CYCLING PERFORMANCE TIPS - facts of the week



Last three questions

The snow is melting. Should I spend the balance of my limited early season training hours on the spin bike getting in some interval/speed work, or head for the road? Spin Bike or Road

I'm going to be riding a heavier bike this winter (fenders and such). Will that be a training aid and improve my speeds come spring? True or False

I have noticed a pain in my shoulder, and a friend who rubbed it said it felt like I had "saran wrap" under my skin. What's up?

Table of Contents

I. Exercise/Nutritional Physiology

A friend told me that lactic acid could be used as an energy alternative to carbohydrates. I thought it caused muscle pain. True or not?

The calories you read about in chemistry or physics class are the same as the Calories on your energy bar.True or False

Riding for 1/2 hour at a slow speed (65% VO2max) will burn more total fat Calories than riding 1/2 hour at a faster pace (85% VO2max)? True or False

Aerobic use of glycogen is how much more efficient than anaerobic (sprint) metabolism??Twice, ten, or twenty times

The major factor in improving aerobic performance with exercise is: A) Improved muscle strength or B) Increase in the cardiac output?

When doubling your speed, the amount of energy expended per mile also doubles. True or False

The major resistance factor in calculating energy expenditure while biking is your ground speed from your cycling computer. True or False

You can determine your maximum heart rate while running and then use this number to plan your cycling training program. True or False

It is possible to use an exercise program to "target" fat loss from one area of the body.True or False

Muscle pain at MAXIMUM exertion is a result of lactic acid buildup? True or False

The most common cause of muscle cramps is competing or riding beyond your training.True or False

The respiratory system is the limiting factor in reaching your true cycling potential.True or False

Regular riding will not delay the physiology of aging.True or False

My dad died with an MI in his 40s and I exercise to decrease my risk of coronary artery disease. Taking a Stress Tab vitamin daily will be of additional help. True or false

I will have the same maximum heart rate running as biking. Yes or No

If I double my speed on a hill, will it take more than double the amount of energy? Yes or No?

II. Nutrition/Fluids/Supplements

I've been drinking up a storm with various electrolyte concoctions, but am still getting muscle cramps. A buddy told me the secret was magnesium supplements. True? Yes or no?

I have been on a diet and am riding terribly. Anything I can do to improve my performance and still lose weight? Yes or No?

I have changed my sports drink and noticed a lot more "gas" after my riding. What's up? Could it be the minerals? Yes or no?

A buddy indicated that if I took vitamin C supplements, I could increase my performance on hills. Is that true?

With the hot weather, how much water weight can I lose per hour? 2 pounds per hour, 4 pounds per hour, 8 pounds per hour

To maximize your performance during a 2 hour ride, eat a power bar with a high glycemic index to maximize your blood sugar levels. True or false

Personal experience is more important than clinical studies in deciding if a performance enhancing supplement is going to be of benefit to you. True or False

It's unnecessary to consume carbohydrate during rides lasting less than 2 hours? True or False

Snacking while on the bike is a key to a successful 2 hour training or recreational ride? True or False

I'm doing a 1 hour time trial. Will carbohydrate supplements improve my performance?Yes or No

Commercial energy gels don't offer any advantages over a home made product. True or false

To replenish muscle glycogen and hasten recovery after a ride, it's best to begin eating immediately? True or False

I am going to be doing an event with 2 legs, less than 16 hours apart. I've been told that taking a little protein with my post event carb replacement after the first leg will give me an edge. Is this true? Yes or No

Which type of carbo fuel offers the cyclist the best solid recovery fuel? Cookies or Pasta

I have been spending a lot of money on performance enhancing recovery drinks. A friend recently told me that a glass of good old chocolate milk would work just as well. Could that be true?Yes or No?

If I miss the post ride window for glycogen replacement, I cannot catch up later. True or false

To provide immediate carbohydrate energy to the exercising muscle, which of these is the best? BANANA, ENERGY BAR, COCA-COLA

Your last water bottle is only 1/4 full, and you still have an hour ride in hot weather. You should wait until you are thirsty before drinking it. True or False

It is impossible to drink too much fluid replacement as your kidneys will compensate for any excess.True or False

When replacing fluids while on the bike, the colder the better. True or false

I can use tap water alone for fluid replacement on a hard, 90 minute training ride. True or False

I've been feeling washed out after a ride of 90 minutes. Could this be from overdoing my fluid replacement?Yes or no

I ate regularly on my last ride but still still became fatigued. Does this mean I ate the wrong things? Yes or No

As alcohol contains more Calories per gram(7 Cal/gm) than carbohydrate(4 Cal/gm), beer makes an ideal energy drink when you need a boost on that long ride. True or False

As fat contains twice as many Calories per gram as carbohydrates, it is the preferred high energy fuel for highly competitive events. True or False

Modifying dietary fats can be used as a strategy to improve performance. True or false

If you train with a high fat diet, you will improve your athletic performance beyond that achieved with a high carbohydrate diet alone. True or False

Dietary protein supplements are an essential part of a training diet for the competitive cyclist.True or false

Amino acid supplements will help cyclists build stronger cycling muscles without added Calories? True or False

It is impossible to eat too much protein when you are training regularly. True or False

A pre race meal with a low glycemic index (GI) will improve your performance on that long ride.True or false

The glycemic index will NOT help me decide on the best high energy carbohydrate supplements to use during a ride. True or false

Vitamin supplements will improve exercise performance? True or false

Vitamin C and vitamin E supplements will improve your time trial performance. True or False

Creatine supplements will improve my performance in a two minute sprint event.True or false

Weight loss can be sustained by diet alone (i.e. without a need to change one's exercise habits).True or False

Free radicals (and an increased need for antioxidants to neutralize them) are only formed during exercise. True or false

I can get the most benefit from the use of caffeine as a performance aid if I drink 2 cups before every training ride.True or false

I can safely experiment with the dose of performance enhancing supplements to tailor them to my own physiology.True or false

I enjoy eating breakfast an hour or so before my early morning ride. Will that have a negative effect on my performance? Yes or No

If I want the benefits of a sports drink I will need to buy a commercial product. Yes or No

III. Training/Competition

The snow is melting. Should I spend the balance of my limited early season training hours on the spin bike getting in some interval/speed work, or head for the road? Spin Bike or Road

1/1/2007: As you make that New Year's resolution to "do better" in 2007, don't forget that balance in your training program is a key factor in success. You might want to check out PLANNING A PERSONAL TRAINING PROGRAM and OFF SEASON TRAINING for some ideas.

I am just getting in my early season miles. I've been told I should pedal at a low cadence for the first few weeks to let things settle in before pushing it. True or not?

I am ready for the riding season and know that you recommend intervals to improve personal performance. As I have my first race of the season in a few months, how many days a week should I plan on doing them to maximize my performance? 1, 2, or 3

I am a strong recreational rider. How much training per week will keep me in optimal shape for my type of riding with my Saturday group? 5 hours, 10 hours, 15??

Splitting a daily training session into two sessions of equal duration will improve the conditioning effect. Yes or No?

If I want to improve my hill climbing, is it better to lose weight or work on my power (Watts I can produce on the trainer)? Lose weight or work on the Watts

When the chips were down, what did Lance Armstrong use to monitor his performance when winning the time trial in the 6th Tour de France? HRM, cadence, or watt meter?

A friend recently told me I needed some prinzle to improve my sprinting. Is this a new energy bar? Yes or No?

It's good practice to try to ride on the white line, especially when visibility is poor.Yes or No

Lance Armstrong became a better cyclist by training more days at his V02max? Yes or No

Can anyone be a world class cyclist, or only a few who are genetically blessed? Anyone or only the genetically endowed

If you train at the same distance and intensity as your friend, you'll both improve the same amount. True or False

Periodization is a training approach based on your cumulative mileage. True or False

Using Perceived Effort as a training tool is flawed due to its variability day to day.True or False

A training program only needs to reflect the length of the event being considered. All other components (intervals for example) are common to all training regimens. True or False

A program focused on aerobic training (long, slow distance work) will also improve anaerobic or sprint performance. True or False

Stretching before exercise has no effect on your performance, but is important to minimize the chance of muscle injury.True or False

Muscle changes that will improve performance (with a regular exercise program) will continue for: 6 months, 2 years, 5 years

My maximum heart rate (and heart rate training zones) will be the same every day I train. True or false

Most of your training should be done at 80-85% of your maximum heart rate? True or False

Coaches usually define anaerobic threshold as the average heart rate you can maintain for a 10 to 25 mile time trial? True or False

Recovery from overtraining may take: a)2 days b)2 weeks c)2 months

What is the best way to avoid overtraining?Eat well, keep a training diary, or get plenty of sleep?

Your morning heart rate (before getting out of bed) is 10 bpm over the day before. This is proof that you are overtraining and must ease off. True or False

Symptoms of overtraining include mood swings, anxiety, depression, and general irritability. True or False

Training for competitive mountain biking requires an emphasis on intervals (as compared to road racing).True or False

Training at altitude WILL improve sea level performance? True or False

There is a special training program to prevent a decrease in performance when you take your mountain biking vacation to the mountains of Colorado. True or False

It is important for the athlete in training to keep their daily carbohydrate intake at 70% of total daily Caloric replacement.True or False

A weight training program will improve your performance in endurance cycling events.True or False

If I have a solid aerobic training program, and an extra hour a week for training, I'll get the most return on my time invested from:Lunges, abdominal crunches, or leg squats with weights?

The optimum number of reps when weight training to maintain conditioning for cycling is 5,12,20

Only off season training on a stationary bike will give me that edge to be a winner in the Spring?True or false

Will I benefit from using a rowing machine during the off season? I would not concentrate on rowing but add this to my indoor cycling regiment. Yes or No?

Special attention to training your respiratory muscles will improve your cycling performance. True or False

You can gain an 5 to 7% advantage in your competitive performance by doing respiratory muscle training. True or false

Focusing on the rhythm of breathing can provide a performance edge in competition. True or False

A heavier rider has the advantage on rolling terrain as (s)he will gain more time on the downhills than is lost climbing.True or False

One must keep the drafting distance within 3 feet to benefit from a pace line. True or False

Staying seated while climbing is ___ more efficient. 5, 10, 20%

To minimize the effect of a head wind on my riding, I should try to keep my chin as close to the stem as possible. True or false

I'm going to be riding a heavier bike this winter (fenders and such). Will that be a training aid and improve my speeds come spring? True or False

IV. Equipment

I want to ride better this year -is it worth the $$ to get a pair of shoes that is 100 grams lighter or spend it on that new light weight handlebar I've been looking at? Shoes. Handle bar. Doesn't make any difference.

Picking the right bike size is an exact science. Plug in my measurements and then it's just a matter of deciding on the manufacturer. Yes or No

If you like to keep a high cadence (spin at high RPMs), consider changing to shorter cranks.True or False

I was going to buy a new pair of lighter pedals, but decided I could save a few dollars and cut the same number of ounces by upgrading my water bottle cage and handlebars instead. Was that a good move?Yes or No?

V. Medical Issues

I have noticed a pain in my shoulder, and a friend who rubbed it said it felt like I had "saran wrap" under my skin. What's up?

I recently developed severe pain in my foot during a ride. Could I have gottne a stress fracture from too much riding?Yes or no?

My dentist told me I should quit using sports drinks as the acid was destroying my teeth. Is that true? Yes or No

Toward the end of the season I was having back pain after hard rides. Is there anything other than stretches I can do in the off season to help me next year? Yes or No?

I've been told that Noxema, a face cream, will help cut down on saddle sores. Sounds a little fishy to me. Is this true? Yes or No?

I have a family history of osteoporosis. Will cycling help me to prevent bone loss? Yes or no

You are out on your regular off season training ride and notice you are shivering. The best thing to do is ride faster to warm up.True or False

I should increase my exercise program in the winter to help ward off respiratory illnesses?True or false

You should taper from a heavy training schedule in the winter to avoid an increased risk of coming down with an upper respiratory tract infection. True or false

Stomach cramps are caused by a spasm of the abdominal wall muscles. True or False

Daily glucosamine will prevent injury to your knees. True or False

Foot pain is the most common joint injury associated with cycling. True or false

I develop headaches with exercise. Is it because I'm eating wrong? Yes or No

I can't seem to lose weight like my friends at spin class. Doses that mean I have a lower metabolic rate?Yes or No

Cycling (and exercise in general) can decrease your risk of colon cancer. Yes or No I have just started increaseing my miles and have notices my left knee is aching. Could I have a cartilage injury? Yes or no

I have been working on my hill technique and have been noticing some back pain. A buddy told me I need to do more crunches. Do you agree? Yes or No

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Cycling Performance Tips
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