Monday, December 24, 2007

Advanced Indoor Cycling

Incorporating HIGH intensity class instruction with elite level training techniques, our Advanced Indoor Cycling program will provide you with maximum training benefit in a minimum amount of time. Stretching the boundaries of standard cycling classes, this program is perfect for those members who take their training seriously, and are looking to take their fitness to new heights.

The program will offer:

  • USA Cycling certified coaches will provide instruction on proper technique and body positioning to maximize your comfort and efficiency.
  • Each class will combine structured training plans utilizing the latest endurance and power training principles, providing you with maximized results.
  • Progressing across 12 workouts, classes will provide you with a “building block” of advanced training to push you beyond your current fitness level.
  • Heart Rate monitors are REQUIRED* and testing will be performed to establish training zones. Class intensity will be relative to YOUR personal zones and allow you to measure your fitness.
  • Additional educational materials will be provided to extend your experience beyond the studio.

These will be STRENUOUS workouts and are not appropriate for members new to a training regime. You should be currently participating in a minimum of 3 cardio training hours a week, with the ability to ride comfortably on a bike for 60 minutes.

Classes are offered at $120 for 6 weeks, 2 classes per week, 75 minutes long and are offered on the following days and times.

Morning Track - Tuesday AND Thursday – 5:45am
Evening Track - Tuesday AND Thursday - 6pm

Don't delay, contact us today to sign-up. Be sure to specify your class track of choice.


* Wide selection of heart rate monitors are available from Heart Rate Monitors USA your local Dicks, bike shop or simply search on-line.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Best Winter Training?

This question is the one I have been getting asked the most and the answer is not an easy one. Most of the information you read still focuses on building the aerobic base during the winter months. These LSD (long, slow distance) rides are incredibly boring but sometimes necessary if the endurance is not up to par. Working on speed in December seems crazy to most since you won’t be putting down the power in anger for a few more months, it’s just too early right?

WRONG – everyone we encounter wants to go faster. Whether that is dropping time off your best 40k TT or getting another MPH or two on your average speed for your favorite loop, going faster is fun. Now is the best time to work on this area and come out flying in the spring.

A very simple approach is to hit the gym twice a week for some basic multi-muscle group movements to build some strength. Squats, push-ups, pull-ups and the all important core muscles are the key movements you should work on. Better yet, get a trainer to work with you once a week to keep you on track. Stay away from the isolation exercises if possible and build up to some explosive, plyometric training.

In tandem with the strength training, intervals 2x/week should be done. You have to train fast to go fast. A mix of short duration sub-maximal intervals and some threshold intervals of 5-20 min will add speed in no time. Essentially the same type of training you should be doing in season.

Most of us are not and will never be elite athletes. Focusing on basic strength and speed building workouts will pay off huge dividends in the spring.

Good riding – Coach Kevin

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Using PowerTap to Study Fatigue in Cyclists

I found an interesting article today on the Saris website. It's about an "ambitious study to determine the effects of extended arduous work on muscle adaptations related to fatigue, fuel utilization, and performance".

Among the various data types collected over 2000 miles, Power was monitored using 20 Power Taps. Other data collected was gathered by good old biological samples including blood, urine, saliva, and muscle biopsies.

The full report has yet to be released and when exactly that will happen has yet to be determined. Keep an eye on for updates.

For the original article and interview from Saris, click here:,guid,8e5d9962-3a04-4ff5-9108-4eac5232eb53.aspx

Monday, November 12, 2007

Just starting with a Powertap...the benefit of your experience?

I'm constantly monitoring a Google Group on Wattage. There was a recent post that had some really good info. I would usually just link over to the page, but it's member based. I've pasted some of the recent posts:

Is there any advice from the folk that are experienced with using a
power meter? Any do's and don'ts? Or is it just a case of collect as
much data as possible and see what needs to be worked on.


I just started training with a power meter myself a month ago. Reading
"THE BOOK - Training and Racing with a Power Meter" by Hunter Allen /
Dr. Andy Coggan, browsing thru all the posts in this group and
clicking thru the cycling peaks website gave me a good start.

Now I'm in the phase of testing and collecting data and after each
session I can't wait to download the data to analyse my ride. The
only downside - for the moment I just got one of my bikes set up with
Ergomo. But I think this problem will be sorted out soon :)



1) Read through all the Power 411 info at
2) Buy the Cycling Peaks WKO+ software -- it is infinitely better than the software that comes with the Power Tap, and well worth the price of 4 race entries.
3) Record and download ALL of your workouts -- they will feed into the "Performance Manager" -- don't worry about it too much at the start, but as you get comfortable with the basics, you'l want to start playing with it more. Having a complete training history is important.

4) Perhaps most important -- never forget that bicycle races are decided by the order of riders at the finish line, not by Functional Threshold Power, or Training Stress Score, or any of the other myriad of numbers that you can pull out of your power meter. Power is an important training tool, but there's a whole lot more to performing well in a bike race than having perfect training. It's easy to get caught up in numbers & loose sight of that basic fact.

Chris Fischer
Ohio State Cycling


I would concur with Rich_SC as far as giving it time to work and being patient with the interval work. My first 2 months I was really just using the PT and WKO+ as a data recorder, getting a feel for what the numbers meant. I then purchased one of Hunter Allen's power-based FTP- building plans from and spent 2006 racing season using that plan and the power meter to "grow" my engine and to help with my weight-loss (from 205 in 2005 to 167 in 2007). I also spent a load of time on this forum and reading T&Rw/PM to learn as much as I could about the wattage levels, TSS, and then the PMC. Then I developed a TSS-based training plan of my own for the 2007 season, and had a very successful season overall.


I would recommend, in approximate order:
1) ride for six weeks just learning the PM - download everything -
learn to ride some segments of your rides keeping the power in a +/-
5-10 Watt range
2) read as much of the previously mentioned sources of information as
3) get WKO+ software
4) test for your FTP, input into WKO+ and then import all of your
prior data
5) train with power
6) race with power
7) did I mention download everything?
8) when you get the hang of training and racing with power, try to
learn even more

oh,,,and try to ween off the HR strap.

Best wishes.

Steve Palladino- training with power since Oct 8, 2002

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Knowing when to say when

Yesterday morning I got up early motivated to do some hard interval training. As I warmed up on the trainer I noticed my power was really low. I continued spinning easy and thought I just needed to wake up a little more and get the blood flowing.

After 15 minutes I started my first interval. As I listened to the familiar sound of the wind trainer winding up and watching my power output creep up to 300 watts I quickly knew that today something was wrong. I just didn't have "it". I shut it down one minute into the planned two minute interval.

From there I decided to take advantage of the situation rather than being discouraged. I spun easy for another 10 minutes or so and got off the trainer. I went inside and cleaned up our kitchen and took care of a few other chores that had been neglected the night prior.

So why did I get off the bike instead of hammering through the workout? Two reasons...

  1. I could tell that I wasn't myself. I was well rested, but just didn't have my usual power.
  2. I knew that without giving it 100% on an interval workout the time would be wasted and minimal fitness gain would occur.
Today I woke up with a sore throat and stuffed up nose. I couldn't be happier with my decision to throw in the towel yesterday. Hopefully with some extra zinc and more rest I'll be back on the bike this weekend in good form instead of sick for two weeks because I over trained.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Coach and his Trainer

Teaching indoor cycling (aka "Spinning") classes keeps me around weight equipment most of the year. Chatting with a friend at a club last week brought about a very surprised look when I mentioned I was working with a Personal Trainer to keep me on a strength building program. "Can't you do that stuff yourself?" was her question to me. Of course I can, it is simply a matter of desire. Knowing what to do is only a small part of it. I am working with a trainer for the same reasons people hire us to work with them.

  • Motivation - There is really nothing better than having somebody plan your workout and help keep you on track. Take the brain out of the equation.
  • New Heights - Taking you out of your comfort zone is what a good coach/trainer will make sure you do to realize gains. It is easy to forego the last rep/set if you are training alone.
  • Schedule - Everyone is busy, knowing when and what you are going to be doing turns it into an easy to check off "appointment" with yourself.
  • Results - The coach/trainer needs to get results from you to keep more business coming their way. If you are not seeing results, you have someone to help you figure out why and change things up a bit.

There are certainly a bunch more reasons but my favorite is the fact that it simply makes things a bit more focused and fun. I still follow my own training plan using trainingpeaks and WKO+, just like we do with our clients. The added strength focus with the trainer is addressing some weak areas and allowing me to focus more on my cycling this winter. I know I'll be pushing new wattage highs very soon and flying in 2008.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

t-max interval report

I did my first interval workout today following the t-max plan. As expected, it was pretty hard. So here is what I took from it.

As I went into my first to sets I realized pretty quickly that fighting a gusty 30mph head/cross wind was not going to make this workout any easier. It was a challenge in itself to keep the wattage at 310.

I also noted on my first set that sometimes the county doesn't strategically place stop signs and round-a-bouts at 2 minute intervals. What were they thinking when the put in this intersection!?

Later this week I'm going to try the interval workout on a more controlled platform. The dreaded wind trainer.

After recovering for about 3 minutes I felt pretty good and ready to go into the next set. But with my t-max, I get a 4 minute recovery period. So I waited that extra minute following the plan.

I managed to squeak out 5 sets of the intervals. At that point I had a little bit of vomit in my mouth and shut it down to cruise easy back to the car. Soon my legs will look just like Jan 's (above).

Kirk out. (and off to bed!)

The Cycling Off Season

If you live anywhere near me then the days are getting quite short and the wind is beginning to kick up while the temperatures drop. Sure the leaves are pretty and the occasional sunny day feels warm, but it's getting harder and harder to find a good time to ride.

Just this weekend we bagged a 50 mile ride because of cold, wet, rainy roads. Today as I look out my office window I can see my bike on top of my car waiting to be ridden. Just behind it, the trees are bent sideways in a 27mph wind from the South West. (hrrrm... If I could just get somebody to drive me about 40 miles south of here...)

So what are your plans for this off season? You could:

  • let your saddle sores heal up
  • see how big you can get your waistline by 2008
  • start trying to break in that new couch while watching the latest Greys Anatomy
Or, you could be productive even if you aren't out braving the elements. Here is my plan:
  • teach 2 spinning classes per week
  • do 2 short interval workouts on the trainer (60 minutes at most)
  • get 1 long ride outside each week (30-40 miles)
I also have some things I'm going to work on off the bike that I usually don't have time to do.
  • set cycling goals for 2008
  • work more on my blog!
  • plan a cycling vacation
  • tune up all of my bikes (including my wife and kids)
So what are you going to do!? Post your comments and let us know.

Check out Bike Snobs post about off season training.

Monday, October 29, 2007

1700 watts

If you search around on the web or read magazines you might come across a mention of pro cyclists being able to top out at 1700 watts or more during sprints. If any of you have a powermeter, you know this is a big, big number. Most of the athletes we test will hit a max in the 700-900 watt range. We can also look at data and project what type of wattage you will need to be competitive at a particular level of racing.

So, how do you get to those magic high numbers? Assuming you have some decent genes and a few fast-twitch fibers in the legs, a combination of strength work in the gym and sprint training on the bike will yield some quick gains. Here are a few basic guidelines for becoming a faster sprinter:

  • Two sprint workouts per week max! More than this and you cannot recover and become faster. If you think you can do more than two, you are not pushing hard enough.
  • These workouts need to be MAXIMUM EFFORTS! Sprinting at 8 or 9 on a 10 scale is the quickest way to get beaten to the line. True sprints should leave you needing 5 minutes or more of easy spinning to get ready for another effort.
  • Gym work should be explosive and non-isolating. Heavier weights in the 6-20 rep range with every set taken to complete failure (use a partner for safety). Major movements (squat, leg press) are best with isolating movements (leg extension, leg curl, inner & outer thigh) only done to address muscle imbalance, if at all. You don't pedal the bike with hamstrings only, etc.
  • Sprint in a variety of gears and terrain. Work on increasing your ability to push a big gear and spin that gear quickly. Uphill and downhill sprinting are very different and you should be ready for any type of terrain. That's why you have all of those gears - use them.

In the next post I'll talk a bit more about how to measure and track your sprinting training progress.

Good riding - Coach Kevin

Thursday, October 25, 2007

T-Max Time (re-test)

Well, today I re-tested my T-Max time. This time I only used my PowerTap and the trainer.

The result? Much harder than last week.

After a 20 minute warm up I rode 3:16:57 at 310 watts. Here is some data from WKO+.

Duration: 3:17
Work: 61 kJ
TSS: 8.4 (intensity factor 1.242)
Distance: 1.332 mi

Min Max Avg
Power: 227 428 311 watts
Heart rate: 138 184 173 bpm
Cadence: 77 109 99 rpm
Speed: 20.1 26.6 24.3 mph

So, now I have my PPO and Tmax time. My intervals look like this:

Interval = .6 x Tmax or in my case .6 x 3:17 which is 1:58 (almost 2 minutes) at 310 watts
Recovery = 2 x Interval Time or about 4 minutes

The goal would be to do 5 - 6 intervals. We'll see how many I can crank out early next week. Tomorrow I teach Spinning and Saturday and Sunday are long endurance rides.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Client Testimonial - Fred Evans

As you may have noticed my weight is coming down nicely. The day we did the first prologue in mid September, I weighed 206 lbs. As you may recall over the next 2 weeks or so it ballooned up to 214 lbs. Of course some of that was edema which initially took some medication (over a 3 day period) to correct. But that accounted for maybe 4 -5 lbs.

This morning (October 23) I was down to 201.7 lbs. I've not been at this low a weight in over a year, maybe even 18 months. The workouts are doing good things for me. Prior to my being on those hormone cancer drugs for 2-years my weight was 180lbs +/- a couple of pounds.

I'm going to need to do an easy ride on the trainer today as I'm a bit tired from the last 3 days of biking. Things are looking up.

Even Bigger News -- During my last 3 rides my back pain has gone. The stretching exercises, the exercise ball work and weight reduction are sure helping me to drop back pain like a pesky drafter. Keep your fingers crossed on this point. Riding pain-free is a joy. As you know I've struggled with this back pain for about a year.


T-Max Time

So I'm a little slow to post this, but I tried out my T-max test on Thursday while home at lunch.
I was talking to Kevin about the T-max intervals and he suggested trying them out on the CompuTrainer so that I could lock in the wattage at 310 and focus on just pedaling my legs off. Hrrrm... sounded like a good idea!

I hooked everything up and started to warm up. After 10 minutes or so I calibrated the CT and started adding some wattage on. Strangely, the CompuTrainer and my PowerTap didn't match up wattage. The PowerTap showed me about 30 watts lower than the CompuTrainer. Strange I thought. So I tightened up the resistance unit and re-calibrated. It was still off.

Well, I thought I'd go ahead and run the test anyway. So I cranked it up to 310 watts and waited for the pain to set in. I purposely didn't watch the timer when I started for fear of saying "5 minutes is pretty good and this is hard, so I'll shut it down".

After a few minutes I thought "this is actually pretty easy". I checked my PowerTap. 280 watts. Well, I know I can push this for quite some time. I've been doing it on the Nebo Ridge Trainer every Tuesday for an hour at a time. I attempted to wind it up a little to get the PowerTap in sync with the CompuTrainer. Ok, that was harder!

After what seemed like forever I was pretty spent and gave it up. Upon review of my data I spent over 7 minutes on the test. Well, that just can't be right.

Either I should be able to push more wattage in my PPO or I wasn't pushing out 310 watts for my timed test. I feel that the latter is the case.

My plan now is to retake the Tmax time test on my trainer just as I set it up when I did the PPO test. I hope to find some time tomorrow to do that test. We will see.

Until then... pedal on and be safe!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Interval Training - Power vs. Heart Rate

Intervals are the key to breaking through training plateaus and achieving new levels of speed and fitness. At Two Wheels, we prescribe lots of interval workouts for our clients, based on their current fitness level and training goals. We have seen dramatic increases in performance for clients who are using power-based (wattage) training for their interval work over clients who are using HR or RPE (rate of perceived exertion). I want to briefly address the differences and touch on a few FAQ’s we receive.

- Measuring power for an interval workout gives near instantaneous information concerning the intensity of the effort. Measuring HR is practically worthless for most intervals unless they are 5 minutes or more and your HR has a chance to catch up to your effort and level.
- Repeating the interval effort is critical to increasing fitness. If wattage numbers are not available, speed can be used on the trainer or on the road (assuming the terrain and wind are identical). Speed/pace is how we will prescribe intervals for runners. A wattage based workout interval is hard to mess up – work for 30 sec. at x watts and recover for 30 sec. at x watts. No trying to guess at the RPE, either you hit the wattage or you don’t.
- How to determine when you have done enough? Typically we recommend the end of an interval session when you can no longer be within 10% of the target wattage for a work piece. If the goal is 60 sec work pieces at 300 watts and you only hit 270 after doing 5 intervals at 300, time to stop.
- What we find is most people tend to stop early (they could have hit 300 a few more times) because the effort seemed too difficult or they did not feel as though they recovered enough. Even more common is for someone to thrash themselves well beyond the point where they should stop. They typically do more intervals (because more is better right?) at intensity slightly lower than they need for maximum benefit. Repeated sessions of this type can quickly lead to overtraining.

The bottom line is if you are serious about making gains with a minimum amount of training time; get a power meter and a coach to help you utilize the data. As an alternative, leave the HR monitor at home on your interval days and go by feel (RPE) or use your speed.

Good riding – Coach Kevin

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Peak Power Output Test

This morning I got up early and threw on the bike shorts and headed to the garage for my Peak Power Output test.

I warmed up for about 8 minutes and threw in a little climb to push my HR up and get my legs used to the stress. I hit about 400 watts. I continued to spin easy for two more minutes then did another climb. This time I pushed it a little harder around 450 watts.

At 17 minutes in I cranked up the iPod and White Zombie told me to GO! Well... go at 100 watts for a minute. And then add 30 watts every minute there after.

Let me tell you. This test doesn't really take long. I sat there at 100 watts going... this is silly. Why not just start at 200? Well, at 220, 250, and 280 I realized this was getting pretty hard. I hit 310 and kept it there about 40 seconds and I was done! WHAT? I thought I'd hit 400 or something.

I decided to spin easy for 10 minutes and try again.

This time I did worse. I could barely get it to 300 and sure wasn't going to set it there for a minute or go up to 340. I thought to myself... "OK, this is my PPO!"

I hope to get my T-Max time figured out tomorrow or Friday. I teach Spinning on Friday morning, so that is a bit of a challenge.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Try T-Max Intervals

I've been pretty busy recently with my home life and my training has taken a turn for the worse. Finding any kind of consistency has really been a challenge. Then yesterday on an easy recovery ride I was involved in a crash with a teenager goofing off. (perhaps that story will appear on another post in the future) Needless to say, I've continued to see my CTL drop on the Performance Management Chart.

So... all that said, tomorrow morning I'm going to fire up the Cycleops trainer and see where my Peak Power Output (PPO) sits. This is found by riding at 100 watts and increasing power by 30 watts every minute until you can't take it up any more for a full minute. My guess is that I'll end up somewhere around 500-600 watts based on a fairly recent Time Trial on the CompuTrainer.

I hope to get a day or two of rest, then fire up the trainer again to find my T-Max. The duration at which I can hold my PPO.

From there it's pretty simple math. Do intervals of .6 of your T-Max time at PPO. Double your work phase to find your recovery time.

So let's plot this out. If I push 500 watts tomorrow for my PPO and I hold my PPO for 6 minutes on Friday; then my "Ultimate Interval" will be 3.6 minutes at 500 watts followed by 7.2 minutes recovery. Then repeat as many times as I can! They say most people vomit and die after 5 or 6.

We'll see what happens!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

T-Max Intervals

I've been thinking about blogging a little about TMAX Intervals. I found this link this morning that sums it up pretty well. Sadly, it looks like this guy (Sean) was killed last month in an accident.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Intro to Performance Management Chart in WKO+

Have you ever heard the saying "You don't know what you don't know."? Nothing could be more true when talking about training with a power meter.

This season has been an eye opener for me even after 15 years of cycling. I've been using a PowerTap on my newest bike and learning quite a bit about WKO+. WKO+ is basically software created to log and analyze your data captured during training. The software was created by legends in the cycling world; Hunter Allen, Andy Coggan, and Kevin Williams.

Performance Management Chart
In WKO+ there are several charts and tools to monitor your performance on the bike. One of my favorites is the Performance Management Chart. I tell people this is my "feel good" chart because my mood is usually directly related to how much training I've been doing. This week, I've been pretty moody!

I'm going to attempt to break down the PMC (feel good) chart in plain ole english for those of you that are new to WKO+ or Power in general.

Out of the box, you can customize all of the charts in WKO+ to fit your needs. I've set my PMC up with the following additions:

  • NP60 - Normalized Power for 60 Minutes (top 10 instances)
  • NP30 - Normalized Power for 30 Minutes (top 10 instances)
  • Top 10 Max Power Outputs

These customized settings help let me know when I've done something on a ride that was a top 10 performance. Good to know!

The "standard" measurements on the PMC are:
  • TSB - Training Stress Balance (how "fresh" you are)
  • ATL - Acute Training Load (recent training loads)
  • CTL - Critical Training Load (overall fitness)
Now, it gets fun... Let's simply analyze one ride on the chart right now (click it to enlarge).

Notice on 6/10 the pink line spikes way up. That's my ATL. On that day, I did a really long and hard effort with a group down in Brown County. There were a lot of hills and it was a fast group. (I eventually fell off the back and limped home solo).

If you look at the yellow line in the same area, you can see that my "freshness" DROPPED the next day. Let me tell you, the chart doesn't lie. I was super sore the next day. You'll notice that days there after where the ATL is less, my TSB comes back up. When your TSB is at 0, you are ready to rock at maximum performance.

Another interesting note to point out is the blue line. My CTL or over all fitness jumped up with that ride. Just like a race or a tough training day, with proper recovery you WILL get stronger.

On the customized side of the chart, I show one of my top 10 power outputs that day at 1032 watts, an NP60 of 268 watts and an NP30 of 222 watts. Definitely an all around top 10 ride for me this season. One that clearly sticks out in my mind.

In my next blog, I plan on talking about training with a plan and what happens when you can't make the plan fit your busy lifestyle? I'm living proof of how much you can gain and the chart above won't lie!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Hilly Hundred Blooper

Well, our ad was placed in the upcoming 2007 Hilly Hundred 40th Year Celebration Catalog Photo Thingie. I got my copy in the mail just this weekend. I was quite excited to see our ad!

I shuffled through the pages and found our ad on page 33.... Uh.... what? This isn't our ad... there is surely a mixup!

Well, some how the art files we sent over weren't printed correctly. We are still investigating the whole matter.

What we can do is show you what it was supposed to look like! AND offer you the same great deal as seen in the ad. Mention the Hilly Hundred and sign up for 3 months of coaching and we'll throw in a 4th month for free!

Ride safe!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Training for cycling with Power

You’ve heard people talking about it. It’s in all the cycling magazines. Many of the pros are doing it too. No, we aren’t talking about doping; we are talking about training with a power meter! As power meters become more common and buzz around training with power increases, Two Wheels is right there on top of the scene.

Why train with power?

Most athletes wouldn’t consider going into a gym to lift weights if they didn’t know how much weight they were lifting. Cycling is no different. How much work did you do climbing that hill? Or how much work did you do sprinting for that stop ahead?

  • Power output tells you what you are doing (stimulus)
  • Heart Rate tells you how your body is responding (response)

In order to train effectively you need to monitor both. Power data gives you objective and immediate feedback on your training or racing efforts. The basic principles of training have not changed through the years. You still have to work hard to achieve your goals. But with the addition of Power you can train smarter.

How Two Wheels Cycling utilizes power with clients

Two Wheels offers two packages that monitor clients’ success through power analysis (Power Package and Podium Package). We will run an initial assessment test (the Prologue) to see your over all fitness, position and pedal efficiency. We will also determine your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) and Maximum Power output. With this data, we will create a training plan customized to meet your goals or to help you train for specific events.

We will monitor your progress by Power data uploaded to the Training Peaks’ website. As your data comes in we will modify your plan to keep your training on track. We will also be in constant contact with you explaining what all the number and graphs mean specifically to you.

So, you already have a power meter?

  • But still don’t seem to be riding any faster
  • Aren’t really sure what the numbers mean

Two Wheels will help you understand the numbers and what they mean for you and create a path for you to follow to success.

Contact us today at