Performance Coaching

Cycling with Barb Morris!


Wattbike training

Comox Valley coaching with Barb

Experienced, long time certified cycling coach Barb – ‘coach Be’ – has relocated to Vancouver Island.

Coach continues with established mainland clients and is now welcoming V. Islanders to her performance coaching roster.

With a history of coaching from youth triathletes to Time Trial road racers, IM and cyclocross, fondo and Learn to Race, coach Be has successfully done it, coached it and brings that all-round knowledge to the athlete with an interest and desire to perform in their sport of cycling.

Be it Fitness, Performance, Personal Best or Podium results, coach Be makes it happen for you!

email; or phone/text 778 837 0288 to make an appointment and begin your journey on the bike, can’t wait to hear from you.

Group ride session (above left)

with Road and TT champion Graham (bottom left)

The Cost of Cadence

Leading into ‘what’s strong with me’ day 4, is to describe what the cost of cadence/rpm is on your heart rate. My background is in the cardiac field and since the early days when polar heart rate (HR) monitors were introduced, since HR is a physiological manifestation of the body’s response to exercise; or load (power and volume) on the system, HR has been the means to measure that response.

Back to cadence and an exercise in what I mean by ‘cost’. Do this next time on the bike; warm up gradually over 5 minutes, starting at 85 rpms and up to 105 rpms maintaining a light gear and low tension. Note how your HR picks up as the cadence picks up, as the load is gradually picking up as well. Respiration goes up, your cardio/resp system is adjusting cardiac output, increasing it as a response to the need for O2 and fuel.

Now quickly increase your cadence to 120 rpms for 10 seconds; HR will increase quickly. Then HR will drop back down when cadence goes back down. Do this 3 times and the ‘cost’ to your system is the increased need for more HR in response.

Then do the same with load/tension, by increasing the gearing while reducing cadence so that power gradually increases – measured by Watts. At this point you’re warming up the skeletal muscle and you’ll find that the HR doesn’t respond the same way – it will eventually go up to a similar HR but the load and perceived exertion will be higher than it was with cadence.

An efficient rider will have a cadence (and load) that provides the most power over time with the least ‘cost’ to the system. Mashers (low cadence) are using more skeletal muscle, the fatigue factor will be higher even with a lower HR. Spinners (cadence over 105 rpms) will fatigue due to the cardiac system working too hard; both types will experience the ‘cost’ of high or low cadence.

Where is all of this leading? 2 things.

  1. Find your most efficient leg speed, one that you can maintain power without pushing up the HR.
  2. Practice different leg speeds during your repetitions to have your muscles become efficient at them, without driving the HR up.

That ability, is what’s strong with me.

Coach Be

  • more on how to increase power without increasing the ‘cost’ on day 5

Gearing up hills

Gearing up for Hills in 2020
Plan ahead! April 29th for 4 months, through August on Wednesday’s 6pm. Put in the time to become a more efficient climber, a confident descender; @ $110/month for early Birds, to March 30 – $450 for the season. Regular price $500

Link to register.

Don’t ride alone this summer, join the Gearing Up Hills and have company on the ride!
Train weekly on local Vancouver and north shore climbs; coached rides.

Cycling BC – ‘UCI cycling for all’ license required: link below to CCN to purchase.!/memberships/cycling-bc-2020-annual-membership-license

Starts Wednesday Oct 2!

 Register here;

It’s a very exciting time of the year, thinking of possibilities for your next adventures.  Become a master of your sport!

Watts on Wednesday will focus on your Power Profile;  from 1 minute to 60 minutes, building the engine, taking the process approach to VO2 training.

One of the things that struck me, watching the US rider Chloe Dygert win by over a minute (she trains on a Wattbike) was that her strength is high over the distance, and it made me think that we may be imposing limitations on ourselves by our thinking.  Are we being letting our age for example, define what we can do and how much it’s possible to improve? We will go into this program with the mindset of doing something we haven’t done before.  

Time Trial World Champion Chloe Dygert finishes a WattBike session.

3 months starts Oct. 2, 6:00 – 6:15 pm $350

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