Colene – Crushing It

A conversation with Colene Crowley, Rio Strada Racer, on foundation phase training in the o2fitness-Rio Strada team training group…

Colene-BP-critI am loving the training.  Despite the fact I do not do all of it.  Now, the rain!!!

I can really do and like a controlled, planned, training session, there is a defined start and finish and I can focus, conserve and prepare and check off the boxes as we progress through the session.   But if it is unknown. . .like a race, it is not so good, too many elements come into play that are not controlled, hmmm.  I will always try to work hard and perhaps that will motivate others to push even harder too, harden than they think they can.

I like the focus on the trunk stability, adjusting the hips, maximizing power, I know I need to work on my pedal stoke and high cadence.  High cadence really poops out my legs.    I also need to work on my pedal stroke, I am imagining those ovals, but executing, who knows?  Especially during the sprints.

Julie, you are the first cycling coach that I have worked with, but I have worked with coaches in other sports, and you are amazing, you are holistic, so well studied, and almost guru like.  Quite an admirable talent to have an share with others.  I am glad that our paths have crossed.

I do hope that you are able to share your talents with younger athletes too.

Silver Sage Sports Performance Center – 02fitness New and Improved Services

Maximize Your Workouts with Silver Sage Sports Performance Center and o2fitness

We are proud to announce new and improved services. Read on…

Silver Sage Sports Performance Center has just installed the ParvoMedic True One Metabolic and Vo2Max testing cart. This is the unit currently in use at the US and Canadian Olypmic training-centers. The lactate threshold and Vo2max testing equips individuals with the tools to fine tune training. The science-derived test data allows athletes, from elite to recreational, to maximize their precious training time investment, determine individual fitness strengths and weaknesses, and to track training effectiveness. Professional bike fitting and gait analysis helps ensure biomechanical efficiency and is applied to help injured athletes return to action, provide injury prevention strategies and/or improve performance.

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) Testing

  • Provides scientifically derived  individualized, baseline daily caloric requirements
  • Indicates the body’s utilization of fats and carbohydrates for fuel at rest
  • Relevant for individuals interested in maintaining or losing weight

Vo2Max Testing

  • Indicates the body’s ability at maximum efforts to deliver and utilize oxygen during exercise
  • Measures cardio-respiratory fitness and aerobic performance potential
  • Estimates the body’s utilization of fats and carbohydrates at various intensity/heart rate levels
  • Identifies ventilatory threshold and corresponding lactate threshold to determine individualized training zones based on heart rate or power production

Lactate Threshold Testing

  • Measures blood lactate concentration – the best indicator for endurance athletic performance
  • Measures muscle metabolism during exercise
  • Estimates muscle fiber recruitment pattern
  • Scientifically identifies lactate threshold – the most valid physiological marker from which to develop specific individualized, heart rate or power production, training zones

RMR, Vo2Max and Lactate Threshold Testing Costs – $175 for one test; $295 for any of the above two tests* 

Professional, Dartfish Video Analyzed, Bike Fit

  • Fit performed by Julie Young, former  12-yearUS National Team/World Championship team member
  • Fit protocol utilizes aspects from systems developed by US National Cycling team; Specialized Body Geometry fit system; and Chris Powers, USC Movement Performance Institute (MPI)
  • Includes a 20-point biomechanical and flexibility assessment
  • Prioritizes tailoring fit to the individual’s range of joint and muscular motion and biomechanical strengths and weaknesses
  • Dartfish video analysis utilized to capture key fit positions to ensure accurate joint angles
  • Fit balances the individual’s comfort with the optimal power output/aerodynamic position
  • Includes guidance on strategies (developed at Athletes’ Performance and USC-MPI) to improve flexibility, strength and neuromuscular activation to continue fine-tuning and optimizing biomechanics, position and power output

Bike Fit Cost – Two hour initial fit, road- $200; time trial/tt-$250 includes one follow-up fit on same bike*

 Comprehensive Gait Video Analysis – Coming Soon

  • Analysis performed by Julie Young, USC Movement Performance Institute  (MPI) Specialist
  • System developed by Dr. Chris Power, PT and USC researcher and leading biomechanist
  • Analysis effective to return runners, walkers, team sport athlete to sport, provide injury prevention strategies, improve efficiency and performance
  • Key gait phases captured and analyzed with Dartfish video analysis
  • Learn proper body and joint position to optimize power and efficiency while reducing ground forces
  • Identify individual muscular and biomechanical weaknesses that are causing pain or potentially leading to injury
    • Address with individualized specific strength, neuromuscular activation and movement strategies (developed at Athletes’ Performance and USC-MPI)

Gait Analysis Cost – two hour analysis with Dartfish, and individualized strength program -$350*

Performance Training and Endurance Coaching

  • Tri-athletes (road and Xterra), runners (road and trail), cyclists (road and mountain), skiers (Alpine and Nordic)
  • Learn to utilize physiological test results as tools to improve training efficiency
  • Individually tailored daily training developed around an individual’s current fitness, future goals and life schedule – to maximize limited training time and achieve results
  • Science-based systematic ally progressed training helps individuals avoid injury, fitness plateaus and overtraining,  while ensuring improved fitness/performance

Training and Coaching Cost – start at $200/4weeks delivered via TrainingPeaks*

*Group discounts and team sponsorships available

For further information or to schedule an appointment, please visit or or email; or call 775/853-9394.

Team Rio Strada Winter Training Kicks Off

No matter the time of year – optimize your training opportunity by attacking each day, from rest to specific intensity, with understanding and purposeful intention.

Winter, so-called off-season, is an opportunity to build a wide deep foundation of cycling specific fitness that allows for improved in season durability and recovery. But there is a fine balance of working on specifics while maintaining the perspective that it is off-season and time to prioritize rest as well as mental and physical diversity to fully recharge and regenerate. The key is maximizing this phase of training to develop the endurance base and efficient cycling mechanics while also emerging hungry and excited to ride, not

At any point in the season, it is essential for you to work in partnership with your coach. As an athlete don’t resort to blindly, going through the motions of a prescribed training plan, but take the opportunity to understand the why of training and how you individually respond and adapt. The off-season is an ideal time of year, with no performance pressure, to develop this deeper understanding. It also presents an equally valuable opportunity for the athlete to take greater creative liberties with the training plan. This might include – performing the specified training elements but keeping it more spontaneous in nature; seizing the opportunity to do what feels and sounds right vs forcing that should do mentality; and capitalizing on a variety of endurance base cross-training opportunities like Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, trail running and hiking.

It is valuable to keep cycling specific elements in the training to fine tune and hone mechanics/economy of movement and cycling specific strength and power, but when possible mentally and physically mix it up on easy days and endurance days.

It is valuable to continue to remind yourself of the goals for the foundation/base training phase

    • Improve in–season durability (achieving higher intensities and improved recovery) and peak race fitness
    • Improve and build aerobic engine
    • Improve muscular endurance
    • Develop specific cycling strength
    • Hone efficient pedaling mechanics
    • Increase muscle mitochondria
    • Increase lactate threshold
    • Increase muscle glycogen storage
    • Develop general functional movement stability
    • Improve and maintain range of motion/flexibility/mobility

This year o2fitness devised a comprehensive season-long, systematically developed team training plan for members of the Rio Strada cycling team. It kicked off a couple weeks ago. It provides participants with a daily training plan posted on TrainingPeaks, supported by one weekly coached, structured team workout and one team endurance ride.

Thursday night team workouts, take place on turbo trainers – building that team togetherness and bonding. We use the Flower Farm in Loomis as our base camp, but also take field trips to other workout sites. Last week we swapped Wednesday for Thursday and met at the Folsom Rodeo grounds to spectate the Rodeo Cyclo-Cross. We took a night ride on the bike trail as our warm-up, and then positioned the turbo trainers and the most action-packed corner of the Rodeo cyclo-cross course. Spectating the roller derby on bikes, uber-energized the workout.

These weekly team workouts are opportunities to focus on key elements of base training, including – honing pedal stroke efficiency; economy of movement/speed skills; climbing technique/skills; specific cycling strength; tempo/medium endurance intervals; and improving in saddle horsepower and out of saddle explosive power.

These Thursday night workouts also include off-bike movement preparation, glute activation as well as functional strength. Throughout the year, cyclists (as well as all endurance athletes) need to prioritize non-sport specific functional strength in the form of dynamic trunk, single leg and hip/pelvis stability designed to improve cycling biomechanical efficiency. This functional strength conditioning also creates the safe and effective foundation of stability and movement, as we progress toward explosive plyometric strength training.

Sunday is the get out there and enjoy winter riding, with teammates training. The team meets and hits one of the multitude of world-class, rolling, ascending and descending foothill routes at a pure endurance pace.

Bottom line – we do not want to win training – we want to understand how each and every day connects to our long term racing goals, and hit each and every training day with intention and purpose. Maintain the big picture perspective to guarantee you are hungry to race your bike April through September.


Rio Strada Ripper – Rips the Davis Satruday Group Ride

image-1024x764I think I had my best Davis ride today. We changed the cranks to the 170s with standard chain rings.  Love the new gears. Much more comfortable and my legs did not hurt like they normally do. I can’t wait to get home and compare my rides on Strava to check the speed of this ride over last week. I am especially excited to check our the overall time of the climb –  I felt powerful, strong and efficient, and made it over Cantalo and down the other side in time to start the ride back with the group.



Kathy Barnhart’s Healdsburg Half

There’s 2500 race participants in Geyserville waiting for the start of the Healdsburg Half Marathon the last weekend of October.  The announcer is talking about the course, “there’s water at miles 2, 4,…and Accelerade at miles…and white wine at mile 10.  This is a beautiful course, so everyone needs to take advantage of the rolling hills, vineyards and lovely scenery.  Make sure you enjoy the race and have fun.”  There are several of us dressed up in Halloween costumes creating a festive mood.  Batman, Wonder Woman, 3 little pigs and a wolf, and several others are waiting for the start.  The announcer continues, “even the elite competitors in the front  should have fun and and take time to enjoy the course.”  Does that mean I should enjoy the wine at mile 10?I’ve been taking Julie’s running clinic, met some awesome running buddies, and want to see if I can improve my half marathon time.  I did the Seattle Rock and Roll Half in June with similar elevation gain and temperatures, so I should show some improvement.  At least I hope to have improved.  Maybe I should skip the wine.  But then again, how often do we get to drink wine during a race?  Well, let’s see how I feel at mile 10.

Everyone is ready to go.  Jimi Hendrix plays the national anthem.  Ready, set, and we’re off.  Around mile one, we’re running up a hill that’s about 1/2 a mile long.  We’ve been training on hills, so this should be a cinch.  O.K., keep the pace steady and comfortable.  I have 12 miles to go.  The ladybug who’s been next to me since the beginning seems to pick up her pace.  That’s OK, I can catch her in the downhill when gravity is my friend.  Down hills have not been a favorite of mine, because the impact seemed to slam my body.  Julie has taught me to embrace the downhill and has improved my form.  There’s a little bit of a bend in the road, and I can’t tell if I’ve reached the top and should pick up my pace for the downhill.  YEA, we’re at the top of our only big hill, and down I go.  And yes, I caught the lady bug!  I’m enjoying the downhill when a dog blows by everyone along the right shoulder of the road.  This isn’t someone in costume.  It’s a real dog who’s name is Willie.  I saw him wondering around the start, and apparently he has decided to join the race.  Is he looking for his owner?  Hope they find each other.  (More on Willie later).

On I go, mile after mile.  At mile 6 I look at my Garmin.  I haven’t done a 10K for awhile, but I think I’m ahead of my personal best.  I probably look at my watch every 1/100th of a mile before I finally reach 6.2 miles.  Cool, I’m about 1 1/2 minutes ahead of my best 10K.  Thanks Julie!!  O.K., don’t get too excited, I’ve got 7 miles to go.  Luckily Julie is in my head saying “Think about form.”  Pelvis, check.  Arms, check.  Glutes, check.

At mile 8, my calves are cramping a bit…focus on keeping my glutes activated.  I think I am, but it’s not helping.  What else can I do?  Julie always talks about pedaling an imaginary bike spindle.  I try this and am amazed the cramping seems to subside.  This is the time in my 1/2 when I typically have to deal with leg cramps and slow down a bit.  I’m able to keep up with a butterfly that’s just passed me.  Mile 9 comes up, and my calves are cramping again, and I”m no longer able to keep up with the butterfly.  Julie pops back into my head, “focus on form.”  It’s helping.  Margaret Skillicorn, who also took Julie’s clinic has a motto.  “I can do anything for 4 miles, I can do anything for 3 1/2 miles.”  Now I have both Julie and Margaret in my head.  The company helps!  Margaret is saying, “I can do anything for 3 miles.”  But my calves are cramping again.  Do I have some of the wine coming up and coast to the finish?  No, I want to see how much I can improve my time.  Julie pops in and says, “Focus on form, think about the bike spindle.”  It’s working again!  Shoot, there’s another hill.  It’s short.  Julie always says , “break the race course into segments and make that your race.”  I can push a little bit to make it to the top of the hill.  Focus on form.  Pelvis, check.  Glutes…arms…bike spindle, check.  I’m so focused on form, the pain is more tolerable.   I see the butterfly up the road again.  I can’t catch her, but at least I’m making progress.  I can do anything for 2 1/2 miles.  Shoot, there’s another hill.  Focus on form, get to the top.  I turn a corner and it’s less than a mile to the finish.  I start to pick up the pace.  I can do anything for a mile.  Well, maybe not.  I’ll break the last mile into race segments.  I pick up the pace for a block.  That wasn’t so bad, I pick up the pace for another block, and another block.  I can keep up the pace, and the finish is down a short hill and around the corner.  I can do anything for a couple blocks.  YEA, I am done!!

All of Julie’s coaching and training with my new run buddies was such a help.  I’ve been trying to improve my half marathon time for about 5 years and have only dropped 4 minutes.  Today I’ve been able to take almost 10 minutes off of my time since June.  Thank you Julie!  Thank you run buddies!

Willie the dog apparently won the race.  He was digging around some shrubs when I finished.  His owners were in Geyserville having no idea what mischief he had gotten into that morning.  He was later arrested by local law enforcement but bailed out by his owners.

Julie always talks about the recovery being so important.  Well, we’re off to a local restaurant for lunch and mimosas!