to ensure that I enjoy racing, I try to apply a bit of ‘smarts’ when it comes making sure I’m fit for a competitive event. If you haven’t read my blog on Top Tips to Prep for a Race – please do so… it’s “Step 1” in all this!

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Top Tips to Prep for a Race

Even as unstructured as I tend to be in regards to race training, there are a few things that I do my best to adhere to when it comes to the days before a competitive event. I do not ride with a heart-rate monitor yakking at me or a Garmin to tell me where to go (unless I’m in unknown territory), or a power meter to let me know all sorts of electronic goodies. I’m a bit old-fashioned and I don’t have a coach telling me when I should do what. Anything on a bike has to be fun, including training and racing… and this subject is a whole other blog waiting to happen.

Regardless of my unconventional approach: there are some common sense guidelines to make sure I have a good chance of performing at my best and enjoying myself.

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Roads Less Traveled | Fixed Gear, No Brakes

Every now and then my husband and I will just go down a road or take a route on a whim. Ride somewhere new to find out when the roads less traveled will take us. Oftentimes it’s a great experience and sometimes: we learn something – even if it’s “don’t do that again!”

Whatever it is, if approached from the right perspective of adventure – an experience out of the norm can be rewarding for just being something new. Nothing ventured – nothing gained, as the saying goes.

It was in the spirit of adventure that I tried out something that I haven’t tried yet: Track Cycling.

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Training Tips: Cycling with your Cycle

Boys Beware! This is about to get knee-deep in girly talk, so consider yourself forewarned!

For years I would periodically worry that, for some unknown reason; all my strength had gone, maybe I was sick, over-trained, or that I was suddenly and mysteriously out of shape. I would FREAK out! Because I’m ‘type A’ and have to fix the energy drain – I would immediately go into a frenzy of compensating for this mysterious lack of strength and played havoc with my riding and racing schedule!

It wasn’t until many, many years later that I realized this ‘mysterious energy low’ was normal during exercise at certain times of the month and it had nothing to do with the full moon or my lack of endurance. Well, almost nothing.

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