Spartan Beast Temecula, California
3:38:44 Mike Sanchez (1st AG M50-54)
2:30:00 Eric Kimble (3rd AG M30-34)
Over the next two weekends the following Durapulse athletes will be racing around the world in their respective events. Best wishes to Laurel Sroufe as she will be representing Tribe/Durapulse at the XTERRA National Championships in Utah.
Laurel Sroufe, XTERRA National Championships, Ogden, Utah
Ryan Ferreira, Ironman Maryland
Marvin Malkowski Jr., Maui Marathon
Joan Sommerlad, Maui Half Marathon
Lowry Barfield, Ironman Mallorca, Spain
The following are some of the local races on the calendar.
Tempe Triathlon, September 21, 2014
JCC Triathlon, September 28, 2014
XTERRA Trail Run-Estrella Mountain, October 5, 2014
Bartlett Triathlon, October 5, 2014
XTERRA Rock Hopper, October 12, 2014
SOMA Triathlon, October 19, 2014
TriFamily Gilbert Triathlon, October 19, 2014
Mesa Halloween Triathlon, October 26, 2014
Thanksgiving Triathlon, November 27, 2014
Mark your calendars and reserve the following dates.
October 11, 2014 Tri Clinic at Roosevelt or Saguaro Lake
November 8, 2014 Open Water Swim at Saguaro Lake
Bicycle Pedal Stroke
The pedal stroke in a spin cycle is one complete revolution or 360 degrees from one point in the pedal stroke back to that same point. A bicycle revolution is measured in RPM’s or revolutions per minute and is often referred to as “bicycle cadence.” There are four major phases in a complete revolution of the pedal stroke; the down stroke, the up stroke, and the very top and very bottom of the pedal stroke. The downstroke is the phase where the rider moves his/her foot from “top dead center” to “bottom dead center.” This phase requires the rider to push and the force of this phase can be increased by using the rider’s weight by standing on the pedals. The downward force required to move through this phase is inherent to all riders. This is the phase that all riders used to learn how to ride a bike. “Pushing” is a natural movement to all riders, young or old, weak or strong.
The upstroke is the phase where the rider moves his/her foot from “bottom dead center” to “top dead center.” This phase requires the rider to pull up. The muscles used for pulling are not as strong as the muscles used for pulling so there is usually a loss of power during this phase of the pedal stroke. The very top and bottom of the pedal stroke are considered “dead spots” because of a riders lack of strength and/or coordination to transition from pushing to pulling or pulling to pushing.
To be an efficient cyclist one must learn to use all phases of the pedal stroke or keep constant pressure on the pedals. Rather than limiting the muscles groups being used by only pushing, a rider should use multiple muscles groups in all phases of the revolution. This will increase the time to fatigue in the cyclist’s legs and prolong endurance. Greater strength and endurance are every cyclist’s desire and by dedicating some focus to all the phases of the pedal stroke one can become a more efficient rider.
Every rider knows how to push so the focus should be more on pulling and overcoming the dead spots at the top and bottom of the circle. Contrary to popular thought, good pedaling mechanics do not result from pulling the pedal upon the upstroke. What probably happens is that the rider attempts to “unweight” the pedal, giving the opposite leg less resistance. To overcome the dead spot at the top of the pedal stroke a rider must drive his/her knee towards the handle bars as if they were kicking a ball. Then they must transition to the push phase.
To overcome the dead spot at the bottom of the pedal stroke a rider needs to engage muscles required for pulling, pulling back and pulling up. Greg Lemond related this motion to “scraping mud off the bottom of your shoe.” Imagine you have mud on the bottom of your shoe and how you would scrape the mud off. Use the same motion while riding to overcome the dead spot at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
A great exercise to work on your pedal stroke is one-legged drills. While riding on the trainer, or a hill with a slight incline, you will unclip one leg and pedal for 30-60 seconds with a focus of keeping constant pressure on the pedals. Repeat with the other leg. You should not whip your leg around and use angular momentum to accomplish the one legged exercises but focus on engaging the weaker “pull” muscles. It will take some practice but in time you will develop the strength to ride with one leg comfortably without any dead spots and the endurance to ride for a great distance with both legs.
The optimal cadence speed is 90 revolutions per minute. At 85-95 rpm’s the right ratio of muscle groups are being used for greater endurance. A cyclist may have more strength and power at a lower cadence but his/her endurance will be compromised. Low cadence riding is good for extra power needed for hill climbing and sprints but not for steady and long efforts. Time trialing and triathlon racing requires long steady efforts. Riding at the optimal cadence of 85-95 rpm’s while training and racing will ensure the rider has the endurance to complete the ride at a fast pace and have the ability to run well off the bike. The complaint I often hear of having “heavy legs” while running off the bike has to do with the rider’s bike cadence being too low. Because the optimal run cadence is 90-100 rpm’s then to run well off the bike a triathlete must keep his/her bike cadence at 90 rpm’s to prepare his/her legs for a run off the bike with a high leg turn over.