Sometimes, athletes step away from training due to injury, other times to reflect on their goals. No matter the reason, absence can indeed make the heart grow fonder. Even if you’re looking forward to starting a new training cycling, returning to a routine after a break has its difficulties. Long-time SoS Athlete Kearstin recently started up her custom coaching again after a hiatus. We asked her about her experience in returning to her training regimine.
SOS: What’s it like to come back into training with your coach after a break? Is it easier because of the customization of your workouts?
KR: I think the hardest thing is seeing how much power and endurance I lost before training again. At first, I was really embarrassed by not being able to do rides I used to do, but Coach Brady has been the perfect amount of push and compassion that I need in a coach. It is definitely easier with the customization of workouts! I tried making a comeback on the bike by myself and I just needed more structure and guidance. That’s what I get from Science of Speed.
SOS: What goal events are on the horizon for you as you return to training?
KR: I’ve had one elusive goal for the past 3 years now. I’d like to be able to qualify for the Race Across America. To qualify, I have to complete 370 miles in 24 hours. That is what I’m currently training for and the race is in February. While I don’t know if I’ll be able to hit that goal this next February, I’m just excited to be getting my fitness back!
SOS: Overall, how have you liked working with your SoS Coach? What have been your favorite results that you’ve seen in the past from your customized training?
KR: I love working with SoS. I’ve used SoS on and off for the past 3 years and I’ve always been my best self on the bike when I’m being coached by them. While the results are slow going at the moment, I love what I’m seeing now. I honestly feel like we are starting from ground zero and every week I see improvements or, at the very least, I feel good about myself.
Looking to get back in the saddle and rededicate yourself to your goals? We’re here for you at every step of your athletic journey. Let’s get you ready to return to the race course. Contact us today.
Recently, an article was posted regarding the loss in power production of cyclists when they transition from a position on the hood to aerobars. Among bike fit specialists and many high level cyclists, this is nothing new. It is common knowledge that the position of a time trial or triathlon bike is less bio-mechanically efficient than a road bicycle. The goal with this position is not to increase a rider’s power output. It is to optimize the balance of efficiency and aerodynamics.
The key point here is that you, as an athlete, should be able to spend as much time in this position as possible. If you are striving for a very “aggressive” aerodynamic position, it may take time for you to adapt. Unfortunately, we too often see people riding on the horns of their bars because they are uncomfortable in the aero position. If you have been in the same position for more than 6 months on your TT/Triathlon bike, it is time to reassess your position.
Why is that the case? Any time that you are out of the aerobars, you lose the vast majority of the purpose and function of your bike. The other reason this is very important is because the recruitment of muscles is very different from the horns to the aerobars. We are not only speaking of leg muscle recruitment (quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes,) but also the utilization of neck, shoulder and back muscle recruitment that is varied by this position.
At Science of Speed, we are constantly striving to help you make the most of your training. We are excited to announce the launch of a new program that will make your SoS experience more rewarding than ever. We know that many of you are kind to recommend us to your friends and family in sport. To ensure you know how grateful we are, we are launching an athlete rewards program. Starting this month, SoS Athletes who are receiving custom coaching services can earn monetary credit towards coaching, testing, swag from the SoS Shop, or any other Science of Speed purchase.
How do you earn these rewards? For every athlete that you refer to us that purchases one of the following services, you’ll receive a corresponding amount of credit towards your Athlete Rewards balance:
Custom Static Training Plans – $10
Custom Coaching Plans – $50
Retul Bike Fit – $15
The Endurance Club (monthly membership) – $10
So, how do you ensure that you receive credit for your referral? We’ve added a field called “Referred by:” to the contact form here on our website. When your friend, family member, training partner, etc. reaches out to us, be sure to let them know to put your name in this box.
If your referral purchases one of these services through the SoS Speed Shop, have them drop us an email to let us know you pointed them our way — or simply have them add it to the Notes section of their order.
We’ll look forward to hearing from your connections and comrades. We are honored to have your recommendation, and are so proud to know that many of our new athletes were encourage by our current customers. It is the greatest compliment we could receive and we are incredibly appreciative.
Ready, set, EARN! You can find the Contact Us form here.
March was a busy month for SoS Athletes and Coaches — and it’s showing in all their excellent results. As we welcome the month of April, let’s look back on the big wins and improvements made by athletes working with Science of Speed to reach their goals!
Shoutout to #SoSAthlete Eric who, in just 11 weeks of training, has seen an 8.5% increase in power at threshold! Keep up the great work, Eric.
Five months ago, Earl took his last field test. After hard blocks of winter training with SoS, this athlete is 11.5% higher at threshold than the last test. Working hard to gain those watts! Nice work, Earl!
A hard winter of training with Coach Alex has paid off for Mason. A PR in the 1600, as well as 3rd in the 1600 and 1st in the 3200 just a couple weeks earlier! Congratulations Mason!
Shoutout to SoS Athlete, Eric! He took on the SEC#2 Old Capital Classic 6 HR MTN BIKE RACE in Milledgeville, GA and took home 2nd place for XC 1 PRO/EXPERT. Nice work!
What an amazing performance from SoS athlete, Stacy! Congratulations to you and Coach Armando on meeting goals and making PRs happen at Best Damn Race – Orlando, FL!
Congrats to Jake Oswald who took 1st place overall at Tour de Murrietta Stage Race – Category 5!
This one goes to our PR guru, Meg! On her last field test, she cut 1 minute 4 seconds off of her threshold pace.
Congrats to Coach Brady on a successful launch of the Champions Ride, a new nonprofit cycling event in north Florida. The event raised close to $10,000 for a local charity.
Ready for some new accomplishments of your own? Contact us today and let’s set exciting goals today!
While Science of Speed coaches are offering athletes across the country advice and guiding them towards their goals, they are also athletes themselves. From swimming to cycling, from triathlon to obstacle racing, our staff is out chasing their own dreams in sports of all kinds. It is because of this that we believe they connect so well with their athletes during training. They understand the grind of training and know what it takes to succeed.
Coach Brady recently put his legs to work off the bike and on the run at the Snicker’s Albany Half Marathon in Georgia. Here are his recap of race day and key takeaways for other athletes.
At the end of 2017, I began training for the Snicker’s Albany Half Marathon. For those of you who have followed my journey over the past two years, I made it part of my winter activity to mix it up and run a bit. Last year, I took on the Tallahassee Half Marathon in Northern Florida. This year was no different, but my goal was to go with a course that was flatter than the course in Florida’s Capital City. The Albany course is notoriously flat, with many participants in the full marathon event qualifying for Boston.
The past two years, I have taken running fairly half heartedly into the lead up to the half marathon. It was a good quick 30-45 minute workout that I could get in and my longest run (singular, not plural) was 9 miles leading to the half.
This year, I wanted to approach things differently. My goal was to not only to beat my PR from Tallahassee, but to obliterate it. I publicized a sub 1:25, but, in the back of my head, I was shooting for a 1:20. Does this sound familiar? I know many athletes who have these dueling goals — one for sharing, one that is unspoken.
With that in mind, my plan was to increase my running intensity and time from Thanksgiving on. It was laid out beautifully to do more longer runs in the month of January and February with plenty of shorter, threshold based workouts throughout the week.
As the saying goes, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Nothing could have held more true. Up through Christmas, training went well. Then, we made a family trip to Kansas. I have clearly become soft living in Florida, but temperatures were colder than average — in the single digits — and not above freezing for the highs. These temperatures were the first of many excuses to come.
Once we returned, everyone in our house passed around some sort of respiratory illness. Having a history of this type of stuff turning to sinus infections and worse, I laid low. And laid low. And laid low. That dang thing hung out with a nasty cough for weeks!
Once the cold-season plague had lifted, I got back on track and running again. Then, age caught up with me. A raking related injury, (yes, yard work) laid me up for another ten days with low back pain that made it hard to sit, stand, bend over and lay down, let alone walk.
At it once more, I was set on damage control mode. With 6 weeks wasted out of the first 10 weeks of the year, the best I could do was work on building mileage to a decent amount and hoping for a 1:30 finishing time.
1:28.22, 22nd overall and 3rd in my age group. This was a mere 6 seconds better than my previous PR at Tallahassee half marathon in 2017. It was a long ways from my original, intended goal, but was surprising given where I felt my fitness was going into the race.
There are several things that I have to note looking back at the data, however. Let me preface with the fact that for the past two years I have not run with a watch. The first year, I forgot it at the house and, the second year, I decided not to wear it because I didn’t the year prior. This year was different. I had pace and heart rate but tried not to use it during the race. I wore it for the information it would collect. This is what I learned from the data.
Miles 1-4 were a bit faster than they should have been – no real surprise here. I felt good, and how could you not at the start of the run.
Mile 8 I began talking myself out of the ability to run as fast as I was. Mile 9 was my slowest mile at a 6:50
I negative split the last 5.1 miles
Mile 13 was my fastest at 6:22 pace
The mind is as powerful or as strong as you make it be. I talked myself out of a lot through miles 8 & 9. One key thing was the gentleman that caught me right at mile 8 that I should have/could have stayed with and gone off his pace.
Ultimately, a bit of adrenaline paired with a lot of grit and determination paid off! If you look at my pictures during the race, it is apparent that I was not in a comfortable place. Let’s be honest, I looked like a moving corpse.
Kudos to the City of Albany for a well run event. Other than a few intersections at the end that didn’t have police support, it was a very well done event.
Underwear, panties, knickers or drawers. It doesn’t matter what you call them. It is time to ditch the underwear when you ride your bike. For many, this is one of the biggest hesitations when first riding a bike, but, if you are riding in a short with a chamois (padding,) then it is time to go commando!
Many newer cyclists are unaware that a cycling short is designed very differently from many other pants. It is apparent that there is a pad in the shorts and that they are very tight fitting, but, if you look more closely, you will see that the seams are located with greater thought and purpose. These seam locations are designed to help reduce chafing and, by adding your underwear into the mix, you increase the likelihood of irritation points. As you increase your ride time, you will notice that the likelihood of saddle sores or raw, irritated skin is drastically increased.
For those of you that have the thought, “That sounds dirty,” never fear! The chamois is made from an antimicrobial fabric. It is probably even more sanitary than having your underwear on. With that being said, we still emphasize that, when your ride is done, please get out of your cycling shorts as quickly as possible. There is no need to sit around in your chamois for lunch, a foam rolling session and a nap.
With rain sweeping across much of the Eastern United States today, we thought, “What is better than a high intensity workout?!” for those stuck inside on a bike or treadmill. So, here you are!
Bike Workout: Threshold Ladder (Total Time: 1hr 8min)
Warm up: 8 minutes
3 minute easy (PE: 5/10)
2 minute Tempo (PE: 7/10)
3 minute easy (PE: 5/10)
Interval: Threshold ladder 4×10 minute (5 rest between intervals)
1 minute Tempo (PE: 7/10)
3 minute Threshold Interval (PE: 8/10)
2 minute Climbing Interval (PE: 9/10)
2 minute Threshold Interval (PE: 8/10)
2 minute Tempo (PE: 7/10)
Cool Down: 5 minutes
5 minute easy (PE: 5/10)
Run Workout: Negative Split Run (Total workout Time: 55min)
Warm up: 10 minutes
5 minute easy (PE: 5/10)
30 second pickup (PE: 6-9/10)
30 second walk/jog (PE: 3-5/10)
30 second pickup (PE: 6-9/10)
30 second walk/jog (PE: 3-5/10)
3 minute easy (PE: 5/10)
Interval: Negative Split Tempo Run 5×6 minute (3min rest between intervals)
3 minute Steady State Run (PE:7/10)
2 minute Tempo Run (PE: 8/10)
1 minute Fartlek Run (PE: 9/10)
Cool down: 5 minutes
5 minute easy (PE: 5/10)
Keep in mind that all workouts can and should be modified for current fitness level. If you have not been exercising both of these workouts are a rather high intensity effort and something lower intensity.
Have a great workout!
Are you looking for optimal performance and training time management? Let a Science of Speed coach customize your training for increased efficiency and workouts designed for your specific availability and fitness needs. Contact us at [email protected] to get a customized training plan.
Speed. It is the number one worry for many athletes on the bike and “aero is everything” to so many cyclists and triathletes. Aero helmets, aero bicycles, aero handlebars, aero wheels, aero shoe covers, aero bottles, aero gel packaging… Okay, so the last one is a stretch, but you heard it here first if it comes out! You get the point though. Aerodynamics has been taken into consideration for every aspect of cycling.
Why you might ask? Well, not only does it look cool, but it does have a benefit. Aerodynamics is the study of the air’s interaction with objects — in this case, you and all your gear. When looking at aerodynamics, we must consider the science of the coefficient of drag. In this equation, velocity (speed) is squared, which means as speed increases, drag is drastically impacted. By streamlining yourself on a bike, with wheels, a helmet, or some other gadget, you can instantly notice the change in speed and this becomes addictive.
You’ve seen so many aero products at varying price points, but what is the best bang for your buck?
Retul Bike Fit: Cost: $250 Benefit: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Not to poke fun, but you are the biggest thing on the bike. Optimizing your position to suit your needs will be the best way to increase your ability to maintain position, reduce fatigue and increase aerodynamics (assuming that is your goal). This is by far your biggest bang for your buck when it comes to aerodynamics.
Over the past several years, there has been great emphasis on aero road bike frames. These super bikes are not only sleek, but sexy and are often the envy of many riders. Do they make a big difference? You bet they do! You can shave nearly 1 minute off of a 40km time with one of these. That is a lot of “free watts.” They are not all equal in their benefits, so if you want to find the bike that will make you fastest go here.
Aero Wheels: Estimated Cost – $2000 Benefit: ⭐⭐⭐
These are the next best thing in time saving benefits. Aero Wheels are a great addition to your arsenal when it comes to bike related speed. There are three key factors that you should consider:
What type of riding are you doing? A century rider, criterium racer, road racer and triathlete do not necessarily need to ride the same wheel. Each of these types of riding have different demands and, because of that, a wheel might need more aerodynamics, better braking power, lighter weight or increased stiffness.
Is Aerodynamics or weight and stiffness more important? As illuded to in the last question, you will need to understand what is more important for you. Aerodynamics will relate more to straight line speed and is important for a triathlete, time trialist or a road racer. A criterium racer and even a road racer can benefit from a more laterally stiff wheel. The more aerodynamic the wheel becomes, the more it weighs and the less laterally stiff it becomes.
What is the length of your event? For the Ironman athlete, if one wheelset is in the budget, you should pick something slightly less aerodynamic but more versatile for changing conditions. The last thing you want is to be in the middle of your ride, winds kick up and your disc wheel gets swept out from under you. Not to mention, the amount of fatigue a set of deep section aero wheels can create in a strong cross wind!
What are your needs?
Aero Helmet: Cost: $175 Benefit: ⭐⭐
Ventilation meets pure speed. Aerodynamics is key, but, if you get overheated due to poor cooling and DNF, it doesn’t matter how streamlined you are.
This is a great option to decrease drag. For time trial or Ironman athletes, remember that your ears are, by design and function, probably one of the least aerodynamic things on your body so a helmet that covers them can drastically reduce drag. If you struggle to hold head position, aerodynamics becomes less important as the tail of the helmet will create even greater drag sticking straight up in the air.
Find an aero road helmet to fit your speed addiction
Aero Gel: Cost: $3 Benefit:
It is the consistency of snot, but packaged in a streamlined pouch made from nanoparticles sourced from the earth’s core.
Clearly your best bang for your buck! Right? Be sure to pre-order today! 😉
Summertime is here — and so is a new look for Science of Speed. We’re excited to launch our new logo and new website, and to continue to bring you the same outstanding coaching, bike fit, testing and analysis services that you’ve come to expect from our team.
As we mark this new chapter, we can’t help but think of all the athletes we’ve had the chance to work with. Alongside our coaches, they are constantly opening new chapters, daring to reach new goals, and making the most of every opportunity to improve.
Will this be the summer that you dare to dream of new finish lines? Will this be the summer that you lay the foundation for your most ambitious athletic goals?
Science of Speed wants to help you Seize the Summer. To celebrate the launch of our new branding and online home, we’re proud to present two limited time offers to help you take the next step towards your aspirations:
Commit to Six Months, Get One Month Free
When you sign up for six months of coaching at the Podium Package level or higher, you’ll receive one month of coaching free. Each and every SoS Coaching Package offers athletes a chance to have custom training programs designed just for them by a knowledgeable SoS Coach, selected for you based on your sport and goals. Be in communication with your coach via email, text or phone, receive advisement on event day preparations and nutrition, and gain access to your own Training Peaks account for easy training scheduling and analysis.
To take advantage of this offer, contact us here and mention promo code, “BUY6GET1”
Upgrade Your Tech, Get Two Months Free
When you purchase any power meter (Garmin, Powertap, Stages, Pioneer, SRM) or a Garmin 820/935 watch, you’ll receive two months of coaching free with any six month coaching package. Upgrade your gear for more insight into your body and your training. Each and every SoS Coaching Package offers athletes a chance to have custom training programs designed just for them by a knowledgeable SoS Coach, selected for you based on your sport and goals. Each level of coaching comes with different opportunities for communication with your coach, guidance and analysis of your performance.
To take advantage of this offer, contact us here and mention promo code, “SUMMERTECH”
Are you ready for tan lines and finish lines? The summer starts now with Science of Speed and your dreams are within reach. We can’t wait to hear from you and help you begin your journey towards your next athletic goal.
THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER, WE’LL BE BRINGING FOCUS TO THE BENEFITS OF WORKING WITH A COACH. STAY TUNED FOR SPECIAL LIVE VIDEOS ON FACEBOOK, BLOG POSTS AND OTHER EXCITING EVENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS.
Cycling cleats are an often overlooked part of bicycle and equipment maintenance. Learn how to check for signs of excess wear and the best way to replace cycling cleats without altering your cleat position or sacrificing a crucial point of contact in your bike fit.
Learn from Coach Brady Irwin best practices when you go to refresh your Shimano or Look cycling cleats.
Are you not comfortable or confident in your ability to install your own cycling cleats? Are unsure that the position of your cleats is correct?
Schedule a regional fitting with a Science of Speed bike fit specialist to perfect your cleat position.