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Massage therapy and training – how and when to apply

ue_banner_top

I’m a part of the coaching staff for Upper Echelon Fitness.

At Upper Echelon Fitness I work with my associates to provide the highest quality coaching possible. I provide individual training plans to meet individual needs and to help riders meet their cycling and fitness goals. I believe it is important to develop a rider in ways that not only increase their performance on the bike, check but which also translate into a healthier lifestyle.  In addition to improving physical and mental fitness, seek I feel many riders can benefit from learning more about their in race decision making as well, more info providing in depth race strategy and tactics however possible. It is my goal to develop riders in all areas, so that a rider may discover their true potential as an athlete. I love watching the people I work with accomplish their goals.  I strive to provide the highest quality coaching and to provide as much support as possible for my riders.

I am also a Licensed Massage Therapist.  I focus on therapeutic deep tissue and structural integration as it pertains to injury recovery, sports performance and general health improvement through body work.  I love being able to make a difference in peoples lives for the better!  Working with my clients to recover from injuries, removing daily aches and pains and improving their health and comfort in their lives is one of most fulfilling aspects of my career and life!

In addition to individual coaching plans and massage therapy, I instruct several Classes at Upper Echelon through the year, ranging from indoor cross training, trainer classes, and skills classes.  In the summers, I do a race and bike handling skills course on Monday nights before the Monday night PIR race begins.  Fall, winters and early spring I typically hold indoor/outdoor training sessions which complement a riders training goals if they are looking to gain speed in the summer for racing or nice weather group rides and fun rides.  I am also available for presentations for teams or groups covering topics such as race tactics, training methods and plan design, bike fitting basics or goal setting around athletic performance.

For more information about coaching and other services we provide at Upper Echelon, make sure to visit our site!
Of all the tricks of the trade for recovery and sports performance increases, link
one of the most effective available is massage therapy.  I first discovered this as I was starting to really train and race on a national level.  With logging of thousands of miles and putting my legs to the test against pelotons full of professional racers, I began to turn to massage as a way to repair my legs and body after the intense training and racing I was putting it through, and  found incredible results from the addition of bodywork!

This discovery was what had turned me onto the idea of becoming a massage therapist.  Today I am happy to say that I am able to pass on the improved recovery and healing aspects to others that have so greatly helped me in the past.  But there is still a bit of a science in fine tuning when and where to add massage into your diet if you are an athlete, and the type of body work you receive will depend on your training and racing schedule some what.

Being an athlete, I would say there are basically 3 styles of massages that you will most likely be looking for from your session and there is an optimal time to receive each style:

1) A pre event tune up massage – this is one that is going to be somewhere between 48hrs to the day off your event.  The goal in this session is to generally relax tight muscles, boost blood flow and take away any pre-event nervousness or tension.   A couple of days before your big event is not the time for some major deep tissue massage work, extensive myofascial work, or anything else that is likely to have a big lasting effects on you.  This is for several reasons – it can take a couple of days for muscles to recover from a bodywork session, in terms of athletic performance, you may experience a decrease in peak performance during this time, just as you would if you did a very hard workout the day before a big event.  Deep bodywork is a great tool for a body recovering from injuries and training with athletes, but is best used a little further out from a big event or workout.  Make sure your massage is on the lighter side in terms of pressure and be sure that your therapist is aware of your upcoming event.

2) Recovery massage – this is typically done after an event.  Massage is a great tool to increase the bodies ability to recover from hard efforts.  Many teams and athletes will get massages in between stages of stage races, or after a big event(such as a marathon).  The session here should be similar to a pre event massage, with the main goals of the session to improve blood flow to the muscle and also emphasizing on relaxation.  It is typically ok to have a little deeper work right after an event than right before, so allowing your therapist to work deeper in this session is encouraged.

3) Deep tissue/focused work/injury recovery – Using a massage to really work out tension and adhesions in muscles from training, and recovering from injuries is a great way to improve performance.  The best time jump into more in depth work is after a hard block of training or racing, but during a rest week.  If it is not a rest week, be sure you keep fairly relaxed the rest of the day while keeping to an easier workout on the following day, allowing the bodywork to soak in and allow your body to get used to any new improved ranges of motion, body structures, posture or movement patterns.  Having more time spent in a superior physical state of being is important in its habit settings-allowing yourself to hold yourself in a better state for more time will more successfully build the long term habit of being in that position.  It is also important to let your muscles have some time to recover from the bodywork.  You may feel great after the session, but deep and intense work may leave a muscle group in a similar state as it is after a hard workout, so give it a chance to really recover from the session, and your body will thank you generously by maintaining a more comfortable superior state of being and improved athletic performance!

Hopefully this helps in determining the timing of your bodywork session if you are actively training and racing.  If you have any questions, comments or wish to schedule a therapeutic massage, please contact me!

 

Winter training – what to wear to make your training effective!

We all fantasize and dream of migrating down south in the winter to get warm miles, illness but unfortunately it is not a likely possibility for most of us in the northwest.  Just because we have less tan ideal weather, epilepsy does not mean that it has to be a terrible experience for training.  It may sound simple, healthful but the first step to having quality training in the winter is having the right gear.  With the right equipment, you may actually find yourself enjoying these winter rides!

Layers, breath-ability, and protection from the elements are the key factors when getting ready for a cold and wet ride.  On your skin, you will want something that wicks moisture well.  If it doesn’t you will quickly become soggy from your own perspiration.  Even if it is cold out, you are still likely to perspire and your skin needs something against it that will allow it to breath.

Upper body – A base layer is key, most cycling apparel companies have a variety of base layers out there to choose from, which one is up to you, but definitely a necessary item.

Over this people will wear their jersey.  Some people will choose a normal jersey and arm warmers when it is cool.  This is a great combo in the fall or spring, where you are likely to shed the arm warmers when it gets warmer out or on the next climb.  In the winter, when temperatures are not likely to raise, I prefer to go with a thermal long sleeve jersey.  It is a bit warmer in the cold and really makes the difference compared to a summer weight jersey.  Having a winter jersey is a great addition to your cycling wardrobe.  Living in Portland, my long sleeve thermal jerseys get as much use as my short sleeve ones.

On top of this, you will want something to break the wind.  There are several types to choose from.  You have wind breaker vests and jackets, thermal vests and jackets (typically similar to the wind breakers, but with an extra lining of material for more warmth.)  From my own experiences and those of friends and clients, I have found that in the winter months here, a thermal vest seems to be the best option.  The thinner wind breaker layers are great in early fall and later in the spring, but don’t have the warmth needed to keep you comfortable when it is colder and wet out.  Thermal jackets are good, but the sleeves often make it a bit too warm for many people I have worked with for our climate, but if you find yourself someone who tends to get colder on the bike, a thermal jacket is a good option.

Last but not least, is a rain jacket.  You will definitely want a good rain jacket, to be worn over any other layers(even the thermal jacket/vest) to act as a shell to keep the rain off you.  This is one thing you probably do not want to skimp out on, get a good one with good ventilation and materials that will offer good breathing on the jackets part.  Something that packs down easily is also a key component, so you can remove it and store it in a back pocket when it is not raining.  This can also work as a good shell for added wind protection when its not raining as well.

Head – a thermal cycling cap is key.  Keep your head warm and you will keep much warmer yourself!  Ear warmers are good, but something keeping your whole head warm this time of year is essential.

Hands – good thermal gloves are also very important.  This is not the time of year for light gloves, winter gloves are a must have in the cold and rain.  Many people will also use glove warmers in their gloves, or keep them in their pocket until their hands get cold mid ride, then put them in to help keep feeling in the digits until the ride is over.

Lower body –

Cycling tights are a must when it is chilly.   There are knee or leg warmers, which are both good options when it is cool out, but it is good to go with full length thermal cycling tights when it starts getting below 50 degrees, especially when it is raining.  Cycling tights are a must have for the winter months in Oregon and the pacific NW.  There are options that have tights built into cycling shorts, with a built in chamois, or you can get a pair of tights and wear them over(some people wear them under) your normal summer cycling tights.

Feet – there are a number of good shoe covers to choose from, as well as winter shoes on the market.  Likely, your feet will get wet at some point in the ride, but at least with good shoe covers you will at least keep warm even if water does sneak into your shoes.  There are a number that are made from neoprene, this is a warm option that offers the most protection from the elements, and probably the most common one you see out on the road this time of year.

Bike – Yes, your bike should be a consideration in preparing for the winter riding!  First off, you want to be sure you have good fenders on your bike.  Fenders are one of the most essential items in keeping warm and dry, as you will receive a lot of spray from your wheels without fenders on!  Front and rear, full fenders are the best and will keep you the most dry.  There are a number of companies that make full fenders that will fit on nearly any bike.  Also, adding a “buddy flap”, and extender on your fenders to make them longer, is a key thing in cycling etiquette on group rides.  It is key for helping to keep those around you dry.  Check in with your local shop for options on fenders!

Good tires – you may be wondering “How will good tires keep me warmer in winter training?”.  Well, good tires = less flats = less standing around on the side of the road fixing flats in the rain.  There is more road debris in the winter and also the water on the roads create increased likely hood of getting flat tires from glass or other objects as the water acts as a lubricant assisting sharp objects more easily cutting through the rubber of your tire.  If you have a good set of tires on it may save you a from a few flats, giving you an overall better experience in the winter, and you will not have to take off your gloves to fix the flat in the cold!

Safety – it can be good to wear bright colors and also to bring and use lights (even in fog or rain during the day) on your bike to help make sure you are seen and safe.  I always make sure to have a light on my bike in the winter, just in case I get caught in fog or out after dark.

Hope these tips help you to make the best of your winter training!

October training, what do I do now that the warmth is leaving?

ue_banner_top

I’m a part of the coaching staff for Upper Echelon Fitness.

At Upper Echelon Fitness I work with my associates to provide the highest quality coaching possible. I provide individual training plans to meet individual needs and to help riders meet their cycling and fitness goals. I believe it is important to develop a rider in ways that not only increase their performance on the bike, ailment but which also translate into a healthier lifestyle.  In addition to improving physical and mental fitness, visit this I feel many riders can benefit from learning more about their in race decision making as well, orthopedist providing in depth race strategy and tactics however possible. It is my goal to develop riders in all areas, so that a rider may discover their true potential as an athlete. I love watching the people I work with accomplish their goals.  I strive to provide the highest quality coaching and to provide as much support as possible for my riders.

In addition to individual coaching plans, I instruct several Classes at Upper Echelon through the year, ranging from indoor cross training, trainer classes, and skills classes.  In the summers, I do a race and bike handling skills course on Monday nights before the Monday night PIR race begins.  Fall, winters and early spring I typically hold indoor/outdoor training sessions which complement a riders training goals if they are looking to gain speed in the summer for racing or nice weather group rides and fun rides.  I am also available for presentations for teams or groups covering topics such as race tactics, training methods and plan design, bike fitting basics or goal setting around athletic performance.

For more information about coaching and other services we provide at Upper Echelon, make sure to visit our site!
Hard to believe it, recipe
but its already October, which means its time for indoor classes at Upper Echelon!  I am currently running my cross training and strength and conditioning classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30-6:30(We often run a few minutes over for stretching and recovery techniques, but people are free to leave, I know its often running into dinner time activities).

 

We do a range of training through the classes from running drills, agility drills, plyometrics, weights, stability drills, core and stretching.  I keep the program so it is building through the fall, so each class is a little different and continually changing to keep your body progressing and getting stronger while also keeping it interesting.  The training is based around fitness for cycling, focusing on building strength and power you need to ride hard through the season, while also addressing underused muscles and skills so you are more balanced and reduce chances for overuse injuries from sticking to one primary sport or activity through the year.

The training is great for both racers looking to keep fit and build an edge for their next race season, or just for people working for general fitness or cross training with no competition in sight.  The classes are structured in a way that you will be adequately challanged no matter what your level is.

 

Shoot me a message if you have any questions or sign up here:

 

 
Hard to believe it, this
but its already October, abortion
which means its time for indoor classes at Upper Echelon!  I am currently running my cross training and strength and conditioning classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30-6:30(We often run a few minutes over for stretching and recovery techniques, cialis 40mg
but people are free to leave, I know its often running into dinner time activities).

We do a range of training through the classes from running drills, agility drills, plyometrics, weights, stability drills, core and stretching.  I keep the program so it is building through the fall, so each class is a little different and continually changing to keep your body progressing and getting stronger while also keeping it interesting.  The training is based around fitness for cycling, focusing on building strength and power you need to ride hard through the season, while also addressing underused muscles and skills so you are more balanced and reduce chances for overuse injuries from sticking to one primary sport or activity through the year.

The training is great for both racers looking to keep fit and build an edge for their next race season, or just for people working for general fitness or cross training with no competition in sight.  The classes are structured in a way that you will be adequately challenged no matter what your level is.

Shoot me a message if you have any questions or sign up here:

http://www.upperechelonfitness.com/training/classes-and-clinics/

Hope to see you in class!

 
Hard to believe it, discount
but its already October, which means its time for indoor classes at Upper Echelon!  I am currently running my cross training and strength and conditioning classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30-6:30(We often run a few minutes over for stretching and recovery techniques, but people are free to leave, I know its often running into dinner time activities).

 

We do a range of training through the classes from running drills, agility drills, plyometrics, weights, stability drills, core and stretching.  I keep the program so it is building through the fall, so each class is a little different and continually changing to keep your body progressing and getting stronger while also keeping it interesting.  The training is based around fitness for cycling, focusing on building strength and power you need to ride hard through the season, while also addressing underused muscles and skills so you are more balanced and reduce chances for overuse injuries from sticking to one primary sport or activity through the year.

The training is great for both racers looking to keep fit and build an edge for their next race season, or just for people working for general fitness or cross training with no competition in sight.  The classes are structured in a way that you will be adequately challenged no matter what your level is.

 

Shoot me a message if you have any questions or sign up here:

http://www.upperechelonfitness.com/training/classes-and-clinics/

Hope to see you in class!

 
Hard to believe it, tadalafil but its already October, viagra 100mg
which means its time for indoor classes at Upper Echelon!  I am currently running my cross training and strength and conditioning classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30-6:30(We often run a few minutes over for stretching and recovery techniques, order
but people are free to leave, I know its often running into dinner time activities).

We do a range of training through the classes from running drills, agility drills, plyometrics, weights, stability drills, core and stretching.  I keep the program so it is building through the fall, so each class is a little different and continually changing to keep your body progressing and getting stronger while also keeping it interesting.  The training is based around fitness for cycling, focusing on building strength and power you need to ride hard through the season, while also addressing underused muscles and skills so you are more balanced and reduce chances for overuse injuries from sticking to one primary sport or activity through the year.

The training is great for both racers looking to keep fit and build an edge for their next race season, or just for people working for general fitness or cross training with no competition in sight.  The classes are structured in a way that you will be adequately challenged no matter what your level is.

 

Shoot me a message if you have any questions or sign up here:

http://www.upperechelonfitness.com/training/classes-and-clinics/

Hope to see you in class!

 
Massage therapy is a great tool for athletes looking to recover from training, medications
injuries and for anyone that is generally achy and tired from their stressful lives. Massage is great for anyone looking to help reduce stress, pharmacy
aches and pains, recover faster from training or injuries.

I am a licensed Massage Therapist (LMT #18718) who has extensive experience working with athletes, repetitive use injuries, injury recovery (such as strained/torn muscles, car accidents, bike race crashes) and those just generally looking to feel better.  My bodywork sessions are a blend of deep tissue, structural integration and swedish(relaxation) massage techniques aimed at working with your body to recover, reduce tension and improve the function of your body.

60min – 75$

90min- 105$

package deals(upfront payment required)

3 sessions – 210$

6 sessions – 400$

I can bill insurance for some individuals if your insurance allows(Either auto accident or health insurance)

Please arrive on time for your appointment, as I schedule so you receive a full 60 min or 90 min of bodywork.

Contact me to schedule!

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Massage therapy is a great tool for athletes looking to recover from training, prescription
injuries and for anyone that is generally achy and tired from their stressful lives. Massage is great for anyone looking to help reduce stress, aches and pains, recover faster from training or injuries.

I am a licensed Massage Therapist (LMT #18718) who has extensive experience working with athletes, repetitive use injuries, injury recovery (such as strained/torn muscles, car accidents, bike race crashes) and those just generally looking to feel better.  My bodywork sessions are a blend of deep tissue, structural integration and swedish(relaxation) massage techniques aimed at working with your body to recover, reduce tension and improve the function of your body.

60min – 75$

90min- 105$

package deals(upfront payment required)

3 sessions – 210$

6 sessions – 400$

I can bill insurance for some individuals if your insurance allows(Either auto accident or health insurance)

Please arrive on time for your appointment, as I schedule so you receive a full 60 min or 90 min of bodywork.

Contact me to schedule!
Massage therapy is a great tool for athletes looking to recover from training, pills injuries and bodies that are generally achy and tired from their active lifestyles.  Not only is it great for athletes looking for the extra sharp edge in their performance, drug
anyone suffering from stress, tension, car accidents, repetitive movements, poor body mechanics(how are you sitting right now?) and many other issues.

I am a licensed Massage Therapist (LMT #18718) with the main focus on working with athletes, repetitive use injuries, injury recovery(such as strained/torn muscles, car accidents, bike race crashes) and those just generally looking to feel better.  My bodywork sessions are a blend of deep tissue, structural integration and swedish(relaxation) massage techniques aimed at working with your body to recover, reduce tension and improve the function of your body.

60min – 75$

90min- 105$

package deals(upfront payment required)

3 sessions – 210$

6 sessions – 400$

I can bill insurance for some individuals if your insurance allows(Either auto accident or health insurance)

Please arrive on time for your appointment, as I schedule so you receive a full 60 min or 90 min of bodywork.

Contact me to schedule!
Its October, here the road season is fully wrapped up(been wrapped up for a while here in Oregon, cystitis
other places in the country such as Cali, its been holding on as tightly as it could through most of September though).  The rain is supposed to start falling here in Portland this weekend, the cyclocross racers are in full swing.

 

So at this point, most racers and even a lot of recreational riders who do not race, are wondering how to best spend their time training right now to adjust to the winter months.  If you are racing cyclocross, you should be in the prime of your yearly interval training.  On the bike, feeling the pain of VO2, threshold, race starts and numerous other workouts.  However, if you are not a cross racer, your training should be very different right now, even recreational riders should be looking at other types of training to be done.

Lets start with what to do on the bike – reduced hours for some people who are able to put in more time in the road season, for example, if you are a racer who is pretty capable and regularly do around 15 hours a week, on your bike, its a good time of year to cut back the total training hours a week around 10-12, and then only putting in around 6-7 on the bike.  If you are strapped for time, balancing work, training, family etc, you may already only be doing 6-7 hours a week of training.  If this is you, your overall hours should stay the same, as much as possible, but like the group who is able to put in more time, your focus should shift somewhat from on the bike training to include more forms of training off the bike.

Your on the bike training should consist mostly of easy rides, trying to keep it to endurance and low tempo paced riding.  Shy away from the harder efforts that are challenging your maximal efforts, 1 min power, or any other very hard experiences on the bike.  Occasionally, its good to toss in a hard ride through the off season, it will keep your training and riding fun, remind you why you are doing some cross training and generally blow out the cobwebs a bit.

Other on the bike training should include cadence and efficiency drills, working on keeping your knees in and not flaring out with every pedal stroke, keeping your heal in the proper place for full extension, keeping elbows bent and in and many other aspects of proper riding form we are not concentrating on the rest of the year.

Off the bike, you should be including some other sports or activities this time of year.  Doing some runs, XC skiing, soccer, or other aerobic activities that take you outside of the normal planes of movement we see everyday in cycling is great.  You want some variety to work weaker muscle groups to help strengthen your joints and improve overall mobility and function of them.  It will also help prevent on the bike injuries down the road by keeping imbalances in check and building up some supporting muscle groups that are important in maintaining overall good health.

This is also the time to include weights.  Strength training is a great way to help improve power on the bike, and the fall/winter is the best time to focus on it.  You should strive for a solid 12-16 week program getting in 2-3 days a week to really reap the benefit before moving into base miles, and through base miles it can be good to keep one day a week in with weights.

There are also many indoor group training sessions available out there(such as the ones I lead at UEF) that are based on an annual training plan and have shape and progress through the class.  Even if it is not a structured class, getting in a group class(maybe not even related to cycling) could be a good way to help motivate you and keep you in shape when other forms of training are not an option and you cant stand another minute in the rain or on the trainer.

Whatever route you go, the one key thing to do is to keep some sort of active routine up through the winter so you keep up some fitness and have fun.  Its also a great way to warm up on cold winter days!

Off Season Training has begun!

I discovered my love for two wheels, viagra sale probably as soon as I was allowed to stray, I still remember that shiny red tricycle!  From there the obsession only got worse, and before long, I was on my bike every day from a young age.  But wait, there are more things that have led to my experiences as a bike racer than life on a tricycle.  My real age as a bike race was started when I was highly involved with music. The bassoon, to be specific. I’m a seventh generation musician, and my grandmother, in her youthful 100’s, still writes pieces for me. My musical background took me from my home state of Oregon to the California Bay Area to attend the San Francisco Conservatory of Music following high school.

While at school in California, I did like everyone else does there and racing. When in Rome, right? Since I didn’t know a thing about bike racing, aside from not being able to race on a tricycle, I joined a local bay area bike club, Peninsula Velo.  What started out as dipping my toes immediately became a head first swan dive.  Immediately I knew that I would have to chase this to my highest potential to see how far I could take it, and how hard I could push myself.  In the process, I have made many great friends, found amazing experiences and places, and have built a wonderful career around the sport.

Eventually I ended up moving to Oregon, after I left the Conservatory and its small confining practice rooms, to attend school at the University of Oregon, where I earned a degree in Economics.  It seems the small room that I was confined in at the conservatory has followed me. This time it has disguised itself as something called a “lab”. Instead of running scales, symphonies and etudes, I did like all good economists and ran regressions. In addition to earning a degree in Economics, I also spent a large part of my time devoted to keeping up on the latest information on training and physiology to supplement my goals as a cyclist.  Since graduating college, I have been I spending my time training and racing, while also building it into a career of coaching riders of all ages and abilities.

I am a coach at Upper Echelon Fitness, and work along side several great coaches and staff. They are a great group to work with to help offer premier coaching in Oregon. In addition to coaching clients of my own, there is a saying that even a coach needs a coach. My coach and mentor has been Clark Natwick. Clark has been a great help and mentor through out my cycling career, helping to shape both myself as an athlete, and my coaching philosophies. I race and help manage a phenomenal elite team at Team Oregon, and we have created a team that has become a top development team in the northwest. In addition to developing riders from new racers to category 1 elite riders, Team Oregon is maintaining one of the best elite teams on the west coast.  Keep an eye out for us at an NRC near you! Without all these guys, I wouldn’t be able to chase my dream of winning professional bike races. Thanks!

Keep checking the site for updates as I relay the trials and tribulations of racing and training across the US in the effort of becoming the best athlete I can be. And thanks for cheering!

chrisswan3
Crashing sucks, youth health
but it is going to happen at one point or another, gonorrhea
whether you are racing or just on a ride, they happen.  At least usually they are not too bad.  Here are some pointers for making the crash a a little bit less painful and injury filled.

While still on the bike, if you are approaching a pile up or see the issue unfolding, look for possible exits.  Concentrate on the holes and gaps between riders and things rather than staring at people falling on the ground.  If you see a small gap between a rider and his bike, steer for that gap and try to squeeze through.  All the while, scrub speed as possible in case you do not make it through.

If you know your going to crash, at least do your best to point into flat areas, its better to crash into a rider on the road and land on pavement rather than pointing to light post on the side of the street.  Most crashes in crits are not too bad, usually just a bit of lost skin.  Aside from flopping poorly on the ground, most major injuries are sustained when a rider crashes into a fixed inanimate object such as light post, parking meter etc. These small hard fixed objects put all the forces of the impact into one small space and stop you suddenly.  Hitting a broader surface and sliding out(as in landing in the middle of the road) is much less devastating.  So if you have any chance to steer around something, point towards open flat areas and away from vertical fixed objects as best you can.

Scrub whatever speed you can, if you have time to slow a bit, losing a few mph while your still on the bike will be preferable to losing that mph while sliding on the ground using your skin as the brakes.  Especially if hitting an object is going to happen.  If you are cornering, hitting the brakes hard is going to cause the wheels to lock up and you will start to slide out.  Come up out of the corner, point the bike a bit straighter and hit the brakes.  Just be cautious what coming out of the corner will be setting you up for going straight into (see the above paragraph…).  Sometimes just going down in the corner will be a better option than crashing into something at the exit of the corner.

So, you have tried losing speed, going around, or the crash was just so sudden you didnt have time to think, you are now flying through the air and about to hit the ground.  Your best bet is to tuck and roll as much as possible.  Tuck your chin into your chest as much as possible, this will help minimize whiplash from hitting things, and help bring your head in so it is not flopping around smacking the pavement.  Especially important if you land on your back.  If you are erect and head out, you are going to smack your head into the pavement, increasing likely hood of concussion or neck injuries.  Keeping your chin tucked in allows you to roll back a bit more rather than having your head hit full force into the pave.

Its counter intuitive, but try to avoid catching yourself with your arms.  If you go down and are falling and put your arm out to catch yourself directly in front of you(like a push up position) this is the motion that will most likely cause a dislocated shoulder, as the humerus will get pushed back out of the socket, or the forces will go into the scapula and cause issues here.  If you put your arm out to the side(such as making a T with your arms out away from your sides) this can contribute to a broken clavicle as your humerus will get pushed up upon falling, leaving all the forces into the collar bone.  Broken wrists/hands/arms are also greatly increased in this position as this puts all the initial impact into one small exposed portion of your body, all the impact goes into the wrist and hand, up the arm and into the shoulder.

Direct hits to the shoulder, especially in downward or down & back impacts will also increase likely hood of breaking the clavicle(collar bone).  Tucking and rolling, aiming to roll onto your back or side, will help decrease the initial impact.

Tucking and rolling helps disperse the impact and smooths it out as you hit the ground, allowing the forces to go get dispersed, making the impacts less on particular points of your body.  You may have a few more sore spots and small bits of road rash in some multiple places, but being a little sore everywhere for a few days is much better than nursing a torn rotator cuff for the next 6 months.

Of course there are times where greater injury is unavoidable, but I know all of my crashes would have been much worse had I not known how to take a fall well.  For learning how to roll well, enroll in a Judo or Aikido class for a few months, these two martial arts involve lots of falls, and learning how to roll and take a fall is a big part of starting them.  You may never encounter thugs and need to use your new found ninja skills to fend off attackers, but if you intend to race bikes, the skills of falling may greatly reduce your chances of serious injury.

If your interested in learning some basics of how to roll, let me know and I would be happy to show you some rolling basics.
Hard to believe it, dosage
but its already October, which means its time for indoor classes at Upper Echelon!  I am currently running my cross training and strength and conditioning classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30-6:30(We often run a few minutes over for stretching and recovery techniques, but people are free to leave, I know its often running into dinner time activities).

We do a range of training through the classes from running drills, agility drills, plyometrics, weights, stability drills, core and stretching.  I keep the program so it is building through the fall, so each class is a little different and continually changing to keep your body progressing and getting stronger while also keeping it interesting.  The training is based around fitness for cycling, focusing on building strength and power you need to ride hard through the season, while also addressing underused muscles and skills so you are more balanced and reduce chances for overuse injuries from sticking to one primary sport or activity through the year.

The training is great for both racers looking to keep fit and build an edge for their next race season, or just for people working for general fitness or cross training with no competition in sight.  The classes are structured in a way that you will be adequately challenged no matter what your level is.

Shoot me a message if you have any questions or sign up here:

http://www.upperechelonfitness.com/training/classes-and-clinics/

Hope to see you in class!

 

Crashing with style! Tips for reducing injury when things go down…

I discovered my love for two wheels, migraine probably as soon as I was allowed to stray, search I still remember that shiny red tricycle!  From there the obsession only got worse, look and before long, I was on my bike every day from a young age.  But wait, there are more things that have led to my experiences as a bike racer than life on a tricycle.  My real age as a bike race was started when I was highly involved with music. The bassoon, to be specific. I’m a seventh generation musician, and my grandmother, in her youthful 100’s, still writes pieces for me. My musical background took me from my home state of Oregon to the California Bay Area to attend the San Francisco Conservatory of Music following high school.

While at school in California, I did like everyone else does there and racing. When in Rome, right? Since I didn’t know a thing about bike racing, aside from not being able to race on a tricycle, I joined a local bay area bike club, Peninsula Velo.  What started out as dipping my toes immediately became a head first swan dive.  Immediately I knew that I would have to chase this to my highest potential to see how far I could take it, and how hard I could push myself.  In the process, I have made many great friends, found amazing experiences and places, and have built a wonderful career around the sport.

Eventually I ended up moving to Oregon, after I left the Conservatory and its small confining practice rooms, to attend school at the University of Oregon, where I earned a degree in Economics.  It seems the small room that I was confined in at the conservatory has followed me. This time it has disguised as something called a “lab”. Instead of running scales, symphonies and etudes, I did like all good economists and ran regressions. In addition to earning a degree in Economics, I also spent a large part of my time devoted to keeping up on the latest information on training and physiology to supplement my goals as a cyclist.  Since graduating college, I have been I spending most of my time training and racing, and coaching riders of all ages and abilities.

I am a coach at Upper Echelon Fitness, and work along side great cycling coaches Russell Cree, Evan Elken, Tina Brubaker, Omer Kem, Brian Forbes and Linnea Avord. They are a great group to work with to help offer premier coaching in Oregon. In addition to coaching clients of my own, there is a saying that even a coach needs a coach. My coach and mentor has been Clark Natwick. Clark has been a great help and mentor through out my cycling career, helping to shape both myself as an athlete, and my coaching philosophies. I’m racing with a great group of guys at Team Oregon, a team that has become a top development team in Oregon. In addition to developing riders from new racers to category 1 elite riders, Team Oregon is maintaining one of the best elite teams on the west coast.  Keep an eye out for us at an NRC near you! Without all these guys, I wouldn’t be able to chase my dream of winning professional bike races. Thanks!

Keep checking the site for updates as I relay the trials and tribulations of racing and training across the US in the effort of becoming the best athlete I can be. And thanks for cheering!

chrisswan3
Crashing sucks, find
but it is going to happen at one point or another, pills
whether you are racing or just on a ride, illness
they happen.  At least usually they are not too bad.  Here are some pointers for making the crash a a little bit less painful and injury filled.

While still on the bike, if you are approaching a pile up or see the issue unfolding, look for possible exits.  Concentrate on the holes and gaps between riders and things rather than staring at people falling on the ground.  If you see a small gap between a rider and his bike, steer for that gap and try to squeeze through.  All the while, scrub speed as possible in case you do not make it through.

If you know your going to crash, at least do your best to point into flat areas, its better to crash into a rider on the road and land on pavement rather than pointing to light post on the side of the street.  Most crashes in crits are not too bad, usually just a bit of lost skin.  Aside from flopping poorly on the ground, most major injuries are sustained when a rider crashes into a fixed inanimate object such as light post, parking meter etc. These small hard fixed objects put all the forces of the impact into one small space and stop you suddenly.  Hitting a broader surface and sliding out(as in landing in the middle of the road) is much less devastating.  So if you have any chance to steer around something, point towards open flat areas and away from vertical fixed objects as best you can.

Scrub whatever speed you can, if you have time to slow a bit, losing a few mph while your still on the bike will be preferable to losing that mph while sliding on the ground using your skin as the brakes.  Especially if hitting an object is going to happen.  If you are cornering, hitting the brakes hard is going to cause the wheels to lock up and you will start to slide out.  Come up out of the corner, point the bike a bit straighter and hit the brakes.  Just be cautious what coming out of the corner will be setting you up for going straight into (see the above paragraph…).  Sometimes just going down in the corner will be a better option than crashing into something at the exit of the corner.

So, you have tried losing speed, going around, or the crash was just so sudden you didnt have time to think, you are now flying through the air and about to hit the ground.  Your best bet is to tuck and roll as much as possible.  Tuck your chin into your chest as much as possible, this will help minimize whiplash from hitting things, and help bring your head in so it is not flopping around smacking the pavement.  Especially important if you land on your back.  If you are erect and head out, you are going to smack your head into the pavement, increasing likely hood of concussion or neck injuries.  Keeping your chin tucked in allows you to roll back a bit more rather than having your head hit full force into the pave.

Its counter intuitive, but try to avoid catching yourself with your arms.  If you go down and are falling and put your arm out to catch yourself directly in front of you(like a push up position) this is the motion that will most likely cause a dislocated shoulder, as the humerus will get pushed back out of the socket, or the forces will go into the scapula and cause issues here.  If you put your arm out to the side(such as making a T with your arms out away from your sides) this can contribute to a broken clavicle as your humerus will get pushed up upon falling, leaving all the forces into the collar bone.  Broken wrists/hands/arms are also greatly increased in this position as this puts all the initial impact into one small exposed portion of your body, all the impact goes into the wrist and hand, up the arm and into the shoulder.

Direct hits to the shoulder, especially in downward or down & back impacts will also increase likely hood of breaking the clavicle(collar bone).  Tucking and rolling, aiming to roll onto your back or side, will help decrease the initial impact.

Tucking and rolling helps disperse the impact and smooths it out as you hit the ground, allowing the forces to go get dispersed, making the impacts less on particular points of your body.  You may have a few more sore spots and small bits of road rash in some multiple places, but being a little sore everywhere for a few days is much better than nursing a torn rotator cuff for the next 6 months.

Of course there are times where greater injury is unavoidable, but I know all of my crashes would have been much worse had I not known how to take a fall well.  For learning how to roll well, enroll in a Judo or Aikido class for a few months, these two martial arts involve lots of falls, and learning how to roll and take a fall is a big part of starting them.  You may never encounter thugs and need to use your new found ninja skills to fend off attackers, but if you intend to race bikes, the skills of falling may greatly reduce your chances of serious injury.

If your interested in learning some basics of how to roll, let me know and I would be happy to show you some rolling basics.

Cyclocross warm up tips

I just figured I toss out some general cyclocross racing tips for getting ready since Im getting a lot of the same questions from clients lately.  First off, pilule here is a short 45min warm up that is pretty good for cross that I like to do.  I will often times alter it based on what generally seems to work for a rider I am coaching, but here the one I like to use that seems really effective for most riders:

45min on trainer with trainer rear wheel and tire:

  • 5 min endurance pace, 90-100 rpm
  • 4 min tempo pace, 95 rpm
  • 2 min rest
  • 3 min threshold or just below at 100+ rpm
  • 2 min rest
  • 2 min hard effort, over threshold, 100 rpm
  • 2 min rest
  • 2 min hard effort, over threshold, 100+ rpm
  • 5 min rest

Remove bike from trainer, put on race wheels and check equipment.

Another note on race prep, be sure that you gear is packed, cleaned, maintained, ready to go the day before the race.  You don’t want to be fidgeting around with anything right before the race, or find any problems in the gear.  This is cross, the bikes take a little extra TLC to balance out the mud and abuse they take than your road bike, so be sure to keep this in mind when planning out your weekend racing plans, and prepping your gear.

Racing this time of year has all sorts of weather, be prepared for whatever may come at you.  Once you start the race, you probably wont need a lot of extra clothes on you, a skinsuite with a base layer under it has been plenty warm on cold days for me, but during the warm up, you dont want keep as warm and loose as possible(not too warm, we dont want to get overheated in the warm up either!)  So the main goal is to have clothes for the warm up.  If you take a preview lap before your warm up, or right before you race, try to keep on any rain gear you have if its wet and muddy-nothing wrong with a preview lap with a clip on fender, rain pants and a rain coat on a muddy day-you dont want to start your warm up already wet and muddy, or be standing around at the start line getting cold.  Most rain gear is pretty easy to rip off at the last second and hand to your buddy or significant other at the start line right before the race start.

Another thing, dont eat ANYTHING in the 30min before race start, you dont need it.  Digesting will take blood away from your muscles that need it to make you go fast!  Its a short event, you should have more than enough energy stored in your body to propel you through the race without having to consume additional food.  The old Gu at the start line routine before a criterium, time trail or cross race really doesn’t do anything for you, and might actually slow you down due to the decrease in blood flow from your legs.  Of course, there is the side to things where the sympathetic nervous system kicks in, shutting down your digestion whether or not theres food in there, thus sending blood flow from your stomach back to your legs when you start racing.  If this is the case, your going to have food just sitting there waiting to cause cramps or extra trips to the porta johns before the race.  In the hour before the race starts, stay away from solid food, maybe a gel in the first 20min of your warm up if you really feel you need an extra kick(again, the extra kick is mostly a mental thing, sort of a placebo effect), but nothing after that.  My best crits, TTs & cross races where the ones where I went into them being a little bit hungry.  Eat a good breakfast 3 hours before the event, but dont really eat anything until after the race at that point.  A few small snacks up to 1hr before the race, but in the final hour of prep before the race I think its best to avoid eating if you can.  You aren’t gonna bonk in a cross race unless you haven’t eaten anything that day, and your going to have a smoother blood sugar level with no food in the stomach, which means you’ve got premium gas in the tank and not diesel.

This does exclude hydration, I think its good to stay hydrated right up until the race start, and if your race is longer than 30min, take a big swig a few minutes before your start and it will slowly be distributed as its needed.  Be sure to be continually sucking down a water bottle through your warm up.  It wont cause the same problems unused food will in your stomach during the race, and if your in a race with no water bottles, being more hydrated than the next guy is gonna be a good thing for you.

Keep tuned for more tips, or shoot me a message if you have questions!

Back in action!

ue_banner_top

I’m a part of the coaching staff for Upper Echelon Fitness.

At Upper Echelon Fitness I work with my associates to provide the highest quality coaching possible. I provide individual training plans to meet individual needs and to help riders meet their cycling goals. I believe it is important to develop a rider in ways that not only increase their performance on the bike, patient but which also translate into a healthier lifestyle. In addition to improving physical and mental fitness, I feel many riders can benefit from learning more about their form, and by focusing on the small details of cycling skills that are often missed. It is my goal to develop riders fully, so that a rider may discover their true potential as an athlete. I strive to provide the highest quality coaching and to provide as much support as possible for my riders.

In addition to individual coaching plans, I instruct several Classes at Upper Echelon.  I am currently doing an indoor/out door cycling class Tuesdays at 7pm at UEF.  Indoor/outdoor is weather dependent, so come prepared to do either one, if it is nice, we will likely be doing drills and workouts outside.  I also do a race and bike handling skills course every Monday nights before the Monday night PIR race.  These include a 30minute session before the novice race, then I follow the race and am in the back of the pack, to add tips and advice DURING the race, and follow up with a post race analysis and Q & A.  These classes are catered to all skill levels, so whether its your first race, or you have been racing for a while and want to get some hands on instruction, you will be sure to benefit.  time to be prepared to begin the class at 6pm.

Space is limited, so please pre-register through the upper echelon site.  The Tuesday cycling class is $15, begins promptly at 7pm.  The Monday night skills clinics begin at 5:45pm, and are $10 a night.

For more information about coaching and other services we provide at Upper Echelon, make sure to visit our site!
Ill be doing a little “Rules of Thumb for Bike Fitting” Presentation as part of the Lloyd Transit brown bag lunch series, remedy on September 14th.  I just finished putting together a little hand out to cover some basics that I have picked up through my years of coaching and working at bike shops.  It might not solve every fit problem your experiencing, but it might help.  The best bet is to go talk to a professional in person to have your position assessed and have the changes made that you need based on good body mechanics and position, given from an experienced eye.  But, in the mean time, enjoy these little tips to help you find more comfort in your ride!

Initial Fitting Guidlines
Seat height-Stand straight against a wall, wearing whatever shoes you intend to ride with, then measure your inseam by holding a book horizontally, bringing it up between your legs, holding it firmly to you and the wall, step over the book(or have someone else measure) and measure the distance from the top of the book to the floor. Then take this number, multiply it by 1.09, and this should be the distance from your pedal at the BOTTOM of the stroke(measure your pedal in the 6 o’clock position, in line with the seat tube) to the top of the saddle.
Seat position-Level is key – the saddle should be perfectly level, or a slight tilt down in the nose. Too much forward tilt will cause you to slide off the saddle, causing back pain as your core and shoulder works to stabilize you on the saddle.
Fore/Aft saddle position – make a plum bob using a weight of some sort and a string. While seated on the bike, have your feet and pedals at 3 and 9 o’clock, have the plum bob dangling from the end of your femur by feeling your knee cap, then slide just to the inside of your leg, to where it is hard bone, and you have dropped off your knee cap(this is the femur) drop the weighted string from this point, it should be at or behind the spindle of the pedal.
Upper body-you should be able to COMFORTABLY reach your brakes and shifters. While sitting within reach of the brakes, you should have your arms slightly bent. Ideally, you want some weight on your arms and to not be in a completely upright position-this takes some weight off your sit bones(less saddle sore!) and allows vibrations to be more evenly disbursed through your core, and not up your spinal column as you ride. It also allows some more weight on the front wheel, producing better control and braking of the bicycle.
Common pains, possible causes, and possible fixes
Pain in the back of the knee- Saddle too high(lower saddle!), saddle too far back(slide forward!).
Outside Knee pain- Saddle too low(raise saddle!), Tight Hamstrings(Stretch!), Toes pointed in on pedals (point further out).
Inside knee pain-toes pointed out(point more inward!) stance on pedals too wide(narrow stance).
Front knee pain- Saddle too low(Raise Saddle!), Saddle too far forward(Slide back on rails!), Cadence too low(pedal faster in easier gears!), Crank too long(buy a shorter crank).
Neck and Shoulder pain- Saddle has too much tilt (neutralize/level), improper reach to handle bars(get shorter/longer stem), Handle bar too low(raise handle bars).
Low back pain-Handle bars too far away(get smaller stem/smaller frame), Bars too Low(raise), Too much tilt in Saddle(Neutralize/level saddle), poor core strength/leg flexibility(core work/stretch legs especially ham strings).
Chris Swan-Upper Echelon Fitness Cycling Coach – chris@chrisswan.com – (541) 556-8815
Sore hips – Saddle is likely too low (raise saddle!).
Numbness or painful hands-too much tilt in saddle(Level saddle), not enough padding(new bar tape/grips/gloves), improper reach(shorten/lengthen stem).
Numbness or Pain in feet-poor cleat position, shoe too small(size up for cycling shoes!), shoe not stiff enough(cycling specific shoes are STIFF to distribute weight).
Pain/discomfort on sit bones-wear cycling specific shorts(have pads built in, and less chafing as well!), try a different saddle(more padding does not always mean more comfort! Some shops allow you to demo saddles), more time in the saddle(not what people usually want to hear, but it works!).
These are only some TIPS, getting a perfect fit to your bike takes time, trial and error, and experience. Once you have a fit you like (and definitely before you make any equipment changes on your bike), be sure to take the measurements of the distances from your saddle to pedals, reach to bars, drop in bars, and position of the saddle. One other thing to keep in mind is that there are subtle differences between equipment sizes. For example, if you purchase a new saddle, the new saddle may sit shorter from the rails to the top of the saddle, effectively lowering your seat post when you put on the new saddle. Always measure and re-measure when replacing/trying out new parts. If you still are not achieving comfort while on your bike after trying some home trouble shooting, talk to your local professional bike fitter about scheduling an appointment to be fitted to your bicycle. Keep in mind, that many local shops don’t offer a professional level fitting, so don’t be afraid to shop around a little for the right person. An experienced eye of someone who fits several people a day, experienced in body mechanics and focuses on body mechanics in cycling can make wonders! Riding your bike should not be an uncomfortable experience!
Ill be doing a little “Rules of Thumb for Bike Fitting” Presentation as part of the Lloyd Transit brown bag lunch series, what is ed
on September 14th.  I just finished putting together a little hand out to cover some basics that I have picked up through my years of coaching and working at bike shops.  It might not solve every fit problem your experiencing, herpes
but it might help.  The best bet is to go talk to a professional in person to have your position assessed and have the changes made that you need based on good body mechanics and position, given from an experienced eye.  But, in the mean time, enjoy these little tips to help you find more comfort in your ride!

Initial Fitting Guidlines
Seat height-Stand straight against a wall, wearing whatever shoes you intend to ride with, then measure your inseam by holding a book horizontally, bringing it up between your legs, holding it firmly to you and the wall, step over the book(or have someone else measure) and measure the distance from the top of the book to the floor. Then take this number, multiply it by 1.09, and this should be the distance from your pedal at the BOTTOM of the stroke(measure your pedal in the 6 o’clock position, in line with the seat tube) to the top of the saddle.
Seat position-Level is key – the saddle should be perfectly level, or a slight tilt down in the nose. Too much forward tilt will cause you to slide off the saddle, causing back pain as your core and shoulder works to stabilize you on the saddle.
Fore/Aft saddle position – make a plum bob using a weight of some sort and a string. While seated on the bike, have your feet and pedals at 3 and 9 o’clock, have the plum bob dangling from the end of your femur by feeling your knee cap, then slide just to the inside of your leg, to where it is hard bone, and you have dropped off your knee cap(this is the femur) drop the weighted string from this point, it should be at or behind the spindle of the pedal.
Upper body-you should be able to COMFORTABLY reach your brakes and shifters. While sitting within reach of the brakes, you should have your arms slightly bent. Ideally, you want some weight on your arms and to not be in a completely upright position-this takes some weight off your sit bones(less saddle sore!) and allows vibrations to be more evenly disbursed through your core, and not up your spinal column as you ride. It also allows some more weight on the front wheel, producing better control and braking of the bicycle.
Common pains, possible causes, and possible fixes
Pain in the back of the knee- Saddle too high(lower saddle!), saddle too far back(slide forward!).
Outside Knee pain- Saddle too low(raise saddle!), Tight Hamstrings(Stretch!), Toes pointed in on pedals (point further out).
Inside knee pain-toes pointed out(point more inward!) stance on pedals too wide(narrow stance).
Front knee pain- Saddle too low(Raise Saddle!), Saddle too far forward(Slide back on rails!), Cadence too low(pedal faster in easier gears!), Crank too long(buy a shorter crank).
Neck and Shoulder pain- Saddle has too much tilt (neutralize/level), improper reach to handle bars(get shorter/longer stem), Handle bar too low(raise handle bars).
Low back pain-Handle bars too far away(get smaller stem/smaller frame), Bars too Low(raise), Too much tilt in Saddle(Neutralize/level saddle), poor core strength/leg flexibility(core work/stretch legs especially ham strings).
Chris Swan-Upper Echelon Fitness Cycling Coach – chris@chrisswan.com – (541) 556-8815
Sore hips – Saddle is likely too low (raise saddle!).
Numbness or painful hands-too much tilt in saddle(Level saddle), not enough padding(new bar tape/grips/gloves), improper reach(shorten/lengthen stem).
Numbness or Pain in feet-poor cleat position, shoe too small(size up for cycling shoes!), shoe not stiff enough(cycling specific shoes are STIFF to distribute weight).
Pain/discomfort on sit bones-wear cycling specific shorts(have pads built in, and less chafing as well!), try a different saddle(more padding does not always mean more comfort! Some shops allow you to demo saddles), more time in the saddle(not what people usually want to hear, but it works!).
These are only some TIPS, getting a perfect fit to your bike takes time, trial and error, and experience. Once you have a fit you like (and definitely before you make any equipment changes on your bike), be sure to take the measurements of the distances from your saddle to pedals, reach to bars, drop in bars, and position of the saddle. One other thing to keep in mind is that there are subtle differences between equipment sizes. For example, if you purchase a new saddle, the new saddle may sit shorter from the rails to the top of the saddle, effectively lowering your seat post when you put on the new saddle. Always measure and re-measure when replacing/trying out new parts. If you still are not achieving comfort while on your bike after trying some home trouble shooting, talk to your local professional bike fitter about scheduling an appointment to be fitted to your bicycle. Keep in mind, that many local shops don’t offer a professional level fitting, just a basic fitting with a few tools to get you in the ball park, so don’t be afraid to shop around a little for the right person. An experienced eye of someone who fits several people a day, experienced in body mechanics and focuses on body mechanics in cycling can make wonders! Riding your bike should not be an uncomfortable experience!
So after a road season ending crash I took at the Eugene Celebration, plague
I took it as a subtle hint that maybe this year I was not destined to have a full road season, dosage
and instead I was destined to race cross.  I mean, cialis 40mg
this is Oregon after all, and its hip to do cross.  After all, it has the highest attendance of any of the bicycle racing disciplines, kinda ironic given the number of people that are in it because they deem it as being counter culture, against the norm, or some form of rebellion against the sport of bike racing while still getting to race bikes.  But what ever the reasons, its just plain fun.  Especially given that fall and winter here is usually pretty cold and rainy.

So, back into the training and racing game!  First race back was pretty successful, managed to pull off a 4th place after a minor mishap that involved getting unclipped from both pedals simultaneously and the chain falling off, so I had to get off the bike, fix the chain, and then get back into the race.  Could have been worse, and I managed to claw my way back to the front group, only to have a side stitch that clawed its way under the right side of my lower rib cage, making responding to any hard efforts handed out by the guys pretty much impossible.

All in all, its good to be back in the saddle and racing again.

Tips for bike fitting

Well after a long, diagnosis but very fast moving, off season is done, its time for an even longer, and faster moving, race season to come back.  So far Ive done 2 races this year, Cherry Pie and Sublime.  Skipped Jack Frost this year, it seems to be becoming an every other year sort of race for me, to enjoy the nice weather.  It was such a nice day out, I thought that a good long training ride would be a much better way of honoring it  rather than riding so hard you forget that its a nice day in the first place.

Cherry pie had a good showing as usual, but  me and my team missed the break, whoops.

Then it was Sublime.  It had a few more heavy hitters in the field than last year did, and I managed to get back on the podium, but once again, missed the break…whoops again.

Sublime was a race of attrition, which you would know pretty well if you raced it.  If you havn’t raced it, looking at the profile it doesn’t look too menacing, but it is.  If you dont like to climb, you may not like this race.  But you should still give it a try, if nothing else to build some character and make yourself a better bike racer by learning to suffer a little more.  Dave Kuhns puts on a great race, he is fast becoming a top notch race promotor.

In other news, training is good, the team is looking good and we have a lot of new support that we didnt have last year.  Some of which includes Blue Cycles, Ill be riding on their AC1 this year.  For nutrition we have Dr Will Bars; these are addictive, and prove to be the best bar Ive tried on the bike so far.  We also have Nuun, which is a great electrolyte product, and another food that I would happily eat on or off the bike.

Other new things for the 2010 race season include becoming a portland resident.  I miss the training in Eugene, it has some of the best roads I have ridden on by far.  Ill miss the Thursday night group rides, and the Tuesday Night crits-which are the hardest crits in Oregon, aside from Cascade Cycling Classics NRC downtwon crit, and I have the power files to prove it.  The plus side of living in portland is that there are some better climbs, and all the racing is closer.  That and living in what has been voted the best cycling town in the country is pretty cool.

This weekend is the first banana belt, Im hoping it will be a nice day, but knowing the history of the weather for these races, Im not going to be too surprised if there is sleet, rain or snow on the sides of the road.

Should be fun.
Ill be doing a little “Rules of Thumb for Bike Fitting” Presentation as part of the Lloyd Transit brown bag lunch series, global burden of disease
on September 14th.  I just finished putting together a little hand out to cover some basics that I have picked up through my years of coaching and working at bike shops.  It might not solve every fit problem your experiencing, but it might help.  The best bet is to go talk to a professional in person to have your position assessed and have the changes made that you need based on good body mechanics and position, given from an experienced eye.  But, in the mean time, enjoy these little tips to help you find more comfort in your ride!

Initial Fitting Guidlines
Seat height-Stand straight against a wall, wearing whatever shoes you intend to ride with, then measure your inseam by holding a book horizontally, bringing it up between your legs, holding it firmly to you and the wall, step over the book(or have someone else measure) and measure the distance from the top of the book to the floor. Then take this number, multiply it by 1.09, and this should be the distance from your pedal at the BOTTOM of the stroke(measure your pedal in the 6 o’clock position, in line with the seat tube) to the top of the saddle.
Seat position-Level is key – the saddle should be perfectly level, or a slight tilt down in the nose. Too much forward tilt will cause you to slide off the saddle, causing back pain as your core and shoulder works to stabilize you on the saddle.
Fore/Aft saddle position – make a plum bob using a weight of some sort and a string. While seated on the bike, have your feet and pedals at 3 and 9 o’clock, have the plum bob dangling from the end of your femur by feeling your knee cap, then slide just to the inside of your leg, to where it is hard bone, and you have dropped off your knee cap(this is the femur) drop the weighted string from this point, it should be at or behind the spindle of the pedal.
Upper body-you should be able to COMFORTABLY reach your brakes and shifters. While sitting within reach of the brakes, you should have your arms slightly bent. Ideally, you want some weight on your arms and to not be in a completely upright position-this takes some weight off your sit bones(less saddle sore!) and allows vibrations to be more evenly disbursed through your core, and not up your spinal column as you ride. It also allows some more weight on the front wheel, producing better control and braking of the bicycle.
Common pains, possible causes, and possible fixes
Pain in the back of the knee- Saddle too high(lower saddle!), saddle too far back(slide forward!).
Outside Knee pain- Saddle too low(raise saddle!), Tight Hamstrings(Stretch!), Toes pointed in on pedals (point further out).
Inside knee pain-toes pointed out(point more inward!) stance on pedals too wide(narrow stance).
Front knee pain- Saddle too low(Raise Saddle!), Saddle too far forward(Slide back on rails!), Cadence too low(pedal faster in easier gears!), Crank too long(buy a shorter crank).
Neck and Shoulder pain- Saddle has too much tilt (neutralize/level), improper reach to handle bars(get shorter/longer stem), Handle bar too low(raise handle bars).
Low back pain-Handle bars too far away(get smaller stem/smaller frame), Bars too Low(raise), Too much tilt in Saddle(Neutralize/level saddle), poor core strength/leg flexibility(core work/stretch legs especially ham strings).
Chris Swan-Upper Echelon Fitness Cycling Coach – chris@chrisswan.com – (541) 556-8815
Sore hips – Saddle is likely too low (raise saddle!).
Numbness or painful hands-too much tilt in saddle(Level saddle), not enough padding(new bar tape/grips/gloves), improper reach(shorten/lengthen stem).
Numbness or Pain in feet-poor cleat position, shoe too small(size up for cycling shoes!), shoe not stiff enough(cycling specific shoes are STIFF to distribute weight).
Pain/discomfort on sit bones-wear cycling specific shorts(have pads built in, and less chafing as well!), try a different saddle(more padding does not always mean more comfort! Some shops allow you to demo saddles), more time in the saddle(not what people usually want to hear, but it works!).
These are only some TIPS, getting a perfect fit to your bike takes time, trial and error, and experience. Once you have a fit you like (and definitely before you make any equipment changes on your bike), be sure to take the measurements of the distances from your saddle to pedals, reach to bars, drop in bars, and position of the saddle. One other thing to keep in mind is that there are subtle differences between equipment sizes. For example, if you purchase a new saddle, the new saddle may sit shorter from the rails to the top of the saddle, effectively lowering your seat post when you put on the new saddle. Always measure and re-measure when replacing/trying out new parts. If you still are not achieving comfort while on your bike after trying some home trouble shooting, talk to your local professional bike fitter about scheduling an appointment to be fitted to your bicycle. Keep in mind, that many local shops don’t offer a professional level fitting, just a basic fitting with a few tools to get you in the ball park, so don’t be afraid to shop around a little for the right person. An experienced eye of someone who fits several people a day, experienced in body mechanics and focuses on body mechanics in cycling can make wonders! Riding your bike should not be an uncomfortable experience!

Group Training at UEF!

I discovered my love for two wheels back in 2005. My background is music. The bassoon, urologist to be specific. I’m a seventh generation musician, and my grandmother, in her youthful 90’s, still writes pieces for me. My musical background took me from my home state of Oregon to the California Bay Area to attend the San Francisco Conservatory of Music following high school.

While at school in California, I did like everyone else does there and started cycling. When in Rome, right? Since I didn’t know a thing about bike racing, I joined a local bay area bike club, Peninsula Velo, and started dipping my toes in the waters of racing. Immediately I knew that I would have to chase this to my highest potential and see how far I could take it.

After a few years of staying confined in a small cell called a “practice room” at the Conservatory, I decided to break out of there. I left the Conservatory and attended school at the University of Oregon, where I earned a degree in Economics, but it seems the small room that I was confined in at the conservatory has followed me. This time it has disguised as something called a “lab”. Instead of running scales, symphonies and etudes, I did like all good economists and ran regressions. In addition to earning a degree in Economics, I also spent time keeping up on the latest information on training and physiology to supplement my goals as a cyclist. Now that the degree has been earned, I spend most of my time training and racing, and sharing the knowledge of racing and training I’ve gained about this great sport with the athletes I work with.

I am a coach at Upper Echelon Fitness, and work along side great cycling coaches Russell Cree, Jeannette Rose, and Evan Elken. They are a great group to work with to help offer premier coaching in Oregon. In addition to coaching clients of my own, there is a saying that even a coach needs a coach. I am coached by professional coach, Clark Natwick. Clark has been a great help and mentor through out my cycling career. I’m racing with a great group of guys at Team Oregon, a team that has become a top development team in Oregon. In addition to developing riders from new racers to category 1 elite riders, Team Oregon is striving to build one of the best elite teams on the west coast.  Keep an eye out for us at an NRC near you! Without all these guys, I wouldn’t be able to chase my dream of winning professional bike races. Thanks!

Keep checking the site for updates as I relay the trials and tribulations of racing and training across the US in the effort of becoming the best athlete I can be. And thanks for cheering!

chrisswan3
Its November, this
the days are getting shorter, buy cialis
and the weather colder and wetter.  What better excuse than to come partake in some classes at UEF!  I have a cross training class for cyclists on Tuesdays and Thursdays, prostate
from 6:30pm-7:30pm, and a Trainer Class on Wednesdays from 6pm-7pm which fits this need perfectly!

The cross training class focuses on strengthening both primary and secondary muscles used in cycling, in order to balance cyclists out as athletes, and build a solid foundation of fitness ready to hit the miles hard, and be ready to perform come race season.  The cross training includes agility drills, weights, plyometrics, core and stretching.

The Trainer class is an hour long class, focusing on improving cadence, and aerobic endurance, with fast paced workouts designed to keep you riding strong through the off season.  No trainer? No problem!  We have a large variety of trainers and rollers at the space, so all you need to bring is you, your bike, and the ambition to train hard!

The cross training classes run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and go from 6:30pm-7:30pm.  Come wearing workout clothes, running shoes.

The trainer class is on Wednesdays, from 6pm-7pm.  Bring your bike and kit, show up a few minutes early to get your bike on the trainer and ready to roll by 6pm.

The classes are $15 each, or buy a ten pack of classes at a reduced price, which also allows you to mix and match your classes getting a little bit of the full spectrum of training!  Check out the Upper Echelon Website for more details and to sign up for the classes!

2010 Race Season is here!

Well after a long, ampoule but very fast moving, off season is done, its time for an even longer, and faster moving, race season to come back.  So far Ive done 2 races this year, Cherry Pie and Sublime.  Skipped Jack Frost this year, it seems to be becoming an every other year sort of race for me, to enjoy the nice weather.  It was such a nice day out, I thought that a good long training ride would be a much better way of honoring it  rather than riding so hard you forget that its a nice day in the first place.

Cherry pie had a good showing as usual, but  me and my team missed the break, whoops.

Then it was Sublime.  It had a few more heavy hitters in the field than last year did, and I managed to get back on the podium, but once again, missed the break…whoops again.

Sublime was a race of attrition, which you would know pretty well if you raced it.  If you havn’t raced it, looking at the profile it doesn’t look too menacing, but it is.  If you dont like to climb, you may not like this race.  But you should still give it a try, if nothing else to build some character and make yourself a better bike racer by learning to suffer a little more.  Dave Kuhns puts on a great race, he is fast becoming a top notch race promotor.

In other news, training is good, the team is looking good and we have a lot of new support that we didnt have last year.  Some of which includes Blue Cycles, Ill be riding on their AC1 this year.  For nutrition we have Dr Will Bars; these are addictive, and prove to be the best bar Ive tried on the bike so far.  We also have Nuun, which is a great electrolyte product, and another food that I would happily eat on or off the bike.

Other new things for the 2010 race season include becoming a portland resident.  I miss the training in Eugene, it has some of the best roads I have ridden on by far.  Ill miss the Thursday night group rides, and the Tuesday Night crits-which are the hardest crits in Oregon, aside from Cascade Cycling Classics NRC downtwon crit, and I have the power files to prove it.  The plus side of living in portland is that there are some better climbs, and all the racing is closer.  That and living in what has been voted the best cycling town in the country is pretty cool.

This weekend is the first banana belt, Im hoping it will be a nice day, but knowing the history of the weather for these races, Im not going to be too surprised if there is sleet, rain or snow on the sides of the road.

Should be fun.  All in all, 2009 season was good, but Im confident that 2010 will be even better.