I'm an Anglo-American university biology & chemistry instructor, and lab manager.
My main interests are cycling & exercise physiology (researching, reviewing, training, racing), reading (science, philosophy, fiction) and writing (mainly about cycling, but also more broadly).
My website (https://ianbgibson.com) has much more.
Unsurprisingly, I'm here to discuss all aspects of writing.
My newly-updated cycling training plan is now online:
Make of it what you will!
Cycling Findings #3
Aerodynamic drag in cycling team time trials
Blocken et al., 2018
Technology has always been an integral part of cycling. Obviously, bicycles are themselves technology, and also rely on technology (i.e. good quality road surfaces) to be a practical means of transportation. Cycling has also taken its fair share of the spoils obtained from the increase in the rate of technological development..
Training Notes #26
I've been busy, so this is a two-week update. Additionally, my work schedule is about to get much more crowded, so these Notes will probably be less frequent from now on (perhaps centred around an entire training block leading up to an Event). This will also give me more time to spend writing actual cycling articles, a change of focus that I've been meaning to get around to for a while..
Weekly Training Notes #25
It was back up to speed again this week. It felt good to resume my full training load following the taper.
I did four long workouts, plus the usual recovery and commute rides, adding up to 650 km. I included a few intervals on the Tuesday endurance ride, and of course the Saturday group ride had some fast sections, but the rest of the time was endurance pace..
Weekly Training Notes #24
Recovery was the theme this week, and what do you know: it actually seemed to work!
Unfortunately, I can't know for certain just how much it worked, as the race I'd tapered for fizzled out in a rather strange way. More on that below.
The good news is that I've finally got the discipline to stick to the training program; taking sufficient recovery has always been the hardest part of training for me...
Weekly Training Notes #23
This marked the culmination in a rapid increase in my training load; I've averaged over 20 hours and 570 km per week for the last month, including some pretty high-intensity rides.
By late this week, I could tell it was time to back off for a while: the two weekend rides in particular featured heavy legs and fading energy levels. I didn't even...
Weekly Training Notes #22
I had my biggest week for a very long time this week, and I'm feeling great (but tired!).
The polarized training is in full swing, and seems to be working wonders for me. After an easy start on Monday, I did a nice Free Ride with just a couple of 8-minute intervals, during which I took advantage of my new power meter to pace them.
I knew I hadn't quite emptied the tank..
Weekly Training Notes #21
Things really started to gel this week. Since making the realization that I'd been on the wrong track for several months, I've taken a big change in direction with my training, and this week I also went back and re-studied the most important research that aligns with my chosen approach.
There are various endurance training philosophies, such as high-intensity interval training and threshold training...
Weekly Training Notes #20
It was very much a transitional week this week; as discussed last time, I've moved away from intervals for the time being so I can focus on ramping up my training volume, relying on the weekend rides to get my high intensity work.
To that end, it wasn't a great week; flat tyres forced premature conclusions to two of my rides, and I missed the fast group ride...
(lengthy) Training Notes!
Weekly Training Notes #19
The big change this mesocycle was taking seriously the need to taper my training in the lead-up to my race. In accordance with scientifically-accepted best practice, I didn't reduce the intensity or frequency of my riding, but the volume came down by about one third.
Following Monday's Leg Speed ride, I did some tough Anaerobic Intervals on Tuesday. The first two were 2-minute efforts...
Weekly Training Notes #18
With only 3 weeks between races, I skipped straight to Build 3, ready for my race next Sunday.
It was a very good week; I did three great rides and am starting to feel noticeably stronger.
On Tuesday I did a pretty good VO2max intervals ride. I got 4 x 4-minute reps plus an 8-minute super-threshold rep. I also extended the ride with an extra hour of tempo riding with a few short sprints...
Cycling Findings #2
This time I discuss a fascinating and revealing article that details the training program of the 2000 Olympic gold medal- and world-record-winning German Team Pursuit riders.
What was the training approach for this maximal-effort focused track event? Surprisingly, much more like a traditional road cycling team than you might expect.
Weekly Training Notes #17
A recovery week, although a rather backloaded one; Monday and Tuesday were both rest days, and were followed by a rainy active recovery ride on Wednesday.
Thursday brought Under/Overs, but I was far from comfortable with these and only got through a couple of sets before switching to a simple sweet-spot ride...
Weekly Training Notes #16
The Nestor Cup wasn't exactly great for me, but nevertheless this was another week that I'm happy with.
It was a big step forward in terms of intensity. Take a look at the numbers at the bottom of the page; that ratio works out to about 4 hours of medium intensity and close to 60 minutes of high intensity, much of which was anaerobic. 1 hour above above threshold per week is a great benchmark...
Cycling Training Notes #15
Another week that started out disappointing, but ended strongly.
My plan to wait until Wednesday to do my midweek effort ride (with the idea that I'd be extra-fresh) didn't really work; I couldn't even get in 10 minutes of threshold. My legs didn't feel tired or heavy, they just didn't have the power to generate the necessary intensity.
So I decided to do a century ride instead...
Weekly Training Notes #14
The week started off not so great, with some attempted VO2max intervals on Tuesday. I got a couple in, but (as has been happening) fatigued rapidly as well as being down on power. I switched to some threshold blocks instead, but couldn't get a whole lot of those done either. To cap things off, I ended the ride early, as even endurance-paced riding proved to be a grind...
Cycling Findings #1
Interesting research from the cycling science literature
The first finding shows significant differences in body type between sprinters, all-rounders and time triallists.
The second finding demonstrates that a 25° knee angle produces slightly more power and better economy than a 35° angle.
Weekly Training Notes #13
A designated recovery week, but unfortunately I had also to recover from aggravating my injury. I took a rest day on Monday, and had a very easy commute-only day on Tuesday, but on Tuesday evening, over the course of an hour or so, my shin went from tingly to numb, and my hip progressed from quite painful to excruciating.
I can only assume...
Weekly Training Notes #12
My attempted intervals on Tuesday went horribly: I buried myself for the first two minutes for a very lackluster time, then faded badly halfway through the second one. My leg felt worse again, due to what I now think was weight lifting the preceding weekend (so I skipped all weight lifting this week, because I'm now pretty sure that...
Weekly Training Notes #11
I had a very good week; two good solo training rides and two decent group rides at the weekend.
My injury is still stubbornly refusing to disappear completely; it's seemed like a couple of days away for the last two or three weeks now.
On Tuesday I did a mix of intervals: 1 x 2-minute, 3 x 4-minute and 20 minutes of threshold...
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