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Have you ever mentally prepared for your sport? Whether it’s a long training ride, your first 100 mile ride, or a big race, being mentally prepared can create a huge advantage and make the ride much more enjoyable. Sam Boardman, rider for H24 Cycling, shares 4 ways to take away a lot of stress during your upcoming race or ride.

4 Ways to Mentally Prepare as a Cyclist

1. Make sure your bike is tuned

One of the biggest things you can do to prepare yourself and avoid a lot of stress is make sure your bike is tuned and dialed right before the event. Having a faulty or broken component is the last thing you want to deal with and have to fix.

2. Understand what is going to be demanded of your body

You want to also make sure that you understand what is going to be demanded of your body during the event. Doing specific workouts for the event can be very beneficial. For example, if you know your upcoming race is going to have a long, steep climb, try practicing these so you will know what it’s going to feel like come race day.

mentally prepare3. Visualize the race

Try picturing how the race might go down and how you would react in various situations. When the race comes around, you will be mentally prepared for anything that may arise and not have to stress when it comes time to perform.

4. Get excited, but don’t psych yourself out

Before going into an event, understand what you want to get out of it. This can help prevent you from second guessing yourself during the event and keep you moving forward. Many times, riders set high expectations for themselves, which can lead to a negative mentality if things don’t go as desired. Be excited for the event but don’t psych yourself out. Ride your own race and know that you’ve trained and prepared for this event. At the end of the day, you’re doing it because you love riding your bike.

Part of the preparation for being a cyclist is not just physical, but mental too. Being mentally prepared will help you adapt and deal with any situation that may arise throughout the event, as well as give you the confidence to move forward. When stress is low and you are able to focus on your ride with a positive mentality, you’re going to have more fun and be more successful in your ride.

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goal settingThe first step in accomplishing your goals is setting them. The Marc Pro team asked our athletes, “How do you set goals for yourself?” with the hopes that these athletes’ responses can inspire your own goal setting.

Goal Setting with the Marc Pro Athletes

Ben Greenfield

How do you set goals for yourself?

I test my blood, urine, stool, saliva and nervous system health for key biomarkers, then customize and adjust my daily habits, bio-hacks, workouts, diet and supplements accordingly!

What is your main goal for 2017?

To continue my pursuit to teach people how to attain an optimized human machine with a high functioning brain and body. But for my personal health specifically, I’m planning on putting on about 15 pounds of muscle, along with speed, power and strength in 2017!

Brian MacKenzie

How do you set goals for yourself?

Through inspiration. That can come through pain, suffering, joy, or love. It has to be felt though, and I have to understand that feeling. If I don’t explore the feeling nothing will occur.

What is your main goal for 2017?

To get closer to what we are naturally capable of doing and being.

Emily Bridgers

How do you set goals for yourself?

Evaluate your priorities first and then set realistic goals based on how you prioritize. Make sure those goals/priorities are in line with your lifestyle and have a plan to make them happen. Make general and specific goals. Write them down because you are more likely to achieve them!

What is your main goal for 2017?

Be present. Continue to push the boundaries of my athletic potential and lead by example throughout my fitness/competitive journey.
In other words, appreciate my talents daily and the people around me that have allowed me to get this far. Honor these gifts by continuing to pursue CrossFit competitively and being the best athlete, coach, and influencer possible.

Philip Mooney

How do you set goals for yourself?

I like to think about what would make me proud, and what would make my daughter proud of me. The answer to that can usually be found by winning a big race!

What is your main goal for 2017?

I’d like to set the fastest time riding from the bottom to the top of Mt Tam on Railroad Grade.

Chris Harland-Dunaway

How do you set goals for yourself?

First I think of a race I love and have the ability to win (this requires some ambition and imagination, but also an idea of races you’ve succeeded in the past). I then address the main weakness in the way of me winning that race. Is it tactics? Conserving energy? Having a better threshold? Having better punch? Having a better sprint? I think that identifying your main weakness in your way is the best way to take on a challenging goal, and then really addressing it once or twice a week in some way, for months.

What is your main goal for 2017?

Win White Rock Road Race.

Sam Boardman

How do you set goals for yourself?

For me, and much like many other people, setting goals equates to growth, both on and off the bike. Whenever my coach and I map out the races for the season, or my general training, every year we have tried to up the intensity bit by bit. Whether that meant augmenting the volume or hitting races with a more competitive start list, the objective has always been to push my body and mind further and further out into that unknown gray area of physical and mental limitation, trying to make the unknown known. And I think, getting on a more existential level, that’s the whole point of sport. When you boil it down, in the grand scheme of things winning a race means very little to those other than the person who actually won it, and that’s because of that process of discovery. Understanding that YOUR own body is the one capable of overcoming that obstacle, be it a hill, a certain distance, or just some stupid fast peloton full of other racers just as gritty as you are, is what makes bike racing so special, and what guides my goal setting process. What are the steps I need to take to achieve that euphoria? That being said, that euphoria doesn’t always come in the shape of actually winning a race. This year, being new to the team, I have very few goals that don’t include the team.

What is your main goal for 2017?

This is my first year racing at the domestic elite level, and I right now, my only goal is to be a sponge. My teammates have amassed an unbelievably amount of experience that I want to absorb and learn from. If that means working for another teammate, I am more than happy to do so. But if I were to pick a specific race, I would have to say the Chico time trial. I have a score to settle with that stage that has been haunting me for the better part of the year, and I am intent on getting that monkey off my back with a result this year.

Blake Anton

How do you set goals for yourself?

I do it based on a couple of criteria. First is what races are fun and I love. Sometimes it is the course, the spectators, or the region. Second is what are the team’s goals? Got to keep the guys upstairs happy! Lastly, is what would push and develop me most as a rider? Reaching outside of your comfort zone in bike racing is tough, because you generally get your teeth kicked in, but you have to do that to push yourself in training, trying to eek every drop of potential and performance out. And every one in a while, you get lucky, have great legs, and it becomes your day.

What is your main goal for 2017?

Poyang Lake will probably be my biggest goal for the year. It is an incredibly beautiful race in a stunning region of China, is quite difficult, and is a major team race.

Sam Bassetti

How do you set goals for yourself?

One of the things that drew me into this sport in the first place was a desire to find out how good I was and how good I could become. When I first started racing in the Nor Cal High School Mountain Bike Racing League, I wasn’t fighting for podium spots. I was fighting to finish inside the top 50. Seeing the work I began putting into the sport translate into results was always very satisfying, and it still is today. The desire to see how good I can be has become a guide for my goal setting.

What is your main goal for 2017?

My goals always force me to ask myself, “Can I be that good? Can I be that fast?” This year I want to win the Sunset Road Race stage of the Redlands Bicycle Classic.

What are your goals for 2017? Tweet your goals to the Marc Pro team at www.twitter.com/themarcpro.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it is fitting to take a moment to reflect on what we are thankful for in each of our lives. And, as research shows, feeling gratitude can actually be beneficial for your health and overall well-being. The Marc Pro team asked our athletes one simple question—what are you thankful for in 2016?

As you will read, each Marc Pro athlete expresses different thoughts of gratitude, even with the highs and lows in athletics. The overall takeaway from these tremendous athletes’ experiences is that no matter what, there is always a silver lining to draw from and use as fuel moving forward.

What Are You Thankful For in 2016?

marc pro ambassadorsHeather Jackson

“I am extremely grateful for my family and friends who love and support me and each other through anything and everything.”

Scott Panchik

“I am thankful for my family and having the opportunity to wake up everyday and do what I love!”

Brian MacKenzie

“I’m thankful for change being a constant.”

Ben Greenfield

“This Thanksgiving, I am particularly grateful for the chance to ride my bicycle through the crisp, clean fall air and visit all the local organic farms that surround my little home here in Spokane, WA. There’s nothing like foregoing the Gatorade and instead stopping to pick an organic apple on a bike ride!”

Philip Mooney

“This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for beautiful places in the world and the ability to explore them by bike.”

Emily Bridgers

“I am thankful for my health, my family, my 15-year old dog (Dottie), and my business (CrossFit Terminus)!”

marc pro ambassadorsMatt McKinzie

“This year I am thankful to be able to ride my bike injury free. I am also thankful for the great people I worked with and the help I received at physical therapy.”

Sam Boardman

“I’m grateful for the support and love of my amazing parents. They are the ones who continually motivate and encourage me to push myself both on and off the bike. They humble me every time I am with them with their kindness and enthusiasm, and remind me every day how I lucky and privileged I am to be able to ride my bike and enjoy the life that I have with the amazing people around me.”

Matthew Tracey-Cook

“I am incredibly thankful to have a supportive, loving family,one that understands my need to spend a bunch of time training on my bike. I am also hugely thankful that I live in a country that is stable and peaceful!”

Sam Bassetti

“I am thankful for the ability to travel to new places and experience new things.”

Ben Ragains

“I’m thankful for family and friends who are always pushing me to seek the next adventure.”

Amanda Burrill

“I am thankful I had the patience to endure all my surgeries this year with a smile still intact, thankful for the forecast of being physically 100% for 2017, and thankful that Marc makes my neck and upper back feel cozy every night before bedtime!”

marc pro ambassadorsChristopher Harland-Dunaway

“I’m thankful that cycling has taken me to places I would have not otherwise venture to – whether it’s the wilderness of New Mexico, the hills of the Belgian Ardennes, or the hustle and bustle of downtown Vancouver, I really appreciate mind-opening encounters with new places and people.”

Ryan Moore

“I’m thankful for, well, this is a multi-part deal; I’m thankful for cycling. But it’s deeper than that. Before I started riding or even racing, I was honestly pretty lost. I was unhealthy, a pack a day smoker, and didn’t have really much going on at all. I started riding an old Bianchi ten-speed to get to and from work after moving to the Bay Area. Then I started racing cross. I met my best friend Justin around this time and at my second race ever, I met my now longtime partner Sofi (also now a cat 1 bike racer). Fast forward a few years and I’m on a team where I’m fully supported and race with great dudes, and I have a career as a cycling coach that is incredibly rewarding and also allows me to train and race. I’m grateful everyday of how much cycling has giving me and how transformative it’s been in my life.”

Jonathan Penaloza

“I am thankful for the privilege to ride bikes with wonderful people in beautiful places, even when the road ahead may be unknown and challenging for us all.”

The entire Marc Pro team would like to wish you and your family and friends a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.

cyclingWritten by competitive road cyclist Normand Richard:

Patience and perseverance are two things that are hard to swallow in a world where you check the weather, answer an email, and order a pizza on your phone within a minute.  For me, cycling is a case in point for this. Barring exceptional genetics (thank or curse your parents), becoming good takes patience, perseverance, and plentiful practice.

Last year I got my category 1 upgrade mid-summer, and was over the top to be able to race the Cascade Cycling Classic with the big boys aka the Pro’s and the Cat 1. The transition was brutal; I wasn’t the best at positioning myself in the peloton and the speeds where higher. Low and behold I was dropped the first day and that was the end for me. Similarly my attempt at BC SuperWeek last year, several criteriums (crits) over one week, was also less then successful with me lasting only a quarter of the races before being spit out the back.

You might be wondering by now why I’m sharing these rather embarrassing experiences with you. Well it’s to show that if you fail you got to get up, change your game plan and try again. Here’s what I did:

Equipment

For the crits I used deep wheels (I chose the Energy Lab V90) that would help carry speed and minimize re-accelerations. Carrying as much speed as you can is key to saving your matches when you really need them. I also used amber lenses on my Rudy Project glasses as these crits happen in the evening while the sun is setting. Some guys go with no glasses but there’s always the risk of a rock being kicked up, and my eyes get watery in the wind (yup, that’s my only weakness).

Recovery

SuperWeek crits usually finish around 8-830 PM, and by the time you get home its 9-930 PM. Having your nutrition dialed is essential, particularly because these races are back to back. This year I was working with Picky Bar, and always made sure I had a bar (more like two bars!) and a full bottle to start my recovery ASAP. The other downside of these night races is that you can’t always properly cool down as the course is shut down quickly and it might be too far or dark to ride home. My tactic around this was to use the Marc Pro to help flush out my legs while eating dinner once I was at home.  I definitely felt looser the next day and had a little more snap.

Perseverance

Despite not achieving the goals I wanted to at BC SuperWeek and Cascades in 2015, I persevered and signed up for both again. This year, the crits were a success; I finished one and practically completed another one before getting caught in a crash at the end. Then I was able to secure a guest ride with the upcoming domestique elite team Support Clean Sport/SeaSucker/Guttenplan Coaching  for Cascades. Cascades was much better, fitness wise I was at a higher level, I knew where to be in the peloton and how to eat/drink sufficiently for these big stages. Luck wasn’t on my side, as I was caught in a pile up on the first day, suffering road rash on my left side and bruised ribs. I managed to push through three out of the 5 stages before finish outside the time limit (crashing takes some out of you!). Was I disappointed? Yes. Will I keep going and race Cascades again? Yes.

The take home message for this (other than crashing will happen!) is that good results and satisfaction take time. So be patient, have fun and enjoy the journey.

Written by competitive road cyclist Normand Richard

This might be the first time you read a report about a race that’s yet to happen. I’m actually writing this one week out of my A goal of the season; the provincial time trial championships.

trainingI wanted to shed light on the process of building and preparing for this 50 something minutes of racing that will happen next week. The process started a year ago after the 2015 TT champs (finished 6th if you wonder). Driving home, I was still riding that post race euphoria and said to myself “hey… given another solid year of training I could move up a few spots”. Easier said than done, when you’re already working 40hrs and training ~13-15hrs per week. Thus began the brainstorming; how can I increase and improve my training. I contemplated quitting my job (Ill advised by my family, friends, and coach!) but did negotiate a modification of my work hours (still 40hrs) so I could focus on 3-day training blocs, enabling me to do 16-18hrs weeks. Following that I tried to see where I could acquire marginal gains. I invested in the MarcPro recovery system to make sure I was ready to hit my next sessions, partnered up with Picky Bar (a bar made of such basic but good ingredients a 4 year old knows what they are) for the seasons’ fueling, invested into the best aero helmet I could find (Rudy Project Wing 57) and a very fast wheelset (Energy Lab out of Calgary, Canada).

The 3-day bloc was a new approach for me that my coach and I decided to try. Start off with 2-3 hours Friday, a “kitchen sink” workout Saturday and a long endurance ride Sunday. A sample Saturday would be efforts on trainer, then ride endurance outdoors, then another effort on the trainer, then flop on the couch with MARCPRO while destroying a PickyBar, nap, hangout/dinner with my very tolerant girlfriend, then hopefully bed by 930PM.

This may seem like a monkish lifestyle (and sometimes it sure feels like it) but I enjoy the process of training. For me completing a workout brings personal satisfaction, and hitting the targeted power on intervals is a small victory. I like tinkering on my bikes to make them faster, and enjoy reading sports science literature to see how I can improve my performance and recovery. If you are familiar with different types of motivations (intrinsic vs. extrinsic), you’ll notice that I focus a lot on the process/journey. Cycling is a brutal sport, unlike team type sports (soccer, basketball) where you’re the winning or losing team, the margins of winning in cycling are slim and depend on how the course suits you, so if you compete only for winning you’re in for a good one.

I’ve already determined three personal objectives coming into this race and “my placing” is not my number one objective (its number 3 actually, trust me I do like performing well!!) as I have no control on who is going to show up and on what form.

The take home message from all this is: find your passion and do it because it’s rewarding to you, you’ll have more fun in the long run. I don’t know how I’ll place out there next week, but I do know I’ve prepared myself and had fun in the process.

Post race note: A downpour occurred during the race. I lost control (think I hit a hidden pothole) of my front wheel and crashed heavily. This goes to show that anything can happen on race day independent of how prepared you are. Now time to nurse an achy head and think of the next race.

justin rossiThe Marc Pro team caught up with Justin Rossi, who just earned his triathlon pro card at the Ironman 70.3 in St. George. Rossi is also a member of the top-ranked cycling team, Team Herbalife presented by Marc Pro & Nature’s Bakery. Keep reading to get the scoop about Rossi’s favorite lifting exercise, how he sets goals on a regular basis, and his favorite treats to satisfy his sweet tooth!

1. How did you get started in the sport of cycling?

My background is centered around swimming. I swam my whole life and throughout college at the University of North Carolina. After my time was done, I hung up the suits and said I would never swim again! I kind of stumbled upon cycling in my late 20’s. My buddy from the fire department convinced me to buy a road bike, and I mostly used it to lean out for the summer time beach body (I was a big old meat head in my 20’s weighing in at 220). I started riding more and more and another Fire Department buddy convinced me to do a race around Lake Tahoe. That got the competitive spirit going again and the rest is history.

2. You recently achieved pro status at the Ironman 70.3 in St. George. Could you tell us about how you felt achieving that goal?

Last summer I signed up for my first triathlon. I kind of got the itch to try something new after a long, stressful race season. Although I’ve never run in my life, I had the first two disciplines down…and thought running couldn’t be that hard? I signed up for St. George last winter and figured I would have enough time to get my run up to speed to be competitive. Unfortunately, I spent the whole winter hurt and just focusing on bike racing. April came and the injury was improving, so I put myself on a little plan to be able to finish a half marathon. The race itself was a blast, and I was super happy to finish that run in one piece!! The Pro status feels like a huge reward for a lot of hard work, and I can’t wait to line up against the big boys next time!

3. What is Team Herbalife? How many cyclists are part of the team?

Team Herbalife, presented by Marc Pro & Nature’s Bakery, is my home competitive cycling team. I have spent my entire cycling career with the team and had a hand in bringing it from a small local team to the nationally competitive team it is today. We have 16 Category 1 racers and a hand full of stud Masters. The team is now run by the legendary Phil Mooney.

4. How do you set your own goals?

Goals are a key ingredient in the madness of endurance sports. You have to have some motivation for those days that just don’t feel good. I sit down after I have had some time off the bike and think about what I want to shoot for in the year to come. I’m not sure where my motivation comes from. I definitely have a competitive side but I also really enjoy training and pushing my body.

5. How do you use the Marc Pro to supplement your training and recovery?

The Marc Pro is a standard in my daily routine. Any free time I have in the evening or right after training, I am glued to it trying to increase my speed of recovery for the next day. I have all the massage and recovery tools littered about my house, but the Marc Pro is by far the most universal and helpful. It is also easy to travel with, so I always have it on the road and at work. I think I used it for a good 8 hours on the drive home from St. George (My wife was kind enough to drive).

justin rossi6. What is the most challenging workout that you have ever done?

The most challenging workouts are the ones where “I don’t feel it.” We all have bad days, and my bad days are horrendous. Fighting the physical feeling of a bad day is one thing, but then you have the mental challenge. As athletes we are very aware of what we should be able to do and when the body is not having a good day, it’s a challenge to tell your mind to chill out and that everything will be OK. Doubt is a very powerful emotion and it’s important for athletes to use it versus let it destroy them. For the number geeks out there (myself included), a great VO2 workout I do regularly – 12 sets of 3:00 @440 watts with 3:00 rest. It’s amazing by the last few how short that 3:00 rest interval seems.

7. Do you incorporate weightlifting into your training routine? What is your favorite lift or exercise?

Weight lifting is a big part of my off-season and early season routine. Once it’s go time and the training really ramps up, I put the weights down until the following off-season. The Squat will trump all other movements until the end of time.

8. What is a motto that you live by?

In terms of athletics? CONSISTENCY is the most important tool for any athlete. I’ve written about this before but consistently train hard, consistently recover and consistently eat right!

9. What is one fun fact about you that you would like to share?

Sushi is my secret weapon and Reno is the home to the best “All you can eat Sushi” in the world!! I have never had a bad day following a massive sushi gut bomb.

10. Treats: Sweet or Salty?

If you know me, you know how much I obsess over food. I will eat anything, but I really do have a sweet tooth! Cookies, candy, cake, pastries, donuts you name it…

Want to learn more about Justin? Check out what his day-to-day routine looks like through this documentary. The Marc Pro team congratulates Justin on attaining his Pro Card, and wishes him the best of luck with this season!

active recoveryRecovery has become a huge buzzword in the fitness community in recent years. Athletes of all sports are starting to realize the importance of recovery, not only for improving their performance but also for health and injury prevention purposes.

What is Active Recovery?

If you have ever watched the Tour de France, you know that riders don’t just stop after each stage is over- they hop on the trainer. Why? These competitive cyclists are taking advantage of the time immediately following the race to reap the benefits of active recovery. For those who aren’t familiar with this principle, active recovery is the process of contracting muscles in order to bring fresh blood and nourishment into the area and flush out the waste through the lymphatic system. This muscle activation is the key facilitator for all stages of the recovery process. Forms of active recovery include a light spin, jog, swim, or hike- the key is that the activity is light and doesn’t cause any additional fatigue to muscles.

Why is it Important?

What many people don’t realize is that recovery is an important part of any fitness routine, whether you are sore and in pain or not. The bottom line is most athletes are not recovering sufficiently, which means they are leaving themselves prone to overuse injuries, using improper biomechanics, and are not getting the most out of their training sessions. Every cyclist knows, when your legs feel better you can go harder and longer on the bike day after day Not only does this create exponential fitness benefits, it’s just more fun.

Limitations of Active Recovery

The biggest limitation with traditional active recovery is that you can only do so much active recovery before muscles start to become fatigued and break down again. When the goal is to recover muscles, the last thing you want to do is put any more stress on them. Plus, for most of us trying to get the most out of a busy schedule, a light spin or jog after an already time-consuming workout isn’t a viable option.

Benefits of Marc Pro

For athletes who want the best recovery possible or don’t have additional time to set aside for recovery techniques, Marc Pro is the answer. Marc Pro is the only electronic muscle stimulator that creates a strong, yet non-fatiguing muscle contraction. The device uses a patented technology which allows for the most effective, efficient, and convenient recovery.

“Even if you’re not trying to win the Tour de France, riding faster and farther is just more fun. That’s why active recovery with Marc Pro has become an integral part of so many riders workouts.”

In this video, Peloton Magazine discusses the importance of active recovery and benefits of Marc Pro.

 

 

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stravaWillie Myers, cyclist for Herbalife p/b Marc Pro Strava, wrote about his adventure to Lompoc with his buddy Garret Hankins to compete in the 805 Crit Series.  The two had an interesting weekend filled with lots of cycling and podiums.

6/25/15: Last weekend, my buddy Garret Hankins (Team Mikes Bikes pb Equator Coffees) and I loaded up the car headed south to Lompoc for the 805 Crit Series. With 3 days of racing and some solid purse money, both of us were looking forward to a full weekend of 90-minute crits. We decided that going down a day early to relax on the beach seemed like the logical decision. We drove down on Thursday, only to discover that the beaches were temporarily closed. Disappointed, but a perfect reason to sit in our hotel room and watch cartoons for hours and hours.

Which is exactly what we did.

Day One: Hancock Twilight Criterium

With strong winds and a subtly curving course, the racing was aggressive from the gun. I found myself off the front for most of the race with a combination of Logan Loader (Amore & Vita), Brandon Gritters (Rock n Road) and rotating door of other riders; some would bridge, then others would get dropped. And repeat. With 5 laps to go, the break had swelled to 9 riders including Garret (who sprints REALLY fast); it was clear we would be staying away.

With two laps to go Gritters put in a haymaker of an attack which got us chasing hard. In our frantic chase effort we managed to lap the field and catch Gritters. 300 meters from the finish Loader launched his sprint as I was coming around when Garret blew by me and posted up for sweet, sweet glory. If you’re going to get beat it might as well be your bro who does it.

Day Two: The Avenue of Flags Criterium

Bigger field, more wind, higher temperatures, and bounce houses.

Plan for the day: make break, win bike race, eat cheesecake. I was hoping we would get a few easy laps before things got lively. These hopes were dashed as people repeatedly threw themselves off the front.

At some point, I decided it would be a good idea to bridge to a dangerous looking move and -Wham! Bam! that was the break. We built a large gap and kept the pressure on; eventually lapping the field. With me, was my Herbalife pb Marc Pro-Stava team mate, Josh Carling.

Coming through bell lap Josh charged to the front and took control through the tight final few corners leading into the finish. Going kamikaze speed into the final corner, Cory Williams (Incycle – Cannondale) dove the inside of Josh, with his teammate Hunter Grove glued to his wheel.

After some bumper boats with Hunter I got a clear line through the corner and sprinted real real hard to victory. With my 2nd place on the first day and my win I was now leading the omnium leading into the final day. I got my cheesecake on the way home.

Day Three: Valley of flowers Criterium

As I walk to registration I wonder to myself, “How is it possible that there is more wind every day. When does it end? How much prerace did I just take?”

With my energy levels all but topped off I lined up for the final day of racing. I’ve never worn a leaders jersey so that was a nice change of pace. I will now sum up the first 45 minutes of racing…ATTACK, CHASE, ATTACK, PRIME LAP, ATTACK, get really tired, realize I shouldn’t have been attacking, hang on for dear life.

At some point Logan Loader and Brandon Gritters got off the front and built a sizable lead over the field- they were gone. I had a healthy lead in the omnium points but I can never say no to a good field sprint. With a couple laps remaining Team Clif Bar had 7 guys on the front keeping the pace high in an effort to deter anyone from slipping away.

Last lap I kept sheltered and out of trouble, knowing thatI could make up a few wheels in the long final straight. I jumped with 300 meters to go and had clear skies to the finish winning the sprint for 3rd.

With three podium trips in three days I sealed up the omnium with Garret in 2nd, Brandon Gritters 3rd, Logan Loader 4th, and Pete Morris (Team Clif Bar) 5th. Huge thanks to Mike Hecker and all of the people that put on an amazing weekend of racing.

Cant wait for next year.

cycling seasonCycling is a worldwide activity that people of all ages and backgrounds enjoy. Some people bike for leisure, while others bike to commute where they need to go in an environmentally-friendly way that also helps them improve their fitness.

However, competitive cyclists are the ones who enjoy testing their mettle against other riders. The 2015 cycling season is the time when these competitive athletes get to shine. As the 2015 cycling season prepares to enter its peak, here is what you need to know about upcoming events and how to prepare for them.

Highlights for the 2015 Cycling Season

The National Criterium Calendar (NCC) lists all the upcoming cycling events that are sanctioned by USA Cycling and allows cyclists to earn leaderboard points for high placements. Because of the growth in popularity of the NCC, three extra events have been added to the 2015 cycling season.

On March 28, cyclists in the southern U.S. can partake in the Sunny King Criterium, located in Anniston, Alabama. In May, east coast cycling enthusiasts can participate in the Wilmington Grand Prix, which will take place on May 16 in Delaware. Later on in the summer, cyclists can partake in the Intellogentsia Cup in Lake Bluff, Illinois on July 25. The last event of the year on the NCC calendar is the Connecticut Cycling Festival in Hartford, which will happen on September 20.

Getting Ready for the 2015 Cycling Season

While cycling can be a fun and relaxing activity, for competitive cyclists leisure is far from a priority. These are the cyclists who want to win, often, and by a significant margin.
Whether it’s your first cycling event or you are a seasoned veteran of the circuit, it’s important that you take steps to get ready for the peak of the 2015 cycling season so that you are prepared to perform at a high level. Some of the tips we suggest are:

As you prepare for the 2015 cycling season, be sure that you have all the tools needed to help you keep up with the field to enjoy both the physical and competitive benefits of bicycle races.

h24 cyclingThis post was taken from Herbalife Marc Pro Strava rider Matt Chatlaong’s personal blog, where you can find many more entries, sample recipes, and more at: www.theweightinggame.com.

 

Feb 6: 184.2lbs

2015 is going to be a different year for me, not only as an athlete, but as a person. Things seem to be in a different alignment than they have in years past. Just a little over one week ago, I realized this, and it all came together after one conversation in particular. Over the weekend of February 6th-8th, our Herbalife p/b Marc Pro – Strava annual team training camp was held in El Dorado Hills, CA. Team camp is always a joy, an awesome time to hang out with your teammates, see how everyone is riding, get to know your sponsors, accumulate all kinds of new gear, and better yet – get to know your management.

Day 1 of team camp was about seeing how we were all riding as individuals. We each completed a 30 minute individual time trial effort in the pouring rain to determine our fitness. This was nothing short of a suffer-fest. (https://www.strava.com/activities/251274266) Later that evening, after a couple of sponsor presentations, Bruce Hendler of Athleticamps came by to perform a body fat analysis test on all of the riders – something that he had done at our December Mini Camp as well. I’ve always been afraid of these things… Why, might you ask? Because I’ve always been self-conscious about my weight, being a “fat guy”, and basically not pushing the limit of healthy body fat levels. After this test, it was brought to my attention that my body fat percentage had not decreased since December at all, in fact, it may have even gone up.

Holy smokes…. Here I am, riding and training as hard as I can, and all of my fitness is going to be masked by weight that ruins the “Golden Ratio” of cycling. (watts/kg) Team Director Phil Mooney even had improvement, and that guy barely trains. Upon discovery of his improvement, and my lack thereof, he decided to have a talk with me. The conversation went something like this: “Ok, look. I was just like you were at one point. Going pretty well, doing great at local races, just cruising along at 90%, not really doing shit actually. I’m not going to have this conversation with you to give you an eating disorder, but that’s basically what I’m about to do. If you want to make a career out this, and you want to move to any level higher than this, you are going to have to commit yourself and go all in. You’re basically gonna have to just give it 100%, everything you have. Think about it. You train well, and you make a lot of power on the bike, now imagine if you could lose 6% of your body weight. That’s more improvement than most people will ever have the chance to make, and all you have to do is give it your all. This won’t be easy, I’m not telling you that it will be even close. But just think about it.”h24 cycling

Well, a couple days later, it occurred to me that I was going to do it. I was going to commit 100%. This is something that I’ve never done before, something that I could never let myself do out of fear. I’m pretty much taking a leap of faith here and trusting that I will succeed. There’s always been excuses: I don’t want to have obligations and pressure from pro level teams, I’ll never be able to get an education if I try to make it in cycling, I could do it – but I just don’t want to. The bottom line is, I want to, and I have always wanted to, so I am going to give 100%. This doesn’t mean that I am quitting school, quitting my job, and relying on my parents’ to take up all of my expenses while I give cycling a go. Phil brought up a great point – “If you can’t do this while balancing all of those things, then you are never going to make it as a pro. They are going to expect you to get exponentially better when you get on, and that’s when you worry about scaling back.”

So this blog is going to take you along for my journey of 100%. I am going to show you how I lose weight, what I am eating, what my training looks like, and how I live. Best of all, you will be helping to hold me accountable as a reader, checking in to see where my weight is, what recipes I am posting, and how my progress looks. Over the past 10 days, I have taken my calories into great consideration, and by eating veggies and lean meat, and cutting out most of the grain products I used to eat, and I have lost a little over 3lbs. Stay tuned for the first weekly post with recipes and more!

– Matt Chat

top cycling recovery tipsCycling is a very popular recreational activity and often a form of transportation for many people. Whether you ride a bike to your workplace to cut down on transportation costs, or you prefer tackling challenging cycling routes in your area for recreation, you know that a cycling session can be strenuous. Here are the top cycling recovery tips to help you cut down on the amount of time you have to spend off the bike.

1. Compression Treatments

Compression is important because it helps your body’s natural recovery process by helping flush out the waste in the muscles that are used during cycling. This can function in a similar way as massage therapy: speeding up the recovery process and minimizing your downtime.

2. Stretching and Range of Motion Exercises

These exercises are valuable for cyclists because they help improve the strength of ligaments and joints that are used during cycling, which reduces the amount of recovery time these parts of the body need. Stretching can also help improve your circulation.

3. Get A Proper Bicycle Fit

The type of bicycle that fits you depends on your riding preference. For example, some cyclists prefer to be more upright while they ride, while others like to lean forward, Whatever style you prefer, be sure that you have a bike designed to accommodate your personal style and your body type. You also may want to look into articles of clothing that can be used to treat particular muscle areas, such as stiffer cycling shoes.

4. Improve Your Diet

The foods you eat can have a big impact on how fast your body recovers from exercise. Lean meats with plenty of protein like fish and chicken as well as foods with antioxidants like blueberries can help your cycling muscles recover.

5. Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water will help you make sure your muscles can perform at a high level. Even mild levels of dehydration can lead to a lapse in your capability to perform high-intensity exercises, such as rigorous cycling.

6. Get the Right Supplements

There are some vitamins and nutrients that can help your muscles function and recover better, such as protein powders and vitamins C and D. If you are having trouble getting these nutrients in your normal diet, you may want to look into supplements.

7. See a Specialist

If you are a professional athlete or someone who places extreme value on your cycling abilities, think about visiting with a sports doctor or certified cycling coach. These experts often have the experience needed to help you recover as quickly as possible.

8. Massage Treatment

Massage therapy is one of the top cycling recovery tips, since this stimulation can help cyclists improve circulation in their leg muscles, which will lead to better recovery.

9. Elevation Training

If you engage in elevation training, your body will become more used to the high altitudes that competitive cyclists often have to deal with. This will help your recovery time, since your body will be used to recuperating from exercise at high altitudes.

10. Using Modern Recovery Technology

One of the top cycling recovery tips for avid cyclists looking to maximize performance is to use modern muscle recovery equipment such as the Marc Pro or Marc Pro Plus. These tools use sophisticated healing principles based on the body’s natural biology to help increase the flow of nutrients used for recovery in the body.
These top cycling recovery tips will help any cyclist, professional or amateur, spend less time recovering so they can spend more time cycling.

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