Should you do Running-Specific Workouts for Cyclocross?

This is a question I received from an athlete (be sure to ask us if you have any questions pertaining to cycling also!):

Dear Shayne –

I am getting ready for my first cyclocross race in late September.  How much running should I be doing (if any) to get ready?  I have heard and read many opinions on the topic, but I wanted to get yours also.

Short answer, yes, you need to perform running specific workouts for cross, but with a caveat of keeping them skilled and/or explosive based.

Skill-Based Runs

Since cross involves jumping off and back onto your bike multiple times per lap, steep climbs that are un-rideable, muddy terrain or sand that is impassable by bike, and getting caught behind riders who go down, it is important to be able to quickly transition from riding to running to riding again.  So, the primary component to a cross running skill workout should be the dismount and remount…

Dismounts / Remounts

Kerstperiode_001.jpg
Image Credit: VeloNews

Workout: Evil 20’s

This workout is VERY intense and needs to be done when well rested to get the most out of it (i.e. do it early in the week).

  1. Go ALL OUT for 20 seconds.
  2. Recover for 20 seconds spinning easy.
  3. Dismount and run alongside the bike up a steep incline or carry the bike on your shoulder up a set of stairs, again going ALL OUT.
  4. Remount and spin easy for 20 seconds.
  5. Repeat starting at step 1 again.

Start off with 2-3 sets based on current fitness level and work up to 8-10 sets.  Focus on keeping the dismounts and remounts as smooth as possible, especially when you become fatigued from the efforts.

Barriers

Cyclocross_runup.JPG

Barriers, logs, a stray dog on course, etc. all require dismounting, lifting the bike over the obstacle, and remounting again as quickly and efficiently as possible.  Like many things in life, this takes a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master.  So, the more you can practice and mimic the race conditions you are going to encounter, the better!  Practice carrying your bike over barriers that are on flat ground, downhill, uphill, on sand, grass, gravel, mud, etc.  Make it as diverse as possible.

Explosive-Based Runs

Generating a lot of force quickly is paramount to pretty much every discipline in cycling.  In cross, it happens to be more important than most due to the twisty and tight cornering found in a course and the need to be able to accelerate hard repeatedly out of those corners and after a remount.  If I have an athlete that is struggling with generating power, I will recommend a short block of plyometrics before their cross season starts to help improve this.

Workout: Cross Specific Plyometrics

Be sure you are warmed up before performing these exercises and STOP if you have any joint / muscle pain – aside from muscle fatigue of course 🙂  Perform each of these for 30-90 seconds (based on fitness) and rest for equal time between exercises.  Run through the list 1-3 times each.  Perform them 1-3 times per week.  A Google image search will bring up each of these pictures.

  1. High Knees
  2. Butt Kicks
  3. Squat Jumps
  4. Forward Bounding
  5. Skaters
  6. Box Jumps

So, should you do running-specific workouts in prep for cross?  Yes, BUT they should not involve lacing up your trainers and going out for a steady 5k run.  Your training needs to become more specific the closer your event and race season gets; save the steady runs for your cross-training during the offseason.  Include 1-3 days per week of intense training that involves lots of dismounts, remounts, and riding over varying terrain.  Be sure to include some plyometric training as well if you are not as explosive as you would like to be.

#crossiscoming

How Do I Deal With Road Rash?

Crashing is an unfortunate aspect of cycling, but is seen as a rite of passage in most circles.  If you do happen to have the misfortune of crashing, losing some skin in the process is almost certain to happen.  The following is what has helped me in my years of crashing heal-up quick, but should never be used in place of medical advice!

Step 1. Clean It!

Crashing on a bike usually means getting a bunch of junk from the road or trail scraped deep into the wound.  If the debris aren’t removed well, it can lead to infection further down the line (which is no bueno), so step 1 is the most important step!

  1. Let the wound bleed for a bit to help carry out some of the debris from deep within the wound.
  2. When you get home, hop into the shower and let the water gently wash the wound out.
  3. If you still see debris in the wound, you are going to need to get it out with either your hands or a brush.  Ensure both are sterile before putting them into the wound, and if the job looks too big to handle, go to the hospital!
  4. After the debris are removed, gently clean the wound with warm soapy water.
  5. Pat the wound dry.

Step 2. Cover It!

Covering the wound is important to not allow foreign objects and bacteria to touch and possibly enter the wound.  How you cover it and what you use to cover it depends on if the wound is weeping (exudate), or not.

Actively “Weeping” Wound

  • Use triple antibiotic cream and cover the wound with a non-stick gauze pad.  Then pack another 1-2 regular pads on top to help absorb the wound exudate.
  • You can then cover this with a large Tegaderm dressing, or wrap some gauze around the area to keep the pads in place, or get that nifty tube compression gauze and look so pro ↓↓↓
elbandage
Source: The Best Bike Blog Ever
  • Change the dressing, clean the wound with warm soapy water, and reapply triple antibiotic ointment every 2-3 hours, or if the pads are leaking (ew!).
  • Do this until the exudate stops, which may take 2-3 days in severe cases.
  • Constantly check for signs of infection over this time as well.

Non-Weeping Wound

  • Clean the wound with warm soapy water and pat dry.
  • Get a large enough Tegaderm dressing to cover the area, place the dressing directly over top of the wound and leave it there.  Tegaderm dressing can stay in place for days and will heal the wound quickly and effectively and without scabbing.  You can also shower with it in place.
  • If you do notice some wound exudate, simply remove the Tegaderm, clean the wound and reapply a fresh dressing.
  • Again, constantly check for signs of infection.

Step 3. Protect It!

After the wound is healed, your skin is going to need to be kept hydrated (body lotion after you shower), blocked from the suns UV rays as it will burn super easy (SPF anyone?), and protected from repeat crashes as it will tear easier than mature skin (elbow/knee pads) for a few months.

Here’s to staying rubber side down!

THE TIME CRUNCHED ATHLETE | Best style of workout for maximum gains

In the first and second time crunched athlete (TCA) articles, I spoke about what the TCA should focus on to maintain fitness (HINT: Intensity!) and what they can expect to achieve with a lack of training time availability (HINT: adapt!).  In this article, I want to provide some concrete examples of TCA workouts.

3 Main Types of Workout

I suggest the TCA focus on 3 flavors of workout: Threshold, muscular force, and fatigue resistance.

Threshold

Threshold can be defined literally a million different ways by a million different coaches.  To me, and for this article, Threshold is defined as 91-105% of your FTP (If you don’t know what your FTP is, go test it!).  Just like there are a myriad of definitions for Threshold, there are also many ways to improve it.  Since we are referring to the TCA, we are focused primarily on the most efficient way to do so.  I have found this to be a mixture of Sweet Spot and VO2 Max intervals.

Workout #1 Sweet Spot Intervals

This one is not too exciting, but you can get a decent amount of specific TSS, complete it in a short time, and repeat it multiple days a week.

WARM UP:
-10 minutes gradually progressing from Active Recovery zone to Endurance zone.
-3×30 seconds Spin Ups (110+ RPM) @Threshold zone+, 30 seconds easy.
-2 minutes easy
———
MAIN SET:
-3×10 minutes @SST Zone @90+ RPM.
-Rest for 5 minutes between sets.
———
COOL DOWN:
-5 minutes gradually reducing from Endurance zone to Active Recovery zone

Workout #1 VO2 + Sweet Spot

VO2 Max training is my favorite way to train being a TCA and I have seen great fitness improvements with dedicated and consistent time spent in this zone.  VO2 Max Zone is supra-Threshold, I know, but just like a high tide rises all ships, performing supra-Threshold work will pull your FTP to new heights.  This workout combines the benefits of both VO2 Max and Sweet Spot training, while also putting more metabolic stress on the body as the Sweet Spot interval comes at the end.  Win, Win for the TCA!

WARM UP:
-10 minutes gradually progressing from Active Recovery zone to Endurance zone.
-3×30 seconds Spin Ups (110+ RPM) @Threshold zone+, 30 seconds easy.
-2 minutes easy
———
MAIN SET
-5x 3 minutes @VO2 Max Zone @85-95 RPM.
-Rest for 3 minutes between sets.
-Then 10 minutes @SST.
———
COOL DOWN:
-10 minutes gradually reducing from Endurance zone to Active Recovery zone

Muscular Force

Muscular force is how much pressure you can apply to the pedals for short periods of time (less than 10 seconds).  So, think about that initial jump creating a breakaway, the final 200 meters of a sprint, or surging up a short and steep roller.  Muscular force is crucial to improve ligament, tendon, and bone density and allow the body to create more power.  Think of this type of workout as upgrading the hardware in your computer so you can run faster software.

Workout: May the Force be With You

WARM UP:
-10 minutes gradually progressing from Active Recovery zone to Endurance zone.
-3×30 seconds Spin Ups (110+ RPM) @Threshold zone+, 30 seconds easy.
-2 minutes easy
———
MAIN SET:
-Every 4 minutes perform a Force Rep (10 total)
-Force Rep = Get into your largest gear and come almost to a complete stop. Once you are almost at a full stop, grab onto the drops and JUMP as hard and fast as you can and spin the gear up. The effort should be only 10-12 seconds, but should be an ALL OUT effort!
-In between force reps, spin easy at endurance zone
———
COOL DOWN:
-10 minutes gradually reducing from Endurance zone to Active Recovery zone

Fatigue Resistance

Fatigue resistance is being able to finish a ride or race strong and is important to work on so you don’t crumble at the end of a race.  I like to do shorter and more intense intervals with short breaks between to improve this aspect.  Doing this will keep the heart rate and metabolic demands of the workout high, while the short and sharp intervals will stress the muscular system.  I.e. these should hurt so good!

Workout: The Baffling Beau

WARM UP:
-10 minutes gradually progressing from Active Recovery zone to Endurance zone.
-3×30 seconds Spin Ups (110+ RPM) @Threshold zone+, 30 seconds easy.
-2 minutes easy
———
MAIN SET:
–Set 1: 10x (40 seconds @Anaerobic @110+ RPM w/ 20 seconds rest.
-Endurance Zone for 5 minutes.
–Set 2: 10x (30 seconds @Anaerobic @110+ RPM w/ 30 seconds rest.
-Endurance Zone for 5 minutes.
–Set 3: 10x (20 seconds @FULL GAS @110+ RPM w/ 40 seconds rest.
———
COOL DOWN:
-5 minutes gradually reducing from Endurance zone to Active Recovery zone

Just because you are short on time doesn’t mean you have to be short on fitness gains!  The above 4 workouts are great examples for the TCA to follow and implement into their program.  If you are looking for a more structured approach, check out our Time Crunches Athlete Training Plan here, or get in touch with us!

 

THE TIME CRUNCHED ATHLETE | Setting your expectations

In the last article, we covered what a time crunched athlete is and what they could do to stop the loss of fitness associated with decreased training time availability.  In this article, I would like to set some realistic expectations for the time crunched athlete as well as give some pointers to avoid common pitfalls associated with this type of training scheme.

How Strong Can I Get?

This is a loaded question as it depends on a few things, mainly: your previous history of training, age, and genetic makeup.  These 3 factors alone and together define how much training stress and intensity you can handle without the risk for burnout / injury.  Thus, how fit you can become.  Once you hit that maximum overload for training availability, your fitness will plateau.  The following is an example of what I mean showcased by a TrainingPeaks PMC chart:

PMC_Chart

As you can see, the blue line (which represents Fitness or CTL) has a nice ramp initially, but gradually starts to level off as the athlete reaches their fitness potential based on training availability.  Once this level-off of fitness occurs, you can try to increase intensity of the workouts further (be cautious with this if you’re already feeling tired), increase your workout frequency, or find time to ride long bi-monthly (as this athlete did, notice the 2 jumps in fitness?) to increase training stress.  However, if these aren’t an option for you, and you are literally at maximum training density, there are a few things you can do to mitigate the drawbacks of being a time crunched athlete:

  • Consistency is KEY!  Missing even 1 workout per week if you are time-crunched can result in fitness losses.  Make sure the time you set aside for your workouts is time that cannot be filled by other things.  I suggest working out first thing in the morning, or last thing in the evening (most find more success with the former).
  • During long rides, pace yourself – If your normal ride is only 1 hour in duration, that hard 3 hour group ride is going to be pretty miserable for the last 2 hours.  Be sure to pace yourself according to how you feel for the long rides, and if you are fatigued mid-ride, take shorter pulls and try to hide in the paceline.
  • Use matches uber-cautiously – One of the first things you lose as a time crunched athlete is your ability to respond to repeated hard surges in pace and micro-accelerations.  So, in a race setting, or hard group ride, try to bring that wheel back slower and more gradually (within reason, you don’t want to get dropped!) instead of jumping on  the pedals and surging back up to it.  You will be able to do this a few times, but after the 4th or 5th time you are going to start regretting it!
  • If you are competitive, pick events that suit your training – Criteriums, time-trials, MTB races, and cyclo-cross races are the best things for the competitive time crunched athlete because the events are short (usually under 1 hour) and mimic the intensity of the workouts performed.  Stage races, road races, and long circuit races aren’t the best thing to shoot for, but can be used for fun or as a way to get some additional training stress in.
  • If the stars align, RIDE!  The kids are at grandmas, your honey-do list is done: the stars have aligned and you have the afternoon free, yippee!  Use this time and RIDE LONG.  I suggest keeping your intensity level at Endurance / Tempo zone, but feel free to throw in some Threshold intervals throughout the ride or go for that KOM you have been eyeing.  Remember from the PMC chart above, these long rides can do wonders for your fitness, so be sure to utilize them!

Being a time-crunched athlete means resetting your expectations, training differently, and racing intelligently.  This doesn’t mean your competitive days are numbered, or you are going to get dropped at your weekly group ride though.  Stay positive, consistent, and embrace your new challenges.  You will be surprised at how much more enjoyable training can be!

Check out our Time Crunched Athlete plan here.

 

THE TIME CRUNCHED ATHLETE | What is the best way to train?

The time crunched athlete (TCA), to me, isn’t defined by how many hours they have available to train per week, but rather how many responsibilities they carry and how many balls they need to keep in the air at one time or another.  Being time-crunched can also be daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal, or even a yearly occurrence with some aspects of life progressing quickly at certain times which leads to less consistency and training availability.  I myself have recently gone through a major life transition with having a Son and buying a house within the past year.  This has meant my training time has been reduced by >50%, but I am at the same level of fitness (used loosely) that I was last year.  How is that possible, and what did I change to maintain it?

As Time Decreases, Intensity MUST Increase

There are 3 main aspects to training: frequency, duration, and intensity.  If 1 of the 3 changes, the other 2 will also change accordingly…

Frequency is how many days per week or how many times per week you train.  The TCA can very rarely modify how many days per week they can train, BUT they can increase the amount of times per week they train.  The easiest way to do this is doing a morning and evening double session.  I suggest making the morning workout supra-threshold based (VO2 Max or higher) and the evening session Threshold or sub-Threshold based.

Duration is how long the workout is.  This is also another hard aspect to change for the TCA, but even I can sneak in a 2+ hour workout over the weekend when my wife is home and if I get up early enough in the day.  Fortunately, endurance losses are much slower than top-end form losses, so getting out for a 2-3+ hour ride every 2 weeks is sufficient to maintain your endurance.  Now, this doesn’t mean you will be a Tour contender on just one 3 hour ride every 2 weeks, but this is better than nothing.

Intensity is how hard a workout is and is the MOST IMPORTANT aspect to consider for the TCA.  Intensity can be modified easily during a workout, training week, training block, etc. and should be the first thing to increase as time decreases.  I want to repeat that, as time decreases intensity MUST increase!  This is due to the fact that the body responds to stressful stimuli.  A stressful stimuli can be a 30 minute easy spin for a de-conditioned athlete, or a 6 hour Alpine slog for a professional cyclist.  Both of their bodies will respond accordingly to that stimulus, and once allowed time to recover, they will supercompensate which will make the same ride feel easier if repeated.

So, the first thing you need to do is find a way to judge training stress (TSS)

What the heck is TSS?

TSS is how stressful (to the body) a workout is.  It can be manipulated by changing a workout duration and intensity.  Now, the TCA has a super finite amount of time to work with, so we must increase the intensity of the workout to increase its TSS.

For example:

Workout #1 is a 2.5 hour Endurance Zone workout:

Endurance Workout

Notice that the TSS is 141.8 and the Intensity (IF) is .77

Workout #2 is an 80 minute Threshold / Anaerobic based workout:

Threshold : Anaerobic Workout

Notice that the workout is over 1 hour shorter, the IF is up to .9, and the TSS is ~30 less.  So, a very similar TSS and workload, but in over 1 hour less time.  Win, win for the TCA!  You can get even shorter and even more intense, but you get the idea here.

So, what is the best way to train for the time crunched athlete?  Ramp-up the INTENSITY!

 

New TrainingPeaks Workouts | How To Export

(The following is from the TrainingPeaks help center)

Structured Workout Export

Workout files exported from TrainingPeaks are compatible with most indoor training applications and many Garmin devices. Workouts can be exported in .ERG, .MRC, .FIT, or .ZWO formats.  For FAQs, see this article.

If you have Garmin Connect IQ compatible device you can also wirelessly sync your structured workout of the day to your device using the TrainingPeaks Daily Workout IQ app.

To export a workout that has been built with the Workout Builder, please click the ‘Export’ button in the upper right corner of Quick View.

 

You will then see this pop-up window:

File_Export_Screen


If you have an older Garmin (Edge 500/10/20, 800/10/20, and 1000; Forerunner 920XT, and Fenix3 ), export the .FIT file and follow these directions:

(The following is from the TrainingPeaks help center)

 

NOTE: You add these files directly to your device, not through Garmin Connect.

  1. Plug in device via USB
  2. Open Garmin device folder
  3. Open NewFiles
  4. Copy your TrainingPeaks .FIT workouts file(s) into the NewFiles folder. Note: some devices may require you to place the file directly in the “Workouts” folder.
  5. Eject device
  6. You should see your workout under the workout under Training > Workouts> Workout Title.  If you don’t see it immediately you may need to restart your device.

Note: If the workout does not load you may need to free memory by removing old workouts. In some cases you can only load one workout file at a time.  Hitting the Lap button will advance the workout to the next step.


On a newer Garmin device (Edge 520, 820, and 1000, the Fenix 5 series, and the Forerunner 935XT) follow these directions:

(The following is from the TrainingPeaks help center)

With the TrainingPeak daily workout IQ app you can easily download your planned structured workout for that day straight to your compatible Garmin device wirelessly through your phone.

Getting started

To use the TrainingPeaks Daily workout app you will need to have the Garmin Connect Mobile app installed on your phone and have your compatible Garmin device paired with the Connect Mobile App.  If you already upload your completed workouts to TrainingPeaks through the Connect mobile app and the Garmin Connect Autosync then your device is already paired.  More information about pairing your Garmin device with your phone can be found here.

Once your device is paired with the Connect mobile app you will need to download the TrainingPeaks Daily Workout IQ app.  You can access the IQ app store from the Garmin Connect mobile app and sync it straight to your device.  You can also download the app from the Connect IQ store here. and install it through Garmin Express.  You can find more information about accessing and installing IQ apps here.

Once the TrainingPeaks Daily Workout IQ app is installed on your device you will need to authorize it one time to access your TrainingPeaks workouts through the Garmin Connect mobile app

Make sure the Connect Mobile app is running on your phone then tap or select the IQ icon or menu on your device to see your available IQ apps

17.png

On the next screen select the TrainingPeaks app from your list of installed IQ apps.

The first time that you launch the Daily Workout app you will see a prompt to authorize the Garmin Connect mobile app to read your TrainingPeaks calendar.

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On your phone enter your TrainingPeaks username and password to authorize the app.  If you have a coach and athlete account make sure that you are entering your athlete account username and password.

Screenshot_20170327-122432.png

Once the app is authorized whenever you open it to see a list of that day’s workouts from TrainingPeaks.  Though you only need to authorize the app once, your device needs to be paired with your phone and the Garmin Connect mobile app every time you want to sync a new workout to your device.

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Select the workout that you want to download to your device.  If you only have one structured workout in TrainingPeaks that day it will automatically sync to your device.  Note that workouts that aren’t built with the TrainingPeaks Workout Builder will not show in your list of workouts.

Once the workout is synced to your device you can use it immediately or it will be saved to your device to use later.

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Exporting to Zwift, download the .ZWO file and follow these directions:

To use the custom workout file, save the .ZWO file to your computer’s /Documents/Zwift/Workouts directory. Now when you start up Zwift you will see the workout  under the Custom Workouts category in the workout picker.
And remember, the custom Zwift workouts are here:
Inline image 2
Then:
Inline image 3

For those using the iPad / iPhone versions, read this for directions: http://zwiftblog.com/copy-workout-files-zwift-ios/


Original Articles:

https://help.trainingpeaks.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005055028
https://help.trainingpeaks.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001076908-Structured-Workout-Export-for-Garmin-Devices
https://help.trainingpeaks.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000325647
https://gaffneycyclingcoaching.com/2017/03/07/downloading-workouts-to-zwift-from-training-peaks/

How Do I Change A Flat Bicycle Tire?

Being able to change a flat tire is a necessary skill to have if you want to ride your bicycle outside (unless you are a professional and have a full-time team car following you, of course).  Changing a bicycle tube for the first time can be an extremely frustrating experience for a new cyclist, but with some helpful tips and tricks it won’t be AS bad.  Just like anything else though, the more practice you get, the better you will be.  So, for the uninitiated, I suggest practicing this skill in the comfort of your home before venturing out and risking having a flat tire!

Changing a Flat Tire:

1. Remove the wheel from the bicycle and set the bicycle on its side DRIVETRAIN UP.

If the rear wheel is flat, before you remove the wheel, shift to the smallest (hardest) gear.  This will make putting the wheel back onto the bike much easier as you know what gear to line the chain up with.

2. Separate the bead of the tire from the rim with your hands.

IMG_1802

Doing this will allow your tire level to get in between the tire bead and rim far easier.

3. Insert the tire lever between the bead and rim.

IMG_1803

Once the lever is between the bead and rim, push the lever down to expose the tire bead over the rim.  I suggest placing the tire lever OPPOSITE from the valve stem, the tire will be easier to remove for subsequent steps.

4. Remove one side of the tire bead from the rim.

This part takes loads of practice to get right, so do not get frustrated with yourself if it doesn’t go as smoothly for you.  Notice my hand grip on the lever, what the angle of the lever is, and how I keep the head of the lever perpendicular to the rim surface.

5. Remove the inner tube.

IMG_1806

Again, do this starting OPPOSITE from the valve stem.

6. Remove the valve stem from the rim.

Expose the valve stem completely by rolling the tire over and then pull the valve stem STRAIGHT UP for removal.

7. Insert the new tube and reseat the tire bead.

Now we start AT the valve stem and work away from it.  Notice how I keep one hand at the valve stem and work my other hand away from it.  This keeps the tire bead seated.  Do this process all around the tire until you get to the last few inches…

8. Roll the last bit of tire bead onto the rim.

WARNING!  You are going to spend about 20 minutes doing this last step the first time you change a tire.  DO NOT use tools here as you run the risk of puncturing your fresh new tube.  Use the palms of your hands to roll the tire bead onto the rim surface, using the wheel itself for leverage.  Notice my hand placement and how I work the tire onto the rim with my PALMS not my THUMBS.  Then, once the tire is seated, do a quick once over and roll the tube further into the tire to prevent any tube sticking out of the tire.

9. Reinflate the tube.

10. GET RIDING AGAIN!

What’s on Zwift Coaches Challenge Presented by Team ODZ

Coaches Challenge

Introducing the What’s on Zwift Coaches Challenge presented by Team ODZ. Prepare yourself for a challenge that will test all aspects of your fitness, mental strength, and possibly chamois quality.

What is the What’s on Zwift Coaches Challenge presented by Team ODZ?

The Coaches Challenge is a 7 days long series of workouts, ranging from May 1st through May 7th 2017. As the name suggest, it highlights some great workouts from coaches using Zwift. The challenge consists of 6 workouts, and one rest day. Team ODZ is contributing with organizing the challenge and taking care of the standings.

How does the Coaches Challenge work?

Each day during the challenge, a new workout will be available, free to download on this page. During the workout a daily and general standing will be kept, showing the results of all participants (for more info about how the standing works, see below at Scoring). The winner of the challenge is the rider that finishes all workouts as close to the targets as possible, taking the eternal glory. We look forward to seeing you succeed!

About the participating coaches

The challenge is based around some of the great workouts created by coaches that are present on Zwift. The participating coaches are (in order of the challenge schedule):

Day 1: Rob Manning (Tailwind Coaching) Rob is a chiropractic physician and cycling coach. His coaching principles are driven by a complex understanding of human physiology. Like any coach worth his salt, he has studied the standard research on training with power and heart rate. But what sets him apart is the time he has spent in a lab witnessing first hand how to apply a training stress to achieve a specific result and all the chemical, biological and physiological changes various types of exercise triggers in the body. His training plans aren’t the result of a single formula applied to everyone. Because every athlete’s physiology is unique, so is every individual training plan. His goal is simple: to maximize your cycling potential in the shortest possible amount of time. Real science. Real simple.

Day 2: Shayne Gaffney (GC Coaching) Began his athletic career as a cross-country and middle distance runner, transitioned to triathlon in college and there found his passion for cycling and became a fulltime racing cyclist. Shayne began bicycle road racing in 2011 and competes as a Cat 3 in both road racing and cyclocross. He races for Comprehensive Racing, based in Salem, MA. He passed the level 2 USA Cycling coach exam in 2013 and has since then helped many people attain their goals whether it be upgrading racing categories, finishing their first century, or completing their first organized bike ride! Shayne holds a bachelors degree in biology, is a USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, a level 2 certified Training Peaks coach, a certified power based training coach, and USA Olympic Committee Safe Sport Certified.
Find more workouts from Shayne on the GC Coaching workouts page.

Day 3: Paul B. McAneney (Ottawa Top Speed) An Ottawa based NCCP Triathlon and Running Coach. Paul is an accomplished competitor who has been racing at the elite-age group level in triathlons for many years at all distances. It is this wealth of personal experience that makes Paul such an accomplished coach – he never prescribes or suggests anything that he has not extensively field-tested or experienced himself.
Want to ride with Paul? He organizes the weekly Zwift OTR race series (Ottawa TopSpeed Race) on Sundays, 7:20 a.m. EST.

Day 4: – (rest day)

Day 5: Ian Murray (Evil Elf Racing) Evil Elf Racing exists to help you achieve your goals. Our data-driven training methods allow for targeted workouts that seek to develop a specific physiologic response without preventing you from having a normal social and family life. Let us be your guide along the way! Want to ride with Ian? He is part of Team ODZ and organizes the ODZ SkillZ and DrillZ rides on Zwift.

Day 6: Noel Bonk (BonkWerx Coaching) Noel has been passionate about going fast on a bike since he was old enough to turn the pedals. As a former tech entrepreneur, balancing family, work and bike racing, he knows first hand how to maximize your training time. As a licensed professional USA Cycling Level 2 coach, he uses his experience and education to design personalized and goal orientated coaching programs for his athletes.

Day 7: Jason Flores (Team ODZ) Team ODZ was created by Jason Flores and Quan Nguyen, two optometrists from Riverside, CA in May 2015. They wanted to start their Zwift rides early Saturdays (around 5am Pacific) before they head into the office, so they created a group ride. And the rest is history. Team ODZ has grown out to be one of the largest teams on Zwift, organizing many weekly group rides. They have their own jersey kit on Zwift, and while many teams on Zwift started out as real-life teams, Team ODZ is probably the first virtual group extending to real life. Find more workouts from Team ODZ on the ODZwifters workouts page.

Scoring

After finishing each workout, the rider can log his/her ride via our result form (see below). Each rider will submit the stress points accumulated during their ride. The goal is to execute the workouts as perfect as possible, meaning that those with the smallest deviation in stress points will be the winner of the challenge. So for example, if a ride was 100 stress points and a rider rode it at 105 stress points (i.e. is 5% over) they would receive 5 points. The goal is to have the least amount of points at the end of that day and then at the end of the challenge.

How long is each workout available?

Due to different timezones around the world, each workout is effectively available for 50 hours. The first timezone in which a new day begins is at Christmas Island (GMT+14) in the Pacific Ocean. The same day starts 26 hours later in the last timezone at Baker Island (GMT-12) in the Pacific Ocean. The end of the day at Baker Island is therefore 50 hours after that date first started at Christmas Island. Each workout will therefore be available during a full 50 hour window.

Visit the website here for full details and for free workout downloads.

RIDE ON!

Coach Shayne Attains Top National USA Cycling and Training Peaks Certifications

After over a year of education and testing, GC Coaching’s Owner and Head Coach Shayne Gaffney has become 1 of 3 coaches in New England and 1 of less than 75 coaches in the United States to attain his Power Based Training Certification furnished by USA Cycling.  This is a massive honor and achievement and will benefit all of the athletes coach Shayne works with.  Coach Shayne has also passed the Training Peaks level 2 certification and has become 1 of only 120 coaches in the world to achieve this.

Shayne is currently only accepting Intermediate, Advanced, and Professional athletes.

New Monthly Price Plan Structure

The new monthly price plan structure is as follows:

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Monthly_Plans

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Our new plan structure aims to provide more opportunities for athletes who are searching for flexible budget options. They are all-inclusive ranging from intermediate athletes, to those who are advanced and professional, requiring more on-demand feedback and analysis.