As I write this I’m getting caught up on today’s stage of le Tour de France, eating a sweet potato topped with pumpkin chili, and drinking coconut water. It was a HOT and humid ride this morning, and I’m certainly beat from the heat on this 36+ mile ride. I’m currently on a cyclocross bike that forces me work harder in order to keep up with my riders on their carbon fiber road bikes, and I was riding with some strong people on a route with a lot of rollers. It’s time for recovery!
This post discusses recovery for work efforts of a moderate to hard intensity – think working in a heart rate zone over 70% heart rate maximum (HRM); if you’re new to cycling or are on a multi-day tour with long miles each day think over 60% HRM.
As I mentioned, I’m watching the Tour. If you’re into one of the best and most challenging sports events in the world and are watching, too, you’ve probably noticed the cyclists spinning on their bikes during interviews post-race. It doesn’t take a lot of time to spin out those legs and cool it down – 10 to 15 minutes of easy spinning, either on a trainer at home or slowing it down and taking an easy pace as you approach the end of your ride, is enough to take the edge off those legs, lower the heart rate, Continue reading
Riding in a group can be fun, increase your skill set making you a better and faster rider, and can be incredibly frustrating. I’ve been coordinating and leading group rides for years, and I’ve seen just about everything (both good, bad, interesting, and entertaining!). Here are some tips to ensure that you have a FUN, not a frustrating, group ride.
1 –Wear a helmet. This should be a given, but you’d be surprised how many people show up without a helmet. Especially if you’re participating in a shop supported ride, you won’t be allowed to join if you don’t have a helmet.
2 – Leave the ear buds/music in the car. When riding on the road, you need to be able to Continue reading
There are bad days on bicycles. Bad days like when the wind is in your face, the sun is just too hot, or you bonk real hard. And then there are really bad days on bicycles. Those are the days where you leave for your bike ride and have no idea that by the time you return, your world will look completely different than it did when you put on your jersey, pumped up your tires and rolled out of the driveway.
I had one of those days on August 16, 2015. My boyfriend, Wade Franck, and I were scheduled to compete in the Urban Assault Ride – a bicycle scavenger hunt – that day. He picked me up at my house, loaded my bike on his car, and we joined many friends and acquaintances at the starting line in Downtown Des Moines. Here we are at the start of the race:
Jess and Wade
We raced through the course, completing obstacles and having a great morning together. It was a really good day – right up until it wasn’t. About half way into the race, we were Continue reading
I really enjoy going on long multi-hour bike rides. By this point in my cycling “career”, I somewhat take the preparation and planning skills needed to pull these off for granted. I love planning things and thinking through logistics — it’s one of my favorite things to do, but what if this isn’t your strong suit? I’ll explain an overview of how I approach long ride planning based on what I did while planning my upcoming “Ride Across Iowa in a Day”. The planning process for this ride took me a week to hatch the idea, recruit people, and create a route that would take us north to south on pavement in <24 hours on our road bikes!
Figure out a rough idea of where you want to ride
I typically start the process by daydreaming up a crazy route idea or concept. Sometimes I try to string together a century ride and seek out as many hills as I can find in my relatively flat area of the country. Other times, I have a friend willing to pick me up in a different city as part of one of their trips, so I capitalize on that. I had a completely free Continue reading
You’ve been riding and building your base, but you haven’t ventured very far from home. Maybe you’re nervous about riding alone too far away as you aren’t sure how to change a tube if you get a flat, or you don’t have a solid base. Perhaps you aren’t familiar with the trails, want to increase your distance, or just want some company while riding. Group rides and clinics are a great way learn basic maintenance, see new trails, and make friends who also enjoy cycling.
But how do you find events? Cycling a wonderful thing, and the professionals in the industry are typically very eager to share their love of cycling with the rest of the community. As such, many local bike shops (LBS) offer a variety of opportunities for cyclists of all levels to learn more about bikes, ride with others in group rides, and build their base with indoor cycling classes. There are also a lot of people just like you looking for friends to ride with. Continue reading
It’s summer and boy, oh boy, is it hot outside! While there are many reasons to feel blessed to live in the beautiful place that I do, heat indexes well over 110 degrees and humidity regularly over 50% (and commonly over 80%) are two reasons to develop a healthy respect for Austin, Texas summers.
For those that do not live in the South and Southwest, here’s a fun little taste of my weather forecast this week:
What does looking at this forecast do for me besides inform my complaining about the weather and cause my alarm clock to ring earlier? It lets me know it’s time to take precautions that will allow me to train and race in these conditions while staying cool and hydrated!
If you live in a hot area, or will travel to one for a race, there are a few key factors to keep in mind: Hydration, clothing choices, timing, and self-care! Continue reading
As a competitive athlete – and an injury-prone one – I am a big recovery tool aficionado. There’s a plethora of products available on the market, from high-tech tools such as recovery boots to traditional household remedies such as epsom salt.
The importance of rest and recovery
Whether you are training or just riding a lot, we all put our bodies through often increasings amount of stress. To reap the benefits of training or to keep healthy and fit, it is essential to pay equal attention to rest and recovery. With a myriad of tools available to improve our recovery time, here’s a selection of my favorites to make your body recover.
Compress it – Foam roller
Probably the tool everyone has a deep love-hate relationship with. While I love stretching out my back on a regular foam roll, I came to love the TriggerPoint Cold Roller. Especially after long rides in the heat of summer, the cooling effect of the roller eases the discomfort of rolling and eases pain and inflammation in your muscles through the power of ice and compression. This video gives a great overview of the Cold Roller. Continue reading
I’m a committed cycle commuter. I’ve done several years of both a 10- and 2-mile-each-way commute and have loved (almost) every day of it. For more of my tips on cycle commuting, see Cycle Commuting: Looking Good When You Arrive from the Moxie blog in March
But, let’s be honest – as much as I love cycling and working, the two pursuits oppose each other a bit when it comes to feeling fresh at work. So, here are my top 3 must-have items to take to the office when you’re commuting by bike: Continue reading
Training with power can be a most wonderful (and truly powerful) way to boost your training. However, only investing a fairly large amount of money into a powermeter won’t do the trick. As with all things data, it’s not only the numbers that matter but the analysis of them.
But let’s take a step back: What are we talking about when we talk about power?
In order to make my training with power as effective as possible, I talked to many seasoned athletes, coaches – and did my research. One book that stood out was Joe Friel’s The Power Handbook published by Velo Press. The book takes you through the entire journey of understanding and training with a power meter.
Power, in its most basic definition, “equals force times velocity.” In this equation, force refers to what you put onto the pedal, while velocity means how fast you are turning them. The unit power is put out is Watts, a unit named after Scottish engineer James Watt – remember those physics classes in high school? Continue reading
On May 22, three Moxie Cycling Ambassadors competed in the Esprit De She Duathlon/Triathlon in Lakeville, Minnesota. The three all brought different perspectives:
Melissa Hunter: The Endurance Racer
Jess Rundlett: The Social Cyclist
Chris Schmit: The Comeback Kid
These are their stories:
Melissa Hunter: The Endurance Racer
Last weekend I rode in two events that, for me, couldn’t have been much different from each other despite their similarities in paper. Both involved Continue reading