Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Road Bike Posture

Take a close look at these two riders' positions. I like the posture of the rider on the left. His position on the bike has been fit quite well. But what I like the most is his hip position. He sits on the saddle with his hips rolled forward as if spilling water out of the front of a bowl made of his pelvis. In contrast, the rider on the right is sitting on his saddle as if it's a bar stool and he's leaning on the bar. His hips are not rolled forward. No water is being spilled from his 'bowl.' This results in a rounded back and unnatural neck and head position. The only way to see where he is going is to lift his head high and curve the neck thus making it more difficult to breathe. It also puts his legs in a position that reduces his potential for power and he has to reach more for the bars.

For most riders, the difficulty in assuming the more efficient and effective hip position of the rider on the left is crotch discomfort. This may be due to a saddle that is incorrect for the rider's anatomy, or just a poor set up to begin with. If you can't ride comfortably in this 'spilled-bowl' position, the place to start is with a bike fit from a specialist who knows what he or she is doing. I have each of my clients go through a bike fit every winter just to see if anything needs changing even if it's the same bike as for the last fit. Riders are always in the process of getting stronger, weaker, tighter, more flexible, heavier, lighter, more fit, less fit, or whatever. They also tweak their positions throughout the year without telling me. I've yet to have a rider not have some bike-fit changes made every year we have done this for them even though the bike hasn't changed.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

So Cal Clinics

Next weekend I'll be speaking at two triathlon-cycling clinics in Southern California. We're getting the word out a bit late, I'm afraid. Here are the details...

San Diego, California. September 22, 2007. Triathlon and cycling clinic. Noon to 3pm at San Diego Marriott La Jolla in the "Marina del Rey" meeting room. 4240 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla, California 92037. Phone: 1-858-587-1414. For directions: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/maps/travel/sanlj-san-diego-marriott-la-jolla. For more information write to Jim Vance (jvance@trainingbible.com )

Long Beach , California. September 23, 2007. Triathlon and cycling clinic. Noon to 3pm at Long Beach Marriott. Meeting room to be determined. 4700 Airport Plaza Drive, Long Beach, California 90815. Phone: 1-562-425-5210. For directions:http://www.marriott.com/hotels/maps/travel/lgblb-long-beach-marriott/ . For more information write to Jim Vance (jvance@trainingbible.com )

I'll be discussing one of my favorite topics -- peaking. I'll talk about not only the way I do it with my clients but also some new stuff on monitoring progress as the Peak period progresses. If you've got an important race or two remaining this season I think you'll get a lot out of this that would help you come into form on race day. There is a $20 fee (unless you are a local club member and then it's $10). This is so sudden that I don't even have the details on how to pre-register. Write to Jim Vance (jvance@trainingbible.com) for how to do that.

Hope to see you then!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

You can call me Joe

I don't know where it comes from but I get called "Dr. Friel" a lot. I don't have a PhD or an MD or any other D's behind my name. But even more common is for athletes to call me "Joel." I suspect that comes from having an "L" on the end of my last name. Watch the posted comments on this blog and you will see "Joel" appear occasionally. Not a big deal. Just a minor nuisance in grand scheme. You can call me "Joe."