Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Science of warming up in Cycling

Science has told us it's important to warm up before any sport and speaking for myself I almost always find I ride stronger after warming up gradually. Cycling and as well as running use very specific muscle groups in a very intense manner so the chance of injuring those specific muscles becomes quite high, whereas many other forms of exercise are less intensive and "share the load" across the whole body lessening the chance for injury. If you allow your heart rate and core temperature too gradually increase, your body and mind will be ready for the challenges of your ride.

Physiological importance of warming up:
Increased the muscle temperature.  A warmed muscle both contracts more forcefully and relaxes more quickly. Speed and strength can be optimized.

Blood vessels become dilated. This lowers the resistance to blood flow and lowers stress on the heart.

Facilitates oxygen utilization by warmed muscles because hemoglobin releases oxygen more readily at higher muscle temperatures

Lactate resynthesizing mechanisms begin to engage during warm up allowing lactate threshold to increase normally. 

Improved Range of Motion. The range of motion around a joint is increased.

Mental prep. The warm-up is also a good time to mentally prepare for performance by clearing your mind, increasing focus and concentration. This can be just as important as the physiological effects.

20 to 30 minutes is considered an ideal amount of time to spend warming up prior to the main portion of your training or racing. Spin easy for 5-10 minutes, and then slowly build up to threshold. Spin easy, and then do two or three 1 minute efforts just above threshold efforts. Spin easy till it's time to start. Some recommendations on warm-ups get far too complex.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Oral carb sensing and performance

The Journal of Physiology recently said that in England researchers discovered that simply rinsing your mouth with with a sugar drink may fight fatigue. The test consisted of 8 well trained cyclists doing an all out time trial on stationary bikes in a lab. Throughout the ride, the cyclists swished various liquids in their mouths but did not swallow. Some of the drinks contained carbohydrates the other drinks were just flavored, sugar-free water.  By the end of the time trials, the cyclists who had rinsed with the carbohydrate drinks — and spit them out — finished significantly faster than the water group. Their heart rates and power output were also higher. In conclusion there's some evidence when your brain is sensing fuel is being delivered to the body - without actually ingesting it - shows how it can an effect on Human performance.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Video update Shimano R260 shoes

I wanted to do a quick video update on the 2014 Shimano R260 road shoes after putting in some miles.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dieting without exercise

Most people would love to loose weight without exercise and take the easy way out but very few are aware of all the positive effects provided by exercise. I've attempted to list them as completely as possible in list form.

While dieting will show lower numbers on a scale, it will not give you the following benefits:
- lower resting HR
- higher muscular LT
- higher VO2-max
- significantly lower fat% (more lean muscle-mass, less fat)
- improved immune system
- higher motivation and energy level
- lower LDL cholesterol counts
- stronger/denser bones

Cardiovascular adaptations that occur from long term training will provide:
-Increased capillary density
-Increased mitochondrial volume and density
-Increased aerobic enzymes
-Increased intramuscular fuel stores
-Increased maximal oxygen uptake
-Increased stroke volume
-Possible lowering of systolic & diastolic blood pressures
-Increased left vetricle volume