Stealthy & Healthy

Goldilocks Provo 2016 Race Report

Goldilocks Provo 2016 was a race/ride that I will never forget!  What is Goldilocks…You ask? “Goldilocks is a women only, non competitive, fully supported, bike ride. Whether a seasoned athlete or a beginner, with 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 mile routes, there is a distance that is ‘just right’ for everyone.”

Goldilocks Provo boasts the best route in Utah! Start in friendly Provo at Utah Lake State Park and ride through the breathtaking orchards of Santaquin, on the shore of Utah Lake, through Goshen Canyon, and around Mona Lake. The route is rural and the views are diverse and gorgeous.

It was back in April when I knew I had to do this ride…It was then that Goldilocks Continue reading

You Spell “Heartbreak” D-N-F

August 7, 2016 at Ironman Boulder was going to by my day. For 20 weeks, I had trained, putting in 15-20 hours of swimming, biking, or running a week, meticulously tracking my progress and ensuring every piece of the puzzle laid in place. Ironman Boulder, my second full distance race, was my chance to make right what I felt had gone wrong for my at my first event. I was a faster swimmer now, a confident cyclist, and my running had improved enough I felt pretty sure I wouldn’t take 7 hours to run a marathon ever again.10

The day was going to be my day. Until it wasn’t. All of the best laid plans, the bright outlook, the excitement and enthusiasm proved to be not enough and instead, on race day, I learned something new: what failure felt like. I learned a lesson that is real, emotionally raw, heartbreaking, and hard enough that even now, days later, I’m still dazed.  When the medic pulled my chip at mile 101 of the race, my heart sunk and my stomach knotted- not only in my own self-pity, but in the realization that Continue reading

Crosstraining for Cyclists

 

You either love it or you hate it: cross training.  Some relish the idea of changing up their workout and trying new things.  Others find the idea of deviating from their regular cycling schedule either daunting or a nuisance.  The fact is cross training is necessary to not only make you a better cyclist but also helps to prevent overuse injuries.

As a trainer and coach I have learned over the last decade that your cross training should differ depending on whether you are in or out of a training cycle.  So if you are 8 weeks out from a big race your cross training will vary greatly in frequency and type than if you are in a maintenance phase months out from any race where you will be pushing your pace or endurance.  Here are some general guidelines for cyclists to follow when look for cross training options and figuring out how to fit them into their exercise plan.

When you are OUTSIDE of a training phase:

Sunscreen – Biking Under Cover

If you want to bike outside, then you may want to consider covering up to reduce your risk of skin cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “Studies prove that using sunscreen reduces the risk of developing skin cancer. Other things you can do to reduce your risk are to seek shade and wear clothing that protects your skin from the sun.”

Since it is difficult to find a biking route that has 100% shade coverage, here are some of my favorite sunscreen tips:

  1. Cover it up – clothing is great protection from the sun. Try one of the Continue reading

Post Ride Recovery – Recover like a Pro

As I write this I’m getting caught up on today’s stage of le Tour de France, eating a sweet potato topped with pumpkin chili, and drinking coconut water. It was a HOT and humid ride this morning, and I’m certainly beat from the heat on this 36+ mile ride. I’m currently on a cyclocross bike that forces me work harder in order to keep up with my riders on their carbon fiber road bikes, and I was riding with some strong people on a route with a lot of rollers. It’s time for recovery!

This post discusses recovery for work efforts of a moderate to hard intensity – think working in a heart rate zone over 70% heart rate maximum (HRM); if you’re new to cycling or are on a multi-day tour with long miles each day think over 60% HRM.

HRZ

Cool down:

As I mentioned, I’m watching the Tour. If you’re into one of the best and most challenging sports rollersevents in the world and are watching, too, you’ve probably noticed the cyclists spinning on their bikes during interviews post-race. It doesn’t take a lot of time to spin out those legs and cool it down – 10 to 15 minutes of easy spinning, either on a trainer at home or slowing it down and taking an easy pace as you approach the end of your ride, is enough to take the edge off those legs, lower the heart rate, Continue reading

Staying Cool and Hydrated when Moving to Antarctica is Not an Option

It’s summer and boy, oh boy, is it hot outside! While there are many reasons to feel blessed to live in the beautiful place that I do, heat indexes well over 110 degrees and humidity regularly over 50% (and commonly over 80%) are two reasons to develop a healthy respect for Austin, Texas summers.

For those that do not live in the South and Southwest, here’s a fun little taste of my weather forecast this week:

What does looking at this forecast do for me besides inform my complaining about the weather and cause my alarm clock to ring earlier? It lets me know it’s time to take precautions that will allow me to train and race in these conditions while staying cool and hydrated!

If you live in a hot area, or will travel to one for a race, there are a few key factors to keep in mind: Hydration, clothing choices, timing, and self-care! Continue reading

You’ve got the Power

Training with power can be a most wonderful (and truly powerful) way to boost your training. However, only investing a fairly large amount of money into a powermeter won’t do the trick. As with all things data, it’s not only the numbers that matter but the analysis of them.

But let’s take a step back: What are we talking about when we talk about power?
PowerMeterHandbook FullCover.inddIn order to make my training with power as effective as possible, I talked to many seasoned athletes, coaches – and did my research. One book that stood out was Joe Friel’s The Power Handbook published by Velo Press. The book takes you through the entire journey of understanding and training with a power meter.

Power, in its most basic definition, “equals force times velocity.” In this equation, force refers to what you put onto the pedal, while velocity means how fast you are turning them. The unit power is put out is Watts, a unit named after Scottish engineer James Watt – remember those physics classes in high school? Continue reading

Watch Your Backside

Tushie. Bottom. Bum. Bootie. A$$. Butt. Glutes. Rear. Fanny. Rump. Behind. Posterior. Derriere. Seat. Saying these words out loud brings back memories of butt, fart, and underwear jokes as a child. For some reason, butts are still funny.

No matter which word you choose, cycling can sometimes be a literal pain in the ass. As a spin instructor, the number one complaint during and after a first class is about pain related to the saddle of the bike…either due to pressure in the perineal region or due to chafing related to the clothing chosen to cycle in. I honestly believe that most of our bodies adapt to pressure pain—we simply get used to the fit and feel of the saddle. Having had 5 bikes in my adult life and riding on dozens of studio cycle saddles, I can tell you that most of them are about the same. And, if one doesn’t feel or fit quite right, it can probably be adjusted (height, forward/aft, or angle/tilt) to be more comfortable. For saddle fit suggestions, check this out:  REI saddle suggestions here.

For those who stick around cycling long enough to develop tolerance for the saddle, a different type of pain, related to skin breakdown, becomes more of a concern. Continue reading

How to Journal Your Training

Whether I’m in the middle of the off-season or starting a training block for my big “A” race, keeping a journal of my training details has helped me identify important factors which contribute to my personal best.  Training plans keep me on track towards my race goals and my fitness/activity trackers automatically keep track of completed workout data.  Recording additional information such as sleep, nutrition, mood and weather, can help to piece together fitness trends and when I come back to it, help me see the big picture.  I’m a “plan-crastinator” — I love to plan ahead, but I always struggle with executing my plans in a timely fashion. When I make the time to journal, I’m more likely to Continue reading

HIIT IT! High Intensity Interval Training on the Bike

Fitness trends come and go.  What you did yesterday or a year ago may be proven ineffective tomorrow.   High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a hot trend right now and you’ll find gyms and fitness centers/studios hopping on the bandwagon trying to benefit, financially, from this trend. However, those of you who have been involved in cycling, swimming, or running recognize that this “trend” has been around for many years and has a variety of names and variety of methods.

I distinctly remember the summer of 1982 with my swim coach, Bud Higgins, sitting on the deck of the pool, smoking a cigarette, wearing one brown sock and one black sock, asking us to do “Fartleks.” When you’re in 7th grade, a crusty old man asking for “fartleks” is just too funny! He had a group of teenagers laughing hysterically and was soon frustrated by our lack of maturity.   However, we weren’t laughing for long Continue reading