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Showing posts from February, 2015

How to Determine your Optimal Crank Arm Length

In order to help you understand how important crank arm length is, having the wrong crank length instantly shifted my performance from consistently being one of the top three road racers in the state to being a mid-pack finisher.  In fact, I also almost got dropped out of a race for the first time in two years of racing.  Check out my uneventful 2014 results to see more.

I initially thought my lack of performance was due to deconditioning from the crash (I also didn't want to be THAT guy who blamed the bike), but it turned out that by simply optimizing my crank length, my heart rate consistently operates about 20 bpm lower than before, and I'm riding A LOT faster.  This is not an exaggeration.  Below is a workout comparison which proves this.  For this reason, please follow my advice: If you have not yet determined that your crank length is optimal, confirm this BEFORE considering to race or buy a new bike/ component- you are potentially at a SEVERE disadvantage. Since crank …

Smart Exercise - Single Leg Squat

The single leg squat is one of the many functional leg exercises that I use to improve my cycling performance.  It translates to cycling really well because the prime movers are the quadriceps and gluteus maximus- the same prime movers used in the pedal stroke.  In addition to improving power output, balance and core strength will improve to increase cycling economy- a variable which has been discovered to be more important than VO2max and Lactic Threshold.  Unfortunately, poor cycling economy is usually mistaken as a VO2max, LT or bike fitting issue.  Here are a few symptoms of poor cycling economy:

Quadricep dominance:  Whenever you push the pace, localized quadricep fatigue almost always limits your performance.Hip, knee or ankle instability:  Muscle imbalances can cause these key joints to deviate from a position that allows for optimal power production. While these two symptoms are easy to identify, it's hard to determine the actual cause, especially since determining optimal …