Maximize Your Off-Season

Fall in to Fitness Special

Maximize your off-season and cash in on this off-season special 16-week comprehensive, training program, including:

  • Daily individualized training program, tailored to each individual’s current fitness, future goals and life schedule, posted on Training Peaks, a web-based coaching platform
  • Endurance focused mobility-stability and strength program
  • Sport-specific strength and endurance base building
  • A metabolic efficiency test utilizing cutting edge technology to determine your individual, well-defined, optimal fat burning zone
  • Nutritional guidance to optimally couple nutritional choices with endurance base training to improve metabolic efficiency

Package Price: $875

Regular Price: $1,200

To redeem this special fall offer, training must be initiated by October 31, 2016.

 

Does off-season mean we hibernate and curl up in a comatose state on the couch with a bag of chips? Maybe not. Off-season provides an invaluable opportunity to give yourself a mental and physical hall pass from single sport focus structure. It is the time to step back and enjoy the opportunity of mental and physical variety. I like to think of it as, waking up and doing what sounds fun vs feeling obligated to a structured run or ride.

Take a Fall Hike

But in my experience as an athlete and coach, I have realized that off-season provides a valuable opportunity to improve endurance-related metabolism and movement. It is the time of year to prioritize improving the body’s ability to efficiently tap in to existing energy stores (ie fats). It is also the ideal time of year to capitalize on improving our functional movement and strength, so with this foundation in place we ride and run with more unthinking fluid, efficiency and power.

Metabolic Efficiency Testing to capture the individual’s optimal fat burning zone

Off season is the optimal time to couple endurance base training with a more carb restrictive diet to extend our body’s ability to more efficiently metabolize existing fat stores, and train this metabolic efficiency at higher intensities. Replacing calories expended during endurance pursuits with calories in, is not a realistic, but we can train our body to better utilize its infinite existing energy stores (fat). This is applicable for every endurance athlete, of every distance and discipline.

Movement Prep to activate the nervous system

We can also capitalize on the off-season to improve our ability to better control and coordinate our movements as well as boost functional strength. This change of mental focus from single sport specific structure to a more activation-mobility-stability and strength focus, provides invaluable mental and physical variety. But it’s not variety for the sake of variety. In my experience this off-season focus and investment is the secret weapon to in-season performance.

Activation exercises held statically at the end of range

The first-step in developing improved movement and functional strength is improving the brain to muscle communication. This is achieved with a series of research derived and lab tested activation exercises. I need to be able to feel the muscles, before I can strengthen and recruit the muscles in a movement. These exercises are focused on kicking the under-utilized glute muscles, in to action. If I can get the most powerful muscles in the body generating power – that will result in a significant performance gain. Improving glute-recruitment is also a key to injury prevention, as properly firing glutes (and a functionally stable trunk) dictate the hip-knee-toe alignment.

Stretching consistently included in stability-strength circuits

During off-season we can prioritize improving global mobility (not fixating on the single troublesome body part, ie tight hamstring) to move our body as a harmonious unit. Mobility provides appropriate sensory feedback, and biomechanical alignment. For example, most of us due to sedentary lifestyles sitting in cars and at computers are in a constant state of flexion, resulting in tight adductors and internal rotators, which internally rotate the leg, contributing to mal-aligned hip, knee and toe. Counter this constant flexion with a global, consistent mobility practice.

Learn to move well

Improved mobility for improved alignment is just one piece, we also need to ensure proper recruitment and strength from the stabilizers. By investing time in the off-season with an effective stability-focused program, you will develop muscles that create the foundational, stable platform for the prime movers to direct the force and power in the intended direction.

So what’s the point? We have the tools to help you capitalize and maximize your off-season. It is attention to these off-season details that will set your functional foundation in place, and you will reap in-season rewards of injury prevention and improved performance.

Holiday Special

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Give the gift of fitness. 

This month, give the gift of fitness and performance and you’ll be rewarded all year long. Let us know you’re buying your package as a holiday gift and we’ll give you 10% off the total!

To order your gift certificate and get your 10% discount,

please contact Julie Young at jyoung@o2fitness.net.

Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers. 

Journal Jog Training Plan for Advanced Runners

By Julie Young, Director, Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab

The Journal Jog is steeped in heritage; in fact, this year’s event is the 47th annual edition, and it is Reno’s oldest footrace.

So many of you may be approaching this event as seasoned, experienced runners planning to improve performance (and stay injury-free, of course) while competing at the top of your game.

The key to improving running performance is first and foremost staying injury-free. In our experience, runners can insure against injury by investing in consistent purposeful hip and trunk stability exercises, global mobility (joints, muscle length, soft tissues), quality work and quality rest, and a gradually progressed training program.

There should be a clear objective to each and every training session, as well as an understanding of how that relates to the goal — in this case, optimal performance in this 8K event. Empowered with this understanding, you can train more purposefully, which equates to more effective training and successful results.

Here are a few key components of a training program to get you in shape for the Journal Jog, assuming you already have a solid endurance training base in place.

  1. Consistent, trunk-hip stability work:
  • Training the ability to hold a stable, neutral pelvis and spine (to create a stable base to efficiently generate the power from the hips in to the lower extremities) x two-three days/week.
  • Hip activation (to improve hip recruitment in the running stride) x three days/week as a warm-up protocol.

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  1. Speed and power sessions; for example, a track workout with 3 sets (5×200 meter on/200m easy). The “on” is performed at 80% ramping toward 100%.
  • The objective is to institute solid, efficient mechanics, as well as to gain running-specific strength and power. We need to get fit to run, not run to get fit.
  • We start these at a more moderate intensity to ensure that purposeful, controlled mechanics are in place. Once established, increase the speed, power and intensity.
  • The goal is not how fast we can run at the expense of technique, but how well we can maintain solid, controlled movement under higher intensity. This workout, by controlling recovery time, also helps improve recovery rates.

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  1. Interval sessions for the 10-miler may start with lactate/anaerobic threshold intervals and progress to V02 type intervals, depending on each individual’s race goals.
  • Lactate threshold intervals train the body to more efficiently process the lactic build-up. Lactic acid is a by-product of burning carbohydrates. This easily metabolized fuel source is the energy of choice at higher intensities. As the intensity levels transitions along a spectrum from aerobic (with oxygen) to anaerobic (without oxygen), so does the fuel source from fats to carbohydrates.
  • By consistently incorporating these intervals (and we suggest alternating them on flat terrain and as hill repeats), at the appropriate time during the week, you will run, with more metabolic efficiency at higher speeds.

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  1. Supplement running with cross-endurance activities, such as swimming, cycling (road and mountain) and hiking. While we want to perform specific structured workouts while running to gain the greatest specific muscular and metabolic adaptations, using other forms of exercise to continue to develop and maintain a wide endurance base provides active recovery, mental and physical variety to avoid feeling obligated to running and injury prevention.

Ultimately, the key to successful training is individualizing the plan to efficiently and consistently fit all the training components into life’s priorities of family and work. Individually developed plans also consider how each individual adapts to the training load — to ensure adequate rest to counter-balance the work — resulting in a progressively upward performance trajectory.

Whether you’re looking to complete the Journal Jog injury-free or you want to set your own personal record, Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab helps people at all levels of ability. If you have questions about any of these workouts or are just looking for advice, email us at jyoung@o2fitness.net.

Link to: http://silversagecenter.com/sports-and-fitness/

 

 

 

Journal Jog Training Plan for Beginning Runners

By Julie Young, Director, Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab

The Journal Jog is widely known as a great first 8K for new runners. I mean, any race that features a division for pushing strollers and “caterpillars” — and of course, that encourages costumes — is probably a family-friendly, mostly low intensity event.

But many beginning runners find themselves overwhelmed as to how, and where to start training, as they gear up for a big race.

Every runner, new or experienced, needs to prepare themselves mentally and physically for the specific event’s demands.

The key to tackling the challenge of improving your running performance is first and foremost to stay injury-free.

Just getting out there and running doesn’t work for many people, especially if you’ve been away from exercise for any period of time. So the first step: Find a beginning running plan to follow. There are beginning running programs online, or an even better option may be to find a running coach to help you develop a comprehensive, gradually progressed training plan.

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There should be a clear objective to each and every training session, as well as an understanding of how that relates to the goal — in this case, completion of the Journal Jog. Empowered with this understanding, you can train more purposefully, which equates to more effective training and successful results.

Here are a few suggestions for beginner runners to improve the preparation and race experience:

  • Individualize your training and make it relative to your individual circumstances: A training plan needs to be based on your past and current training, current fitness and goals, and then gradually progressed as you adapt (this is very individual) to the training.
  • Toe the start line mentally and physically fit, injury free and hungry for action: The key to improving fitness and avoiding injury is a gradually progressed training plan.
  • Balance sport-specific training with supplemental cross-training for improved performance and injury prevention:
    • Focus on consistent hip and trunk stability, and general mobility.
    • Cycling, swimming and hiking are good supplemental cross-endurance training tools that will provide mental and physical variety.
  • Vary your training, which provides the opportunity to continue to challenge and improve:
  • Once a solid endurance base is in place, systematically and consistently include speed and higher tempo workouts in your training plan.
  • Train hard and rest hard – rest should be of equal importance to the running workouts
  • Quality workouts trump quantity.
  • Train to meet the specific demands of the Journal Jog:
    • Gradually build up your endurance toward the 8K distance.
    • Train at the intensity you hope to hold during the event.
    • Simulate the event’s terrain in your training – uphills, downhills and flats all present different challenges.
  • Use training to implement your nutrition, hydration and recovery strategies:
    • Believe it or not, chocolate milk tops the list for post-run recovery drinks.
    • Dial in your race-day nutrition during your preparation, not the week or day before.
    • Build your bank account of sleep leading into the race.

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Ultimately, the key to successful training is individualizing the plan to efficiently and consistently fit all the training components into life’s priorities of family and work. Individually developed plans also consider how each individual adapts to the training load — to ensure adequate rest to counter-balance the work — resulting in a progressively upward performance trajectory.

Whether you’re looking to complete your first Journal Jog or you want to set your own personal record, Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab helps people at all levels of ability. If you have questions about any of these workouts or are just looking for advice, email us at jyoung@o2fitness.net.

Link to: http://silversagecenter.com/sports-and-fitness/

 

 

 

The Low-Down on the Leadville 100-Miler from the Coach’s Corner

This year, I joined two of my longtime athletes, and good friends, Sian and Andy at the Leadville 100-mile Mountain Bike Race. My Leadville-rasion d’etre was not in pursuit of individual results but rather a fully focused commitment to ride alongside, pace and support Sian and Andy. The goal – completing the 100-plus miles in sub-nine hours and the belt buckle that goes with it. It was an amazing experience, rich with many learning opportunities along the way. A concise recap, with reflections and take-aways of our Leadville adventure, from my eyes, follows…

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Leadville Prep

Over the past year, Andy and Sian had consistently committed to a structured, training plan to prepare for Leadville. As a result they each made leaps and bounds in their cycling specific strength and performance, tactical skills and ability to mentally and physically endure endurance. During the training year we also capitalized on the opportunity to optimize metabolic efficiency, a key in ultra-endurance events, by phasing appropriate nutrition with appropriate training.

Effective training for Leadville is not based on slogging through more and more mindless endurance miles, but rather developing and improving sport specific strength, power, muscular endurance and pedaling  efficiency. Training is equally important for the mental conditioning it affords to tackle the mental demands of the event. So our training included workouts that demanded full mental and physical engagement, including weekly intervals, race rides and shorter XC races. We then punctuated these quality intensity days with simulated Leadville long endurance rides on dirt roads which included sky-high elevation gains.

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As a dress rehearsal for pacing at Leadville, I paced Andy at the Tahoe Trails 100, which was a valuable learning experience on the importance of racer to pacer communication.

The Game Plan

Pre-Leadville, the three of us had met on several occasions to discuss and fine tune our race day, game-plan – how we would race each distinct section of Leadville, and how I could best support their efforts. In this process, I realized success at Leadville demanded a strategic approach. It was also a time to consider contingency plans in the case of flats, mechanicals, etc. We also discussed the course of action in the case that either Andy or Sian might not being having a great day. Do we all three stay together no matter what, or does one carry on to go after the coveted sub-nine hour time?

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Another aspect of these ultra-events, which we were all well aware, are the highs and lows, we typically experience. (As a side note to this race recap, it seems this aspect is actually one of the allures of endurance events – challenging us to pull, or in this case, pedal ourselves mentally through the rough patches. As a result, we derive a deep sense of empowerment and confidence which carries in to every walk of our life.)

We also realized significant time could be gained or lost at the aid stations – so equipped with an amazingly supportive crew, we knew that “grab and go,” would be our motto.

A game plan was a necessity, for sure, and we were thorough in dissecting what we foresaw as every possible scenario. But racing is racing, and in most cases, things go side-ways, so that’s when the game-plan goes bye-bye, and nimble decision making kicks in. (Side note #2…this is again is one of those valuable lasting mental take-aways of physical racing, we throw ourselves in to these uncontrolled, challenging situations and learn, we can deal with it.)

The Rifle Goes Off

Race day delivered unusually warm temps and clear skies. We were fortunate to have an extensive, supportive crew – I think the ratio was at least two to three crew (if you count my dog Lucky), to one racer. We knew with our crew on hand, our aid station stops would be efficient. It was also reassuring to know those who genuinely cared for us, were standing by.

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Our race start went exactly according to plan, zipping down the still-sort-of-dark, Leadville streets, with 2,000 of our new best friends. We then funneled on to the dirt road, leading to the first, steep, pithcy climb, St. Kevins. It seemed a blistering start for a 103-miler. Once on the other side of St. Kevins we settled in to our rhythm as a three-person team. I set the pace up the climb to SugarLoaf depending on Sian and Andy’s communication to dictate the pace.

julie leadville 2015 sweep

The top of SugarLoaf led to the infamous Powerline descent. Andy is a Leadville Vet and had spent two weeks leading up to the race reconning the course, not to mention he naturally flies down descents – so we put Andy on the front to find the lines and lead us down. There were, for sure, some crazies on the way down, chomping on our tires from behind, trying to find a non-existent line to gain maybe 10, stupid- seconds. But the key was blocking them out, staying calm, relaxed and composed to focus forward, and not allowing them to pressure or intimidate. We dumped off Powerline, successfully – and regrouped to head across the flats, one of the most pivotal sections of the Leadville course.

julie leadville 2015 decent

Entering in to Leadville – I think most racers fixate on those parts of the course, the Powerline and Columbine climbs that have been sensationalized by the movies. But truly the place to make time, is getting in to a strong pace-lining group across the flats (relative – false flats, rolling, etc) between the bottom of Powerline and the bottom of Columbine.

Off Powerline, we found ourselves in a strong rotating pace-line of about 10-12 racers. We were cruising across a paved road at about 25mph, our race game plan was right on target. Then quickly and violently things changed – there was the terrible, unforgettable noise of metal screeching across pavement resulting in the traumatic scene of two guys and two bikes, strewn across the road, immediately in front of me. It seemed time stood still, I still see the scene vividly in my mind. But because it almost seemed in slow motion, I was able to somewhat devise a lesser-of-two-evils exit strategy, managing to lift my front wheel over the carnage, sparing the perfect broken collar-bone scenario. But my bunny hop skills still need work, and I was not able to completely clear it, getting bucked to the left and taking a hard hit on my left side head, elbow and hip.

In the ensuing chaos – I shewed Sian (who had hit the deck softly, landing on some others in the pile) and Andy on their way. I had thought my day was done. But I collected myself and started pedaling, I had to get to the Twin Lakes aid station, somehow, anyway. As I pedaled, I started catching and drafting others, and before I knew it, I was back up with Sian and Andy. I figured, I would give as much as I could, ride as hard as I could, as long as I could to help them. So from that point it was section by section for me.

julie leadville 2015 solo

This crash definitely threw a wrench in our race game plan. It was traumatic and as a result it understandably shirked Sian’s confidence to find and hold a wheel. But this is part of racing, so we mentally regrouped and forged forward.

What I realized over the remaining sections of the race was that having a single pacer for two racers in an event of this nature, was not effective. As I noted above, in these events we all typically have fairly defined highs and lows. During the remaining part of Leadville – Sian and Andy were unfortunately on opposite schedules of experiencing those highs and lows – each having strong sections, and challenging ones at nearly opposite times. In hindsight, in our attempt to stay cohesive as a team of three, I think they both seemed to have missed opportunities that would have improved their final times.

finishing with Andy

In reflection, it does seem the truly pivotal sections of Leadville, in terms of putting down good times, are on those flats, outbound and inbound, between Powerline and Columbine. I think too, it is that willingness, every so often in these ultra-endurance events, to push yourself that little bit more, outside the endurance comfort zone to, for example, bridge up to a wheel to get the free, easy, energy-conserving ride on the train.

sian finish

I am so proud of both Sian and Andy – they battled all day, exhibited the mental and physical strength derived from their commitment to year-long, consistent, purposeful training. At the end of the day – Sian and Andy left it all mentally and physically on the Leadville dirt. They overcame and ran toward rather than away from doubts and fears, and pedaled themselves through the rough patches. This is a prize far more enduring and powerful than any belt buckle.

And with all the adversity both Sian and Andy confronted, tackled and overcame, they both improved their past PRs by over 15min – a monumental achievement in this one-of-a-kind epic event.

Bike fitting: It’s not rocket science, but it is systematic

By Julie Young

Preface: Fitting road, cyclo-cross and mountain bikes follows a similar formula; TT and Triathlon bikes depart from this formula. For this article, we will focus on the road bike.

I enjoy the bike fitting process because it’s not only an opportunity to help educate athletes about the importance of fit in terms of preventing over-use injuries and improving performance, but it’s also a chance to help them understand that with commitment to consistent off-bike mobility and stability work, they’ll continue to improve their fit and power output.

The fit process is more than simply manipulating the parts on the bike; it’s the opportunity to help athletes understand how joint range of motion, muscle length, stability and posture relate to improving the fit and performance. Additionally, it’s also an opportunity to share insights about pedal stroke technique and efficiency.

It seems most of us think we just hop on our bikes and go, with little regard to fit. While cycling is low impact, there is potential for overuse injuries when we consider that we’re locked in a position at the hip and the foot, making a repetitive movement over extended periods of time. And we also want to maximize our ability to use the bike as a tool, meaning we want to be properly placed over the bottom bracket in order to recruit the appropriate muscles around the circular pedal movement.

Bike Fitting is Based on a System

We need to base the fit on a system. Oftentimes clients come in for a fit, and they have cherry-picked the fit system, tried this, tried that, and now find themselves in a state of confusion and discomfort. It goes something like this: “Oh, I read this blog, so I tried moving my seat back. Then I felt stretched, so I lowered the saddle and then moved it forward. And then…”

You get the picture?

But an effective fit is methodical and follows systematic steps.

The Interview

Understanding the individual off the bike is the first priority. The systematically approached bike fit considers what each individual rider brings to the fit in terms of past injuries, muscular length, joint range of motion, how they spend the majority of their day, and their personal cycling goals.

We start our fit at Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab with an interview to understand the rider’s goals for riding and motivation for the fit (resolve pain or improve performance), followed by a 20-point physical assessment to understand the individual’s off-bike skeletal structure and movement patterns, as well as flexibility and ranges of motion.

During this off-bike interview, we also want to understand how the athlete spends the majority of his/her day, as this greatly affects the bike fit. For example, if they sit slumped over a computer for eight hours a day, this is likely the posture we will see on the bike. This off-bike investigation allows us to better focus the on-bike fit.

Physical Assessment

During the fit process, we’re helping the athlete understand how different aspects of the off-bike physical assessment relate and connect to the on-bike fit. For example, we measure hamstring length and hip flexion, which helps determine the appropriate saddle-to-bar drop. Some people come in with an idea of how they should look on the bike as a road racer or triathlete. But an aggressively aerodynamic fit can only be effectively achieved if the rider possesses adequate range of motion/muscle length and the ability to hold integrity of neutral pelvis and spinal posture.

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That said, the bike fit process is not a one-and-done, but rather an evolution, and through off-bike work of mobility and stability, the fit will continue to evolve and position improve.

On the Bike

Once we have gathered this off-bike information, we can finally jump on to the bike.

Saddle

One of the most important starting points of the fit, is ensuring the width of the saddle supports the individual’s sit bone width. Often, people purchase saddles because they like the look – which may provide the right saddle one out of ten times. Fit clients will also argue that “I love my saddle, it feels fine.” Yet when we reference the client’s sit bone width to the current saddle, we discover the sit bones rest off the side of the saddle, placing the body weight on the soft tissues rather than on the bones.

Ensuring that the main contact point – the saddle — is appropriately fitted to the client not only ensures that soft tissues remain healthy (blood flow and unobstructed nerves), it also ensures that the bony land marks (sit bones) are squarely established on the saddle, to provide proper upper and lower body alignment.

A couple examples of repercussions of incorrect saddle sizing are:

  • Often when a saddle is too narrow for sit bone width, the cyclist sits crooked sit on the saddle, resulting in one knee coming in to the top tube, while the other one drifts out.
  • Improper support at the saddle often also results in bearing too much weight on the handlebars.
  • Loss of blood flow to soft tissues and nerve damage.

We have three contact points on the bike and need to make sure we disperse the pressure appropriately across those three contact points, and within each contact point avoid peak pressure.

Cleats

Traditionally the cleat was placed in the fore/aft position so that the first metatarsal lined up with the pedal spindle. Now, we are moving the cleat as far back as most shoes will allow, placing the foot farther forward. This achieves a few things:

  • It reduces the compression and resulting collapse on the metatarsal, thus helping to reduce the innervation of nerves in to the toes.
  • Cleats placed forward equates to pedaling with the toes and heavy reliance on the quads. Bringing the cleat back allows us to share the load and better recruit the glutes in the pedal stroke.
  • It creates a more rigid lever in the foot and more effective power translation in to the pedals.

We set the rotational aspect of the cleat placement based on how the athlete’s foot naturally hangs. We then ensure that the natural is the rider’s neutral and there is a little float on either side.

The Fit

IMG_0760We have two fits we offer: optimal and accommodated. The optimal fit places the rider in system-determined neutral range of flexion. For example with the knee extension at the bottom of the pedal stroke, we place the rider in approximately 30 degrees of flexion, knowing that the safe window of knee flexion is 27-37. We recognize that cycling is dynamic and, for example, as we climb we may push back on the saddle, reducing the knee flexion, and as we move forward on the saddle, across the flats we increase this flexion. This being the case, when the rider is seated on the saddle, where they spend a majority of their riding time, is at either end of this safe, knee-flexion range.

In an accommodated fit, these ranges are modified in order to accommodate an individual’s current pain or restrictions in range of motion. So for example, if a fit client comes in with a knee replacement, we might consider moving them slightly farther back than the deemed neutral fore/aft position to help alleviate the femur-to-patella compression.

Reach – Proof is in the Posture

Once the saddle height and fore/aft have been established, then we dial in the reach. The saddle height and fore/aft has more tightly determined rules in order to protect the knee and optimize muscle recruitment. But the reach is where we can accommodate issues of inflexibility, injury and pain with varying degrees of stem slope and length. But ultimately reach rests on the ability to establish the sit bones, find neutral pelvis and spine and engage with tummy up and in, and maintain that neutral while hinging at the hips to reach the bars. The saddle provides the support, but the trunk and pelvis provide the stability so the arms and hands remain light.

It has been interesting to me to realize, more and more, the absolute importance of posture in the bike fit and optimizing power output. As cyclists we fixate on the legs, but it must start with pelvic and spinal posture. In fitting, one of the greatest complaints is lower back pain. In nine out of ten times, this is a result of sitting on the bike with a posteriorly tilted pelvis and curved spine. This not only leads to pain and over-use injuries, it greatly inhibits power production from the hips in to the pedals. The key to resolving lower back issues and improving power is finding neutral pelvis and spine, and hinging at the hips to reach the bars.

Additional Teaching Opportunities

We use the bike fitting process as an educational process to empower the athlete. This is accomplished through:

  • Single-leg pedaling drills. These help us — as fitters — to understand the individual’s motor skills and strength left to right. It helps the athlete understand how they can polish their pedaling technique to improve efficiency.
    • During the single-leg pedaling drills, we discuss our views on how to utilize the ankling technique around the pedal stroke. While there is no absolute and this varies with each individual and based on terrain and intensity, we stress that for all joints not producing power, it is optimal to maintain a more neutral position, which goes for the ankle as well. We articulate the ankle around the circle to produce a tangential force, but it’s just enough. It’s not a stiff ankle, but a stable ankle. And extraneous movement is simply energy leak.
  • Stabilizing and recruiting muscular power in to the pedal. During the fit process, we ask the rider to hold the pressure we produce by pulling back on the wheel. This simple exercise provides insights on strength left to right, as well as how the rider stabilizes to produce power in to the pedals.

It’s More than Just Manipulating the Fit

The fit is the opportunity to help individuals connect the importance of the off-bike work to continue this on-bike improvement, in terms of fit, injury prevention and performance. In our fits, I think the value-added is the off-bike hip activation, hip and trunk stability, as well as mobility exercises we provide. With proactive off-bike work, cyclists will continue to improve their fits, performance and cycling experience.

What differentiates our fit from others is that it is comprehensive and robust and constitutes more than simply manipulating the fit. Our fit empowers the athlete with the understanding of the off-bike, proactive measures they can take, to continue to improve the fit and performance. And we support the athletes in this objective by providing specific activation, mobility and stability exercises to accomplish it. During the fit process we also provide insights regarding our thoughts on maximizing pedal stroke efficiency.

Whether you’re looking to ride injury-free or you want to set your own personal record, Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab helps people at all levels of ability. If you have questions about bike fitting or are just looking for advice, email us at jyoung@o2fitness.net.  

Breaking Barriers Women’s Race Ride

Check out the Breaking Barriers Women’s Race Ride we have created…

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There are bunches of training race rides (River Rides, Coffee Republic, Folsom Bike, Drop Ride, Wheelmen races, etc), which i think are invaluable training tools for leg speed, and dig-deep high intensity efforts. But I am hanging on by the skin of my chin in these training race rides – with not even a chance to throw down a well-timed race tactic.

Breaking Barrier provides just that venue for women to get a high intensity workout and take advantage of the opportunity to gain race tactic experience. As a successful racer – you must have the basic requisite of fitness to be a player, but ultimate success is knowing how and when to conserve in order to use “it” when the small voice of intuition says, “Go!” You learn by trying and this venue provides the perfect opportunity to race with clever, intuitive abandon and leave it all out on the road.

Let me know if you are interested, and I will add you to the Breaking Barrier FB page

Team City Junior Mock Race Clinic

Looking forward to Taking It To the Streets coaching the Sacramento Team City Juniors in a Mock Race.

Its a great opportunity to share my experience and perspective on all of the ingredients that contribute to successful racing. It starts with the bike fit for efficiency and handling, and consistently following a well-structured training plan.

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But fitness is only the very basic requisite that allows us to be a player in the race – its ultimately positioning near the front; conserving when possible in order to use “it” when it counts; reading the race and learning better what to expect; and employing intuitive tactics – for me this means listening and acting when the small voice says “go”, to go without hesitation or doubt.

For this clinic we have recruited some of the area’s women racers to act as mentors, and help create a more dynamic challenging mock race feel for the juniors. Mentors are sure to gain as much knowledge and experience as the juniors.

The Mock Race format as follows…

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We create teams of four.

For the initial part of the race – we have the teams huddle-up  and devise their team plan. We race a one lap race, each lap the team designates one leader. They as a team will figure out how to best help the designated leader, based on his or her strength, win the race. Each person on the team will have the opportunity to be the designated team leader. After each lap – we regroup and critique tactics as well as answer questions.

During the second part of the race –  two sprint lines are marked on the course, and the teams will practice giving lead outs, again rotating the designated sprinter.

Race 178, 10-miler – Key Components to a PR Training Plan

By Julie Young, Director, Silver Sage Fitness and Sports Lab

As the official training partner of the Race 178 running series in Reno, we have provided a series of training articles on how best to prepare for the demands of the specific events within the series. Each article also specifies the targeted runner – beginner, intermediate or advanced. The following article offers advice for advanced runners pursuing a PR in the upcoming Race 178, 10-miler. Enjoy the read…

The key to improving running performance is first and foremost staying injury-free. In our experience, runners can insure against injury by investing in consistent purposeful hip and trunk stability exercises, global mobility (joints, muscle length, soft tissues), quality work and quality rest, and a gradually progressed training program.

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There should be a clear objective to each and every training session, as well as an understanding of how that relates to the goal, in this case a 10-miler. Empowered with this understanding, you can train more purposefully, which equates to more effective training and successful results.

Here are a few key components to a 10-mile training program, assuming you already have a solid endurance training base in place.

  1. Consistent, trunk-hip stability work (training the ability to hold a stable neutral pelvis and spine and efficiently generate the power from the hips in to the lower extremities) x two-three days/week and hip activation (to improve hip recruitment in the running stride) x three days/week as a warm-up protocol.
  2. Speed and power sessions for example a track workout with 3(5×200 meter on/200m easy). The “on” is performed at 80% ramping toward 100%. The objective is to institute solid, efficient mechanics, as well as gain running specific strength and power. We need to get fit to run, not run to get fit. We start these at a more moderate intensity to ensure that purposeful, controlled mechanics are in place. Once established, increase the speed, power and intensity. The goal is not how fast we can run at the expense of technique, but how well can we maintain solid, controlled movement under higher intensity. Also, this workout, by controlling recovery time, helps improve recovery rates.
  3. Interval sessions for the 10-miler may start with lactate/anaerobic threshold intervals and progress to V02 type intervals, depending on each individual’s race goals. Lactate threshold intervals train the body to more efficiently process the lactic build-up. Lactic acid is a by-product of burning carbohydrates. This easily metabolized fuel source is the energy of choice at higher intensities. As the intensity levels transitions along a spectrum from aerobic (with oxygen) to anaerobic (without oxygen) so does the fuel source from fats to carbohydrates. By consistently incorporating these intervals (and we suggest alternating them on flat terrain and as hill repeats), at the appropriate time during the week, you will run, with more metabolic efficiency at higher speeds.
  4. Supplement running with cross-endurance activities, such as swimming, cycling (road and mountain) and hiking. While we want to perform specific structured workouts while running to gain the greatest specific muscular and metabolic adaptations, using other forms of exercise to continue to develop and maintain a wide endurance base provides active recovery, mental and physical variety to avoid feeling obligated to running, and injury prevention.

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Ultimately the key to successful training is individualizing the plan to efficiently and consistently fit all the training components in to life’s priorities of family and work. Individually developed plans also consider how each individual adapts to the training load, to ensure adequate rest to counter-balance the work resulting in a progressively upward, performance trajectory. Whether you’re looking to complete the Reno 10-Miler injury-free or you want to set your own personal record, Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab helps people at all levels of ability. If you have questions about any of these workouts or are just looking for advice, email us at jyoung@o2fitness.net.

Truckee Trail Running Group

Training Program Details

  • Complete 12-week weekly group training
  • Starts June 1
  • Weekly group workouts Monday 7am, on various Truckee trails depending on the specific workout
  • $180 program fee by May 25 -increases to $220 after May 25
  • Minimum fitness requirement: must be able to run 5 miles
  • Training group open to all who want to expand their understanding and tool kit of structured, effective workouts, in a supportive, positive group setting

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Training Program Participants Receive

  • Secret weapon workouts to include hip activation; trunk-hip stability and dynamic movement preparation. Specific stability and mobility strategies to improve running efficiency, durability and performance, while preventing injury
  • Access to the o2fitness video library providing a resource and reference for the above activation, stability and mobility work
  • Expert coaching and support
  • Monday coached workouts, meet at various Truckee area trails and include – speed to improve economy of movement; ascending and descending technique/skills; track workouts to improve specific running power and strength; tempo and sub lactate threshold intervals; as well as in-the-field video and gait analysis.
  • An opportunity to meet new running partners
  • 10% discount on Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab services for the duration of the program – including Lactate Threshold, Vo2 and Metabolic Efficiency Assessment testing, and Dartfish video-USC Movement Performance Institute certified gait analysis
  • E-mail support – individual questions regarding training and running related issues

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Contact Julie Young at jyoung@o2fitness.net for further information and to register

**Julie Young is the Head Coach of O2fitness and Director of Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab, former 12-year US National A-Team Cyclist, World Championship Team member, multiple European Stage race winner; as well as winner of Tahoe Rim Trail 50K, Headlands 50K, Lake of the Sky and Golden Hills trail marathons