Road Cycling Sciencewas created to bring the latest research in the use of nutritional and physiological interventions for improving cycling performance to sport scientists, coaches and athletes alike. Starting from a modest number of articles, the web site will grow and diversify to all things cycling science.Hope you enjoy the site.
ROAD CYCLING SCIENCEThe scientific guide to using nutrition and physiology to improve your performance
Maximise Hill Climb Performance with Nutritional Ergogenic BufferingIntroductionLove it or hate it, the end of season hill climb competition will probably be the most intense event you will ride all season. Usually lasting between 2-5 minutes of leg burning maximal effort, the energy required can be in excess of that produced at maximal oxygen uptake and therefore requires an appreciable contribution from anaerobicsources. The heavy reliance on anaerobic energy results in a significant production of hydrogen ions (H+) and concomitant reduction in muscle pH. This ensuing acidity within the muscle cell inhibits the productionofenergythroughtheglycolytic pathwayandreducestheabilityofthe muscle to contract (Shelton and Kumar 2010). To help counteract the acidity within the muscle cell, H+ ions are buffered through intracellular buffers such as carnosine or transported into the blood where they are buffered by inorganic bicarbonate and then exhaled as carbon dioxide at the lungs. In an attempt to prolong the amount of high intensity work that can be performed, evidence suggests that increasing the intra cellular and blood based buffer pool with the ergogenic aids beta-alanine and sodium bicarbonate will significantly improve high intensity exercise performance (Requena et al. 2005). In their 1993 review, Matson and Tran concluded that sodium bicarbonate had a moderate effect on maximal exercise performance lasting approximately 1-7 minutes. A mean increase of 27% was observed in studies that used time to exhaustion (TTE) as the main performance measure. However it should be noted that 16 out of the 35 studies did not show a performance gain, but it was likely that the dosage used in these trials was insufficient and did not increase blood pH to the optimal level for a performance effect to occur. In a more recent review, Carr, Hopkins and Gore (2011) found a mean increase in power output of 1.7% from 59 studies and recommended the use of sodium bicarbonate in high intensity races of short duration. Additionally the same team found that sodium citrate, another blood buffer frequently used in studies, did not infer additional gain over placebo. Although both reviews found individual responses may vary, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) support the use of sodium bicarbonate and have placed it on their highest classification of supported supplements adding further weight for its use as a legal, safe and effective ergogenic performance aid (AIS 2015).Beta-alanine supplementation increases intramuscular carnosine levels and consequently increases the intracellular buffering capacity of H+ ions. Hobson et al. (2012) reviewed a total of 15 manuscripts and found that beta-alanine improved exercise capacity and performance by an average 2.85% in events lasting 60-240 seconds but not less than 60 seconds. Additionally AIS have placed beta-alanine in group A of their sports supplement framework adding further support for its use as an ergogenic aid (AIS 2015).Evidence to support improvement in short duration cycling performanceMany published studies support the use of sodium bicarbonate inshortdurationcycling,muchofwhichmeasureTTE atanintensitycomparativetoorexceedingV̇O2Max.TTEtestshavebeenshowntohavepoorreproducibility (Billat 1994) and it is questionable whether this type of measure is applicable to real world cycling performance. Therefore I’m going to describe a couple of studies that measure the maximum amount of work (effectively average power output) that can be performed in a short time duration, which is much more applicable to real world high intensity cycling performance. Driller et al. (2012) had 8 high performance cyclists perform a 2 minute time trial on a cycle ergometer on 4 different occasions; the first of which was a familiarisation trial. The following 3 trials were in random order and were placebo (dextrose), sodium chloride (used to match the sodium content of sodium bicarbonate) or sodium bicarbonate. Mean power output was significantly higher in the sodium bicarbonate group (514.9 W) compared to either placebo (498.7 W) or sodium chloride (504.3 W). Additionally in an older study, McNaughton (1992) demonstrated that sodium bicarbonate ingestion significantly increased the total amount of work done by approximately 14% in a 4 minute cycle ergometry time trial compared to controls. Again in this study all 10 participants were moderate to well trained and performed all experimental conditions in a random fashion. In contrast to sodium bicarbonate the amount of published literature regarding beta-alanine is relatively uncommon, probably because the first publication on its use is less than a decade ago (Hobson et al. 2012). However in a recent study, Howe et al. (2013) showed that beta-alanine improved 4 minute ergometry time trial performance in 8 cyclists compared to the placebo group (n=8). Although this was not statistically significant, the likelihood of a positive effect was 44%. Is there an additive effect combining beta-alanine and sodium bicarbonate?Only 1 study has examined the combined effect of beta-alanine and sodium bicarbonate in short term cycling time trial performance. Bellinger et al. (2012) found that acute sodium bicarbonate supplementation significantly improved 4 minute time trial performance by 3.1% compared to placebo, and the addition of beta-alanine did not add further benefit. Interestingly the experimental group that supplemented only with beta-alanine did not significantly improve over placebo, although there was 37% likelihood that performance power was improved. Other studies have demonstrated an additive effect when combining beta-alanine and sodium bicarbonate, but none were specific to time trial performance. Tobias et al. (2013) studied the effect of repeated 30 second sprints using an arm ergometer and Sale et al. (2011) usedaTTEtest@110%ofWmax,whichhaslittlecyclingcompetitionspecificity,as already discussed earlier in this article. Therefore based on the evidence it would seem that using any one of the ergogenic buffers discussed would lead to performance improvement. However, combined supplementation does not have an additive effect and which one you choose depends on a number of factors which I will discuss next.How much and when do I take sodium bicarbonate and beta-alanine before my hill climb and are there any side effects?Sodium bicarbonateAcute loading - Many studies have indicated that 300 mg.kg-1 bw (bodyweight) mixed in 500-1000 ml of water or cordial and consumed approximately 60 minutes before the event are effective in producing an ergogenic effect (Shelton and Kumar 2010). Chronic loading – McNaughton and Thompson (2001) demonstrated that 0.5 g.kg-1 bw taken in 4 separate equal doses each day over a period of 6 days, led to similar improvements in 90 second ergometer time trial performance compared to the standard acute loading protocol (0.5 g.kg-1 bw). Although no side effects were noted during this study the authors concluded that the chronic loading protocol may lower the chances of side effects (see below). Additionally the chronic loading protocol had the added advantage of enhancing performance for a further 2 days after cessation of ingestion, which was not noted in the acute loading protocol. The use of sodium bicarbonate comes with a multitude of side effects, which include vomiting, gastrointestinal discomfort, osmotic diarrhoea and uncomfortable bloating; all of which could affect performance in your hill climb event. Therefore it is advised to test the product before any major competitions or use the chronic loading protocol mentioned above (Shelton and Kumar 2010).Beta-alanineLoading protocols found in the literature vary widely but the consensus advises 4-6 g daily divided into 4 equal doses and preferably consumed with food at meal times. A loading period of 4-6 weeks with the overall aim to ingest a total of 230g should result in an increase of approximately 50% in muscle carnosine levels (Stellingwerff et al. 2012).Side effects include paraesthesia or a flushing or prickly sensation on the skin; although believed harmless, this can be alleviated by using a slow release beta-alanine formulation (Bellinger 2013).Are they legal and how do I get hold of it?Both products are within group ‘A’ of the AIS sports supplement framework, which means it’s safe, effective and legal (AIS 2015). Baking soda can be purchased from most supermarkets and is a pure source of sodium bicarbonate. This should not be confused with baking powder which contains other ingredients.Beta-alanine can be purchased from health food shops in powder or capsule form. It would probably be better to use a powder rather than capsules as to achieve the required dosage of 4-6g per day would require approximately 8-12 x 500mg capsules. Summary of key pointsThe intra and extra cellular buffers carnosine and bicarbonate play an important role in the buffering of muscle acidity caused by an increase of H+ ions during high intensity anaerobic exercise.Buffering capacity can be supplemented with sodium bicarbonate and beta-alanine.Good evidence exists that sodium bicarbonate can improve cycling time trial performance in events lasting 1-7 minutes.Evidence exists for the use of beta-alanine in high intensity exercise, but little is available for its use in very short duration cycling time trials; most likely because research is in its infancy with the first studies appearing less than a decade ago. However it is highly likely that beta-alanine does have a positive effect on short duration efforts such as hill climbs.Both products are legal within major sporting bodies and are classified within supplement group ‘A’ of the AIS sports supplement framework.There is no additive effect on performance by loading both ergogenic aids simultaneously. Therefore the athlete should choose the most suitable supplement, taking into account side effects and the fact beta-alanine takes at least 4 weeks to load.300 mg.kg-1 bw of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) mixed within 500-1000 ml of water or cordial, and preferably with a carbohydrate snack should be ingested approximately 1 hour before your hill climb event. 4-6 g per day of beta-alanine should be spread across 4 equal sized doses for a period of 4-6 weeks. Each dose should be taken with food.Side effects of sodium bicarbonate include bloating, gastrointestinal upset, vomiting and diarrhoea. Therefore advice is to test your tolerance to the product well before your big event. Beta-alanine can cause paraesthesia or a flushing or prickly sensation on the skin. However symptoms are harmless and can be alleviated by spreading consumption over an equal number of doses each day, or using a slow release fomulation.ReferencesAUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF SPORT (2015). AIS sports supplement framework. [online]. http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition/supplements.BELLINGER, P. M. (2014). Beta-alanine supplementation for athletic performance: an update. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 28 (6), 1751-1770.BELLINGER, P. M., et al. (2012). Effect of combined beta-alanine and sodium bicarbonate supplementation on cycling performance. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 44 (8), 1545-1551.BILLAT, V. L., et al. (1994). The reproducibility of running time to exhaustion at VO2max in subelite runners. Medicine & science in sports & exercise, 26 (2), 254-257.CARR, A. J., HOPKINS, W. G. and GORE, C. J. (2011). Effects of acute alkolosis and acidosis on performance: a meta-analysis. Sports medicine, 41 (10), 801-814.DRILLER, Matthew, et al. (2012). The effects of NaHCO3 and NaCl loading on Hematocrit and high-intensity cycling performance. Journal of exercise physiology online, 15 (1), 47-56.HOBSON, R. M., et al. (2012). Effects of beta-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta analysis. Amino acids, 43 (1), 25-37.HOWE, Samuel T., et al. (2013). The effect of Beta-alanine supplementation on isokinetic force and cycling performance in highly trained cyclists. International journal of sports nutrition and exercise metabolism, 23 (6), 562-570.MATSON, L. G. and TRAN, Z. V. (1993). Effects of sodium bicarbonate ingestion on anaerobic performance : a meta-analytic review. International journal of sports nutrition, 3 (1), 2-28.MCNAUGHTON, L. R. (1992). Sodium bicarbonate ingestion and its effects on anaerobic exercise of various durations. Journal of sports sciences, 10 (5), 425-435.MCNAUGHTON, L. R. and THOMPSON, D. (2001). Acute versus chronic sodium bicarbonate ingestion and anaerobic work and power output. Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 41 (4), 456-462.REQUENA, B., et al. (2005). Sodium bicarbonate and sodium citrate: ergogenic aids? Journal of strength and conditioning research, 19 (1), 213-224.SALE, C., et al. (2011). Effect of beta-alanine plus sodium bicarbonate oh high intensity cycling capacity. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 43 (10), 1972-1978.SHELTON, Jose and KUMAR, G. V. P. (2010). Sodium bicarbonate - a potent ergogenic aid? Food and nutrition sciences, 1 (1), 1-4.STELLINGWERFF, T., et al. (2012). Optimizing human in vivo dosing and delivery of beta-alanine supplements for muscle carnosine synthesis.Amino acids,43(1), 57-65.
ROAD CYCLING SCIENCEThe scientific guide to using nutrition and physiology to improve your performance
Caffeine and Middle Distance Cycling Time Trial PerformanceIntroductionCaffeine is one of the most widely used drugs throughout the world and has been used for many centuries to increase alertness and reduce the affects of fatigue (Burke 2008). Therefore it is no surprise that athletes have tried to utilise these properties to improve performance, and since the late 1970’s large amounts of scientific literature has studied the role of Caffeine in endurance sport (Ganio et al. 2009). In this article I’m going to discuss theergogeniceffectofcaffeineonmiddle distancecyclingtimetrialperformance.Althoughthisis by no means a full review of the subject, I hope to extract the important findings and hence deliver practical recommendations on how you can use it on the big day to improve your time. What are the findings in the literature?Anumberofsystematic reviewshavebeenpublishedinthelastdecade.Ganioet al. (2009) reviewed the effect of caffeine on performance in time trials ranging from 5 to more than 60 minutes and found a mean improvement of 3.2% from 21 studies. Although a large degree of variability was noted in individual studies, ranging from -0.3 to 17.3%, the authors concluded that caffeine had effective ergogenic properties when taken before and/or during exercise. Additionally Burke (2008) reviewed only studies that met stringent inclusioncriteriasuchasrandom double blind crossover placebodriventrials.The author concluded that clear evidence existed in a number of sporting disciplines that caffeine was a clear ergogenic aid. To add further support; in their position statement, the International Society of Sports Nutrition stated that caffeine is highly effective in boosting time trial performance in multiple endurance disciplines (Goldstein et al. 2010). Hence the consensuses of the scientific community agree that caffeine has ergogenic properties and can improve endurance performance both in laboratory based tests and in a real world sporting environment.What does the literature say about cycling time trials?The studies I have selected to discuss in this section were chosen because they have a high degree of relevance to real world time trial events. Many research studies measuring the ergogenic effect of caffeine on endurance performance employ time to exhaustion tests (TTE), which have poor reproducibility and thus make it difficult to distinguish a real change in performance from normal variability (Billat et al. 1994). Additionally many studies measure time trial performance after a pre-fatiguing bout of exercise, which again has poor ecological validity. In the following studies, time trials were performed after standard warm-ups and the time trial course was designed to vary in gradient, with flat, downhill and uphill sections similar to real world application. In this 2008 study, 8 moderately trained cyclists rode as far as possible in 1 hour on 3 different occasions using a VelotronPro® cycle ergometer. Each trial was performed after consuming either 6 mg.kg-1 of caffeine, a placebo or no aid (control).Trialorderwasrandomisedinadouble blind mannerwithnomorethan 96 hours between exercise trials. The cyclists rode 5.3% and 4.1% further when caffeine was administered compared to the control and placebo trials. Additionally no difference was found between the placebo and control trial. McNaughton et al. (2008) concluded that performance was possibly improved by a greater reliance on fat metabolism during the work bout.Astorino et al. (2012) found that the ergogenic effect of caffeine was highly reproducibleinthisrandomised, single blind, crossover design trial.Ninemoderately trained endurance athletes performed 2 familiarisation trials and subsequently 3 experimental 10 km time trials on a Velotron Dynafit Sport bicycle ergometer. In 2 of the 3 trials the participants ingested 5mg.kg-1 of bodyweight of caffeine and a placebo in the remaining trial. The cyclists were not aware that caffeine was been used in the study and were told a new carbohydrate beverage was been tested. No difference was found between caffeine trials with a mean completion time of 16.98 and 16.92 minutes, which was significantly different to the placebo trial (17.25 minutes). So it would seem that caffeine is indeed a highly potent ergogenicaid for improving cycling time trial performance. In the next sections I’m going to discuss the practical applications of caffeine.How much caffeine do I need for an ergogenic effect and in what form do I take it?Current research suggests that 3 mg.kg-1 bw of caffeine should be consumed within 1 hour prior to the event, which is equivalent to 210 mg for a 70 kg athlete. No further benefit has been demonstrated at 6 mg.kg-1 bw or above (Goldstein et al. 2010, Desbrow et al. 2012). Caffeine is best ingested in the anhydrous state rather than in coffee. It has been suggested that coffee may contain compounds that inhibit the ergogenic effectiveness of caffeine (Graham, Hibbert and Sathasivam 1998). Various anhydrous forms of caffeine exist on the market. Examples include ProPlus® tablets which usually contain 50mg of caffeine per tablet. Therefore 4-5 tablets would be required to achieve 3 mg.kg-1 bw in a 70kg athlete.Is caffeine a legal supplement?In 2004 caffeine was removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited list and is now on the WADA monitored list which monitors the patterns of misuse within sport (WADA 2015). Therefore no restrictions currently exist for the use of caffeine.What side effects exist?High doses of caffeine intake > 9 mg.kg-1 BW can be associated with side effects such as increased heart rate, anxiety and jitters which could impair performance (Burke 2008). Therefore as with all supplements they should be tested well before the day of the event to avoid any detriment to performance.It has been suggested that caffeine could induce a state of dehydration as various studies have demonstrated caffeine induced diuresis at rest. However no evidence exists that caffeine has a negative effect on fluid balance during exercise (Goldstein et al. 2010).Do I need to withhold caffeine intake before competition loading? The consensus of evidence suggests that abstention from caffeine does not further enhance the ergogenic effect on endurance performance. Irwin et al. (2011) found that 3 mg.kg-1 bw improved 1 hour time trial performance irrespective of whether caffeine was withheld or not for 4 days prior to exercise testing. Summary of key pointsCaffeine enhances cycling time trial performance in events greater than 5 minutes and is directly applicable to middle distance time trial performance.Caffeine is not prohibited by WADA.A 3-6 mg.kg-1 bw dose of anhydrous caffeine (e.g. ProPlus® tablets) should be taken no more than 1 hour prior to the event.High doses of caffeine greater than 9 mg.kg-1 bw can lead to unpleasant symptoms. Therefore as some athletes may be sensitive to caffeine it is advised to experiment with the caffeine dosage prior to important competition.Caffeine does not cause dehydration during exercise and a period of caffeine withdrawal does not improve the ergogenic response. Some inter-individual variation exists in the ergogenic response to caffeine, i.e. some people are non-responders. ReferencesASTORINO, T.A., et al. (2012). Increase in cycling performance in response to caffeine ingestion are repeatable. Nutrition research, 32 (2), 78-84.BILLAT, V. L., et al. (1994). The reproducibility of running time to exhaustion at VO2max in subelite runners. Medicine & science in sports & exercise, 26 (2), 254-257.BURKE, L. M. (2008). Caffeine and sports performance. Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism, 33 (6), 1319-1334.DESBROW, B., et al. (2012). The effects of different doses of caffeine on endurance cycling time trial performance. Journal of sports science, 30 (2), 115-120.GANIO, M. S., et al. (2009). Effect of Caffeine on sport-specific endurance performance: a systematic review. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 23 (1), 315-324.GOLDSTEIN, E.R., et al. (2010). International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and performance. Journal of the international society of sports nutrition, 7 (5), 1-15.GRAHAM, T. E., HIBBERT, E. and SATHASIVAM, P. (1998). Metabolic and exercise endurance effects of coffee and caffeine ingestion. Journal of applied physiology, 85 (3), 883-889.IRWIN, C., et al. (2011). Caffeine withdrawl and high-intensity endurance cycling performance. Journal of sports sciences, 29 (5), 509-515.McNAUGHTON, L.R., et al. (2008). The effects of caffeine ingestion on time trial cycling performance. Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 48 (3), 320-325.WORLD ANTI DOPING AGENCY. (2015). 2015 Monitoring Program. [online]. WorldAntiDopingAgency.Lastaccessed21/04/2015at:https://wada-main-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/resources/files/wada-2015-monitoring-program-en.pdf.
ROAD CYCLING SCIENCEThe scientific guide to using nutrition and physiology to improve your performance
Maximise performance in your next criterium race with training specificityIntroductionSoyou’vetrainedhardallwinter,gettinginthesteadymiles,doinglongtempointervals andbuildingyourfunctional threshold power (FTP)ashighaspossible.Now you’re ready for your first short course road race or criterium of the season. Well you may be in for an unpleasant surprise, as the steady state miles you’ve put in during the offseason may not be the best preparation for the fast and furious environment of criterium racing. In this article I am going to analyse the data from a 1 hour criterium race and describe the characteristics and key abilities that are required in this discipline. Additionally I will describe a key exercise session that should build specific race fitnessforafictitiousathlete(BobbyAthlete)whohasanFTP of250W.What are criterium races?Criteriums are short circuit races usually less than a mile in length and which last approximately 60 minutes in duration. Although they are much shorter than there road race counterparts, they are usually faster and require excellent bike handling skills for the many tight corners in the circuit. Characteristics of criterium racingCriteriums are characterised by high intensity intermittent sprints punctuated with periods of lower intensity riding. Figure 1 illustrates the stochastic nature of criterium racing with little if any steady state riding throughout the whole race. Figure 2 illustrates the amount of time spent in each intensity zone measured by power (see article “Training intensity zones explained”). This clearly demonstrates a polarised distribution with ¾ of the race spent within 2 intensity zones. Approximately 46% was spent in the active recovery zone (AR) and another 27% in the anaerobic capacity zone (AC). These intensity zones roughly translate to less than 55% of FTP (AR) and power outputs that are greater than the minimum power to elicit V̇O2Max in a incremental test to exhaustion (in this case greater than 1.2 x FTP (AC)). Furthermore 17% of the race was spent in complete recovery without pedalling at all (fig 3). Interestingly figure 4 demonstrates the disconnect between power output and heart rate, in that approximately 62% of the race was spent in the threshold zone or approximately the heart rate associated with FTP. This is in spite of the fact that average power output for the race was only 199 W or 80% of FTP. So how can this be? If we take a look at a representative 5 minute section of the race (figure 5) we can see the average power output was only 187 W and yet average heart rate was 148bpm which is only 7bpm below the heart rate associated with FTP. Additionally no fewer than 18 short 10-20 second sprints were performed with many of them exceeding 500 W. Although these are somewhat less than the peak sprint power of the rider (1050 W), they place a heavy reliance on anaerobic sources of energy and result in a level of oxygen debt that cannot be fully repaid before the next sprint effort. Therefore heart rate is generally raised throughout the 5 minute period. Notice also the number of times no pedalling occurs at all with a prolonged period of 30-40 seconds between the 51st and 52nd minute.Fig 1. Chart displaying power output (in yellow) against time for a 60 minute criterium race. Red line is FTP (250W) for this athlete. Note in top left box – the peak average power outputs for various durations and that Bobby Athlete has to spend only approximately 5 minutes around his functional threshold power for the whole race. Additionally up to 30 seconds (487W), very high power outputs are required (nearly double his FTP). (source: authors race files).Fig 2. Chart displaying amount of time spent in each power zone as a percentage of total race time (Source: authors race files). Fig 3. Cadence distribution throughout the race. Not pedalling at all was the 3rdhighest cadence range (source: authors race files).Fig 4. Heart rate distribution during the same criterium race in sharp contrast to the power output distribution (Source: authors own files).Fig 5. Typical representative 5 minute period within the race (Power in yellow, heart rate in red and white horizontal line is FTP).Physiological requirements of criterium racingThe analysed race files demonstrate that criterium riders need a high level of repeat sprint ability (i.e. the ability to quickly recover between sub maximal sprint efforts). In their review of repeat sprint ability, Girard, Mendez-Villanueva and Bishop (2011) found that Phosphocreatine (PCr) accounted for approximately 50% of energy provision, when 10x6 second maximal sprints were performed with 30 second recovery periods. Additionally aerobic energy contribution increased 5x between the 1st and 10thsprint, matched by a concomitant reduction in anaerobic energy. Indeed aerobic energy contribution in sprint 10 was 40% of total energy requirement and was bound by the maximal oxygen uptake. Therefore the higher the riders FTP and hence the upper marker for steady state aerobic energy provision, then the less reliance on the fatiguing effects of anaerobic energy supply and the faster PCrcan be re-synthesised. Although maximal sprint power is positively correlated with performance decrement over subsequent sprints (i.e. the higher the maximum sprint power then the greater the performance drop off between sprints without sufficient recovery) (Mendez-Villanueva, Hamer and Bishop 2008), the sprints performed within a criterium are rarely maximal, therefore a high maximal sprint would be highly beneficial at the end of the race when sprinting for the line. Additionally as the repeated sprints are at a lower fraction of peak sprint power, then the effects of neuromuscular fatigue will effectively be reduced (Mendez-Villanueva, Hamer and Bishop 2008). Therefore in criterium racing, a high aerobic capacity (V̇O2Max) to aid fast recovery of PCr stores, accompanied with a large anaerobic capacity and sprint power are necessary abilities to perform effectively. To finish off this short review, in the next section I’m going to give an example of how these traits can be incorporated into one training session that meets the specific functional demands of criterium racing, while also targeting the specific physiological and metabolic requirements.Example exercise session – Short HIIT (high intensity interval training)To increase maximal oxygen uptake while increasing transferability to criterium racing (adapted from Buchheit and Laursen 2013).15 minutes warm up in Z2.5 mins @ low Z4to accelerate oxygen kinetics in readiness for main set.2 mins @ Z1recovery.3 x 10min intervals with 5mins Z2 recovery between sets –20 seconds @ top of Z6 or 120% of vV̇O2Max (approx 380W for Bobby Athlete) with 10 seconds recovery @ Z1 or passive.10-15 mins warm down in Z1ReferencesALLEN, Hunter and COGGAN, Andrew (2006). Training and Racing with a Power Meter. 1st ed., Boulder, Colorado, USA, Velopress.BUCHHEIT, M. and LAURSEN, P. B. (2013). High-Intensity Interval Training, solutions to the programming puzzle - Part II: Anaerobic energy, neuromuscular load and practical applications. Sports medicine, 43 (10), 927-954.GIRARD, O., MENDEZ-VILLANUEVA, A. and BISHOP, D. (2011). Fatigue and repeated-sprint ability. Sports medicine, 41 (8), 673-694.MENDEZ-VILLANUEVA, A., HAMER, P. and BISHOP, D. (2008). Fatigue in repeated-sprint exercise is related to muscle power factors and reduced neuromuscular activity. European journal of applied physiology, 103 (4), 411-419.
ROAD CYCLING SCIENCEThe scientific guide to using nutrition and physiology to improve your performance
Hi there avid readers, just a little about myself to put your mind at rest regarding my credentials -Having worked as a computer scientist for 15 years, I changed careers in 2008 and re-trained as a Clinical Respiratory Physiologist. I am currently in the process of finishing my masters degree in Sports and Exercise Science and hope to go on to study for a doctorate in the mathemetical modelling of endurance performance. As a cyclist my activities are modest. I have competed for over 10 years at amateur level with a best 10 mile ITT of 22:18 and a 25 mile ITT of 58:14. I am actively involved in cycle performance coaching and hope to complete my certfications with the ABCC this summer.I hope you find my website interesting and helpful for achieving your own cycling ambitions. Please dont hesitate to drop me a line -
Training Intensity Zones ExplainedThe use of training intensity zones is now common place in endurance sports. But why do we need to use exercise zones and how does that fit into your training? The following video will discuss these points and the use of a popular intensity zone scheme created by Allen and Coggan (2006).ReferencesALLEN, Hunter and COGGAN, Andrew (2006). Training and Racing with a Power Meter. 1st ed., Boulder, Colorado, USA, Velopress.