Welcome to the August 12th, Mid-Week Report!
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: WOUT DESERVES IT
Wout van Aert is off to a comanding return to the racing season. The 25-year-old Belgian has won in his last three apperances, including this morning at the first stage of the Criterium du Dauphine.
WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: TRAIN RIGHT NOW
How to Break Through a Cycling Training Plateau
By Chris Carmichael
CEO/Head Coach of CTS
The summer of 2020 has been unusual, to say the least. For cyclists, the widespread cancellation of events has led to increased weekly and monthly riding volume, both in terms of time and mileage. This may sound counterintuitive, but in the absence of events, riders are training more consistently week in and week out, rather than the build-up-then-taper pattern seen during a season filled with events. Several months into this all-training, no-racing period, however, many riders are finding themselves stuck in a training plateau.
Initially, riding more hours and more miles yielded increased fitness, and my coaches and I have seen cyclists ratchet up their personal bests all summer: New peak power outputs, new records on local climbs, new heights in power at lactate threshold and power-to-weight ratio. But more riding only leads to more fitness for a limited period, and then you have to change up the type and pattern of training to continue making progress.
If you have been training consistently and you are no longer seeing measurable improvements, try making the following adjustments.
Adjustment #1: Increase “Time-at-Intensity”
What happens to a lot of athletes is that once you establish your schedule for training times (mornings, after-work, etc.), your weekly training workload may become stagnant. When the pandemic hit, it shook up people’s personal and professional schedules and, in many cases, shuffled riders’ normal training times. Those have largely settled at this point, and while consistency is good, stagnation is not.
In order to keep pushing forward, you either have to increase training stress so your body has something to adapt to. Most likely you can’t add more hours, and turning every ride into an all-out suffer-fest takes all the specificity out of training. Apply more precision and look at increasing your “time-at-intensity” for lactate threshold work and VO2 max intervals. If you accumulated 60 minutes at LT across a week of your generalized rides and interval workouts, aim to increase that to 70. If you spent 30minutes at VO2 max intensities, aim to get to 35minutes. This way, within the same weekly training hours you can increase the time spent at workloads that will produce training adaptations.
NEW PRODUCTS: UPGRADE YOUR PAIN CAVE
Italian smart-trainer brand Elite has upped its indoor game with the Sterzo Smart steering pad. Alongside Zwift’s in-game steering update Elite unveiled the Sterzo. Up to 68 degrees of steering is provided by the rotating pivot that can accomadate a 56mm tire. A full review of the Sterzo Smart will be coming soon. www.elite-it.com
Wahoo, the leader in workout apps and connected fitness devices, is excited to reveal the newest KICKR smart trainer. The fifth-generation KICKR improves on the legendary realistic ride feel that Wahoo riders prize, and also offers riders a wide range of improvements to elevate every ride.
The new KICKR, the same smart trainer used by World Tour teams INEOS and BORA-hansgrohe, brings to market several new features. This version of the category-leading KICKR refines power accuracy to +/-1% from +/-2% by using a proprietary auto-calibration process. This gives the new KICKR unsurpassed power accuracy without the need for users to perform a spin down, saving valuable time and providing riders confidence in the accuracy of
their power data.
Additionally, to create a more natural, comfortable ride feel, the new KICKR also comes equipped with the new AXIS feet. These feet allow a bike installed onto the trainer to smoothly tilt up to 5 degrees from side-to-side with each pedal stroke in a controlled, realistic motion. Like the previous KICKR, this version is nearly silent which makes riding it feel more like riding outdoors.
“With key updates that improve any indoor ride, our newest KICKR will deliver an elevated experience for all Wahooligans,” said Product Manager Tyler Harris. “Without any need to calibrate, and improved accuracy, riders can be more confident than ever in power numbers, and with the new AXIS Feet providing subtle side-to-side motion, ride feel has never been more realistic.”
Despite adding in several new features, the new KICKR will maintain the same retail price of the previous generation, $1,199.99. Wahoo also offers the only complete indoor riding ecosystem; KICKR is compatible with the KICKR CLIMB Indoor Grade Simulator, KICKR HEADWIND Smart Fan, and KICKR DESK. KICKR is also fully compatible with indoor workouts from Wahoo’s The Sufferfest virtual training app. www.wahoofitness.com
FutureWorks Steering has expanded to all roads of Zwift. Take the inside line when cornering in races and find that sweet spot in the draft, FutureWorks Steering takes Zwift’s immersion to the next level.
Steering is currently only compatible with the Elite Sterzo Smart steering plate which is available from the Zwift shop here. Further hardware compatibility is planned. With steering enabled, you take full control. Want to move through the bunch? You’ll need to stay alert and find that gap – your avatar will no longer ‘ride through’ other avatars on the road. Like riding outdoors, FutureWorks Steering lets you decide if you want to sit on a rider’s wheel or maneuver around them to pass.
When enabled, steering allows Zwifters to take their own line through corners. Riders will need to stay alert and watch for the movement of others to avoid getting ‘boxed in’. Holding the wheel of another rider now becomes an extra challenge as the rider in front weaves through road traffic. Your avatar will need to follow the wheel in front closely to stay in the draft.
FutureWorks Steering was born on Repack Ridge, Watopia’s singletrack route, using the Zwift Companion App. Zwift continues to innovate and is expanding steering to all the roads of Zwift, with the Elite Sterzo Smart steering plate.
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