Archive for the ‘Cycling’ Category

The North Carolina Bicycle Club and Friends have organized an informal New Years Day Ride.  Bring your friends and start off the 2011 season with a fabulous 50 mile loop out to Bonsal. Everyone is welcome.

Where: MacGregor Village in Cary (map)

Start Time: 10 am

Distance: 50 miles

Route: (map)

Pace: You and your buddies decide, but there will be enough riders to find the perfect pace for you

Weather: The ride will be canceled for rain or ice

February 12-13, 2011

Saturday- Sunday
1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
5-10 USAT CEU Credit Course
Human Performance Consulting
Athletic Lab – Cary NC
1823 Northwest Maynard Rd Cary NC 27513
Minutes from Raleigh & Durham & RDU Airport

Saturday – February 12, 2011
Core Training for the Triathlon – Sage Rountree
Considerations for Coaching Youth Triathletes – Stacey Richardson
The High-Yield Minimalist: Lower-Volume High-Intensity Training – Eric Bean

Sunday February 13, 2010
Running for Triathletes – Andrew Allden
Swim Training for the Triathlon – Marty Gaal
Cycling’s “T’s”: Technique, Testing, Tempo, Threshold, & Time Trialing – Eric Bean

Registration fee:  $150.00 USAT Certified Coach; $100 for General Public (each day counts as one session) or $25.00 discount for USAT Coaches signing up for both sessions ($275.00)

Registration:  Register at
Or mail check:  Andrew Allden, 77 Lily McCoy Lane, Pittsboro NC 27312
Include Name, Address, Email, Home and Cell Phone and USAT # if applicable.
Questions? Contact: Andrew Allden,  919-619-3426 or visit Athletic Lab


ANDREW ALLDEN, M.Ed., is the head coach of endurance events for the Human Performance Consulting Elite Team.  He joined the HPC staff following a successful 20-year collegiate coaching career in track and cross country at the Division I level.  As a college coach, Allden served as the cross country and distance coach at the University of North Carolina, the University of South Carolina, and Tulane University.  He also served as head track and cross country coach at Tulane University and Coastal Carolina University. Allden has been a successful coach of elite runners for a number of years.  His current top charge is the #5 ranked 800m male in the U.S. (outdoor, 2009). Allden has coached athletes ranging from an Olympic 4 x 400 silver medal winner to a top-10 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials finisher. Road running athletes coached by Allden range from a state masters marathon record holder to an ultra marathon national champion.  Nationally known as a USATF Level I Coaching Educator for the endurance events, he has directed and instructed in 20 USATF Level I coaching schools in the past dozen years. As a cross-country coach he earned coach-of-the-year honors in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Louisiana. While at Coastal Carolina Allden was the Southeast Region coach of the year and a finalist for national coach of the year. Allden was the men’s distance coach for the U.S. men’s track and field team at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest, Hungary, in 2004. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Allden directed the distance practice facility. Allden currently serves as men’s long distance running and coaching education chairman for NC USATF. A 1986 graduate of Emory University and he has a master’s in sport administration from the University of Georgia (1991).

ERIC BEAN, M.S., is a professional triathlete and the coach of the Fast Forward Triathlon Pro Development Team presented by Inside-Out Sports. Prior to founding FFT (a coaching service that mates Bean’s training system to local coaches who are themselves elite athletes) Bean was the head coach of the Stanford University Triathlon Team, the USAT Collegiate National Champion, and is frequently seen on the pro podium in ITU and Ironman racing. Bean’s breadth-upon-depth understanding of triathlon training is guided by his athletic background as an NCAA swimmer and runner, and masters national champion cyclist. A nerd at heart and proud of it, Eric holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering, an MS in Biomechanical Engineering, and is currently spreading his final year of medical school over two years to race Ironman Hawaii for the fifth time. Practicing what he preaches, he used his high-intensity, lower-volume approach to endurance training to race to an 8:29 Ironman personal best. After residency in anesthesiology he plans to unite his medical, athletic, and engineering interests with clinical practice in anesthesia, insightful sports physiology research, and coaching. He splits his residence between North Carolina and the Midwest. You can reach him at

Marty Gaal, CSCS, is a USA Triathlon coach who lives in Cary, North Carolina.   He and his wife Brianne coach triathletes through their company, One Step Beyond OSB Multisport.  Marty has been swimming in ocean competitions since 1986 and racing triathlon since 1989.  He is also the head coach of the TAC-OSB Masters swim team at the Curran Aquatic Center in Cary.  One Step Beyond recently produced the  Powerstroke®: Speed through force and form freestyle technique DVD, intended to help new to intermediate triathlon swimmers become faster and more powerful in the water.

STACEY RICHARDSON, is a professional triathlete and certified mulitsport coach. Her coaching certifications include:  USATF Level I, USA Cycling Level II with distinction, USAT Level I, and WSI Red Cross.  In the Triangle Stacey has been the event coach for the Carrboro Classic Duathlon for 2007 and 2008 as well as co-coach of the Fleet Feet Raleigh Marathon program.   She is also part of the TriangleMultisport coaching team that founded North Carolina’s first kids’ triathlon team in 2008 and continues to work with youth triathletes on a daily basis.   She is currently coaching both youth and adults.  Her coaching experience includes more than ten years of coaching kids in age-group swimming as well as three years of multisport kids’ coaching.   One of her specialties is youth athlete development and bringing skilled and balanced kids into the world of multisport training and competition.  With her guidance, two of her youth athletes took first and second in the female 15-16 age group this year in the NCTS.  Another stellar youth athlete achieved his personal goal of leaving kids’ tris completely and (at age 11) racing sprint triathlons against adults.   The ranks of her adult athletes, include two National Age Group Champions in 2010, and her top male athlete again won the NCTS State title for Open Men.

SAGE ROUNTREE, Ph.D., is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher and USA Triathlon level 2 certified coach. She holds coaching certifications from USA Cycling and the Road Runners Club of America, as well. Rountree is author of The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga (VeloPress, 2008) and The Athlete’s Pocket Guide to Yoga (VeloPress, 2009); creator of The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga DVD (Endurance Films, 2008); and a contributor to USA Triathlon Life, Runner’s World, and Yoga Journal. She has competed for Team USA at the Short-Course World Triathlon Championships, run the Boston and New York Marathons, and completed Ironman Coeur d’Alene last year. She coaches athletes at all levels, including elites who have competed at the duathlon long- and short-course World Championships.  Rountree leads workshops, at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and at ZAP Fitness, an elite training facility for post-collegiate runners. She trains, teaches, and coaches in Chapel Hill, NC.


Career Highlights

4X US National Cyclo-Cross Champion
5X UCI World Champion MTB-Masters
3X World Road Team Member
1st NORBA National Mountain Bike Champion
Inducted into Mountain Bike Hall of Fame-2000


1st Hell’s Kitchen Road Race, Hogeye, AR
1st Auburn Road Race, Auburn, KS
2nd SaltyCow Road Race, Tulsa, OK*
4th Pace Bend Road Race, Austin, TX
4th Old Capitol Criterium, Iowa City, IA
4th New Cross on the Block, OKC, OK
5th Rut and Guts Cross, Broken Arrow, OK
6th Hotter’ n Hell Criterium, Wichita Falls, TX
6th Tour of Battlekill, Cambridge, NY*
6th Walburg Road Race, Walburg, TX
6th Iowa City Road Race, Iowa City, IA
6th Quad Cities Criterium, Rock Island, IL
7th Tour de Lafayette, St. Louis, MO
8th Snake Alley Criterium, Burlington, IA
8th Tour of Kansas City Overall, Kansas City, MO

It was a tremendous honor to have ridden quite a bit with Steve back in the early 80’s.  He taught me a great deal about self-discipline, but also about enjoying life.  The guy has always figured out how to earn a living as a pro cyclist, savor it, and stay motivated for a very long time.

These are a few snippets from a recent Pez Cycling Interview.  You can see the whole interview with Edmond Hood here.

PEZ: How many seasons have you been racing, Steve?
Steve Tilford: My first season was 1975 and I’ve raced every year since; that’s 35 years – it’s not normal, is it?

PEZ: Why have you never quit?
ST: I never found anything I’d like to do as much. It’s not just the racing, it’s the travel, the people you meet – I don’t want to do anything else; but if I think of something, I might try it.

PEZ: Teams – Levis, Scwinn, Vosschemie, Pepsi, Wheaties, VW, Scott, Specialized – have I missed any?
ST: No, that’s about it, but pro racing in the States isn’t like it is in Europe. The UCI introduced all that Division one, two and three stuff, but in the US we were more flexible; I could ride the US road and crit champs on my own but now the UCI enforce the teams rules. Our team, Tradewind Energy/Trek has five or six guys and we race well at the likes of Battenkill, which is a UCI race – but you get 11 or 12 local guys who somehow get $27,000 dollars together and they’ve got a UCI team. There are maybe 40 good pros in the US and 150 who make up the numbers.

PEZ: You’ve been US ‘cross champ, too.
ST: Twice as an amateur and twice as a pro; I still race ‘cross but not so much last winter because I was roofing a building. One year when I won the Nationals I lapped everyone except the silver and bronze medalists.

PEZ: Do you still ride all disciplines? – what about the track?
ST: Yes, I still ride all disciplines; I’ve ridden a bit of track too – I had the US hour record back in ’83 or ’84 until John Frey broke it. I’ve ridden the track five times in my life and four of those occasions were the track Nationals; I picked up a team pursuit silver medal with Steve Hegg one time.

PEZ: What has been your favourite part of your career?
ST: When I was on the Levis team with Andy Hampsten and Roy Knickman; when we were outside the US we got to race for la Vie Claire in races like the RCN classic in Columbia but then when they were in the US for the Coors Classic, we’d be racing against the guys we’d been team mates with. Back then there were two good teams, Levi and 7-11; and the sport is still a little like that, a few good teams and then a lot of other teams. (editor: Andy Hampsten won the Giro d’Italia in 1988)

PEZ: Do you ever ride the World masters?
ST: I’ve won the mountain bike Worlds masters five times – but that was for my sponsors; I’m not so interested in beating up on a bunch of old guys. I’d rather be tenth in pro race than win a masters – unless there was a $1,000 prize for winning the masters, of course! I ride the masters at big cross races but that’s just so I can ride the course at race speed to get the feel of it.

PEZ: Who impressed you the most during your career?
ST: Greg Lemond, by a mile; he’s the most talented natural cyclist I’ve ever encountered – he could have won the Tour de france when he was 17, I think. There were some of the most talented juniors in the world at that time; guys like Davis Phinney – but Greg was twice as good.

PEZ: How many more seasons?
ST: I dunno! maybe I’ll keep going ’til I’m 60? I have a little less snap now, my jump’s not as good but I can still sprint. The big thing you notice is that it takes you so much longer to heal – one time in the Milk Race I broke my leg, hand and collar bone and was back racing at the Coors Classic within five weeks. I’ve broken my collar bone pretty often, that heals in about three weeks – it’s broken ribs that are the worst.

I remember talking with Steve about getting stitches about a million years ago.  He said that he has a simple rule: anything below the neck he does himself.  The guy will often offer up that he no longer feels the pain, probably because he has killed so many brain cells racing that it just doesn’t register.  You gotta love the guy.  And, that Raleigh Team Pro that he is riding in the first photo…I got one just like it that I bought from Andy Hampsten for $650 when he needed gas money.  This is a Nottingham, England built with Reynolds 753 tubing masterpiece.  I love the bike.

Visit Steve’s Blog

Todd Spain, Editor


Many of us are nearing the end of our season and with that comes ‘A’ races and the taper. Tapering can be a funny thing – sometimes you feel great when tapering and sometimes you feel horrible. Neither of these scenarios  predict the outcome of your race – it’s important to let the taper do what the taper wants and not become all mental during the time. Here are a couple of different ways the taper may affect you:

You feel extremely tired and sluggish. You require more sleep and can’t believe you did the training you were able to do because doing a 30 minute run right now causes you to take a nap. You might not be able to get your heartrate very high, or conversely, you may not be able to keep your heartrate down.  This phenomenon is due primarily to your body’s inherent drive to repair & rebuild itself (on the cellular level) from the extended training period.

This period can last 5 days to 2 weeks. Some people do not really notice any major differences, while others may find themselves in a ‘fog’ for a few days. If you experience this recovery fog, take note:

•    Don’t go harder or longer to ‘push through’ it. Your body is getting you ready for the one day you really care about. Keep your effort levels appropriate.
•    Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.
•    Eat well, but don’t use this period as an excuse to over-eat.
This is only a temporary period, and you will feel great after being rebuilt stronger…faster…and ready to go on race day.

Because of underlying genetic factors related to your lifestyle, recovery habits or years of prior experience, you may feel absolutely wonderful on the taper. Don’t be fooled into doing harder/longer efforts than your coach has scheduled for you. Save it for race day! It is still important to sleep and eat well, and most importantly, tighten the reigns and hold yourself back.

Some people fall somewhere in between the above two scenarios. Don’t be surprised if you have some emotional swings during the taper (or should I say, tell your significant other not to be surprised if you have some emotional swings!)

Another common occurrence is catching a cold or mild sickness. Sometimes during these rest periods your immune system goes into rest mode, too.

Sleep and eat well.

Do you see a common thread here throughout the taper? Sleep well. Eat well. Don’t freak out. Get to that start line and GO.

Bri Gaal is a multiple USAT All-American and USA Triathlon coach.

photo borrowed from Pez Cycling

Ben King road away from the best pros in the U.S. and stole the US Pro Road Race Title.  He will be wearing the stars and stripes for the next year.

Here is his race report:

I counted myself one of the twenty odd riders who had a prayer of upsetting the cycling celebrities until I attacked in the first mile of the race. Too much coffee? Too much techno and dancing in the room with Taylor? Suicide. Scott Swisanski, Daniel Holloway, and I would bake into the asphalt and be crispy road kill when the field overcame us. We didn’t concern the peloton, and they gave us an enormous 17 minute leash. Suicide attacks have value in a team dynamic. When a select few caught us from behind, I could help Phinney- my only TLS teammate- or one of the RadioShack guys. My job was to delay that catch as long as possible. That’s why on the third of four times up Paris Mt. I left Swiz and Holloway. I felt guilty for violating the unspoken early breakaway code- stick together as long as possible- but our time gap had fallen five minutes to 12 minute in one lap. Those were my minutes, and I hated watching the field take them back. My style is to go out with a bang. Fight to the death. People on course seemed to think I could win, but they don’t know how these things work. With 50 miles to go, I would get caught. Regardless, I tried to match their energy on my bike. Each lap they cheered harder, more shirts came off, people holding “Go King!” signs for Ted King ( began shouting “Ben King.” I took a beer feed from a fan the third time up Paris Mt.- I’m trying to steel Lance’s Michelob sponsorship- and the next lap they had a keg for me which I ignored.

Alone there is less to think about. Solo, there is no second place. You either win, or you don’t. At the top of the climb I had 9 minutes. I paced myself like a marathoner to certain check points. I told myself, “try to make it to the start finish again.” Announcer, Dave Towle, stirred the crowd into a frenzy. At sign-in before the race he asked me if I could make the selection. I said, “Either that, or do something crazy.” My coach told me to be patient. Then he told me, “everything you do is a time trial.” These thoughts and the people behind them brewed in my head. My dad and sister, Hannah, on course. Keep it going for them. I prayed and thought, “God must have something to do with the situation I’m in.” Keep it going for Him. At the base of Paris Mt. for the last time, I lost only one minute to the chasing pack. At the top of the climb, the gap was 6:25. Is that enough? I tried to do the math, but my brain stalled. My legs began to cramp. I tasted salty. I focused everything on turning over the pedals. Four cruel four mile circuits around the start finish waited. I labored onto the first circuit with just over three minutes advantage. Like a marathoner, I had paced myself to these circuits with nothing left to complete them. My legs cramped. I disintegrated in front of 80,000 people. The road blurred. My hearing blurred. Lactic acid filled in for the oxygen I needed. People leaned over the barriers and yowled with enough passion that veins bulged in their beet red necks and foreheads. It was a glorious nightmare.

Three more laps. Half an hour in the fire. Quitting never occurred to me, but I feared a loss of consciousness. Then the RadioShack team car pulled alongside me. They saw my agony. From the exhilaration in their voices, I know they wanted to pedal for me. The intensity of the pain felt unjustifiable. Jose Asevedo, the director, talked me through it. “They take thirty seconds from you per lap. You start the last lap with two minutes and you win.” Sports physiologist, Allen Lim, rode shotgun hyping me up. “You deserve this. This is for the jersey. Its yours. You’re making history. This is history!” History sounded pretty important to me at the time, and I visualized this moment as history to remove myself from it. I rounded into the finishing straight with 500 m to go, zipped up my jersey, and put my hands over my head.

It’s never been about winning for me. I said in my L’Avenir blog that I don’t do it for love of the sport. Its about the people. Reporters called this “the most inspiring human drama” they’ve ever seen in cycling. It didn’t start so inspired, and I think part of the reason it was inspiring is that I interacted with the fans throughout the race. When I won, we won. We did it.

Instory LabToo often, athletes show up late to a group workout and just jump in on the fast swimming, running or riding with no warm-up. Others are pinched for time, trying to squeeze a workout into a busy schedule, so they skip the warm-up figuring the main set of the workout is more important anyway.

Is a warm-up really necessary? What constitutes a “good” warm-up?

Enhanced Performance

A warm-up activity serves two major purposes—to enhance performance and prevent injury. Consequently, a warm-up is both physical and mental.

Relaxed, sitting in your chair and reading this column produces a relatively low 15- to 20-percent of blood flow to your skeletal muscles. Most of the small blood vessels (capillaries) within those muscles are closed. After 10 to 12 minutes of total body exercise, blood flow to the skeletal muscles increases to some 70 to 75 percent and the capillaries open.

Along with more blood flow comes an increase in muscle temperature. This is good because the hemoglobin in your blood releases oxygen more readily at a higher temperature. More blood going to the muscles, along with more oxygen available to the working muscles, means better performance.

An increase in temperature also contributes to faster muscle contraction and relaxation. Nerve transmission and muscle metabolism is increased, so the muscles work more efficiently.

Injury Prevention

Scientific studies on linking warming up with injury prevention are difficult to administer. Few athletes want to go through a muscle stress test to see what it takes to tear a muscle.

Old studies on animal subjects determined that injuring a muscle that has gone through a warm-up process required more force and more muscle length than a muscle with no warm-up. This study is in line with the anecdotal data that acute muscle tears occur more often when the muscles are cold or not warmed up.

There have been human studies on sudden, high-intensity exercise and the effects on the heart. One particular study had 44 men (free of overt symptoms of coronary artery disease) run on a treadmill at high intensity for 10 to 15 seconds without any warm-up. Electrocardiogram (ECG) data showed that 70 percent of the subjects displayed abnormal ECG changes that were attributed to low blood supply to the heart muscle. Yikes!

The abnormal changes were not related to age or fitness level.

To examine the benefit of a warm-up, 22 of the men with abnormal results did a jog-in-place at a moderate intensity for two minutes before getting on the treadmill for another test of high-intensity running. With that small two-minute warm-up, 10 of the men now showed normal ECG tracings and 10 showed improved tracings. Only two of the subjects still showed significant abnormalities.

It is not known if a more thorough warm-up of 10 to 20 minutes would have made more improvements. It would have been interesting to see the results if the scientists would have taken the experiment that additional step.

Mental Preparation

Part of a warm-up process includes getting your head ready for the upcoming activity. Mentally preparing for the upcoming workout, or event, is thought to improve technique, skill and coordination.

This mental warm-up also prepares athletes for the discomfort of tough intervals or a race. If the mind is ready to endure discomfort, the body can produce higher speeds. If the mind is unwilling to endure discomfort, physical performance will certainly be limited.

How Much Should I Warm Up?

There is no hard evidence as to how much warm-up is needed before a workout or a race. Most recommendations are in the 10- to 20-minute range, though some athletes have found they need more warm-up time.

Athletes with high levels of fitness typically need longer warm-up periods before doing high-intensity workouts or short races. Athletes with lower levels of fitness usually use a shorter warm-up time. However, athletes with low fitness levels also tend to produce lower speeds during workouts and races.

Athletes with dormant speed and currently low fitness levels need to be particularly cautious with workout and race intensities in order to minimize injury risk. This means if you were once fast, but you’re now out of shape, be patient with building your speed and fitness.

A general recommendation for warming up is to begin with low-intensity swimming, cycling or running. Keep it mostly aerobic or Zone 1 intensity at the beginning of the warm-up. Gradually increase intensity as you progress through the warm-up period. You can include short segments of gradually increasing intensity in the 30- to 60-second range, with long rest intervals as you get closer to the high-intensity segment of your workout.

In order to perform at your best and minimize the risk of hurting yourself, take time for an adequate warm-up.

Gale Bernhardt was the 2003 USA Triathlon Pan American Games and 2004 USA Triathlon Olympic coach for both the men’s and women’s teams. Her first Olympic experience was as a personal cycling coach at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Thousands of athletes have had successful training and racing experiences using Gale’s pre-built, easy-to-follow training plans. For more information, click here. Let Gale and Active Trainer help you succeed.

This article originally appeared on — your source for event information, training plans, expert advice, and everything you need to connect with the sport you love.


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  4. Safran, et al, “The role of warmup in muscular injury prevention”, Am J Sports Med, 1988 Mar-Apr;16(2):123-9.
  5. Shephard & Astrand, Endurance in Sport, Blackwell Science Ltd, 2000, International Olympic Committee, pp. 474-475.