While riding all those base miles, what you should be thinking about is “QUIET UPPER BODY”. What that means is, assessing your body position, all while your just clicking off the miles at an easy pace. You may not think a lot is going on while your heart rate is low, but what’s happening on a microscopic level is huge in the big picture.
1. Patterns are being formed by muscle memory as you spin a perfect circle. One way to get that perfect circle is doing one leg drills and
working your way from 70-80-90 RPM intervals and keeping the pedal stroke smooth. Put this to practice: we work on this at the Kain Performance Brick Workout on Tuesday nights, 6:30 PM at Los Gatos HS.
2. All the Winter Core Training comes into play, as you hold your back and neck steady, allowing all the power to generate through your hips, glutes, and legs, directly into that pedal stroke. If you haven’t been doing any core training, add a plank and sit ups every day. Add five minutes of this per day and it will make a difference.
3. The longer rides will become easier if you focus on building endurance gradually. Be patient!
4. Reassess your body position all the time and ask yourself:
- Am I rocking side to side? If so, focus on even pedal strokes.
- How is my grip? If your knuckles are turning white or your hands are tired, loosen your grip.
- Is my face relaxed? Think about deep breaths in and big exhales to really open the lungs and relax the upper body.
- Is my back starting to roll? Is my lower back feeling fatigue towards the end of the ride? If so, remind yourself to engage those muscles down the spine and pull the scapulas together; flatten that back out; stretch and move while standing and shrug your shoulders to keep loose. Try not to stay static in the same position for too long.
5. The long slow distance (LSD) will build your cardiovascular system which will be different for everyone on the team depending on how you trained over the winter, or didn’t train! It takes time……
6. Lastly, tune in to your inner voice which should be like hearing the coach’s comments as you ride along, reminding you to: make smart shifts on the bike, transition up and over the rollers smoothly, pressing the hills and recovering on the down hills, keep the upper body and face relaxed and don’t push too big a gear!
That’s it for now! Please ask questions if you want help with your body position, or pedal stroke. Hope you all got out to enjoy some sunshine today! See you Saturday for another EPIC TRAINING DAY WITH KP!!!!
About your Coach: Shari Kain is the Assistant Head Coach of the Kain
Performance Multi-Sport Team. She is a USA Triathlon Certified Coach, as well as a former National Cycling Team member on both the Road and Mountain Bike National Teams. Shari won National Titles in the Criterium, Cyclo-Cross and Off Road Triathlon. She also won the Xterra World Championship in 1999. She was an alternate on the 2000 Olympic Mountain Bike Team. Shari graduated from UCSB in 1987, where she played Division 1 Volleyball. She was the second women inducted into the Xterra Hall of Fame in 2010!