Welcome to the July 8, Mid-Week Report!
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WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: SIMPLIFY YOUR RIDE
By Chris Carmichael, Head Coach CTS
The biggest trap athletes and coaches fall into is making training too complicated. We’re not trying to launch a mission to Mars here, folks. The problem starts with the amount of information we all have at our fingertips. We know more about the science of performance than ever before and we have access to more personal performance data than ever before. There are definitely times when it is important to delve deep into the data to find new ways to challenge an athlete and make performance improvements, but I see too many athletes who chase minimal improvements while failing to capitalize on gains that are far easier to achieve. In the pursuit of incremental gains athletes are ignoring some of the simple steps that are the foundation of training. Here are some of the most underrated training tips that really improve performance.
GET MORE SLEEP
There is perhaps nothing that’s more underrated than the value of sleep. It is especially difficult to get highly-motivated, type-A, career professionals to increase the number of hours they spend sleeping. Perhaps it’s because we see articles from or about super-successful business titans that say these people only sleep 4-6 hours a night. But when you look at elite athletes, they sleep at least 8 hours a night and many strive to sleep 10 hours a night. Sleep duration and sleep quality have remarkable impacts on recovery for athletes, and getting more sleep improves the quality of your workouts and the amount of training stress you can induce and adapt to. You want to do yourself a big favor? Go to bed an hour earlier.
MAKE YOUR RECOVERY PERIODS EASIER
To make your interval workouts more effective you need to increase the difference between your hard efforts and the recovery periods between them. It’s not just that you need to make sure your recovery activities, like easy rides, are truly easy. You also need to make the recovery periods between intervals easier. If you’re doing lactate threshold intervals you want your recovery periods to be very light pedaling. You don’t want to go from lactate threshold power to a moderate endurance power. What we often see in power files is that as an interval session progresses all power outputs migrate toward moderate aerobic intensity levels. The power during intervals decreases and the power during recovery periods increases (or was never low enough to begin with). To preserve the quality of your hard work – to get more high-quality work completed – you need to make sure your recovery periods are truly easy.
Endurance training is all about accumulating enough workload at specific intensities to lead to a positive adaptation. That often means repeating the same or very similar workouts over and over again during a focused block of time, sometimes over the course of several weeks. It’s not sexy, but it’s effective. Most importantly, the alternative – jumping around through a bunch of different types of workouts – often doesn’t provide enough workload at any specific intensity to yield adaptation. The frequency is too low or the time between stimuli is too long.
Doing 20-minute lactate threshold intervals gets boring, however. I understand that, and fortunately there are many different ways to target the same energy system. You can get creative with the workouts you are doing, but it’s important to stick with an energy system long enough to achieve real improvements. This usually means at least three weeks.
NEW PRODUCTS: JUMP ON THESE
It seems that the crew at Lauf have made some changes and it looks to benefit you. The “fork company” has evolved into one of the industry’s most influential gravel brands, thanks to their unique suspension fork. The fork pairs well with gravel and all-road bikes but is best matched to one of their frames, that now have even more competitive pricing. It has been a favorite here in the RBA office and we gave ours a refresher with the new SRAM Wide release.
Looks Like the Lauf team is also giving a few of their sizes a refresher with new size optimized fork tuning. The difference is minimal and from what we were told, sizes medium and large will retain the same fork tune. Smaller sizes get a bit softer tune while XL goes stiffer. Lauf currently isn’t offering these new tunes for aftermarket but if there is a demand we are sure they can make it happen.
The consumer direct model has been a big shift for an industry that has relied on the LBS for so long. No matter how many brands make the move we think the local shop offers so much more than just a place to buy a bike. No shop can stock and supply every brand and model, but they can repair, tune and offer knowledge that you cant buy on the web. Where do you go when your beloved bike starts to creak from the bb30 bottom bracket? Below is the Lauf press release and the launch of a new and improved site.
From the basement factory located below Ernesto Colnago’s home in Cambiago, Italy, each C64 frame is carefully constructed by hand to ensure the decades-old legacy of quality that has made the Colnago brand one of the most respected and race-proven.
The C64 is an iconic bike representing Ernesto’s 64 years of dedicated and tireless innovation. The attention to detail is among the best in the frame industry. Although our C64 ran with rim brakes, we’re told that 70 percent of the C64s sold are with disc brakes.
The C64 is a head-turner for anyone that is a true road fanatic, even with our subtle white, silver and raw finish. The bold graphic is iconic, and the painted carbon lugs perfectly contrast the raw tubes. As expected, the ride quality is very race-oriented with a stiff bottom bracket matched to the asymmetric chainstays and large downtube. This combination drives the energy to the rear wheel. The fork on our rim brake version is stiff, and even with the recessed compliance shaping offers plenty of road feedback.
The handling is responsive and at speed demands the rider’s attention and confidence. This is not overwhelming but definitely requires attentiveness and focus. The rear end is stiff, and even with the new D-shaped seatpost there is little forgiveness or flex. This is left to the seatstays that taper and change shape as they mate to the dropout lug.
With 14 stock sizes, as well as full custom, there is one that will fit nearly everyone with little compromise. At more than $6000 for a frameset, you are getting a piece of cycling history. For most of us it’s only a dream, but there is no doubt that this is a thoroughbred Italian race bike.
Price: $6500 (frameset)
The original MSO gravel tire was released in Spring 2012 and essentially wrote the book on what a gravel tire should be. Donnelly is set to rewrite the script with the release of the all-new MSO WC gravel tire.
Expertly crafted in Europe, the MSO WC is made of the finest materials with scrutinizing care, producing a tire of the absolute highest quality. Constructed with variable 240 TPI nylon casing, the new MSO WC rides incredibly fast and smooth, while durable protective layers along the sidewall and under the tread will keep you rolling through the roughest conditions.
“I’m very excited about this tire,” says Donnelly Founder and General Manager Donn Kellogg. “It’s absolutely different than anything on the market right now and represents the continuous growth of European production for Donnelly.” For more than a decade, Donnelly has been working collaboratively with it’s Czechoslovakian manufacturer on it’s race-winning cyclocross tires, constantly refining and improving. “The blending of our extensive expertise and vast experience in tire development is clearly evident with this tire. Before you even put them on your bike, you’ll see and feel this tire is a level above anything available,” states Kellogg.
James Sullivan, Donnelly Product Manager adds, “We had incredible success with the PDX WC tire this past cyclocross season with both Gage Hecht and Lance Haidet winning on it, so I am enthusiastic to offer the WC series gravel tires. I’ve been riding and testing this tire for months now and I know riders are going to absolutely love it.”
Sullivan adds, “The MSO tread pattern remains unchanged so it will still roll smoothly on hard packed dirt roads and offer traction when the gravel gets loose. Many people don’t know this but the side knobs are the same as those on the PDX cyclocross tire. It hooks up extremely well in the corners.” Sullivan adds, “Now with more precise European manufacturing, more attention to details, and more internal enhancements, a great tire just got a whole lot better.”
Multi-award winning cycle helmet manufacturer KASK today announces the introduction of 11 new colorways to its 2021 road cycling helmet range. Spanning the brand’s Utopia, Protone and Rapido models, the vibrant new styles are now available alongside an array of existing color options. All models are available in a full range of sizes and feature market-leading technology for both performance and safety. www.kask.com
After the UCI and Swiss authorities recently confirmed the Road Cycling World Championships were to continue as scheduled in September, USA Cycling has cancelled the 2020 National Championships scheduled for mid-June and July. This includes the Road Nationals at the pro, amateur and masters levels. Track and Mountain Bike Nationals have been cancelled as well. USA Cycling released this statement:
This update comes after months of working through numerous plans and options and is written with disappointment, as we are unfortunately forced to announce the cancellation of multiple National Championships for the 2020 season. Throughout this time, we have worked to create alternative dates in the hopes that COVID-19 cases would decrease, sought alternative locations where needed, and looked to modify our events in order to mitigate risk and meet local regulations and requirements.
As we have gotten closer to decision dates, it has become clear that many of the challenges in conducting safe and fair Nationals are insurmountable. In the end, we do not feel confident that we can ensure the safety of our participants, volunteers, staff, and host communities.
While we are seeing a return of local rides and races in some areas, Nationals draw a large number of people from around the country. When combined with the challenges of obtaining local permissions and permits, having to heavily modify event formats, and facing financial concerns within both our organization and local organizing committees, we have had to make the very difficult decision to cancel the following events for 2020:
USA Cycling Pro Road National Championships
USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championships
USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships
USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championships