5 Basic Facts – Lactate Threshold for #IndoorCycling Riders: What You Need To Know

In today’s indoor cycling ride, a few riders approached me about lactic acid, the infamous “burn” they experience and the need to know more about lactic threshold when planning their spring rides. As the weather improves towards the end of February and beginning of March, some of my indoor riders seek a gradual start to their outdoor training.

Some riders are new at this interesting combo: indoor cycling during the week (before or after work), then longer outdoor rides during weekends. To help these riders, I prepared a summary of the five basic facts every rider should know about lactic acid, its production, its impact and the benefits of lactic threshold training.

The best way to communicate this information is in this handy quick reference guide (click for full-size):

LT

Ride strong.

Tom

 

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6 Truths About #IndoorCycling That Nobody Wants to Believe

Achieving your fitness goals by attending indoor cycling classes comes down to one word: commitment. With that mind, here are six important tips to help you on your journey to enjoying the benefits of indoor cycling classes.

1. You can commit for the long-term
Ignore short term results and focus on the next 6 – 18 months. Make attending indoor cycling classes part of your schedule. Mark it on your calendar and ask your family to help you respect and honor this commitment.

2. You can set a schedule for your indoor cycling classes
Most people workout or go to gyms when they feel motivated or inspired. If it has been a long day at work, many of us would simply stay home, watch TV and not bother with exercising. Here’s a better idea: stop treating your fitness as something to do when it’s convenient and start setting a schedule for yourself to follow. Invest in yourself; it is not selfish, rather, it is your responsibility.

3. You can focus on progress not perfection
In the initial stages of attending indoor cycling classes, do not worry so much about participating in all of the drills or keeping up with the instructor’s cadence/resistance ranges. Take your time to create a solid foundation on which you can build a stronger, more capable body. Be careful though not to fall into a comfort zone and stay in it. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

4. You can set SMART goals & track your progress
With the help of performance metrics, wearable smart devices and bike computers, you can escape the comfort zone and continuously challenge yourself by tracking your numbers (wattage, power output, weight, heart rate, etc.) and measuring your progress. Some indoor cycling studios will send you your performance numbers at the end of class via an email. If you do not have access to a facility with performance tracking, the usage of a wearable fitness device is an affordable alternative. (read more about setting goals)

5. You can learn more about your body, physiology & exercise mechanics
The more you know, the better prepared you are and the more efficient your workout will be. Your experience and knowledge will shape your approach to each indoor cycling class and will influence the outcome. Read and learn about various muscle groups, especially the lower body, and the various joints. Learn about proper bike riding techniques by avoiding contraindicated moves. In addition, search for resources and read articles on injury prevention (such as dealing with PFPA, or ITB) and practice proper stretching techniques. Moreover, when possible, educate yourself on some of the scientific methodologies that impact exercise efficiency such as lactate threshold, VO2 max, proper cadence ranges, heart zone training and high intensity interval training.

6. Never settle
By setting your goals and tracking progress, you become aware of the impact of attending indoor cycling classes. By learning more about the science behind indoor cycling, you will be empowered to seek new goals and improve areas that need work, such as endurance or strength. At the end of the day, acknowledge your accomplishments as steps in this journey and never stop. Indoor cycling workouts will become part of your lifestyle, your fitness style and define your current as well as your future well being.

 

Never stop. Always forward. Sempre Avanti.

 

Tom

 

7 Mistakes You Might be Making in #IndoorCycling Classes

Many of us indoor cycling instructors see this too often: a rider is late, they hop on a bike and start climbing. Within seconds, the handlebars fall/drop. Or, you notice someone bouncing almost uncontrollably. And, sometimes a rider suddenly hops off the bike and rushes out (to leave). These are just few of the common mistakes that we see repeatedly.

As instructors, the safety of our riders and the effectiveness of their work out are our top priorities. Here are some of the mistakes that you might be making (click to enlarge the quick reference guide below):

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Ride safely.

Tom