Articles and info from Bell Lap's coaches and contributors.
For our entire lives we've heard about the value of a good breakfast. Wheaties' "Breakfast of Champions" slogan is ingrained into the our collective cultural consciousness. But what if the value of a pre-event meal was as much about its psychological impact as its physiological impact? We explore some interesting findings in a recent study from the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance.
In order for those of us from New England and other seasonal climates to thrive, we learn to embrace the seasonal changes, rather than fight them. In the winter, we grab our snowshoes, hook up to Zwift, stock up on latex gloves and toe warmers, and pull out our crockpot and soup recipes. While modifying activities and mating hot foods are key ways to make the most of winter training, but there are also some less obvious food choices that can help keep you warm!
Happy summer, everyone! We’re in the middle of the road and MTB seasons, with lots of good racing left on the road and dirt. I know that I don’t have to remind most of you that cyclocross season is coming up quickly, but I wanted to write a bit about your preparations for the upcoming ‘cross season.
You’re halfway through that last tempo interval, and your mind starts to wander to your refrigerator and to imagine what delicious concoction you’ll feast on when you get home. “Focus!” you tell yourself, and you turn the pedals steadily until you can hit the final lap button. As you spin home from there, however, you let yourself get back to meal fantasizing! We all know that without some guidance, our post-workout refrigerator dash can turn into indulging vs refueling. However, in order to reap the benefits of that hard work you just did as well as to prepare to tackle the next workout, it’s essential to give you body the specific nutrients it needs for recovery.
As athletes we are all eager to push ourselves to our limits on our hard training days and races. So many of us turn to compression socks, specialized recovery drinks, Normatec “space legs” and even running electrical current through our muscles to stimulate them and promote recovery. All of these constitute “marginal gains” style approaches: they offer to enhance recovery some small percentage, in exchange, of course, for no small expense. But there’s a simpler way! It’s more effective, 100% natural, and totally free: it’s sleep.
As endurance athletes with a mind towards pushing our limits in training as we reach for the next ambitious goal, the occasional ache and pain comes with the territory. But instead of reaching for a bottle of Aleve or Advil after your next tough training or race day, there’s a more natural route towards taking the edge off that exercise-induced ache we all know so well.
Whenever we train for a goal or an "A" event, we inevitably have expectations for ourselves, how the race will go and what our result will be. Sometimes when the race is done and dusted the result doesn't match the goal you had for yourself going into it. Coach Crystal draws on some recent experience to offer really valuable insight into how to process that result, and move forward.
Taking on a challenge like a marathon, a century or even just a long, tough climb can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task. Coach Ian guides you through a powerful technique for tackling monumental efforts, giving you the confidence to take on any challenge, and to climb every mountain.
"Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie." —Jim Davis
Jim’s quote may have been facetious, but he’s onto something brilliant. All of us run the gamut from hiding, highlighting, to just having vegetables in order to meet what we “know we should eat.” Even the most avid vegetable lovers among us probably struggle with either the cost, hassle, or taste of meeting the USOC and UCCS guidelines for an athlete’s plate.
Learn Crystal's top tricks for sneaking fruits and vegetables into your diet
Your mind can be you best friend or your worst enemy during a long or hard ride. The harder things get, the more important it is to be able to count on your mind to be your ally and not the voice inside you screaming "It's too hard," Or "You can't do it." Ian takes us through a look at mindfully engaging in your ride or your next interval.