Cutting-Edge Cycling – new book

by Brian Mullin on April 19, 2012

Increase speed, power, endurance, and efficiency with Cutting-Edge Cycling.
You’ll learn how to apply the latest in cycling research, science, and
technology to train smarter, ride longer, and race faster.
cycling coach Hunter Allen and leading scientist Stephen Cheung share
the most recent biomechanical, physiological, and technical advances and
research, why they matter, and how you can incorporate them for maximal
training and optimal performance.From the latest information on
periodization, lactate threshold, and recovery to bike positioning,
pedaling technique, and cadence, Cutting-Edge Cycling covers
every aspect of conditioning, preparation, and competition in this
physically demanding sport. Additional coverage includes interviews that
cover a broad range of topics: interpreting lab results, fatigue,
monitoring training, high-intensity training, prevention of and recovery
from overtraining, pacing, bike fit, power meter quadrant analysis,
hydration, and cooling strategies.

If you’re serious about gaining the edge on the competition, Cutting-Edge Cycling is one guide you shouldn’t be without.

Excerpted from Cutting-Edge Cycling (Human Kinetics, March 2012).  For more information visit
Track cycling fitness changes over time with a heart rate monitor

Heart Rate Monitors

improved fitness, the defining change in your body is that your cardiac
output, or the volume of blood pumped by your heart each minute,
increases. Cardiac output is simply heart rate multiplied by stroke
volume; the latter is the volume of blood pumped with each heart beat.
In an untrained individual, the maximal cardiac output can reach
approximately 25 liters per minute, but an elite aerobic athlete may
have a value of 35 liters or higher. Obviously, as more blood is pumped,
more oxygen is delivered to the muscles, increasing your aerobic energy
production. Physiologically, what are some of the major adaptations in
your cardiovascular system to enable this?

  • Your maximal heart rate will not change with fitness. This value is largely determined by genetics and age.
  • Overall
    blood volume will increase slightly, and some correlation is found
    between higher aerobic fitness and higher blood volume (Sawka et al.
    1992). This result occurs mostly because of increased plasma volume
    rather than more red blood cells, such that hematocrit (the fraction of
    solid to liquid in blood) usually decreases with fitness.
  • The
    heart, like your leg muscles, becomes stronger and able to pump blood
    with greater force. This increase in contractility helps to increase the
    stroke volume, or the amount of blood pumped with each heart beat.
  • Stroke
    volume also increases by improvements in your body’s ability to return
    blood from the body to the heart, resulting in greater filling of the
    heart each time.
  • The capillary network in your muscles increases in density, permitting greater blood flow to the muscles themselves.

can be seen from the preceding description, the cardiovascular system
is a complex interplay of many things going on inside the body. Overall,
the body adjusts the heart rate to achieve a cardiac output that will
deliver adequate blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the muscles during
exercise. Heart rate is also affected by the nervous system, as can be
seen at the start line of a bicycle race when your heart rate is at 150
beats per minute before the starting gun even goes off! Or you could be
tired and pushing yourself harder than ever, yet your heart rate reaches
only 160 beats per minute as compared with your normal 175 beats per
minute at threshold. In both cases, your nervous system is sending
signals to your heart that override your body’s physiological demands
for cardiac output

Therefore, although heart rate is an indication
of effort, it is an indirect one at best. Similar to a tachometer on a
car that tells you how fast the pistons are pumping rather than how many
horsepower the engine is producing, heart rate does not tell you the
speed or power that you are generating on the bike, but only how fast
the heart is pumping. Hunter likes to say that “heart rate tells me the
‘intensity of an athlete’s intention,’ and that can help me to better
understand the athlete in workouts and races.” Also, heart rate can be
influenced by many factors related and not related to exercise, such as
sleep, caffeine intake, and hydration status. That being said,
monitoring your heart rate is beneficial, and you can track fitness
changes over time by comparing heart rate with the data channels.


Cutting-Edge Cycling
Hunter Allen and Stephen S. Cheung
Now Available · Paperback ·296 ppISBN ISBN 978-0-7360-9109-1 · $23.95
eBook ISBN 978-1-4504-2548-3 · $19.95
 “Hunter and Stephen are two of the most knowledgeable people in the art of coaching and the science of cycling. Cutting-Edge Cycling is a definite must-have book.”
–Scott Moninger Winningest U.S. Professional Cyclist“As
an athlete, I am constantly searching for ways to improve my
performance. I am excited because Hunter and Stephen’s combined
expertise in
Cutting-Edge Cycling reveals practical ways to implement the latest in sport science and training so I can go faster!”
–Jeremiah Bishop12-Time Member of USA Cycling National Team
Pan America Games Gold Medalist
2008 USA National Champion of Short Track Cross Country and Marathon Mountain Bike

“Hunter and Stephen tell you how to work smarter. If you are ready to go to the next level, then Cutting-Edge Cycling is the book for you.”
–Daniel Lloyd
Professional Cyclist
Team Garmin-Cervelo

“Applying science to experience is the key to racing faster. Cutting-Edge Cycling will show you how.”
–Joe Friel
Endurance Sports Coach
Founder of USA Triathlon National Coaching Commission
Author of Cycling Past 50, The Triathlete’s Training Bible, and The Cyclist’s Training Bible

“Hunter Allen and Stephen Cheung translate the most recent science into practical training information for cyclists. Cutting-Edge Cycling will be a vital component to any cyclist’s success.”
–John Howard
Author of Mastering Cycling

Hunter Allen
is a former professional cyclist, renowned coach, and expert in using
power meters to train endurance athletes. As a professional racer for 17
years, he earned more than 40 career victories in competitions around
the world. He was considered a great all-arounder who had the race
tactics and skills essential for success at a professional level. Upon
retiring from racing, Allen became a USAC elite-level cycling coach and
certified nutrition consultant. He has coached more than 400 athletes,
including Olympic cyclists, champions of the European road racing
circuit, and champion mountain bikers. Allen is a frequent presenter at
USA Cycling’s coaching certification courses and was a technical
consultant to the 2008 USA Cycling BMX Olympic team.

Allen writes for Road magazine (
and UK-based Cycling Weekly, and he coauthored Training and Racing With
a Power Meter. Allen is the founder of Peaks Coaching Group (,
which specializes in training cyclists and other endurance athletes. He
is a codeveloper of TrainingPeaks WKO software, a leading program for
analyzing data from power meters. His passion is applying science and
technology toward improving athletic performance. Allen lives in
Bedford, Virginia, with his wife and three children.

As the science and training editor for, Stephen Cheung, PhD,
focuses on translating cutting-edge scientific research into practical
guidance for both cyclists and coaches. Cheung has authored more than
100 articles that cover respiratory training, altitude training,
precooling and fatigue in the heat, hydration, optimal cadence, pacing
strategies, jet lag, supplements, hypoxic stress, and the reliability of
exercise testing protocols.

Cheung holds a Canada research chair
in environmental ergonomics at Brock University, where his research
focuses on the effects of thermal stress on human physiology and
performance. He is also the author of Advanced Environmental Exercise
Physiology (Human Kinetics, 2009). Cheung helped to establish the sport
science support network for the Canadian Sport Centre in Atlantic Canada
and has consulted with the Canadian national rowing and snowboard teams
on specific sport performance projects. Cheung has also served as a
cycling official and as a board member of the Canadian Cycling

Cheung is a passionate cyclist who has been commuting
and competing on the road for more than 25 years. The highlight of his
cycling experiences was meeting his wife, Debbie, during a cross-Canada
ride in 1996.

Chapter 1. Evaluating Cycling Science
Chapter 2. Producing and Measuring Energy
Chapter 3. Tracking Effort and Performance
Chapter 4. Periodizing Your Training
Chapter 5. Preventing Overtraining and Enhancing Recovery
Chapter 6. Finding Your Perfect Pace
Chapter 7. Optimizing Bike Fit
Chapter 8. Pedaling for Peak Efficiency
Chapter 9. Understanding Hydration and Supplements
Chapter 10. Dealing With Environmental Stress
Source – Sue Outlaw

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