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Category Archive: training
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I found a great article on bikeradar.com entitled 30 reasons to take up cycling so I’ve edited them down and adapated my favourite 11. If you want to read the full article you’ll find it here.
1. Look younger
I’ve been blessed with good genes and many people tell me I look younger than I am but I’m glad to hear that cycling is also playing a part. Scientists at Stanford University have found that cycling regularly can protect your skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation and reduce the signs of ageing. UK Dermatologist Dr Christopher Rowland Payne explains: “Increased circulation through exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to skin cells more effectively, while ﬂushing harmful toxins out. Exercise also creates an ideal environment within the body to optimise collagen production, helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles and speed up the healing process.”
2. Increase your brain power
It’s also comforting to hear that cycling can also make you smarter. Researchers from Illinois University found that a ﬁve per cent improvement in cardio-respiratory ﬁtness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15 per cent in mental tests. That’s because cycling helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus – the region responsible for memory, which deteriorates from the age of 30.
Tonight I’m attending a ‘Performance women’s night’ at Jet Cycles in the Sydney CBD and next week I’m helping to organise an event at Ashfield Cycles. I actually started working at Ashfield Cycles a couple of weeks ago as a casual shop assistant and I’m loving it.
Here’s the details of the event next week.
I’ve just returned from an awesome long weekend in country NSW where I learned so much about bike riding in a short space of time.
The four day event, organised by Donna Meehan under the auspices of Cycling NSW was held in the central western NSW town of Bathurst and was attended by about 30 women who all have one thing in common – a love for cycling.
It was informative, fun, exhilarating and exhausting and ran from Friday morning to Monday mid-morning.
As you would expect with 30 women we all came from different backgrounds and varied in age from early 20s to 60s so a great mix of people to learn from each other. Most were from Sydney in various locations but there were also participants from Canberra and Bathurst.
I was riding recently with coach Donna riding behind and she gave me a tip about my pedal stroke. She suggested that I concentrate on one leg at a time and focus on pedalling in circles to make my pedal stroke smoother. So since then I’ve been practicing and have also done a bit of research on pedal stroke. I came across an article on one of my favourite women’s cycling websites - womenscycling.ca and asked permission to share it with you. The original article was written by Clair Cafaro……..
Focusing on a smooth, round stroke will actually help to produce more power per stroke. If you think about it, pushing and pulling connotes a linear trajectory, or at best pedalling a square. Instead, imagine the pedal stroke as a clock face.
I know that insurance is not exactly everyone’s favourite topic and it certainly isn’t mine and it’s also a ‘grudge’ purchase but if you’re going to spend a lot of money buying a beautiful bike, and spend lots of time riding it, then you need to think about insurance for both the bike and yourself. Thank you to Kate Bates for suggesting I write about this important subject.
I’m certainly not an expert on insurance so what you’re about to read is my opinion and not a recommendation, but I’m happy to share what I’ve learnt to benefit both female (my key audience) and male cyclists because the information applies equally.
I was lucky enough to spend the month of July in beautiful France and part of that trip was following the Tour de France from Stage 6 until the end. One of the great things about the Tour de France is the camaraderie that exists amongst all the cycling fans waiting by the side of the road each day.
That’s how I found out about the Austin Flyers which is a women’s only cycling club based in Austin, Texas in the USA. Jessica who is a member of the club came up to me and asked if she could have her photograph taken with our inflatable kangaroo, Daisy and of course I said yes. I noticed that Jessica was wearing a T-shirt with the club name on the front and asked her about it. That resulted in us exchanging details and me contacting her when I got home to write this blog post. So with Jessica’s help I posed some questions to club president Kate Sherwin and here’s her responses:
I think it’s only fitting that I should share my own story first. The accident I had on Sunday was not the first time I’d fallen or crashed off my road bike but it’s certainly the hardest I’ve hit the ground.
I’ve been riding for nearly four years and in that time have had about six ‘crashes’, all of them at low speed, some were ‘unclipping incidents’ where I failed to get my foot unclipped from my pedal and others involved obstacles.
One of the aims of this blog is to provide tips and ‘how to’ articles to help women improve their cycling but I’m not an expert on many topics so from time to time I borrow from others. This week’s post is courtesy of a great website called womenscycling.ca. It’s a Canadian site and has some great content for women cyclists. Thanks to Laurel-Lea and Sarah for allowing me to reproduce it here.
Written by Sarah Bonner
If you want to cycle faster, climb stronger, go farther, or burn more calories, intervals are the way to go. Intervals are timed efforts done at a specific intensity to improve strength, endurance, or threshold levels. Just like weight training makes you stronger, intervals trigger your body to adapt to hard efforts making them an integral training tool to improve performance. Whether you want to lose weight or avoid being dropped on climbs, consistently including intervals (1-2 times per week) can help you achieve your goals…….
I’m really excited about attending a women’s training camp in October to be held over four days and three nights in one of my favourite country towns of Bathurst, NSW.
I hold a little soft spot for Bathurst because it’s where I attended three years of Uni to study communication back in the 80s. Wonderful town and I’m really looking forward to returning there in October.
Cycle coach Donna Meehan and a group of female coaches have got together to organise a four day training camp to be held from Friday, 26 to Monday, 29 October 2012, aimed at women who are interested in racing and recreational cycling.
A question I’ve pondered a few times over the past few years since I took up cycling is whether I would benefit from some help from a coach. I remember discussing it with a few fellow cyclists a year or two ago and we concluded that it might spoil our fun. This is because other people we know who have been ‘coached’, always seem to be off doing serious training sessions, rather than enjoying the company of their mates on social rides followed by the mandatory cafe visit.
Well I’m pleased to say that I’ve changed my mind on that one and I now think I can have both. I chatted with Donna Meehan who is a cycling coach about it and she’s enlightened me. So next time I have a big goal I’ll be heading off to consult Donna.
The best way to describe coaching is to use a few real life examples and talk about how coaching has helped or could have helped. So let’s start with Donna herself. She started riding to lose weight when she was in her mid-thirties and by 40th birthday she was well and truly hooked. She recalls her favourite presents were her SPD pedals and diamond earrings.