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Benefits of cycling

Should Your Cycling Fitness Change Over The Year? | Ask GCN Anything


(dramatic sounds effects) – Welcome to GC anything. – Coming up this week
we answer your questions on knee pain, training
when under the weather and how to go about choosing an upgrade. – Oh, exciting stuff. But before we get straight into it, the next weeks show is
our Christmas special. Now, for this we thought
it would be a great idea for you to be able to ask your questions to specific presenters. For example, – Well, I just wanna know
how long them batteries in Emma’s motor last before they wear out. (drum sounds) – Nice one, Chris, nice one. And to do that, it’s same as always, use the hashtag TORQUEBACK and then put the presenters name you are putting your question to and hopefully they’ll answer it. – Yep, and don’t forget if you wanna be in with a chance of winning a
free three month subscription to Zwift use the hashtag ASKGCNTRAINING. – Yes. Alright, we should get
straight into it, should we? – Come on. – Right, we’re gonna go straight in with the first question from David Wilson, I’ve been getting knee
pain from long rides. I have had bike fits and regular
physio, physical therapy. I want to maintain and
even improve my form. What exercises and activities
can I do off the bike which will help develop
or maintain the muscles and fitness needed for
when I am on the bike? What do you reckon, Chris? – Well, you can start with
something like swimming because this is wildly recognized to help build up your um, aerobic- – Yes, super good for recovery, isn’t it? – Yeah and it’s really low impact as well. So if you got any niggles
it’s gonna be good for that. – Yeah, I do. – I would also try some stretching after all your sessions
when your muscles are warm. Because that will really help any tight muscles that are
causing those knee injuries. – Yeah. So, I reckon just try and do some cardiovascular fitness,
like swimming for example and try and stay clear
of the impact sports, cause that will really agitate the knee. – Ketaki Deshpande writes in with, should I invest in an indoor
trainer or some good tires, or maybe even a new cassette and chainring which would be a more
suitable gearing for me? He actually wanted to get a power meter but decided it was too costly, which I can understand. – Yeah, interesting. All those upgrades would be good, but, ideally you wanna
hone down on the one thing that you’re doing regularly
that will actually enhance that. So for example, if you
can ride outside at all then getting an indoor trainer is probably not the most ideal thing to get. Maybe a set of new tires
that are more grip, you have more punch resistance
would be more ideal. If for example you
could train indoor a lot and that would really benefit you then an indoor trainer
would be good for you, if that makes any sense. – Yeah and likewise, if
there’s terrain out there that you’re not currently using because your gearing doesn’t suit it, then getting new gears is
definitely gonna make that easier and more accessible to you. – Yeah, so hone in on
the thing that’s really like, you’re doing and that’s
gonna be beneficial for you if you got the upgrade. – Cool and if you wanna
know more about upgrades, check out Dan still in
the countryside somewhere talking about them. – So tires are a great
way of saving a few grand and making a bike feel that much better. Don’t go for anything super, super light. That way you’ll be even more
susceptible to punctures. But a good quality folding tire with a high thread count
will make a big difference, if you’re somebody that’s
used to a beaded tire which is quite heavy. (dramatic sound effects) – Zwiftly moving on? – Oh, Chris that is good, that is good. Yes. The winner of this weeks
Zwift question is.. – Jacob Sargent. – Yeah, right on Jacob. So you’ve got a three free
month subscription of Zwift coming right your way. For this question, how
much can your FTP fluctuate throughout the year. I have found that mine has
become about 10 watts lower, going into the winter. What is the best way to maintain and raise my FTP during those
cold, wet winter months? – Well, you know what Jacob? I wish that mine only even
fluctuated by 10 watts. – Me too, mate, me too. – But, sadly, that’s not the case. Your fitness is not a constant at all. It’s always either slightly going up or slightly dropping off and there’s nothing you can do about it and that’s just a fact of life. So your best off accepting
that it’s perfectly fine for you FTP to fluctuate by 10-12% or even more in some cases. And once you’ve done that, well then you want to look at the Zwift 12 week fitness
builder, or the FTP builder. – Yes, 100%. Now you’ve got a three
free month subscription, why don’t you start off
with using that FTP builder as part of your training program. And hopefully that will
start seeing your FTP going in the right direction
to getting 10% better, not 10% worse. – Yeah, 57 workouts tailored
specifically to your needs and your current FTP
to help you really push the boundaries of what you can do. – Yeah, have a go of that. It looks quite tough
though, don’t you think? – 57 workouts, I don’t know
how you can manage that. – Jacob, ouch. – Glenn Parr is up next with, what is the best training to do when you inevitably get a winter
cold and you can’t do much, but you don’t want to lose any progress that you’ve already made. – Oh, good question and I think all of us
athletes, cyclists out there just wanna get straight back on the bike and really don’t wanna
miss any time off the bike. But the best thing to do and we can’t stress anymore than that is just to rest. Stop what you’re doing, have a day in bed and try and get over it
as quick as possible. And then hopefully you can get
straight on the bike faster than if you kinda dragged on. Cause the worse that you could do is get on the bike too soon
when your immune system is low and your body’s already
trying to fight the illness and then it just prolongs the illness and you just don’t want that. So just try and hit it on the head. – You don’t want three
or five days becoming 10 days to two weeks, do you? – Yes. – Cause that’s just gonna write
you off for the next month. – Next question from Bill C, I’m planning on riding in a very hilly, high altitude, week long
Fondo here in Colorado, oh I’d love to live in Colorado. I have a lot of weight to lose
to get up all those hills, but I also want to build
my endurance to crank out those multiple long days of riding. How should I plan my training
to achieve both goals? I do have a Wahoo Kickr Snap trainer as well as a cold weather clothing for our often dry winter days. Well, Bill, it sounds
like you got yourself a really, really cool
challenge there for next year. – Yeah. – And the way we would
recommend going about it is to slowly, but surely
build up the volume that your completing each and every week and also the volume on each day. So, you wanna do one to two or maybe even three long rides if you’ve got the time. If you’ve only got a weekend day then a long ride on the Sunday with some proper good intervals, which will really help get you over those climbs on the other day. So, you’re like 12 minutes
and a 12 minute max effort, three times, so you’ve got around 30 to 40 minutes in total
workload in that session. – Yeah, and I would just try and string a few weeks together and then try to have a
bit of an easier week and then try and string
another few weeks together and that would really help
you come on and get fit. So, good luck for that Grand Fondo and do let us know how you get on in the comment section below. We’d really be interested to hear, yeah. – Yeah. – Next question we have
is from Stefan Boogard. I really like the shows and this winter I started doing some weight
training twice a week to prepare for the racing season. Should I combine this with
specific FTP or tempo training or is it just better to do the rides next to the weight training and start the specific road training when the weightlifting is over. I’m worried I might overtrain if I’m going to combine the two of them. – Interesting one, I would
absolutely combine the two. – Yeah. – So I would do your riding in the morning and your weight session in the evening. But that’s my personal
preference, you may be different. But, yes, I would not neglect the riding because that is a really big part of getting fast on the bike. – Yeah if you do your weight training as a complimentary type of
training to your road riding and you really do not wanna miss out on those longer efforts, those harder efforts, cause that is your fitness
that you’ll be building, specifically for your racing. – Yeah, your priority is your bike riding and your weight training comes next. So, make sure you’ve
done all your bike riding and like Chris says, the
strength training is a bonus. – And good luck, if you do
feel tired, take a day off. – Right, now it’s time for.. – Quick fire round! – Chris, that was beautiful. And the first question
in from Erwan Lacoste, Hi GCN, should a rider
always know which speed he is riding at, at any time? Do the pros have some kind of hidden gene that tells them if their mechanic is switching gears when servicing, or does their brain keep
track in the background any change of shift they operate? So basically what you’re saying is do the pros just
automatically know what gear and when to be in it and what is the best gear to be in? – Well the answer is simply yes, because as a pro bike rider you become so incredibly in tuned
with how fast you’re going, what your cadence is, and what gear you need to
be in for that given speed and that circumstance. You could almost probably
tell the mechanic the gear ratios yourself. – Yeah, 100%. And I think you know, pros
ride their bikes everyday for hours and hours on end. And you do, like the bike just naturally becomes apart of you. – An extension. – Yeah, so, literally, you don’t even really
need to think about it, it’s second nature what
gear and when to be in it. Christopher Reis then, next up, I am planning to do my first
bike race early next year. So I’m really in need of a little Zwift to make the indoor sessions more fun. – Yeah, 100%. Zwift actually really
helps get the winters passed by really quickly
and take your mind off it, because you are racing on the game. Actually, I say racing,
get involved in the racing. Cause it’s a really good way
of doing really hard efforts without even thinking
you’re doing hard efforts. – It’s harder than real life. – Yeah. And there’s also workouts in there, too. – There are. Right, my favorite one
next up, Fluffy Domo, torqueback should I cut
off my friends dork disc? And it’s my favorite, because I had no idea
what a dork disc was. – I don’t know, I don’t know either. – What, really? Okay, lets do this. Its the little plastic dish that comes on the back of brand new bikes and wheels sometimes. – Ahh. – And yeah, you should
definitely get rid of it. Because it looks awful. – Have you seen one? – Well not for years,
but, I’ve seen pictures. – Yeah, nice. Next question, Stanislav, can I get the same
benefits from Zwift racing as from structured Zwift workouts? – Well, yes and no. I mean, I did a Zwift race the other day and it was kind of a relentless,
on the pedals effort. It wasn’t a particularly
anaerobic effort at all, it’s full on aerobics. So that’s kind of what the Zwift workouts are star towards as well. But, the Zwift workouts are
designed specifically to target certain energy sources
so, you wanna use those if you wanna build specifics
into your training. – Yeah, I personally
do most of the workouts and then maybe once or
twice a week I’ll do a race. – That’s the way to do it. – So, yeah. But, have fun and make sure you do what’s best for you, really. – Next question, comes
in from James Williamson, I’m needing to replace
my headset bearings, what improvements could buying
better bearings give me? – Well other than buying
bearings that are better sealed, or bearings that are maybe
a little bit lighter, then the benefits won’t be huge. So, just go out there and
find one that fits your bike and gets the job done and you’ll be fine. – Yes, like when you turn your headset, your headset bearings are
only moving a quarter amount and it’s not going to improve
your riding, for example. It’s not gonna make
you faster on the bike, but it will make you
feel a little smoother. So, yeah, like Chris said, just get a set of
bearings that do the job. – Yeah, it’s a bit
different to your wheels- – We’re forgetting it’s a bit far out. (clicking) – Girogio Nitzia, – I’ve seen a lot of
pros doing mountain bike during off season. My question is, do they push hard or do they just stay in zone one to three. I find it very difficult to maintain a constant pace on the mountain bike. But I want to ride it cause it’s fun and helps with my technique. Now, Chris, you love
– I do, yeah. – mountain biking in the off
season, so tell me what you do? – Well so, I would just go out and ride it on feel, completely. And that’s the beauty of it, it’s so far removed from road cycling, it’s more about technique
and about having fun than it is about sticking to
certain zones, or whatever. If you really want to use a
mountain bike for training, then you can use like,
fire tracks and all that and then you can stick to your zones. But, it’s actually all about forgetting the strict regimented training and just enjoying riding a bike and working on your technique. – Yeah, I would second that, 100%. I would keep your zone efforts
and keep your FTP threshold, VO2 max all that kind of stuff, I would keep that to the road and your structure work out to the road and like Chris says, just
go, get muddy and enjoy it. (upbeat Christmas music) Unfortunately we have come to the end of this weeks Ask GCN Anything. – If you want to ask one of
the presenters next week, on the Christmas special
– Yes. – A question, us the hashtag TORQUEBACK and then drop their name in it as well. – Yes, 100% and as
always, if you wanna get, be in with a chance of winning
three free month subscription from Zwift then use the
hashtag ASKGCNTRAINING. Be a nice Christmas present
actually, wouldn’t it? – Yeah, it would be. Just like this outfit would be as well. – Yeah. – Alright, anyway, let’s
go to the party, c’mon. – Are we late? – Well, I think so, yeah. Blimey, it’s dark. – Oh, Christmas party. – Oh! – Woo! Party on!

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