News / mountain bike

  • Can Alpine Skiing Preserve Cycling Fitness?

      There were many years where I avoided alpine skiing because I thought spending time on an indoor trainer was better cross-training for my triathlon or cycling training. Turns out I was wrong. Let me explain. We have a local non-race race (The Four Seasons of Horsetooth) that is a timed loop done on the same course at each solstice and equinox. It is a good measure of fitness for each quarter of the year. In 2018, the December weather was cooperative (read: mostly dry trails and not a giant snowstorm, as is typical) and I logged a time of...

    Read more →
  • Breck Epic 2019

      Featured photo courtesy of Ron Kennedy The Breck Epic event has been on my bucket list for years – maybe eight or 10 years. My buddy Scott Ellis and I planned on doing the race in 2017. That did not happen so I’m doing it in 2019 with his spirit-support. What is Breck Epic? It is a six-day mountain bike stage race on the trails in Summit County, Colorado. Each stage starts and finishes in Breckenridge (at roughly 9,600 feet elevation.) At the sweet age of 61, I am concerned about simply finishing the event. I am told by...

    Read more →
  • Training plans are intentional progressions to bring athletes to a new level of fitness

    Hi Gale, I saw your twitter feed commenting on the difference between exercise and training. Though you referenced another columnist, can you expand on your thoughts some more? I'm a big fan and I've used several of your training plans. I know they work. Now that I'm gaining more experience as an endurance athlete, I'm more interested in understanding why your plans work. Any information you can give to help me learn (without giving away secrets!) is much appreciated. Regards, C.S. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hi C.S. ~ First, thank you for letting me know my plans help you succeed! In short,...

    Read more →
  • Gale Bernhardt Consulting Selected as One of Top 6 Online Trainers

    Today I was pleasantly surprised, humbled and honored to be selected as one of Men's Fitness Magazine's top online trainers. The honor was for providing dedicated workouts and advice for athletes. In the magazine, they pulled a nice quote from the Tough Love blog written in August. I must say it feels great to have triathletes, mountain bikers, road cyclists and runners value my training plans and advice. For the recognition, thank you Men's Fitness ~   Note: What I didn't catch in the original tweet to me is that it is an international honor - Men's Fitness Magazine, U.K....

    Read more →
  • Comparison of gear inches for a 1x11 on a 29er and 27.5 mountain bike

    In the last post, I included a gear-inch chart for comparing 1x11 and 2x10 gear inches for a mountain bike with 29-inch wheels. The post generated plenty of good discussion and comments on the blog and Facebook as well. One of the comments was that switching from 2x10 to 1x11 is made easier on the low range of the gears if you also switch from 29-inch wheels to 27.5-inch wheels. So, I created a chart so you could see the comparative differences for gearing. The discussion of going from one wheel size to the other is an entirely different blog....

    Read more →
  • Gear Inches Chart for 29er Wheels – 1x11 v.s. 2x10

    I've had a lot of questions from mountain bikers about gearing. Riders wonder if they should go with a 1x11 or 2x10? There are many factors that go into this decision, not the least of which is the actual gearing. I'm going to use myself as an example. Right now I am running a 2x10 setup with a 22x38 on the front and 11x36 on the rear. On the gear inches chart below, you can see that my granny gear (22x36) provides 17.7 gear inches of travel. This is my low gear for climbing. My big gear for pushing speed...

    Read more →
  • Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Training Plan Success

    Comments from a mountain biker that successfully completed the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race:     Gale is a great coach!  She took time to get to know me, the goals that I had and the time that I had to commit based on all of the other areas of my life.  She built plans that worked with my schedule and pushed me to new levels of fitness.  She was always there if I had questions about my training and about strategies for events. Gale offered the right amount of encouragement to keep me on track and make it across...

    Read more →
  • After I overeat, how long before I gain weight?

    Several athletes (and non-athletes) I know have mentioned that it seems they have a two-week rule. That is, they seem to be able to overeat for a period of time and then after roughly two weeks – boom! The scale says weight gain. The opposite seems to be true for these people as well. That is, when they begin the New Year’s resolutions of weight loss it take two weeks of vigilance before the scale shows a stable weight loss. What is going on? There are many factors that influence whether you gain weight or lose weight. Let’s begin with...

    Read more →
  • Plyometric Workouts for Cyclists and Triathletes

    Cyclists, mountain bikers and triathletes are often hesitant to try plyometrics because they don’t know where to begin. In this blog, I’ll give you a basic floor routine that you can use to get started. Also included are instructions for more advanced athletes.   General Instructions for All Plyometric Workouts   Plyometric workouts need to be done on a good jumping surface. Concrete or other very hard floors should be avoided. Also, a good pair of crosstraining or court shoes should be used for plyometric (plyo) workouts. Warm-up 10 to 20 minutes on a bike or running before starting a...

    Read more →
  • Training Plan Workouts: Interval Training in the Heat

    One of the common training plan workouts I assign to athlete in the last four to six weeks before an important race is 5-6 x 3 minutes getting heart rate or power into Zone 5b (anaerobic) and holding it there. Take 3 minutes of Zone 1 recovery between each one. These are best done on a hill.Most of the time I want this workout done in cool conditions so athletes can produce the most amount of power possible – because we know that heat decreases your ability to produce power. This is because some of your energy is spent trying...

    Read more →