Archive for November, 2010

Testing 1,2,3…

November 30, 2010

It’s the time of year you should be doing some testing. Testing has a very important place in anyones regime whom is trying to seek some sort of improvement. Even a weekend warrior or occasional participant can see a benefit from testing. The goal of testing is to create some sort of yardstick by which to measure yourself.

Testing can be just simple as trying to cover x amount of distance as fast as you can. Or even running a 5k on the weekend, and then trying to beat your time at a later date. However testing can be much more complex and start to involve gas analyzer, lactic acid pricks, and blood work.

I believe the best sort of testing is one that is easily accessible for you. This means both financially and ease of doing the test. Wether you are a runner, cyclist, swimmer there are lots of tests you can do right out your front door (or local pool) Often times the most practical testing is the tests you can do yourself and are relatively simple.

Picking the right test is the trick. For example, if you are a cyclist and you wanted to perform a better sprint, it would be senseless to test how far you could go for 20 minutes. Also, if you are a runner, running a 5k distance, a 10k test would probably not be of much help. Therefore it goes back to knowing what the goal of your desired training program is and matching proper tests with it.

Testing gives a means to be sure the type of training you are doing is appropriate and meaningful for the goal. All to often I hear people just say testing is for high performance athletes. It isn’t it’s for every day athletes that are just trying to meet a goal. Here is a personal example of how testing helps. I was getting ready to go to a big race with a friend. He said as we were traveling to the race “I hope I am ready for this.” I asked him why he hoped he was ready? His reply was I just hope I can do well. It is important to note this course had lots of climbing in it and we both knew the pace at which the climbs were going to be taken. I on the other hand had performed a test a week prior to know where I was at with the race looming. My tests went as I had hoped them to be so I knew I was ready. While we both did well, I was on start line with lots more confidence and ease of mind than my friend was. I was glad I had the piece of mind before the race as I was able to think clearly during the event.

In the next coming weeks I will talk more about testing for cycling, swimming, and running.

Ride hard

Coach Jordan


Fantastic article on mental tools

November 23, 2010

Go to

Pez Cycling News For a great article on mental training

Coach Jordan

The balance of aspirations and reality

November 22, 2010

So its no secret I have been talking about goals. I want to address one more thing in relation to goals. I posted this blog in a forum and received some interesting feedback.

A fellow rider pointed out that while its all well and good to base a goal off of statistics; (i.e. power out puts for periods of times etc… as I discussed) how does this relate to a racer that has heavily performance based standards. After all racers need to be in a top spot to get an upgrade or to be considered successful. This is an interesting question and the previous recommendations I laid you before, fit perfectly.

By training with the goal of needing to perform “x” amount of time or effort, it gives the proper tools to position yourself well for a race finish. It is better knowing that you will go into a race needing to perform 50 times above 500 watts to be able to podium vs. I just want to podium . The difference between these two statements is vastly different. The racer whom trained with some obtainable goal will have a better chance at being victorious. While it might be the case that next year you will need to perform 50 times at over 600 watts; this is always an unknown that is called racing. I will always say its better to have some type of goal laid out in concrete obtainable terms rather I just want to win.

This also starts to touch on the racers psyche, the racer who wants it the most, usually is the best. I know from a personal experience I have been able to do things in racing that I was not expecting. This comes from the mental determination needed to perform at a race.

It is this combination of quantifiable preparation along with the will and want to succeed that will produce a truly great racer.

Next week: Setting up the training year

Ride hard,

Coach Jordan

Exciting News!

November 15, 2010

I have been able to link together both my blog and my website. You no longer have to visit both my website and blog separately.

Go to:

Achieve Coaching

You can still view the content here at this site as well.

As always, Ride Hard

Coach Jordan


Just an announcement

November 13, 2010

Sign up for the newsletter from Achieve Coaching to recieve updates about whats happening here at Achieve Coaching.

Go to Here

Coach Jordan

The final bit about Goals!

November 13, 2010

To recap the past two weeks I have been talking about setting goals. The first week was about how to identify goals from wanting to do better at a race or event. Following that, I talked about breaking down the event to quantify that which you want to do.

This week I would like to break it down one more level. Not only is it important to know how long you have to put out a certain effort; it is also important to know how to better train your muscles.

There are a few basic areas of concern when it comes to training your muscles. First is out right strength, this category is simply how much weight you can push or pull. Increasing out right strength is only important for a select few situations. An example would be if you were in a high gear and an attack occurred.  You will need  to be able to  respond to the attack. Another example is when gradients on a hill exceed 15% or more. Since these are very few and far between, muscular endurance is of more importance. muscular endurance is defined as being able to repeatedly exert a sub maximal force over and over again. These situations occur most often. During a prolonged effort, doing a 100 mile ride, or a sustained climb up a mild gradient. Another area to work on for muscle development is neuromuscular junction. This is more commonly refered to as muscle memory. developing muscle memory will enable you to spin at a high cadence more comfortably and being able to hold a gear for a longer period of time. These situations are more frequent than some may think. Think of after rolling down a hill, there is an uphill coming up. Instead of having to shift down only to shift back up, spinning effectively at a high cadence could just keep you in the same gear and be more ready for the hill. There are several other situations where high cadence is a useful tool, but to numerous to explain.

Given the above list of muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance and neuromuscular junction; it is important to match your goal with one or more of the training techniques for muscles.

Here is an example.  Last week we were looking at climbing Mt. Mitchel. For this goal I would want to train both muscular endurance and neuromuscular junction. I would want to train muscular endurance because climbing a big mountain requires producing a moderate amount of force on the pedals for two hours straight. To train this would be a mixture of being in the weight room and high force / low cadence on the bike. I would also train the neuromuscular junction to respond to variations in gradients during the climb. For instance Mitchel doesn’t just hold 6% constantly. there are brief changes that might be 5 or 4% Being able to stay in the same gear for 15-30 sec will help to keep a more even pace over the course of the whole climb.

So in summary of the past three postings; I have talked about how to be able to identify a goal from just saying  I want to do better. Breaking this goal down into understandable chunks for training. And finally talked about some underlying mechanics for better progress.

As Always,

Ride Hard!

For more information go to Achieve Coaching

Coach Jordan

Interpreting Goals

November 6, 2010

This is the second installment to setting goals (sorry about the long wait in posting…)

So you have been putting lots of thought into your goal for the next season, year or event. Now comes the hard part, planning on how to execute the goal.

This is where lots of athletes start to have a problem. They say they want to go out and do “x” The problem is you now have a date, but how do you get the right fitness or procedure to arrive at your goal in top form. I have seen one or two athletes that say they want to be able to ride a century in the mountains. The athletes are all about it, they ride hard an hour or two every day. They get to the century and all the sudden they realize the climbs are hard and by hour 3 or 4 they are fatigued. This is a case of not matching the training to the intended goal.

To help solve this issue it is ideal to break down the goal event in a number of ways. These type of ways are as follows:

Length = Time, Distance, Kilojules / Calories needed, Type of event (triathlons = sprint, olympic)

Terrain = Flat, Rolling, Mountainous, Combination

How hard will this be? = Very Hard, Easy pace, Category of race (pro, beginner etc), Lots of small hard efforts, long effort

How will you know if your doing well? = Pacing, Obtaining splits, known pace needed, Unknown pace, Current placing

Type of Event = Solo, Team, Mass start race

special Features = Short hard climb, Windy Section, Narrow Spot in Course, Long Climb

These are all things to help quantify your Goal. By Breaking down your goal into these categories it will help you better understand how to better prepare for the event.

Lets look at an example. I will use the Assualt on Mount Mitchell to illustrate how the break down above can help you to prepare for a goal event.

The Assualt on Mount Mitchel (AMM) is 102 Mile Long and will require about 5,000 Kj’s of energy. The terrain is mostly rolling to flat at first and will of course end on a 2 hour-long climb up to the finish (the end 2 hours will require 1,800 KJ’s) I am expecting this event to be hard because the leaders will ride at a pretty good tempo pace for the first three hours. Once at the bottom the pace will be upped more and more untill there is only a select few that will battle it out to the end. I will know if I am doing well by either making it to the top with the leaders or not. The event type is a mass start Road Race. And the only special feature know to me will be the final climb on Mitchell.

By breaking it down above, Like I have this gives some very specific training goals. So the ideal training will prepare me to do the following. Being able to ride for 5 hours straight. The first three hours will be at a tempo pace. The remaining 2 hours must expend 1800 Kj’s and be done at a pace at or near threshold pace. Also I must be able to launch a few hard efforts to maybe stay with a surging group effort.

This gives a very clear training goal to work up to. But there is one more break down of this goal that must happen to really and fully understand this goal.

Of course that will follow next week. (I promise)

Ride Hard!

Coach Jordan

Well written article for cyclist.

November 6, 2010

Check this out:

Exercises off the bike

This is a great overview of some exercises to help you over come various pains and to ensure symetry in the body. Of course this list is not exhaustive, but it is well written. If you want help to implement these in your program or additional ideas and instruction then find me at:

Achieve Coaching

As Always

Ride Hard, Coach Jordan

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