Archive for May, 2011

The mental prepping for a big race.

May 31, 2011

So I have about 5 days to go before my big event. The state championship road race…

There is still leaps of “fitness” you can make, its not physical its mental. Take the extra time to start thinking about race preparation and what you will encounter during the race or event.

Mental strength is just as good or if not better as physical strength. Imagine what the event will feel like. Will there be some pretty challenging hard moments, will you have to endure extreme environments, or what else will be challenging? Take time to sit down and imagine what it will feel like. There are athletes out there that can raise there heart rate and other physiological signs by just thinking about it. This is an advantage one race or event day. By knowing what it will feel like, this will help you better overcome the challenge of it being physically hard. Imagine every little detail and imagine it several times before the event.

Also, it helps to pack and sort out equipment early. This is your big event! Prepare for it! Do not wait last minute. This early preparation will leave a lower stress level before the event. As we all know, stress can negatively effect performance. This is also part of the mental prep. Its time to relax yourself and just be ready for the event.

Stay tuned for saturday, I will post some last minute details and thoughts the day before a big race.

Ride hard

Coach Jordan


Getting ready for a big event.

May 21, 2011

By now it is that time of the year where most people are gearing up for some sort of a big event. In this part of the series I am going to talk about what to physiologically to get ready.

At this point in your season, you want to start honing in on race or event specific challenges. For instance, if your race is a criterium, then adding a good dose of very hard back to back efforts are going to be critical. If your event is a longer ride or race over varying terrain, you would want to be sure your ready to take on that challenging terrain. This is not the time to crash train by realizing you have 3 or 4 weeks to go and ride / run / swim like made to get ready.

A sudden bump in volume is the very opposite of what you want to do. Instead this is the time to start cutting training volume and do specific intervals. I can not say how many times I have seen someone start training huge amounts of hours right before an event. A well planned but shorter workout week will make for more bang for the buck then just going out there and doing a bunch.

Here is a slice of how my progression has gone by comparing a week from about 6 weeks ago to a current week.

6 weeks ago                                                     Current

Mon:               off                                                                     off

Tues:      2 hours w/ 2x15min steady state                      1.5 hours, 3 sets of 5 sprints at zone 6 to 7

Wed      1 hour easy                                                               1 hour easy

Thurs:   2 hours with high cadence sprints                   1 hour easy

Fri:  2 hours with 4 x 5min hill repeats   Z5                  1.5 hours with  10 x 5min hill repeats zone 5

Sat  2 -3 hours, with at least 1 hour zone 3                   1 hour easy

Sun:  3-4 hours. 3x 20min at Steady state                     3-4 hours, 2x15min Zone 4, then 5x 2-3min hard hills or flat.

As you can see the over volume decreased but the intensity is way up. This is the pattern your training should start  to follow 3 to 5 weeks before a big event. Tweaks are needed depending on the goal, but the basic concept remains the same.

All endurance sports will follow a similar pattern, the one above relates to cycling but the same paradigm is used for running, swimming, triathlon and adventure racing. The concept is to increase your bodies tolerance to hard efforts and teaching it to recover quickly.

Also when you are starting to decrease volume, be sure your diet reflects the loss of calories burned over all. Another thing to keep in mind this is not the time to add more stuff in other areas of your life. For these few weeks try to remain rested and stress free as you can.

Next part will be addressing the mental side,

Till then, Ride hard

Coach Jordan

The real reason I do this…

May 13, 2011

Coaching people and helping them achieve their athletic goals is amazing. I have a blast seeing people set a goal and make the best effort they can to reach that goal.

But there is a much bigger picture that perhaps doesn’t always show through Achieve Coaching’s presence. Ultimately I am most motivated to keep people living a healthy lifestyle. It just so happens that the expression through this business is by endurance athletics and chasing athletic excellence.

I had a very unfortunate event on thursday. While riding with my friend, I came across a gentleman who had a cardiac event and passed away in Umstead park. My friend and I were the first ones on the scene and called 911 for help. Luckily two other cyclist soon came and help in efforts of CPR. The story is a sad one though. The gentleman turned out to be the ice care taker for the Canes hockey team and many people will remorse that through all the efforts of everyone involved, we were unable to revive him.

I really want to take a moment remember that exercise is more than competing, winning a race, or having bragging rights over your body in your weekly training route. Achieve Coaching ultimately wants to infect people with a life long passion for fitness. Cycling, swimming, tri’s, running, adventure racing, and so on are the tools by which I use. It is the ultimate goal to keep you moving and giving you a reason to fight against the nations problem of heart disease, obesity and more.

Instead of ride hard as the closing mark of the post, today is a bit different.

Fitness for better health, what ever mode that may be.

Coach Jordan

Achieve coaching proudly presents:

May 11, 2011

Exciting News!!!

Achieve Coaching is proud to have helped by donating $100 to the cause!

Achieve Coaching is proudly working with Bryan to help him achieve his goal! Look at Bryan’s page here

Also the team he is going to do the ride with is here

Thank you to Bryan and his team in the cause!

Coach Jordan

Alright, I have to work out, What do I do?

May 11, 2011

This is a question I know I even have sometimes. Despite having clearly defined goals for myself, a huge knowledge base of what I am good and bad at. It still happens from time to time. There are two ways to prevent this.

1) If you don’t have a coach deciding for you on a daily basis of what to do, then it requires just a minute or two of thought. It always best to work on your weaknesses. If you are not a very good hill climber then do hills. If you need to work on the amount of time you can maintain a hard pace, then it is time to do a long hard effort.

Another alternative is I see many people will do multiple hard days. After 2 to 3 days of doing different intervals, they have run out of ideas for intervals. In this instance, if you have been going for a few days hard, you need to go easy. Going easy will help your body rest and recover. You don’t have to make every work out hard! Giving your body time to rest and heal is when you make improvements.

2) Hire a coach, this is pretty simple and straight forward it is my job to make this never happen for you. This is the best option if you are frequently having this type of problem.

I know the above solutions seem a bit obvious, but I am surprised by how many times I have seen people get there gear on, put there running shoes or cycling shoes on, start going, and have no idea what to do. Often times this leads to a workout lasting a moderate amount of time and just going hard. This is the dreaded zone 3 burnout if it happens to often.

The next time you start your training session with no real idea, just go work on your weakness. This will almost always result in much more quality workout.

As always, Ride hard!

Coach Jordan

My take on nutrition.

May 6, 2011

While I may talk frequently about how to improve your training through better performance, there is still another piece of the puzzle. This other piece of the puzzle is nutrition. Here is a brief about what I do for better performance on the bike. Keep in mind, these tips are for all endurance athletes not just cyclist.

I am not into any crazy diet or adherence to a specific set of rules. My outlook on nutrition is a very balanced and whole out look on nutrition. The basics concepts that guide me are three fold; glycemic index, the concept of calories in should be equal or at a slight deficit to calories out and whole grain non processed foods. Lets sort through these a bit more.

Glycemic index is the measure of how readily sugar burns in the human body. A food high on the scale is basic sugar or frighteningly high fructose corn syrup is even higher on the scale. A sudden dump of sugar is met by a greater dump in insulin. This huge dump in insulin will cause a post sugar crash and if done repeatedly can lead to type 2 diabetes. From an endurance athlete standpoint, you don’t ever want your body crashing. Recovery is a 24 hour a day process and needs to be supported as such. keeping to more complex carbs in grains and vegetables will produce a much more desirable effect on blood sugar through out the day.

Next is the rule that calories in should equal or be less than calories out. Your body is a simple mathematical formula for your body weight. If more calories are consumed than burned, weight will go up. If the opposite happens weight will go down. By eating as many or fewer calories a day you are able to keep a lean efficient body composition. just remember that some fat in the body is only extra mass that has to be carried up a hill or over a distance. Two words of warning though, you need some fat to be able to maintain healthy regular bodily processes. Also keep in mind the article I wrote HERE about how much caloric restriction should happen.

Last is trying to eat foods that are whole and the least processed. An interesting read is the Neanderthal diet. What I like most about this work is that it makes the point that humans ate fresh from land for all of history except till the last 100 years or so. My general rule is that if a food has a label with an item you can’t pronounce or figure out what it is, don’t eat it. This concept also goes with my first point about staying away from overly complex carbohydrates.

A few other rules I try to follow:

-east 5-6 times a day

-limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks per week at most

-try not to eat past 7pm if at all possible.

While there are books about sports nutrition, I feel these are basic rules and concepts that simplify what is out there. I have found adhering to these rules as mostly steered me in the right direction.

As always,

Ride hard – Coach Jordan

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