Coaching Services

Background

Racing friends round the block when a kid ignited a lifelong love of all things cycling for me. After joining my local cycling club, I raced on the road before my racing career was cut short by health issues. I gave up competitive cycling for a while, but continued to ride to a high level and when the newly invented sport of mountain biking came along, I quickly transferred over to riding on the dirt, travelling far and wide in search of the perfect trail.

Since becoming a family man, I returned to racing road bikes, and following a move to the Pasadena area, I took advantage of the mild, dry winters to race cyclocross.

I’m passionate about the sport of cycling and share that passion with others through being a Certified USAC Cycling Coach and Vice President and Race Director of PAA Cycling Club.

Services

I offer the following services:

Group Training

I specialize in group training of riders for road, cyclocross or mountain biking.  I’ve worked with groups of up to 40 riders but I have found 8-15 tends to work best.  I have a repository of sessions that can be run “as is” or sessions can be tailor made to meet the specific needs of the group.  Sessions can be skills based or fitness (workout) based or a combination of both.  A few examples of sessions run previously include:

  • Group riding
  • Pacelines
  • Sprinting
  • Threshold tests
  • Time trial training
  • Race simulations
  • Barriers (cyclocross)
  • Drop off’s (mountain bike)
  • Line choice (cyclocross/mountain)
  • Cornering (road/mountain/cross)

This is not an exhaustive list, but just a few of the sessions I have run.  Video analysis can be used to augment on the bike sessions.

Bike Fit

Bike fit services, including:

  • Basic bike fit
  • Shoe cleat fitting/set up

Individual Coaching

I do not generally prepare custom training programs for individual clients, however individual sessions to review/work on specific aspects a rider feels they need help with may be arranged.

Examples include:

  • Specific workouts aimed at improving key areas.
  • Specific technical skills training.
  • Goal Setting.
  • Mental skills training.
  • Nutrition.

Other Information

In addition to USAC Coaching certification I have continuing education credits in the following areas:

  • Environmental physiology
  • Beginner racer training
  • Mental training
  • Season planning and peaking
  • Cyclocross training
  • Nutrition and hydration
  • Training and racing with power

Nick Humby, 2016

Race Training – Sessions 9&10

Results from last nights time trial race simulation are shown below:

Split 1 Split 2 Finish Rank
Dante DNS
Jason F 08:33 17:11 25:39 7
Hector 08:23 16:40 DNF
Bernie 07:51 15:30 23:13 2
Todd 08:16 16:27 24:30 6
Jason M 08:45 17:29 26:00 8
Wes 07:53 15:42 23:18 3
Rob 07:59 16:08 24:04 4
Peter 08:49 17:53 26:55 9
Torsten 07:39 15:27 23:05 1
David 07:56 16:06 24:06 5

Good work everybody and special shout out to Torsten for recording the fastest time.

I would encourage you all to repeat this test every now and again to see how your fitness is progressing.  A 20-30minute effort such as this is ideal for calculating your functional threshold power if you have a power meter and if not you can use the effort required to broadly gauge training intensities as percentage of that effort.  We have been doing this through these sessions as I have been referring to percentage of threshold pace for the effort we should be putting in.

Next week, Session 10 is the last planned session of the Race Training Clinics (has a bit of an “end of school” feel to it, don’t you think?).  There are three options: we can either do a decreasing interval set, a fartlek session (race simulation) or repeat a previous session if anyone has a favorite they want to do again.  Drop me an email with your preference and I’ll make a decision over the weekend.

Race Training Session 9 – Warm Up Protocol for Time Trials

Here is the warm up protocol we will use for tomorrow’s time trial training session.  There are many warm up protocols for time trials but this one works for us as it is about the right length of time and has the key TT warm up elements, an easy phase at the beginning and end, a progressive build phase, and some short sprint efforts to get your body used to the hard effort to come without tiring.  It also has been used by Team Sky (http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/page/latest-news/?id=88439).

  • 5 min light
  • 8 min progressive to Zone 5
  • 2 min easy
  • 2 min to include – 3 x 6s accelerations to activate
  • 3 mins easy

Notes:

  1. Progressive means building to the power zone over the 8 minutes.  Only in the last 1 min do you get to Z5 (Z5 -> 90% maximum heart rate for those that have HRM’s)
  2. 6 second accelerations are sprints & for a whole 6 seconds!

There are three key things to remember when warming up for time trials – the shorter the time trial the longer and harder the warm up needs to be; make sure you warm up hard enough and don’t finish your warm up too long before the start time.

Race Training, Sessions 8&9

Great session last night everyone.  A couple of points to remember if you are going to do a session like last night again, firstly, remember to use the rest part of the set to try to recover, don’t worry about keeping your speed up, in fact sometimes its worth going slower so you can complete your next jump before a corner (say).  Of course, these kind of efforts are really better done on a trainer where corners, stops, lights, traffic etc can’t interfere with the quality of the interval.  Secondly, those hard repeated out of the saddle efforts really make you realize how important core training is for cycling.  Finally on last night, I’d like to say that Todd – you really surprised me – fantastic effort! I never knew you had such a jump, we’ll have to turn you into a sprinter……

Anyway, on to week 9.  This week is TT training.  I know in SoCal we don’t have that many TT’s but they are a great way to improve and test your threshold and that can help with other aspects of racing too.  Teams like Garmin seemed to have made a policy of recruiting plenty of strong time trialists to their ranks, because these kind of guys can use that ability to win races solo, from breakaways, drive the front of the peloton, lead out sprints, oh and time trial.  Pretty versatile skill to have.

I’d recommend all riders test themselves with a 20-30minute time trial over a set course at regular intervals during the season to understand their (threshold) fitness level.

The session plan will be like this:

Meet/Briefing
Warm up laps – time trial specific warm up
3 lap time trial – set off at 30 second intervals
Warm down lap
Debrief/end

This TT training session will be for road bikes so no turning up with TT bikes,disk wheels, skinsuits etc please!

To get you in the mood, here are some time trial specific articles you may find interesting, a lot can be applied to riding in the wind on a road bike, so don’t discount them just because you don’t have a specific TT bike.

http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/aerodynamics-made-easy-30981/

http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/article/how-aero-is-aero-19273/

http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/aero-position-isnt-everything-31165/

See you Wednesday

Race Training Session 8

Well, 7 sessions down and 3 to go!  This week, (#8) is another sprint training session.  The plan is as follows, please set up your stopwatches/Garmins to reflect the workout ahead of the session.  This is going to be a hard one to pace if you don’t have the workout planned on a Garmin, so if you don’t have one then try to pair up with someone who does.

Meet/Briefing

Warm up lap x2
Regroup/Split into groups of 2 or 3
1 lap: 10 second intervals with 30 seconds between each interval (approx 12 per lap)
1 lap: 20 second intervals with 1 min between each interval (approx 7 per lap)
1 lap: 30 second intervals with  1 min 30 seconds between each interval (approx 4 per lap)
The shorter sets should be done on a smaller gear, using a slightly bigger gear for the longer interval so you can keep going for the longer duration.  The focus should be on sprinting up to maximum as fast as possible, focusing on your jump/acceleration and then holding on, rather than trying to pace yourself over the full interval.
Nearing the end of each lap we’ll take a short bit of recovery time (2-3mins) along the short straight then carry on with the next set.
After the 3 laps we’ll come in and regroup, then we’ll do one lap together to warm down.
Debrief/End.

As for assignments, here’s another sprint tip from cyclingtips:
Fine tuning your sprint:  http://cyclingtips.com.au/2012/10/fine-tuning-your-sprint-with-ben-kersten/
And don’t forget to Google victory salutes so you can make it look good when you win!

Stretching: dynamic vs static

As I mentioned to a few of you at the race training session last night, I was surprised to learn that there is evidence to show that static stretching is actually detrimental to performance. Static stretching is where a stretch is held for a period of time,as opposed to a dynamic stretch where there is gentle movement throughout the stretch.

Here’s a link to an article on this: http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2011/11/07/a-conversation-with-about-the-merits-of-stretching/

Race Training Sessions 7&8

Session 7
I hope everyone enjoyed last night.  I was a bit nervous about the structure of the session as it was something I hadn’t done before.  Please email me any feedback you may have.  I’m working on the basis that if my legs ache the next day then it must have been a good session and they sure ache today!

Session 8
Session 8 will be another sprint training session, similar to session 5.

Pre-session 8 assignments
Fine tuning your sprint:  http://cyclingtips.com.au/2012/10/fine-tuning-your-sprint-with-ben-kersten/

And don’t forget to Google victory salutes so you can make it look good when you win!

See you next week.