Tips from Colorado Cycling Coaches & Experts

Tips, insight and training plans for cyclist ready to take on the cyclocross season. All of these articles come from Colorado Cycling Coaches so if you want to take cycling to the next level then read hear and find a Colorado Cycling Coach

Articles from Colorado Cycling Coaches and experts

Training for Cyclocross - Running and Technique

by Ainslie MacEachran of Gemini Training Systems

Cyclocross, once considered the red headed stepchild of bike racing, has gained vast popularity in the U.S. in the past five years. It requires some varied talents and it favors hard men/women. While I would never advocate skimping on training, there two key areas that a cyclist should focus their attention to make building fitness for a successful cyclocross season go a little smoother.

The first area that a cyclocross athlete should focus on is running. One of the larger challenges for a cyclist taking up cyclocross is that, generally speaking, cyclists are not runners. Even if a cyclist comes from a running background the type of running encountered in cyclocross races is quite different than an aerobic pace most former runners will be used to. In cross races, the longest runs tend to only be in the neighborhood of 30 seconds to one minute. Towards this end, long sustained runs are not a huge necessity and instead a cross racer should focus more on short, high intensity running efforts.

Overcoming Fear while Mountain Biking

Sheri Boltz

by Sheri Boltz, Tough Girl Cycling

We've all experienced fear at one point in time or another; whether it be fear after a crash or fear riding obstacles such as drop offs, narrow trails along a ridge, down a steep descent, across loose gravel, or through rocky sections. Fear can come and go at any level, it is not just for beginners....and it can happen to both men and women.

Last August, I fractured one of the vertebrae in my neck riding an obstacle I had ridden many times. Several months later, I got back on the bike and when I did, there were a lot of scary obstacles out there. Because of being tentative and hesitant, I struggled with obstacles and trails that I routinely rode, and worked my way into a continuous pattern of crashing. Finally after a few weeks of crashing and being on the verge of changing sports, I realized I needed to acknowledge this new found fear because it wasn't going anywhere until I faced it head on. I went back to the basics by returning to the simplest of trails. After several successful rides (with no crashing), I started to work my way back into my usual network of trails. While this seemed like a huge setback to me at the time, I was able to quickly return to where I left off, get back into the racing scene, and have FUN.

What can you do to overcome your fears and move forward? When I am feeling the fear, I acknowledge it and then develop a game plan for conquering it. Fear should not be perceived as a negative, or something to beat yourself up about. It should be used as a building block in your quest to be a zen master of mountain biking. As for game plans, I like to keep mine simple. I will typically start off by asking myself a few questions like, do I need to find something smaller and less scary to work my way up or can I watch someone ride it or follow someone off/thru the obstacle?

Ainslie MacEachran is the author of “Simple Cycling Performance”, a USACycling level 2 coach, a AAAI/ISMA certified personal trainer and the head coach/owner of

5 Golden rules of crit racing by Ainslie MacEachran

In America, typically criterium season is in full swing by June through July. Criterium racing doesn't necessarily have to be a sprinters game. Even if you consider yourself a non sprinter, you can be equally as competitive as any other of the riders. Here's how:

1. Hustle it up to the front:

By Jane Rynbrandt, Tough Girl Cycling

Author: Jane Rynbrandt

Recovery and Balance for women -- Guest Article

When I found out at our Tough Girl “Kick off the Season” meeting that we would be writing a blog geared toward women on website, I was really excited. First, it’s a hard world out there for us women on the Front Range; we are surrounded by intimidating landscape, challenging races and events and let’s face it, a lot of male racers and riders (who can be both intimidating and challenging). I have a lot of experience both on and off the bike with cycling. I have been with Carmichael Training Systems for almost 5 years as a coach and racing bikes for 8 years.

I found it increasingly difficult to decide what to write about. Obviously I want to share some coaching/training advice to help everyone enjoy riding and racing their bike more. I’ve learned so many things over the years, from professors, books, research articles, fellow coaches, athletes, my own triumphs and failures. It’s hard to just pick a few tidbits to share.

Motor Pacing with FastCat Coaching!

Your First Bike Race, tips to survival

Nicole Novembre

by Nicole Novembre, Tough Girl Cycling

If you’ve been road riding for a while and are considering entering a bike race, there are a few things to think about. The first is to choose a race to enter. There are three main types of road race: a time trial, a road race, and a criterium. In a time trial, racers start one at a time and ride a course against the clock. A road race is a mass start event that might do one or two loops around a course for a total distance of 30 – 50 miles for a beginner race. A criterium is on a short course (less than a mile long) and is run for a set amount of time, usually 30 to 40 minutes for a beginner category. You start out not knowing how many laps you’ll end up doing. At some point in the race the officials will calculate how many laps you have left to do to make the race approximately as long as advertised. At that point, they’ll put up a “lap board” showing how many laps are remaining.

Read the rest onTips for your first Bike Race

Training for a Grand Fondo

Ainslie MacEachran is the owner and head coach of and the co-owner of Orchards Athletic Club. If you have a grand fondo coming up and you’d like help preparing, visit

Gran Fondos are a great addition to the American cycling scene. They provide great exposure to the sport and an opportunity for both competitive AND recreational athletes to be challenged by the same course. Here are some ideas to help you prepare.

Fits like a glove:
Basic prep for a Gran Fondo starts with trying to make sure your positioning on the bike is dialed in. If you’re back or butt are hurting, you’re going to have a hard time enjoying the event. Your local bike shop or a professional cycling coach can help you with get your bike set up. Correct position will allow you to be more comfortable AND more efficient on the bike.

Read the full story on Training for a Grand Fondo

Variable Pacing: The best pacing strategy for the Frostbite TT

Michael Hanna, M.S. uses a scientific process in helping every athlete achieve their goals. His knowledge of how the body adapts to stress, over training, environmental factors, diet, hydration, biomechanics, the cardiovascular system and the nervous system, are all important elements in his approach to training. Most important in Michael’s approach to helping athletes succeed is his ability to use a scientific process in working with every athlete, every situation.

The 2011 ACA racing season gets underway this Saturday with the Frostbite Time Trial in Fort Collins. The Frostbite TT is an 11.4 mile out and back course with rolling hills. Last year’s best time of 25:21 was set by Kevin Nicol, the best time in the 35+ 4s field was 29:10. This race has been the kick off to the ACA Road Racing Calendar for the past few years. The race’s location on the Front Range it is often characterized by strong winds. It is an ideal race for athletes to test their fitness and prepare for upcoming time trials at the Tour of the Gila and the rest of the ACA Road Racing Calendar. The strategic approach to time trialing I use with athletes is laid out below.

While time trialing is the simplest discipline of road racing, it is sometimes the most experienced racer who wins.

There are several components to competing successfully in a Time Trial. The most proven and substantial component of success is overall fitness, obtained through hard work and a structured endurance training plan. Another substantial component to performing your best on race day is strategy, the major component of strategy for time trialing is pacing. Selecting and executing the best pacing strategy for the course and wind conditions allows you to achieve your best time given your current level of fitness.

The best way to think about completing a time trial physiologically is that you have a finite amount of potential energy to complete the course. Ideally, you want to convert all of your potential energy into going as fast as possible, finishing the course with nothing left in the tank. If you can and cross the finish line barely able to push the pedals around you have succeeded.

The Start:
Continue Reading

Post Season Training with Mountain Bike Coach, Curt Wilhelm

...After the postseason break, I use the good weather for a period of two weeks to two months to simply enjoy the time on the bike. It's important to emphasize enjoyment of riding and being outside. You may want to leave the power meter and heart rate monitor at home and don’t worry about getting in your intervals or sprints - only fun riding! You can even ride hard and chase your friends around if you’re feeling up to it. The rides are not about training because you'll have plenty of time to do that later.

Base training should start about six months before your first “A” race and generally lasts about twelve weeks. For some riders, it works to hang their bike up over the winter. Just keep in mind that if you are one of those that hangs up your bike, that you will likely lose a great deal of fitness and gain unwanted pounds. If you do hang up the bike during the winter months, focus on cross training, including running, cross country skiing, weight training, or other cardio work, such as elliptical machines. It's much easier to start the base period with some fitness and within 5-8 pounds of your race weight than having to work your way back and try to lose 10-15 pounds.? The following are some tips to help you get through the postseason and be ready for the base period:....

Read the rest of Training in the Post Season for endurance Athletes