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Blogger, Athlete
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Sometimes when you’re underperforming during a race you begin to question the legitimacy of your training program. Thoughts like, “Am I doing this right? Do I have the right equipment? Am I just not tough enough?” begin to race through your mind. If you let these thoughts to go out of control they will ultimately hurt your finish time and leave you further discouraged come next competition. This is where making sure other aspects of your technique are economically sound.

When you’re doing any long distance event, efficiency becomes extremely important. Here are the nine golden rules that will help you get the most out of every pedal stroke:

Lean Body

It’s common sense that a lighter cyclist expends less energy to move down the roadway. But there is a lot of information circulating out there as to what the proper cycling weight is. If you plan on racing a course with a lot of elevation gain, you should weigh no more than 2-2.1 times you’re height in inches. This means a cyclist standing at 5’10” should weigh between 140-147 lb. However, if your route is relatively flat you will be fine weighing up to 2.5 times your height in inches.

Proper Bike Fit

Helps you extract as much power as possible and improves comfort.

Low Stress

The idea here is that when you’re cycling, that’s all you should be doing. You shouldn’t be going over events that happened during the day or worrying about work or family problems in your mind. What you need to do is stay in the present moment. Realize that everything that happened is in the past and running things over through your mind does nothing to fix them. While I’ve read lots of literature on embracing the present, a good starting point is Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now.

Cadence

Ideally you should be spinning at 80-90 revolutions per minute while never straying below 60 or above 120.

Light, appropriate equipment

When determining which parts of the body/cycle system constitute drag, typically the body accounts for 65%, the bike 20%, wheels 10%, and rolling resistance 5%. The easiest ways to improve aerodynamics are to install aerobars and deciding whether lightweight or aero wheels would be better suited to your course makeup. Also, eliminate all unnecessary aids from bags you carry. Remember that there will be multiple break points along the way.

Reduce Drag

Assume as low a frontal area as comfortably possible as well as practicing drafting techniques with your local bike club.

Strength Training

Although this is something you should put into practice during the off season, it’ll still help you get up those steep inclines.

Efficiency on Bike

I know this guideline sounds a little too general but I’ve decided to include it anyways. Try practicing the things pros do like riding a straight line, keeping your upper body from rocking side to side, and reaching down, drinking, and replacing your water bottle while moving.

Efficiency off Bike

If your racing unsupported make sure your gear in any packs are organized. Some races allow you to place drop bags at several locations along the course. Make sure you know where everything is inside these as well.

Follow these tips and you’ll go a lot farther for a lot less.
 

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Lean Body

It’s common sense that a lighter cyclist expends less energy to move down the roadway. But there is a lot of information circulating out there as to what the proper cycling weight is. If you plan on racing a course with a lot of elevation gain, you should weigh no more than 2-2.1 times you’re height in inches. This means a cyclist standing at 5’10” should weigh between 140-147 lb. However, if your route is relatively flat you will be fine weighing up to 2.5 times your height in inches.
Dang! I gotta lose 30 lbs to be a climber and 2 lbs to even be able to ride the flats!? And I thought I was fairly decent. self-esteem is fading
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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I nead to lose like 100# befor I can look at a Trillum out law 5"9" 236# (crying)
 

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That's another reason I like Cancellara. 6'1", 180 lbs. Let's do the math: 73*2.5=182.5 Whew. He's okay. He's just under what he needs to be to be able to ride a flat race.
 

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Lean Body - 35 lbs overweight for a climber!

Proper Bike Fit - Agreed, although there are many opinions on how that is acheived. I figure if I'm comfortable on it for 50 miles it's close enough!

Low Stress - I can NEVER control my mind while out cycling. Sometimes it's about the sights, smells and sounds of the ride, or about the day I've had or will have or that stupid song that way playing before I left that is now stuck in my mind.

Cadence - Working on that

Light, apropiate equipment - got that but I will NEVER degrade my road bike with the abomination know as Aero Bars!

Reduce drag - I seek out headwinds...those will keep you tucked!

Strength Training - that's covered just thru my job

Efficiency on bike - second nature...until I recently went cycling with my brother who is just starting I didn't realize some people are uncomfortable grabbing their water bottle while moving.

Efficiency off bike - good points

Not bashing these suggestions at all, all very good ones...except the lean body!!!!! At 56 years old that ship has sailed!

Might want to add to keep you bike in good mechanical condition. If nothing else clean and lube your chain often and keep those tires pumped...and ride ride ride (key Jojo Gunne)
 

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I guess I'm way too heavy to cycle. I should sell my bikes now.
 

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spin... spin.. spin
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first i like this post a lot...

LEAN BODY
i personally fall right into the climbing ideal weight... though it is undoubtedly a different formula for women since we carry our body mass differently. even sprinters are light lets look at Mark Cavendish 5'9" 150lbs. rounded off he is at a 2.17 ratio. while in my opinion he is the best sprinter on the planet remember while he does not stay with the top climbers he does pull the climbs faster than many and way faster the most normal cyclists. does this mean heavy riders should give up the sport? nope, just work on the weight prior to registering for Le Tour.

BIKE FIT
huge part of being efficient. but completely different for every rider. Andy Schleck 6'1" 150lbs (blows the weight dealio away) rides a frame that is a whole size smaller than his brother Frank who is by the way also listed at 6'1 150lbs but when you meet them is obviously heavier the Andy but these are the numbers given for them. as for fit they are they same height and similar build but one of them is on a smaller frame... so thus the fit is different. they are both fitted by professionals.

LOW STRESS
the mind controls the body... so of course!

CADENCE
this is simple and true... good cadence = fast!

the rest of this list are nice tips that work for many riders.
 
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