Summary from The 2nd Annual Richmond Endurance Symposium

By: Michael Tabasko (Physical Therapist at Capitol Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation)

Richmond Virginia is fast establishing itself as a hub of east coast cycling. The city is rallying around the 2015 UCI World Championships, and recently hosted the second annual Richmond Endurance Symposium.

I had the opportunity to hear talks by a great line-up of  health care professionals, top athletes and field experts.  Here’s a quick recap of what they had to say:

Andy Potts/Champion Ironman Triathlete: 

Andy was a really funny guy and an engaging speaker. He spoke about positive thinking and how it relates to mind/body/spirit. A cliche topic? Maybe, but his perspective was on how you process and perceive your athletic experiences. Positive or negative, these experiences have a cumulative layering effect on your mental game.

For example, let’s say you flat and roll across the finish line with a dejected attitude: this adversely effects how your next training session or race is going to play out. Instead, focus positively about what you can still get out of that session and move on: that experience then layers with the next, making you a mentally resilient athlete.  One can also apply this philosophy to segments within a race as well, mentally compartmentalizing the parts where things “get heavy” and move positively on to the next. He also spoke about leaving something left in the tank during training and how this helps him stay excited and hungry to compete. His coach will mentally prepare him for X-many intervals, but then stop the workout before the last set, saving that truly 100% effort for competition. He’s also big on visualization using all the senses, focusing on what a target course will feel, look, and smell like while training.

Tidewater Performance/Physical Therapy group:

This was a somewhat basic talk on the the importance of strength training  as it relates to injury prevention. The focus was on mastering multi-joint movement patterns (squat, dead lift, hip hinge, lunge), then add resistance, then progress to plyometrics and sport-specific patterns.

They reinforced how strength training may be beneficial to all, but is increasingly important for injured or over-trained athletes to recover efficiency, and for older athletes to maintain lean muscle mass and bone density.

Bob Seebohar/Sports Dietitian & Exercise Physiologist:  

I found this to be the most interesting talk. He focused on the concepts of Nutritional Periodization and Metabolic Efficiency Training.

Main points:

-Nutrition intake and component should vary with training macrocycles.

-Don’t use products during base training, eat balanced meals of real food. Use only water only on the bike for ride less than two hours.

-Don’t gain more than five pounds during off-season.

-Begin using products only as your training intensity requires it and focus on proper eating for recovery.

-Dial in your hydration/electrolyte needs which are highly variable and individual. Sweat rate testing is a great way to determine this if you have issues with cramping, dehydration or hyponatremia.

He emphasized the greatest limiter to performance is glycogen depletion and the main goal of an athlete’s nutritional plan is to maximize early and efficient use of fat stores. This means sparing muscle glycogen only for high intensity efforts like responding to attacks or the finish sprint. You’ll maintain form longer into the event, and there’s less chance of GI irritation because you don’t require as much fuel intake.

He presented some great case studies showing a few athlete’s improvement in fuel utilization to where they were taking less than 100 cal/hour for an 8-10 hour Ironman.  In contrast, an inefficient metabolism may begin preferentially burning carbohydrate at intensities as low as Endurance or low Tempo. These athletes will require substantially more fueling, have a higher risk of GI distress, and become glycogen depleted sooner than the efficient athlete.

A main goal of Metabolic Efficiency Training is to minimize insulin spikes – one of the body’s strongest signals to inhibit fat utilization. This means balancing meals with equal carbs to protein and healthy fats. For example, have an apple with almond butter. Dip bread with olive oil. Eat rice with spinach and nuts. Don’t have a gel 20 min before a crit. Instead, focus on a balanced meal two hours before and fuel appropriately while racing.

As you minimize these insulin spikes both on and off the bike your body will learn to preferentially burn fat. When I spoke to Bob after the talk, he said he’s seen significant metabolic changes in as little as two weeks with compliant clients.

Here’s a link to his books and company:

Hunter Allen: 

 Hunter mainly presented material in Training and Racing with a Power Meter which many of us have read, but is always good to hear again. He emphasized regular testing of your key metrics for accurate training – and that testing is training. By recognizing patterns in your mesocyles that result in your best efforts, you can accurately predict performance peaks. Work back from your A/Priority races and apply those successful training patterns to give yourself the best chance of peaking for key events. He gave an example of a rider who would put together three weeks of 900-1000 TSS per week. After taking an easy week, he would put out his best 20 min test, like clockwork, every year. They would then apply this mesocycle one month prior to his A races. He also showed some interesting patterns that George Hincape and some other ProTour riders used to time their peaks. It was interesting to see how after Grand Tours, or even week-long stage races, those guys really let their training load drop (both acute and chronic), particularly later in the season.

I asked Hunter about working with athletes who are obsessed with their metrics to a fault. He said this does happen quite a bit, especially if the rider is not hitting their numbers and this is causing a negative feedback loop. He will have them tape over their power metric on their head unit, have them use RPE to gauge effort for a few weeks. The athlete’s family member will then send the data to him so he can appropriately design the next training block.

 Christian Vande Velde:

 Christian is a down-to-earth kind of guy and entertained us with stories from life in the pro peloton. He’s also moving his family to Greenville, SC – maybe to go hang out with George H and start a training-camp epicenter? Wanting to establish himself as an NBC cycling commentator, he diplomatically talked around the few questions directed towards LA or the doping era, which was quite understandable.

He had a funny story about when Garmin/Slipstream was still pretty young and underfunded. They were wondering how the Italians continued to look fabulous after two weeks of stage racing – only to find they had four hairdryers in the back of their bus. He was a big fan of eating real food on the bike, it was from this program that Allen Lim’s famous  rice cakes evolved.  The Garmin team was one of the first to really focus on what we now think of as a modern nutrition program. At the time the cycling media hailed the Team’s diet as going gluten free, but as Christian responded, “Man, I like beer!”

He was a big proponent of weights and strength training, especially when recovering from a broken back.

Interestingly, he mentioned how in the past five years, the peloton had become much less social. It’s now a harrowing washer-machine of circulating riders 100% of the time. He remembers when he began racing, there was quite a bit of conversation at times. You had to have a thick skin to hand around the caboose of the field as The Aussies took great pride in tormenting riders who slipped back.

For a complete list of the 2105 speakers and full video of the event (coming soon) please visit:

Team Bike Doctor Wins the Mid-Atlantic’s Best All-Around Rider Award!

The Mid-Atlantic Bicycle Racing Association (MABRA) hosts a Best All-Around Rider (BAR) competition each year. The BAR series consists of the majority of the region’s road racing events including criteriums, road races, time trials, stage races, and other events. Points are earned based on the classification of event, with larger events such as championship and stage races earning higher levels of points. The award is separated by gender, age and racing category. Bike Doctor’s Nicholas Taylor won the award in the Men’s Category 1/2 individual “Senior” BAR, which is the highest level of racing competition that the series offers. While the award is on an individual level, like most results in road racing, it comes as a result of a concerted team effort rather than a one-person achievement. The points results can be seen here, tabulated across the entire season of racing. Winning the series confers the privilege of wearing the Championship jersey in the subsequent year, along with other benefits.

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Brian Rist-Sportif CX Master’s 1/2/3 Champion


Brian Rist won the overall championship for the Sportif CX Master’s 1/2/3 series. Splitting his time between the MABRA Super 8 and Sportif series during the season saw Brian racing almost every day of every weekend. His dedication and hard work paid off with several trips to the podium, as well as a 3rd place overall for the Super 8 Master’s 1/2/3 series.

Congratulations on a fantastic CX season Brian!

Eating Well p/b Mayur Kabab House: “Throw it in” Nutrition

Eating well. Between rushing out the door in the morning, that tempting doughnut in the break room at work, and the quick snack before getting the afternoon work out in, it can be hard! How many of us really take the time and energy to plan every meal? Even those that make it to the farmer’s market twice per week and pack a great lunch most every day might find themselves getting the Blue Box Blues (TM) every now and then. So, how can these depressing meals be made just a little better? How about throwing in a little something extra that happens to be nutrient dense! Between quinoa, kale, or various seeds, there is always something that can be thrown in. They’ve all become popular ingredients for packaged health foods but you don’t need to throw your money at Kellogg’s or the like to get at the good stuff.


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Scott Giles makes history and earns a Jersey at Masters Nationals!

Scott Giles traveled to Ogden, UT to compete at USA Cycling’s Masters Nationals earlier this month. Scott had big ambitions and goals to make a mark this year in the 40-44 age category, especially in the time trial and road race. Scott took the time to piece together some excellent reports which are too good not to share. To come back after just barely missing Gold in the time trial and then going on to win the road race demonstrates just how tenacious a competitor Scott is! Scott also went on to earn the Best All Around Rider award in the 40-44 age category at the closing ceremony!

Scott Giles off the start ramp!

Scott Giles off the start ramp!

Time Trial

The speediest riders in the country descended on Antelope Island near Salt Lake City and had a pretty good day to take a crack at the National Masters Championship TT course until the wind picked up. The first leg was gifted with a tailwind, but the return trip was right back into it. Although this probably meant the course times would be slow, it worked somewhat to my favor. I had confidence I was one of the most aerodynamic, and comfortable, of the field because my steed was the Cannondale Slice that had been dialed in by Chris Richardson at the Bike Doctor Waldorf fitting studio. Tough as it felt to fight that wind coming home, the aerodynamics cheated the wind, with the result exceeding expectations posting the second fastest time over the 34km for the silver medal. Huge congratulations to Ian Standoff, who made even greater speed and is our new M40-44 National TT Champion.

Road Race

The course was a 1 mile climb, a 5 mile descent, 48 miles of almost dead flat, then a final 6 mile climb to the finish that was really two 900 foot climbs separated by a 300 foot descent at the 3 mile-to-go point.
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Speed Merchant Aero Wind Tunnel Testing

Team member Ian Spivack recently traveled to Plaistow, NH, to do some off-season wind tunnel testing and analyze his time trial equipment at the Speed Merchant Aero Low Speed Wind Tunnel (SMART LSWT). Below are his thoughts on the experience in his own words:

The reason I decided to spend the money and time on a wind tunnel drag test was that I wanted to quantify the differences between various time trial equipment and bike positions on my time trial bike. On my own, I can do field aerodynamic testing around the high school track to see if one setup is better than another, but I could not quantify the differences in setup. Since not all helmets have the same fit, cooling, cost, visor, and weight, I figured that there are many factors that will influence my helmet choice other than just drag.
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Bike Doctor Intro to Cyclocross Clinic 2014

Team Bike Doctor is pleased to the return of our introductory cyclocross clinic coming up on August 30th. The clinic is returning for its third year having seen increasing popularity each fall. This will be a 4 hour long clinic geared for those with little to no experience who just want to get down the very basics that are needed for racing cyclocross.

You do not need a cross bike to participate, but a bike with knobby tires and off-road appropriate clipless pedals will provide the best learning experience. A mountain bike would work just fine. A helmet, however, is required.

When: Saturday, August 30th, 2014, from 10am to 2pm
Where: Rosaryville State Park in Maryland.
Cost: $10 and attendees are encouraged to register in advance using paypal to Please include the names of those attending. Juniors are FREE–just email us with their names! Day-of registration will be $15, however, we recommend that you register in advance as we reserve the right to close off day-of registration if we reach capacity.

More information on the clinic is provided in the flier linked below. Please tell all your friends who are on the fence about trying cyclocross or may have never even considered it!

View the Clinic Flyer

Giro di Coppi 2nd, 3rd, and 6th in the Elite Field

Team Bike Doctor consisting of Michael Tabasko, Matias Palavecino, Ryan Bodge, Bruno Neto, Pete Custer, Frank Ramos, Ian Spivack, Nicholas Taylor, Sunny Gill, Andrew Shelby, James Studebaker, Allan Wallace lined up on a humid but not so hot morning for Giro di Coppi. For most in the field, this has been their 3rd, 4th or even 5th (Ian Spivack)’s time doing this race. The team was very motivated to get some top results in the extended 80 mile race.

A group of 3-4 got away on the first/second lap and built a roughly two-minute gap. Allan was initially in this break but fell back and communicated that he did not think they would make it. He thought they were burning too many matches on the uphill portions and not riding smooth through the flats.

With 3 to go some of the stronger riders started moving to the front approaching finishing climb. Rick Norton (KBS) hit the finishing climb hard enough that it encouraged a field split with a selection of about 15 riders. Bike Doctor riders initially worked with three or four of the riders in the split that were willing to contribute to placing some distance on the field. The move was ideal, with the team well-represented with Nicholas, James, Ian and Bruno all present. The group of 15 was together but unfortunately unwilling to work together, although a few of the other teams had multiple riders present.

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Spivack at Elite Nationals 2014 in Madison, WI

In Ian’s words:
I decided to make the long trip to Madison WI to participate in Elite Nationals Road race and time trial. Bill Browne, Tanner Browne, and I left Sunday evening and arrived on Monday with enough time to pre-drive the road race course. The course consisted of a fast downhill, a flat road section, a few rollers, and then a 5 minute climb. The final lap you turn right at the top of the climb and go for another km to the summit finish. On Tuesday we were able to pre-ride the time trial course. The time trial course was quite technical with rolling hills and a couple of turns. I helped out at Tanner’s road race on Wednesday and was able to pre-ride the time trial course again.

Thursday’s road race started off slow after the neutral roll out. The first time up the climb was not too bad. A few guys were in a break that eventually got caught around the 3rd or 4th time up the climb. Each time we went up the climb we went harder and harder. On the 4th and 5th time up the climb I really started to struggle and barely held onto the lead group. Going into the final lap’s climb, everyone in the lead group was starting to get a bit sketchy and the racing became very aggressive. I started to cramp up because I had gone so hard on the climbs. On the final lap I had to take it fairly easy going into the final climb so I would not cramp up and have to walk. I managed to be one the final riders in the lead group and finish 45th.

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