Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cheap Recovery Drink

So last post I let you in on how to make cheap energy drinks. After a ride, race or workout it is important to start replenishing your body with things that will help you recover. Like energy drinks, there are heaps of expensive protein powders and additives that claim to make you recover faster and better. Many of these products are great, but there are some drawbacks you should look out for. Many protein powders are made in the same factories that banned substances are manufactured so if you are a competitive racer, you may have traces of a banned substance in your system which will get you into trouble. Also, your body can only consume so much protein - excess protein in your diet wont be absorbed into your muscles, you just piss it out which seems like a waste of time. Another drawback is that these protein supplements are often expensive but if you're on a budget, there is an alternative.

Many athletes around the world use full milk as their post workout drink. Milk has a good amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates and sodium which makes it a solid recovery drink. Chocolate milk is also good as it has more sugar than regular milk and will replenish more of your calories. It is important that you have a well rounded diet that provides you with all your daily nutritional needs, but if you feel like your protein intake is lacking, you can mix milk powder with milk to give you a cheap recovery drink with a bit more protein and other nutrients.

Friday, June 29, 2012

DIY Energy

We all want to ride faster and harder for longer. Many competitive bikers resort to expensive energy drink powders and jells but you can get the same effect without the hefty price tag. For rides or races over one hour in duration you should be consuming something to keep your sugars up to prevent bonking - a drop in your sugar levels that impact performance. Drinks and gels are ideal for riding/racing because they are absorbed quickly and wont sit in your stomach like solid food.

One of the easiest recipes is to mix some cordial and add some salt. You may also like to add some table sugar if you think you need a stronger energy kick. The water in the drink will rehydrate you, the sugar in the cordial will raise your energy levels and the salt will help you retain water and replace some of the salts that are lost in through sweat.

Another option is to drink flat Coke for an energy boost. The drink is loaded with sugar and the caffeine will give you that extra kick.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Build Strength and Endurance - Goblet Squats

Hi all. The goblet squat is an awesome exercise for building strength and endurance for a cyclist. This is a kinetic chain exercise that requires you to engage your entire core by linking static strength from your upper body with dynamic strength in your legs. This is very beneficial for cyclists who want to increase their peddling power and efficiency while improving posture and preventing lower back fatigue while riding. All you need is a dumbbell or kettlebell(s). Lift the weight so it sits comfortably under your chin, stand with feet slightly beyond shoulder width, and squat down until your knees reach a 90 degree bend. Then repeat. Its super important that your back stays straight throughout the entire movement and your knees stay behind your toes. You should feel this exercise engage your core muscles more as you get deeper into the squat. To build endurance, aim for 15 to 20 reps/set and for power aim for 6 to 10 explosive reps/set.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Best Way To Train

Hey everybody.

There is so much debate on the best types of exercises and workouts for athletes to achieve their performance goals. Some athletes/coaches swear by weights intensive training programs, others rely purely on riding volume, some rely heavily on dry land workouts and so on. If your browsing articles on fitness I guarantee you'll find a whole range of opinions on the best way to do things. So what's the answer? How should we train?

The answer is everybody is different - we all have different body geometries, lung capacities, muscle densities, natural levels of fast/slow twitch muscle fiber, lactic acid thresholds and a whole heap of other stuff. Because we are all built so differently, what works for one athlete may not work for the next. Its a matter of being in the game for long enough to learn and experience different training methods to find what works for you.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

How To Win The Holeshot

Hi everybody. Been a while since my last post so I thought I'd give you something that you can start incorporating in your training immediately to improve your race starts and help you win you the holeshot. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, the rider who wins the holeshot in a mountain bike race is the one who is the first to enter the singletrack after the start gun. This is an advantageous position to be in as you can control the tempo of the race and you can make ground on the riders who are stuck in the log jam. This is especially useful for short track racers where positioning is everything.

The power step up is an exercise that you can incorporate into your gym workout that develops explosive power through your legs and hips which will transfer into your pedals. All you need is a bench/box/ledge to perform this exercise. The video below explains the power step up well. Make sure you are keeping you knees behind your toes to prevent stress on your patella tendon.