Why You Should Consider (Really) Short Cranks

Short CranksA while back, I was visiting with my physical therapist and chatting with him about my aching hip flexors.  I had recently raced the Washington State Time Trial Championship and noticed right after the race that my hip flexor ached whenever I had to raise my thigh.  He mentioned that he was shifting a number of triathletes towards much shorter cranks– about 165mm or shorter.  In his experience, this made a lot of sense because it reduced the very acute hip angle at the top of the pedal stroke.  Given how my hip flexors were killing me from raising my knees up to my chest 5,400 times (90 rpms for about an hour) only a few days earlier, I couldn’t help but nod enthusiastically in agreement. Continue reading

Purposeful Carbohydrate Depletion

Yesterday, a post came across the Running Writings site that piqued my interest. It was about the weekly long run— a ritual of marathon runners— and it suggested that we all do them wrong. This post is a quick synopsis of why and what to do about it.

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Lactate Clearance Intervals, MCT-1, Arrhythmias, and Why You Need Speed

EKG ImageA few weeks ago, I did some very short, high-intensity sprints in the middle of a zone two bike ride.  The sprints left me feeling exhausted far more than they should have, so I thought it was probably a good idea to do two things: get some more low-intensity aerobic training in and to simultaneously work on some really high intensity interval work.  This post explains why this might not be a bad idea after a couple of weeks of hard racing.

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Hit an FTP Plateau? Low-Cadence Hill Work Might be the Ticket

For years, my FTP was stuck at 225 watts.  No matter how hard I trained, I could never get it any higher.  I would go out for long 2-3 hour hard rides at 85-90% FTP every weekend.  I would hit the Computrainer every week and do the classic 2 x 20min at 100% FTP on five minutes recovery.  Nada.  In reality, my FTP was probably quite a bit higher because I suck at 20 minute all-out indoor FTP tests.  But even if it was higher,  the power that I could bring to these hard workouts wasn’t going up.  Sure, my body was adapting and I wasn’t getting devastated by them nearly as much after each workout, but the raw power was pretty level.

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