Forum Posts

Charlotte Backus
May 17, 2022
In Zwift Friday Smash Sessions
Great to see many of you last week! we are again back at it This week with our Monthly on the bike GYM work! yes! we are doing some low cadence and out of saddle work this coming week! Lets just recap a bit on some of the important facts from Friday and Then iI will get into what coming up and some dates to note that I will be gone traveling and racing. What is VO2 max? VO2 max is the maximum volume (V) of oxygen (O2) your body can process. A VO2 max score is a little like horsepower in a car—it’s a measure of the capacity your body (engine) has to use oxygen when exercising. If you have a high VO2 max, you have a big engine. VO2 max has three primary components: Lung capacity and heart volume: The more oxygen your lungs can intake and the more oxygenated blood your heart can pump, the higher your VO2 score. Capillary delivery: The more oxygenated blood your circulatory system can transport to your muscles, the higher your VO2 score. Muscle efficiency: The more your muscles can extract and use oxygen from your blood, the higher your VO2 score. VO2 max is the number of milliliters of oxygen you use per kilogram of body weight in one minute (ml/kg/min), though you often see it stated simply as a single number, sans that unit of measurement. World-class athletes have been doing VO2 max testing in laboratories for years, and that’s still an option—it’s also the gold standard for accuracy. You can get a VO2 max test done at sports medicine facilities, or medical labs that also do stress tests to evaluate heart health. If you’re not seeing a cardiologist or training at an Olympic-caliber training facility (yet), you have other options: With your fitness tracker: Some fitness devices provide VO2 max readings. Many trackers also offer other sophisticated physiological measurements. Note that a few brands have their own terms for VO2 max and it takes careful reading of their product info to suss that out. (For help in selecting one, read How to Choose a Fitness Tracker.) With an online calculator: Because VO2 max has been studied for years, all sorts of algorithms have arisen that let you roughly calculate VO2 max based on basic personal data. A quick online search will reveal dozens of VO2 max calculators. One simple online VO2 max calculator was created by the Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology (NTNU), which based its results on data provided by a large population of people. It gives you both a fitness score for your age and an equivalent VO2 max number. Now its ok if you dont have access to any of this, The Vo2 max that we were focusing one was within the Zone ranges that equal to Zone 5 where its most likely you are in a state of intensity that is using no oxygen since its a sprint like MAX zone. Training is all Zones will improve your overall Vo2 max as far as the RAW number, but training at Vo2 max is healthy for you.. lets get into why its good what we did on Friday... We want to train this anaerobic system because as it generate a lot of lactic acid. we want to train the body to utilize that back into energy rather than having it just sit there. now we call this Vo2 max Zone 5 because it is a byproduct of that high intensity we are doing on those hills. High Intensity Training (HIIT) HIIT can boost your VO2 max (how much oxygen you can use) up to 46 percent in 24 weeks; increase your stroke volume (how much blood your heart pumps out per beat) by 10 percent after eight weeks of training, and significantly lower your resting heart rate. It also makes your body a furnace of a fat burner. HIIT training increases production of your body’s growth hormones that help you maintain muscle and burn fat for hours after you’re done, and it lowers insulin resistance for better blood sugar control. And as I always state.. there is a time and place for it. dont get too excited and ONLY do HIIT. You want that balance of all zones in training at the right time and right place for it to benefit you VO2 max oxygen levels are also increased through sweet spot and tempo, but HIIT efforts like Friday are incredibly beneficial to filter in once or twice a week HIIT does more than benefit your body. it is also good for your mind. Research shows that high-intensity workouts improve cognitive function and increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) more than easier exercise. BDNF is essential for learning, memory, and mood regulation, and your brain uses it to repair and maintain brain cells. You also become more able to handle that hard effort more and more, making the longer efforts more manageable, but also boosting your focus and clarity. SO with that lets get into what we are going to do this Friday... First- Let your friends now and lets get others to join and grow the family! the more the better Now we have our strength day coming up.. out of saddle and muscular pushes so look forward to building some more muscle and working on increasing the muscles we use for out of our saddle to which we can neglect sometimes. SO its important to really build these as it helps with climbing, stability, and giving the other muscles a break when out of the saddle. It can also benefit you cardivascularly.. But we will get to that during the ride ;) MAKE SURE YOU ARE SIGNED UP BY THURSDAY EVENING! Racing season is ramping up for me.. so i would like to note some Fridays i will be gone. Matthew might be the amazing guest rider for the early June one, but in July, we will both be gone.. now dont hesitate and make your own meet ups or i can keep creating them so you all can get together for a good time. Let me know your thoughts... Dates I am gone: June 3rd *Unbound Gravel Race (200 miles) July 8th *Austria! (racing and training camp and vacation!) July 15th *Austria! July 22nd *Austria! August 12th *steamboat Gravel Race (140 miles) August 19th *Gravel Worlds (130 miles) August 26th *Wasatch all road (100 miles) September 23rd *Belgian Waffle Ride BWR Cedar City (120 miles) November 4th *Jack Nosco's RIDE! With that, See you all Friday!
Friday smash! content media
1
0
10
Charlotte Backus
May 12, 2022
In Zwift Friday Smash Sessions
Hey all! dont forget tomorrow is Friday Smash session. And dont forget to sign up by tonight if you have not already! we are heading over to Richmond for those awesome Cobble climbs with four awesome laps and 8 awesome opportunities for some serious efforts. its going to be a great time so I hope to see you there!
Get Stoked! content media
0
0
4
Charlotte Backus
May 09, 2022
In Zwift Friday Smash Sessions
Happy Monday! Great show last Friday for an awesome session on the Climbers Gambit route. I love having you all around and all the enthusiasm you all have for everything community and riding! We got in a great workout and chatted about some pretty awesome stuff, so lets recap. Polarized training and Periodization: I want to talk about two well known modes of training that you might have heard from either me, or other sources.Now one doesnt beat the other as they go and and hand for me. as a coach, I am always seeking best ways to help train you all including myself.. there is always a wealth of knowledge out there and lots of science. There are also a lot of opinions from others who either hear about it or have not simply learned enough or applied it to their own training and expertise. It can get pretty muddy and confusing right? hearing that one or the other method is either the best or the worst. Well gaining understanding of exactly what method is all about and the true science of how each one works gives you a better sense of direction Also having me (a coach) here to guide you along is a huge help. Now there is no method that is better than the other and each one should not have priority over the other as far as just doing one for the rest of your training. These two methods have a time and place.. it is crucial to do a bit of both depending on where you are with your training as well as your goals. I usually start most people with a good periodization plan. this allows for more finite growth and better focus on certain targeted areas, but also allows for the body to really maximize the period and be able to soak it in with optimal recovery What is polarized training? Polarized training is one specific type of training intensity distribution, a way of organizing and distributing intensity within a training plan The fundamental principal of polarized training is that hard (“workout”) days should be quite difficult and easy (“recovery”) days should be easy In a typical polarized training schedule, 80% or more of endurance training is categorized as “easy”, with the remainder being moderate or hard. A very common mistake athletes make is to “hammer” recovery runs, performing them too fast. This layers on fatigue without any additional training benefit. The extra fatigue from non-recovery-recovery runs then can prevent you from training your “hard” days to your full capacity, muting the training effect. This is called training in the “grey” zone, where training efforts just don’t translate into the most optimal fitness gains. The verb polarize is commonly used by cyclists to imply a shift in emphasis away from moderate intensity, towards more high- and low-intensity training. Many studies have found that it can result in certain performance improvements equal to or greater than some other training intensity distributions, especially over the short term. So this is great to know that polarized training is great to do leading up to an even or a goal that you have a specific date on. I will begin to cater more towards polarized training a month or so before a big even to really enable the body to be prepared for those event specific efforts. Polarized training can be effective, but it’s not clear whether it is best for all athletes in all circumstances. It can be very Specific and this is where having a coach is incredibly helpful ;) yes a plug for myself, but its more than just that.... having a coach will not only relieve the stress of you asking yourself "what should I do" but you also dont have to be a serious racer to have a coach and polarized training can be implemented in a timely manner. But again, having the expertise and the teamwork of a coach with you can really help you grow and know how each training method will fit for you and your need, but also be adjusted along the way because yes its fun to train, but I also make it important to keep the fun with non structured rides. What is Periodization? Now I do like this method, but I do have to say its best to use in a timely manner with the right guidance and emphasis on those HARD and EASY days. Not done properly, it wont be effective. This is where I like to use periodization for the main work and foundation to all training. Im not saying that one os better than the other. There is a time and place for both to be BEST effective, but its knowing when and where to implement it to make it best for you.. thats where a coach like me helps so much because i can see when its a good time. Now again, you dont have to be a racer to have a coach or a specific training plan. you might just want to-either train for personal goals or some events, or even to stay fit and healthy. and THATs A- OK! a lot of my coaching is focused not on just the numbers, but the whole picture and this is why i like periodization for working on specific areas to build whilst getting in good recovery but also getting stronger Good training plans productively balance training stress with recovery over time, using a technique called periodization. Plans can be periodized in different ways, dividing the overall structure of stress and recovery into annual, monthly, weekly, or block-by-block cycles, for instance. I always like to note..periodized and progressive. To get faster, your hard work needs to stimulate specific, physiological adaptations. Training periodization divides your season into distinct phases so that your hard work pays off. and this is the method that is used the most.. prior to a big goal or event, polarization will be used, but periodization is a superb way to work on fitness and ftp power goals.. getting stronger... Key Takeaways of periodization... 1- Training Periodization divides your training into phases to manage training stress and promote key adaptations. 2- There are certain expansion of the duration of periodization that can be asses by the help of me *a coach to best maximize each period for you. This can be a period of 2 weeks on and one week easy up to 4 or 5 weeks on with progressive building and one week easy.. its all based on where you are with training. 3- These plans are progressive so they build over time.. ending with a big heavy week of lots of quality structure-and and even non structures work... all based on building that TSS- Training stress score and load towards the end. Then having a week easy and low intensity and i always like to highlight, fun and a break from structure that will enable you to reset and recover.. enables the training load to soak in and the body to be ready for the next build. now these periods can have multiple focuses.. base, sweet spot, threshold, Hiit, build, specialty phases.. and so on there is always a nice theme I like to give each period and we focus on building that area through that period to where at the end, you are really feeling it that last week, but it invites that good stress load to keep your strength building. In periodized training, there are three cycles, macro, meso, and micro — Each one corresponding to a shorter timeframe. Let’s get into those cycles... Macrocycle- is your seasonal training plan. You can think of this as the 30,000 FT view of all the training that you are planning. It begins with the start of your training and ends with your goal event. Throughout a macrocycle, you will see the progressive addition of training stimulus and the necessary recovery to drive aerobic adaptations. Base, Build, and Speciality There is more to it than just adding training stress. Macrocycles need to include different phases that address base fitness and then drive towards more specific fitness. This is where help from me * a coach is crucial as far as planning out that best strategy and having someone to help guide you By following a logical pattern, each phase ultimately leads to a particular set of adaptations upon which peak fitness is balanced. These progressive phases are Base, Build, and Specialty phases. there is always a method to my workouts. Mesocycle- Mesocycles are four to six-week blocks within the macrocycle and are typically referred to as blocks. these are the ones I was talking about earlier. In a typical four week block, the first three weeks progressively overload your body, while the fourth week focuses on recovery. again, the week durations can very depending on where you are with your training Each new week within a mesocycle sees a slight increase in the overall amount of stress (TSS), while each workout sees a similar bump in the amount of work demanded. Microcycles- The simplest of the three training cycles. A microcycle is a single week within a training plan. these can be great if you have a schedule that changes by the week or want to maintain fitness I have used this cycle method many times and almost use it within the mesocycles because life happens. And when life happens, that OK. we adjust and take a new path, but the best part is that we will keep moving forward and onward. Sometimes you have to take it week by week and sometimes based on your goals, you might just want to get fir first than building to a big ideal or event. Thats what I focus on as a coach... life.. adjusting with the flow and its meant for everyone. its not just for serious racers. i emphasize each individual because yes we are all different and thats OK! workouts will vary from day to day, the microcycle includes the rhythm and cadence of a training plan. To conclude... Polarized training is good within periodized training right before a specific event, goal, or race... it specifically trains you on what you will be doing for that event. Periodized training is how you can build fitness over time and there are three cycles that you will take on.. one that captures the full year, one s that take it by chunks of weeks focusing on certain themes. And ones that go week by week So to that, I hope you all learned something and see you this Friday!
Friday Smash Sesh May 6th content media
1
1
6
Charlotte Backus
May 04, 2022
In Zwift Friday Smash Sessions
Yes you know it! Friday is approaching and we will be taking on a familiar route that we did some time ago. This time we are going to shoot for new best times for Two main segments. Climbers gambit! Length: 27.9 km (17.3 miles) Elevation: 670 m (2,198‘) The sprint is 2km right into the route so we will use that to open us up as well as the revers Watopia QOM/KOM to hit some tonal notes to warm us up. Then we are going to head into Titans grove Reverse and go for a new best time up the climb to then settle into a low endurance to recover and ht off to the backside of the Epic QOM/KOM for a good solid 20 min climbing effort at threshold.. yes Threshold Zone 4 (100% of your FTP) Yellow! Now for the Epic climb, the finish is past the top and we have to go a few meters to get to the banner, This is where we will begin to equip the 'Up and over' mentality to keep pushing that limit. So make sure you are signed up and bring your friend along two times again this week 7am mdt 8:45am mdt and if you all want to get in an afterparty, you can flip it and get some cookies i left there at the top of the radio tower! See you all there!
Get ready! its almost Friday! content media
1
9
36
Charlotte Backus
Apr 28, 2022
In Zwift Friday Smash Sessions
Hello Everyone! Thank you so much for taking it easy on Matthew and being so awesome taking on the new Three Little Sisters Route. He had a wonderful time answering all the Bikepacking questions and I hope you all learned a little more about what he is up to and What Bike Packing is all about. We have currently signed up as a Duo Team for the Big Lonely Ultra Bikepacking Race in Bend Oregon Its going to be a new adventure for me, But one I wouldn't do without Matthew... Here a recap on all the questions He answered.. 1-What is Bike packing really? - Bike packing and bike touring are very similar. Bike packing is when you are on a multi-day bike trip were you carry all your gear, including a sleep system or safety sleep system, nutrition and anything else you need to ride for multiple days / over night. 2- what does it mean to be self supported versus unsupported versus supported? -selfsupported means you are sourcing all your needs along your route by yourself without having any pre planned or knowing support from others. You can resupply anywhere where everyone would have the same opportunities. -supported is where you have outside help that is pre planned before the ride. -unsupported means you have to carry everything from the start to the finish of your route without any support or resupply. 3-Do you usually do events unsupported? -most the events I do are self-supported. Where I would resupply at gas stations or stores in the towns we ride through, but no pre-planned support from a support team. 4- How did you get into Bike Packing? -when going to college in Durango CO at Fort Lewis I would ride parts of the Colorado Trail all the time. Learning the distance of the trail and how common people bike packed and thru-hiked the trail it got my interest to do something similar. My first trip was my own created route from Utah/Idaho border all the way south to the Utah/Arizona border. Also the film Ride the Divide inspired me. 5-What events have you done in the past? - I have done two semi-supported bikepacking trips North to South Utah in 2019 and the Colorado Trail in 2020. -I have done two events Pinyons and Pines 2021  (300 miles) and Utah Mixed Epic 2021 (800miles) 6-Have you done your own bike backing trips, why? Do you think it prepares you for the events/races. - Yes, NoSo Utah and Colorado Trail. These first trips differently helped me understand what it took to ride all day long for a week. They also helped me understand what I wanted my gear setup to be in order to dial it in for events when I’m wanting to push the limits. 7- Colorado Trail- Explain this and what you did, miles and how long -When I did the Colorado Trail in 2020 we started at the end of summer in Durango riding north to Denver. The trail is about 550miles with 73,000 feet of climbing. I rode it with a group of 3 other friends. We averaged about 60miles per day finishing on the 9th day. Some days were longer than others depending on the weather, where we had a lot of rain during the beginning half. Some days started at 4am to beat the thunderstorm over high altitude passes (13,000ft). 8- Ride across Utah- -After being inspired to bike pack from watching Ride the Divide documentary and seeing people complete the Colorado trail and moving back home to Utah. I wanted to create my own route from north to south of all of Utah. I spent the whole winter of 2018/2019 connected as many dirt roads and trails as I could to ride from Idaho to Arizona through Utah staying on the mountains and off the main roads. Being my first trip I planned it where my friends and family would meet me each night where I was camping. This definitely helped me make my first steps towards self supported bike packing. 9-What events do you have planned for this year? -This year I am going back to Pinyons and Pines in Flagstaff at the beginning of May. This event is 300 miles making one large loop around sedona staying at the high elevation of northern Arizona. It is mostly all off-road and using parts of the Arizona Trail. Planning for the route to take 2-3 days. I will be using my titanium Chumba mountain bike. -I will also be doing Gravel Worlds Long Voyage. This event will also be around 300 miles on the gravel roads of Nebraska. Planning for the route to take 24hrs. I will be riding my spry Pyxis gravel bike. 10- How do you train for such long day in day out miles? -Most my training is very similar to that of road racing or xc mountain biking, but I will mix in occasionally some much longer rides 6-12hrs.when 1-2 months out of an event (Once or twice a month) I will also do some standard rides (not super long) were I start later in the evening and spend the night using and testing my gear to make sure everything is functioning how I would like, and then ride back home the next day. 11- Do you have a tracker.. if so what is it and why as well as how do you use it? -Yes, I use a Garmin InReach. This tracker allows for my dot to be followed by family for safety purposes. It also allows me to contact help or emergency when I am out of cell service. These events use these trackers as well for fans to watch the event take place by watching the dots of the riders on the map of the course, usually viewed on trackleaders.com 12- what is your set up: -I have a titanium Chumba hardtail mountain bike that I use for the majority of my trips. I have alloy wtb wheels with a sine wave dynamo hub that generates power for my light and to help recharge my electronics during the day. -I use a wahoo roam fro navigation. -I use REvelate designs bar bag and saddle bag. I also have a custom designed from bag from a local bag maker in Park City. -Ive also found it is very important to have the right footwear. Lots of the routes I have done require lots of hike-a-bike so I choose a shoe like the pearIzumi X-alp Summit shoe. It has a nice soft Vibrum sole that makes hiking and pushing my bike a lot easier and comfortable. 13- what is the most important things to bring on multi night events? -Bivy or lightweight tent, Sleeping pad, and sleeping bag. Also very important to have a set of dry clothes to switch into if you run into any bad weather. A good headlamp and riding light is also important just in case you happen to ride through the night more than you may have intimated and to set up camp in the dark. 14- How do you pack it? -My sleep system is usually all packed into my saddle bag. Before I pack I will take everything out bivy, pad, and sleeping bag. I will put the pad deflated and bag into the bivy and tightly roll, or stuff into the saddle bag. So all I have to do is pull it out, change clothes and hop into the bag. This makes setting up and breaking down camp fast so I can get back on the bike without wasting too much time have to unpack and repack. 15- What have you found that best works for you as far as set up.. did it take some trials to find out what worked for you? -I have gone through multiple sets of bags and sleep system gear, I have found it is important to have bags that will be very stable and not bounce around while riding Mtb trials. I also have different setups depending on how many nights and how fast I expect to be riding. When I’m racing ill bring more a set up that is light weight and make riding fast, when Im bikepacking just as a trip I will bring a few more items and slighter heavier sleep system that will be more comfortable. Where racing I bring a sleep system that gives me some comfort to rest for a few hours. 17- What do you Pack *the most important -other important things that I pack are, first aid kit, toothbrush/toothpaste, water filter (Katydne Befree), battery banks, and sunscreen/chapstick. 18- Food: what are the to DOs and the DONTS? What are easy packing foods? -freeze dried meals are good to bring when you plan to bring a cooker, but usually for my events I will only carry food that doesn’t need to be cooked and anything that I can find at a store or more commonly gas stations. My go to for a quick meal for dinner or lunch is a frozen bean burrito that will warm up in my bag. I also choose items that won’t break apart form the rough bouncing roads or melt in the heat. It is very important to know where your next resupply point is to know how much nutrition and water you need to carry. I always allow for more capacity for water and food than I think I need at its max. Now We are back to the Two times for our smash sessions (7am mdt and 8:45am mdt). Make sure you are signed up and I encourage you all to spread the word around and invite your friend to join along. It is most definitely Worth it and you can gain a lot more strength, power through the route based workout that I guide you through live and in the moment as well as gain knowledge around the reason to why I am asking such certain efforts, cadences and energy systems. This week we are going long and getting in another SUPER FRESH new route to get in a solid base build with some efforts as well as check off another route badge whilst at it! This Week is the 52km Eastern Eight Route in Watopia. Relatively flat with four main efforts 1- Titans Grove Forward (4min 45sec goal time) 2- Fuego Flats Reverse (8 min goal time) 3- Titans Grove Reverse (90sec goal time) 4-Fuego Flats (30sec goal time) See you There!
Im Back! content media
1
7
21
Charlotte Backus
Apr 23, 2022
In Announcements
🏜 ❌ Mother Nature had other plans for us today. Lots of rain and winds made the conditions of the desert gravel sand roads unridable and become clay. At this point it’s best to stay off them so they can restore and dry up to preserve so @desertgravel this year is sadly a no go. But I am still a go as there are many great roads here in grand junction including the National park. So makin some lemonade out of lemons and going to route my own epic adventure today! Check out the route: … This happens and all I can say is thank you @desertgravel for working hard to put this on. It takes so much and I hope to be able to do this race! in the mean time, you can still track me on todays adventure: https://www.wahooligan.com/users/live/FgRsGNafqsqxiB_Feo2Osw Still got everything Packed up and ready to go!
Race-UPDATE: content media
0
0
27
Charlotte Backus
Apr 20, 2022
In Zwift Friday Smash Sessions
As I have mentioned, Matthew Turner *my most amazing boyfriend Will be leading this week's ride as my avatar but taking you on a wonderful adventure on all things Bike Packing and multi day Bike rides. It's such an honor to have him along this week to show you the world of Bike Packing. Plus you can check off a new and fresh Route Badge. It's going to be a great day and i will miss you all! Matthew will take care of you all and it's going to be a great workout and conversation! Be sure to sign up By Thursday to get added to the Meet up! Sign up here: 👇 https://www.exquisiteendurancecoaching.com/plans-pricing
April 22nd Guest Friday Smash Star! content media
1
7
46
Charlotte Backus
Apr 18, 2022
In Zwift Friday Smash Sessions
Saw the Real Moving yeti! Great to see two solid groups last friday as we took on the 'on bike gym' and worked in a skills based workouts with resistance muscular work to build muscle Just a quick reminder before I recap what we chatted about. I am off to a gravel race so I will be gone this Friday, But my amazing Partner Matthew will lead you all on a new and super fresh route and chat about all things bike packing and what he does to get ready for his long 300+ mile multi day Bike Packing ultra Races. We are going to be easy on him so will will have only one time next week at 7:30am mdt, but I will be back the following week to lead you all into May *he will be riding as me so you can still see the awesome unicorn sparkles Now with that, Lets recap the science that we talked about with all things muscles on friday... Our muscles are incredible machines and understanding exactly how they work will make you really appreciate all the work you put towards to make them stronger. So in those moments you are feeling that uncomfortable pain and are struggling, remember what goes into it and know that your body is incredible and really making the amazing happen. Lets dive into what it really takes to move our muscles... Muscle contraction occurs when the thin actin and thick myosin filaments slide past each other. Actin and myosin are both proteins that are found in every type of muscle tissue. Thick myosin filaments and thin actin filaments work together to generate muscle contractions and movement. Myosin is a type of molecular motor and converts chemical energy released from ATP into mechanical energy. This mechanical energy is then used to pull the actin filaments along, causing muscle fibers to contract and, thus, generating movement. Muscle is a type of contractile tissue found in animals, and its main function is to facilitate movement. There are three types of muscle tissue found in the human body, and these are: Smooth muscle – Smooth muscle contracts involuntarily and is found in the internal organs (except the heart) and blood vessels. Cardiac muscle – Cardiac muscle is found only in the heart and also contracts involuntarily. Skeletal muscle – Skeletal muscle is attached to the bones. It is the most abundant type of muscle tissue in the human body, and the only type of muscle that can be moved voluntarily. All three muscle types contain actin and myosin filaments, which work together to produce muscle contractions. Muscle tissue is made up of bundles of muscle fibers. Muscle fibers are long, skinny cells that can be up to several inches long and, in the case of skeletal muscle, may contain several nuclei. The cytoplasm of muscle fibers contains long, thread-like structures called myofibrils, which are made up of bundles of thick, myosin filaments and thin actin filaments. Surrounding the actin and myosin filaments is a structure called the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR); a network of tubules that store calcium ions. The SR also plays an important role in transmitting electrical signals. These electrical signals are delivered to the muscle cells by neurons. Actin and myosin work together to produce muscle contractions and, therefore, movement. First, a motor neuron delivers an electrical signal to the muscle cell from the brain. This triggers the release of a chemical called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine causes calcium ions to be released from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Next, the calcium ions bind to a protein called troponin. Troponin is attached to another protein, called tropomyosin, and is found between the actin filaments in muscle tissue. When calcium ions bind to troponin, the shape of troponin changes. This moves tropomyosin from the myosin-binding sites on the actin filament and ‘unblocks’ them, making it possible for the myosin heads to bind to the actin filament. Now now that we have a good understanding of what our muscles are comprised of. You might wonder exactly what enables them to fire How do our muscles actually contract and how are they able to move? as mentioned earlier...Muscle contraction occurs when the thin actin and thick myosin filaments slide past each other. It is generally assumed that this process is driven by cross-bridges which extend from the myosin filaments and cyclically interact with the actin filaments as ATP is hydrolysed. Current biochemical studies suggest that the myosin cross-bridge exists in two main conformations. There are steps to which muscle contractions are enabled: 1- action potential to muscle. A Muscle Contraction Is Triggered When an Action Potential Travels Along the Nerves to the Muscles. Muscle contraction begins when the nervous system generates a signal. The signal, an impulse called an action potential, travels through a type of nerve cell called a motor neuron. 2-ACETYLCHOLINE released from neuron. Acetylcholine is stored in vesicles at the ends of cholinergic (acetylcholine-producing) neurons. In the peripheral nervous system, when a nerve impulse arrives at the terminal of a motor neuron, acetylcholine is released into the neuromuscular junction. 3-acetylcholine binds to muscle cell membrane. The acetylcholine binds to the nicotinic receptors concentrated on the motor end plate, a specialized area of the muscle fibers post-synaptic membrane. This binding causes the nicotinic receptor channels to open and let sodium ions enter the muscle fibre. 4-sodium diffuse into muscle, action potential started. The electrochemical gradient across the muscle plasma membrane (more sodium moves in than potassium out) causes a local depolarization of the motor end-plate. This depolarization initiates an action potential on the muscle fiber cell membrane (sarcolemma) that travels across the surface of the muscle fiber. 5-calcium ions bond to actin. The calcium ions bind to the troponin, changing the shape of the troponin-tropomyosin complex such that the actin binding sites are uncovered. As soon as myosin binds to actin, the cocked head of myosin releases sliding the actin fiber. 6-myosin attaches to actin, cross-bridges form. This process is known as myosin-actin cycling. What triggers a muscle contraction? A Muscle Contraction Is Triggered When an Action Potential Travels Along the Nerves to the Muscles. Muscle contraction begins when the nervous system generates a signal. The signal, an impulse called an action potential, travels through a type of nerve cell called a motor neuron. What chemicals are needed for muscle contraction? The contraction of skeletal muscles is an energy-requiring process. In order to perform the mechanical work of contraction, actin and myosin utilize the chemical energy of the molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Hope you all learned something new that you can take away and better understand your amazing body at work. Now have fun with Matthew and take it easy on him for me 😉 See you all soon!
Friday Alp Smash day! content media
1
0
13
Charlotte Backus
Apr 12, 2022
In Zwift Friday Smash Sessions
Had a wonderful time with you all last friday as we took on Ven Top and gon in a LONG LONG solid Sweet spot Effort. You all were incredible and worked hard to keep that green and Yellow going on that graph! Now I chatted about some great information so lets recap on what we learned... Over time you might find some fatigue setting into the mind so there a few things we need to make sure of to best optimize our mental clarity. 1- make sure you have water and electrolytes so you can stay hydrated and also make sure your body is getting the right amount so your neurons can fire and muscle contractions and continue. 2- FOOD! yes in the form of carbs. our brain is a powerful machine and runs of lots of glycogen in the form of cars to stay clear and able to manage. Although it accounts for only 2% of your body weight, your brain consumes 20% of your daily energy In order to carry out its important functions, the brain requires a steady fuel supply. It’s estimated that when fueled by carbohydrates, the brain needs roughly 110-145 grams of glucose (from the breakdown of carbs you eat) per day in order to function optimally. Now when you are not working out hard, it might not need the glucose *carbs as much, but you know when you are becoming depleted when you start to get thoughts of "i am tired," "not sure if i can handle this." Or you begin to fade and find a brain fog. our brains usually bonk before we do and that why its crucial to make sure if you haven't had a meal before this to have something to bring along so you can feed the brain to stay alert and able to keep that attention for this longer hard efforts. A few dates, gummies, a banana, a gel, other dried fruit can help prevent that. 3- as we seem to just train the body, we are also training the mind.. yes holding attention at a hard pace is difficult.. you can find your thoughts wondering and you could possibly drop out of that zone We must learn to keep bringing back out attention and learn to Zone out within that Zone. The more you train your brain to be in that state of mind, the better you are able to handle holding hard power for longer. I always like to think that our thoughts are thought.. they are not actions What you tell your body to do, your body will do.. thoughts are just there to either keep you going or can sometime be there to bug you or hold you back. so we must learn how to manage them for long hard efforts/ climbs The primary source of energy in the brain is glucose as we know now...Rarely, in glucose depleted situations, like fasting etc. it can use ketones to some extent for a limited period. Now What are Ketones? Ketones are a type of chemical that your liver produces when it breaks down fats. You produce them when you don't have enough of the hormone insulin in your body to turn sugar (or “glucose”) into energy. You need another source, so your body uses fat instead. But, the Brain has a very high rate of metabolism, using ~5.6 milligramme glucose per 100 gram of brain tissue per minute. Carbohydrates are the only nutrients which can match this rate of energy requirement. However, the brain prefers to get its carbohydrates from carbohydrate rich whole foods rather than simple sugars. The cognitive functions or the thinking capabilities of the brain deteriorate if the glucose levels fall in the brain. Now on that subject of metabolism I want to dive into how our bodies create this energy and more into the WHY. The more we understand the way our body works, the more better we can optimize for ourself and become metabolically fit and healthy. The question is... Why are you always saying nutrition is important? Let's talk about exactly how our bodies take food and process it? More like Turn it into the energy we need to keep this pace? stay healthy, and keep energy going out as well as recover. How our bodies turn food into energy. All parts of the body (muscles, brain, heart, and liver) need energy to work. This energy comes from the food we eat. Our bodies digest the food we eat by mixing it with fluids (acids and enzymes) in the stomach. When the stomach digests food, the carbohydrate (sugars and starches) in the food breaks down into another type of sugar, called glucose. The stomach and small intestines absorb the glucose and then release it into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, glucose can be used immediately for energy or stored in our bodies, to be used later. However, our bodies need insulin in order to use or store glucose for energy. Without insulin, glucose stays in the bloodstream, keeping blood sugar levels high. How the body makes insulin? Insulin is a hormone made by beta cells in the pancreas. Beta cells are very sensitive to the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. Normally beta cells check the blood's glucose level every few seconds and sense when they need to speed up or slow down the amount of insulin they're making and releasing. When someone eats something high in carbohydrates, like a piece of bread, the glucose level in the blood rises and the beta cells trigger the pancreas to release more insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin opens cell doors When insulin is released from the pancreas, it travels through the bloodstream to the body's cells and tells the cell doors to open to let the glucose in Once inside, the cells convert glucose into energy to use right then or store it to use later. As glucose moves from the bloodstream into the cells, blood sugar levels start to drop. Physical activity and training can make this process happen even faster and even at a higher rate. The beta cells in the pancreas can tell this is happening, so they slow down the amount of insulin they're making. At the same time, the pancreas slows down the amount of insulin that it's releasing into the bloodstream. When this happens, the amount of glucose going into the cells also slows down. Insulin plays a huge role in taking the food we eat and helping it be processed to energy. The energy you need maintain focus here to stay at this pace The clarity you need to sustain this pace and be in the cadence range The energy you need for that post exercise recovery to be enabled so your body can build and get stronger. Methods our bodies use to produce energy... This is ATP! Adenosine Triphosphate.. This is a unit of energy Foods contain a lot of stored chemical energy; when you eat, your body breaks down these foods into smaller components and absorbs them to use as fuel. Energy comes from the three main nutrients carbohydrates, protein, and fats, with carbohydrates being the most important energy source. Your metabolism is the chemical reactions in the body’s cells that change this food into energy. Most of the energy the body needs is for being at rest, known as the Basal Metabolism. Its actually not the physical activity all the time... though as you train more and get fitter, your basal metabolism will increase due to muscular growth and becoming fitter. All foods give you energy and some foods in particular help increase your energy levels, such as... Bananas (excellent source of carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin B6 Fatty fish like salmon or tuna (good source of protein, fatty acids and B vitamins) Brown rice (source of fibre, vitamins and minerals), and eggs (source of protein). Foods are metabolised at a cellular level to make ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) by a process known as cellular respiration. It is this chemical ATP that the cell uses for energy for many cellular processes including muscle contraction and cell division. This process requires oxygen and is called aerobic respiration. Glucose + Oxygen → Carbon dioxide + Water + Energy (as ATP) The air we breathe out! There are four stages of aerobic cellular respiration that occur to produce ATP (the energy cells need to do their work Stage 1 Glycolysis (also known as the breakdown of glucose) This occurs in the cytoplasm and involves a series of chain reactions known as glycolysis to convert each molecule of glucose (a six-carbon molecule) into two smaller units of pyruvate (a three-carbon molecule). During the formation of pyruvate, two types of activated carrier molecules (small diffusible molecules in cells that contain energy rich covalent bonds) are produced. This stage produces 4 molecules of ATP and 2 molecules of NADH from glucose but uses 2 molecules of ATP to get there,- so it actually results in 2 ATP + 2 NADH and pyruvate. The pyruvate then passes into the mitochondria. The mitochondria are known as the powerhouse cells. Stage 2 The Link reaction This links glycolysis with stage 3 the Citric acid/ Krebs cycle, At this point, one carbon dioxide molecule and one hydrogen molecule are removed from the pyruvate (called oxidative decarboxylation) to produce an acetyl group, which joins to an enzyme called CoA (Coenzyme A) to form acetyl-CoA, which is then ready to be used in the Citric acid/Krebs cycle. Acetyl-CoA is essential for the next stage. Stage 3 The Citric Acid/Krebs Cycle Taking place in the mitochondria, the acetyl-CoA (which is a two-carbon molecule) combines with oxaloacetate (a four-carbon molecule) to form citrate (a six-carbon molecule). The citrate molecule is then gradually oxidized, allowing the energy of this oxidation to be used to produce energy-rich activated carrier molecules. The chain of eight reactions forms a cycle because, at the end, the oxaloacetate is regenerated and can enter a new turn of the cycle. The cycle provides precursors including certain amino acids as well as the reducing agent NADH that are used in numerous biochemical reactions. Because two acetyl-CoA molecules are produced from each glucose molecule utilised, two cycles are required per glucose molecule. Stage 4 Electron Transport Chain In this final stage, the electron carriers NADH and FADH2, which gained electrons when they were oxidizing other molecules, transfer these electrons to the electron transport chain. This is found in the inner membrane of the mitochondria. This process requires oxygen and involves moving these electrons through a series of electron transporters that undergo redox reactions (reactions where both oxidation and reduction take place). This is why I always encourage you to BREATHE and focus on FULL DEEP breaths. This causes hydrogen ions to accumulate in the intermembrane space. Now there are side effects of having low energy levels knowing that you are not getting in the right amount of energy. This can be a good indication on better optimizing your nutrition for you. Not properly managing your energy levels can result in both physical and cognitive functions being affected. Physical signs can include: reduced stamina, reduced strength and less ability to recover from exercise. Performance related effects can include: loss of focus, slow reaction times, low mood, poor working memory, poor decision making and decreased reaction times. So with that great information to add to your Knowledge book, Lets go into this weeks AWESOME Friday Smash session. again two times (7am mdt and 8:45 am mdt). We are taking on the Road to sky! Yes our Lovely Alp Du Zwift! This is by far my favorite climb here on Zwift! It has 21 switchbacks which is a great training and pacing tool. This week we are going to take it to the gym on the bike and do some over unders involving low cadence muscular push, followed by higher cadence flush. It's going to be an awesome time so make sure you are hydrated and have all the good nutrition to give your body the energy it need to build that muscle! ITS STRENGTH TIME! Make sure to sign up if you have not already and bring friend along as the more the better! see you there!
Hello Friday Smashers! content media
1
3
33
Charlotte Backus
Apr 12, 2022
In Challenges
Ok let’s go for some more planks and crunches… why? Because… 1-Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability, whether on the playing field or in daily activities. In fact, most sports and other physical activities depend on stable core muscles. 2-Any exercise that involves the use of your abdominal and back muscles in coordinated fashion counts as a core exercise. For example, using free weights in a manner that involves maintaining a stable trunk can train and strengthen several of your muscles, including your core muscles 3-Strong core muscles make it easier to do many activities, such as swing a golf club, get a glass from the top shelf and bend down to tie your shoes. Strong core muscles are also important for athletes, such as runners, as weak core muscles can lead to more fatigue, less endurance and injuries. Weak core muscles can also leave you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain and muscle injuries. Strengthening core muscles may also help improve back pain. 4-Aerobic exercise and muscular fitness are the primary elements of most fitness programs. But to have a well-rounded fitness program, consider including core exercises in the mix as well. It creates more well rounded muscle but also more strength I different areas so you can lead a healthy lifestyle and have a strong able body then only being strong in one area and neglecting other. You need all body strength to ride well so ready to get it… let’s do this! Day 20- THE BIG ONE! 2min plank *on hands or elbows 120 middle crunches 120 right side crunches 120 left side crunches 2min plank *on hands or elbows
0
0
4
Charlotte Backus
Apr 08, 2022
In Challenges
Wow what an awesome FRIDAY smash session… let’s top it off with some core! Day 19- 30sec plank *on hands or elbows 20 middle crunches 20 right side crunches 20 left side crunches 30sec plank *on hands or elbows
0
0
3
Charlotte Backus
Apr 06, 2022
In Zwift Friday Smash Sessions
Alright you know what coming! Yes FriYAY and a great day to get in a good workout. Now this week is pretty simple... We Go UP! Yes up for a while. La Reine style. Yes we are not doing full Ven Top, But we are taking and mimicking the La Reine route. Don't worry, we still have a good long effort ahead and we have our work cut out for us. I am going to be expanding your knowledge on how we create energy and we are going to be climbing at a solid sweet spot pace (ZONE 3/4- Green and yellow on that graph... 95% of your FTP) as consistent as we can regardless the terrain and sleepness. We are going to learn to adapt to the terrain and work to keep the same power output to keep that climbing momentum going and maximise our speed and efficiency. Here is that beautiful colored sheet around the zones and what color they are on your graph and how to find where to enable your graph so you can see those beautiful colors! Shoutout to Chis who has gone above and beyond and laminated this chart! HECK TO THE YES! Make sure you are signed up under the times you wish *or if you are my athlete, shoot me a message 7am mdt 8:45am mdt Bring your friends along & Hope to see you there!
Friday Smash Session!  content media
1
2
54
Charlotte Backus
Apr 06, 2022
In Challenges
Day 18- 60sec plank *on hands or elbows 60 middle crunches 60 right side crunches 60 left side crunches 60sec plank *on hands or elbows just three more days now!
0
0
2
Charlotte Backus
Apr 05, 2022
In Challenges
Day 17- 30sec plank *on hands or elbows 50 middle crunches 50 right side crunches 50 left side crunches 30sec plank *on hands or elbows
0
0
0
Charlotte Backus
Apr 04, 2022
In Zwift Friday Smash Sessions
It was awesome to have two great groups this past friday. We did the awesome Triple Loops route in London. Extended warm up and targeted depleting the glycolytic stores to then take on two solid climbs ending with a hard effort with a twist at the end! It was tough and you all made it through! Awesome job! This week stay tuned! We have a another great route in store! Lets Chat a little about what I talked about and go over some good information regarding metabolism. First I want to talk about our metabolic system. we have multiple factors that influence our metabolic system to which requires calories in the form of energy units to fuel our daily activities, well being, recovery, and exercise. Metabolic rate basically refers to the energy that is released by the body. How you fuel and how you look at nutrition is vital for your performance. better understanding how each component works will make you more able to optimize nutrition to fuel you training, and give you the energy you need to produce the best results. I currently received a few advanced sports nutrition certifications as this is an area I am very familiar with and an area i know is so very important to enhance your training. Training can have a significant effect on metabolic rate – this can determine weight gain and weight loss This is because it boosts calorie burning. This is a result of 1) doing the activity itself 2) the effects of a process known as ‘excess post oxygen consumption’ (EPOC) and 3) by creating a body whose constituent parts (specifically muscle) create an all day and every day increased calorie requirement So what is our metabolism comprised of.. yes there are many factors that influence our metabolism and many factors to which we burn energy and need to consume energy to keep going. Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) This refers to all the energy we expend over a day Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) 60-75% of TDEE is used to maintain RMR. RMR includes all those ‘behind the scenes’ essential bodily functions, such as heart, lung and mental function, but does not account for calories burned when sleeping Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF) Food provides us with energy, but the process of eating also requires energy. Around 10% of or TDEE is made up of this requirement Activity This may be a surprise but only 10-15% of our total daily energy expenditure comes from physical activity of any sort.However, this relatively small amount can have a huge effect on our body composition, i.e. how much fat we have and how many calories we need to optimally sustain ourselves and our sports/fitness training. How do you know how many calories you are burning during exercise? When we exercise we increase our metabolic rate as our body boosts its energy output to meet demand. Calories measure the energy release from food Many different factors can influence your rate of caloric burn... lets go over these and then we will get into our first effort before the hills. 1-Your weight. A heavier person will burn more calories, everything else being equal compared to a lighter one, simply because more energy is required to overcome the greater resistance. 2-Your level of fitness. Someone who is fitter, for example, at rowing will be more ‘energy (and therefore calorie) efficient’ than someone who is less fit. This is why exercise intensity needs to be continually increased (progressively) if increased calorie burning is your objective 3-Atmospheric conditions. The body will burn more calories in hotter, humid conditions than in temperate ones. This is due to the energy required to maintain its cooling processes and reduce core temperature 4-Body types. Certain people – particularly those with lean wiry frames (‘ectomorphs’) – tend to have faster metabolic rates, which can enhance calorie burning. 5-Metabolic rate generally slows with age, sports and fitness training can do much to challenge this. Many things can influence how we burn energy. there even another influence that greatly impacts your energy burn.. its called EPOC and this happens after workouts.. like we did on Friday! Excess post oxygen consumption (EPOC) Training can increase metabolic rate by as much as 20% This is due to EPOC. Unlike a car when the ignition is turned off, our body’s engine does not stop immediately after we have taken it for a run, row or performed a weights workout. The processes involved in producing the energy required for these and all other training and general activity, take a while to slow down and return to baseline levels. These processes include, the restocking of muscle fuel (notably a specific type of carbohydrate, known as glycogen) and the normalisation of lactate levels in our body. Lactate is used in energy creation at all times. Its levels increase with exercise. When we stop exercising it is still buzzing around inside us at a great rate. It needs time to slow down and in some circumstances be re-converted back to its original chemical format – and this all requires energy. Additionally, when we workout, particularly using weights, microscopic tears occur in our muscles and it is during the recovery period when these are repaired and our muscles grow stronger – again this requires energy. I always encourage you to do some weight bearing exercises off the bike to better improve your ability and strength. The more the intense the exercise the greater the EPOC. Your body needs the time for EPOC to fully occur and to restore to a normal rate. Sports scientists have discovered two distinct EPOC phases: EPOC phase 1 The most significant – in terms of calorie burning – occurs in the two to three hours after training. The less significant given the same criteria lasts up to 48 hours after training. If you do not factor EPOC in to your calorie requirements you could experience muscle loss... lack of energy and a failure to obtain sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals needed to optimally maintain bodily processes. Basically your body would be running ‘energy light’ – not getting enough fuel to optimally power it. Phase 2 is understanding how much you burn during exercise... How can you specifically measure the amount of calories you burn during a workout? Calorie counters on heart rate monitors. However, they only provide an estimate of energy expenditure and are about 90% accurate. having power as additional source to gather data for how much you put out helps greatly with tat 90% becoming more accurate A consistently elevated metabolic rate, resulting from regular endurance training, that can increase caloric expenditure by as much as 17%; back to the second phase of EPOC... its more of a prolonged phase that the first one which is usually lasting that 2 hours post exercise. The second can last up to 48 hours. now the increase in metabolic rate post workouts is because of replenishment of oxygen stores; Restocking of prime muscle fuels adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and creatine phosphate; Removal of excess lactate from the bloodstream; Increased body temperature, circulation and ventilation rate. kind of like I mentioned above. So hope you learned something and can take it with you to make you stronger... as always be sure to sign up for the time you wish for this week! See ya there!
Friday Smash Session! APRIL FOOLS! content media
2
0
10
Charlotte Backus
Apr 02, 2022
In Challenges
travel time! And it’s the weekend! Go have an awesome weekend and we will be right back into that core on Monday!
0
4
15
Charlotte Backus
Apr 01, 2022
In Challenges
Day 16- 60sec plank *on hands or elbows 100 middle crunches 60 right side crunches 60 left side crunches 60sec plank *on hands or elbows
1
2
14
Charlotte Backus
Mar 31, 2022
In Challenges
To prepare for tomorrow’s FRIDAY smash, lets just do some good stretches today and we will be right back at it tomorrow!
Keeping it balanced 😌 content media
1
0
7
Charlotte Backus
Mar 30, 2022
In Zwift Friday Smash Sessions
Yes! It is almost here! FRIDAY! and yes jumping right in to April. We have some good things in store for this friday's smash sessions! Again two times now to make sure to sign up under the time you wish or *if you are and athlete of mine, Communicate the time you wish. Heading to the world of London Now last week we did short efforts, This week is a tad different. we are going to have a lovely long warm up and some good flat land tempo work before heading to the Hills in London starting With leith and then taking on box hill. Now yes, there are just two climbs, but the focus of the workout today is to initially deplete the glycolytic system with the beginning tempo work to then take on a long climb and then to end on a shorter climb Vo2 max effort. This will greatly help your FTP increase as well as your stamina and ability to work to recover fast and reside in that Endurance pace to better your engine for those longer tougher rides. It is going to be an awesome day! Make sure to come along and bring your friends! Sign up Here: https://www.exquisiteendurancecoaching.com/plans-pricing
Friday Smash Session! content media
1
1
22
Charlotte Backus
Mar 30, 2022
In Announcements
Don’t forget to sign up for this fridays smash session! Two times! make sure to select the time you wish! We are going some climbing this week! sign up here: https://www.exquisiteendurancecoaching.com/plans-pricing
0
0
1