Circle of Victory

News & Results

01/14/2003| 0 comments
by Seiji Ishii

Circle of Victory

Improving those circles can transform a perfectly fit cyclist into a devastatingly faster cyclist

Cycling is regarded as a rather simple activity; after all we have all been doing it since we were children. Break it down to the primary motion and all we are doing is spinning our feet in circles. This was obvious when we were children straddling a bicycle for the first time. The balance may have thrown us off, but with training wheels and a little encouragement from our parents, the balance came quickly and we have been spinning those circles ever since. That simple activity used to be nothing but child?s play has for many of us become a very important and consuming part of our adult lives. It is still play at heart but it has also evolved into a large goal and recipient of much time, effort, and sweat. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>


Training for competitive cycling usually revolves around such physiological markers as heart rate, power output and lactate threshold. Hours and hours are spent riding at predetermined heart rates or power zones, which in turn are based on your lactate threshold. Seasons, training plans, and specific workouts are designed with these markers and their corresponding effects in mind. Books have been written, labs have been staffed, coaches have been educated and riders have ultimately benefited from the increased amount of knowledge. Cyclists of today are much faster and fitter than cyclists of the past thanks to the ?smarter? training this research and knowledge have provided. Your fitness has surely benefited form this vast amount of research but how much attention is given to the technique of cycling? Rarely is it talked about, written about or studied to the degree heart rate and power zones are. How often do you analyze your technique and train to improve it?


Cyclists often forget or choose to ignore the most basic and simple part of the training equation: those simple little circles we have been making since we were kids. Maybe because it is so fundamental and we have been doing it for so long. When the cardiovascular fitness is there, when the training is there, it is a shame to be held back by those simple little circles. Why not perfect them as well, why not improve those circles and take full advantage of your fitness?


Lance Armstrong is a perfect example of how improving those circles can transform a perfectly fit cyclist into a devastatingly faster cyclist. We all knew his fitness and racing ability could net him classic or one day wins, but grand tours still eluded him. After his triumph over cancer he returned to the pro peloton a transformed cyclist. He went so far as, along with his team, to announced their intentions of winning the Tour de France. ?But he cannot climb,? the pundits said. ?He is a classics rider, not a grand tour champion,? we used to read. Well put three yellow jerseys in your pipe and smoke it. What was one of the keys to this transformation? Those simple little circles. Lance has honed his pedaling mechanics and greatly increased his cadence since returning


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