In this episode I had the great pleasure of chatting to someone who I have known for about 25 years and has had a profound influence of cycling over the last 30 years. Uli Schoberer is the inventor of the first power cranks and founder of SRM. Since then SRM cranks have been considered the gold standard of power measurement and thus have been seen at world championships and in the pro-peleton for the last 25 years transforming our understanding of cycling performance. In the interview Uli gives as great historical account of the development of SRM right up to the most recent product the X-power pedals, SPD mountain bike pedals - the first mountain bike pedals to the market. Another first for SRM.
In this episode I chat to Daniel Cain who is putting his university degree to good use in inventing a brand new aero wheel platform (AIR). As a keen racer he recognised the limitations and cost of existing wheels on the market and came up with the concept of a base rim with interchangeable aero attachments to give you the full range of 50, 70mm and full disc options. The discussion with Daniel goes into detail on the aerodynamic characteristics of deep section rims and the special modelling software that he has developed to design his different covers. More details can be found at (www.streamlinecycling.co.uk) with pre-ordering opening soon.
In a slight departure from our normal format we are introducing a new technical innovation series where we will bring interviews from different inventors of technical innovation in cycling. On the Cycling Science Podcast we do not do simple endorsements or marketing of new cycling products products and we only interview people if they are doing something really innovative, breaking the mould or bringing something that is first to market.
First we have Shokbox (www.shokbox.co.uk) invented by Martin Greene, this is a very interesting story where Martin recognised from personal experience that many of the bike boxes on the market had significant flaws and decided to do something about it. Martin tells us about the thought process that went into designing his new bike box by improving on all of the key important features that can be problematic in packing and transporting your bike in a bike box.
For each of the new Technical Episodes I will post a longer article on the website www.cycling-science.com if you would like a bit more detail.
In this episode I look at the science behind the design of interval training in an interview with Arthur Bossi who is in the final stages of his PhD, that dreaded 'writing-up'. We specifically discuss one of his papers (details below) from his PhD which has just been published. Interval training is very widely used in all training programmes yet our scientific understanding is actually somewhat limited. Of course there are lots of coaches that swear by their own versions of training programmes however much of that is on gut feeling rather than based on any solid scientific research. Therefore this paper from Arthur is particularly important in that it gives a bit of a greater understanding of the physiological responses to a specific design of interval. Of course what it does not tell us is the longer term adaptation but at least we understand the physiological demand.
I had the great pleasure to interview Dr Shawn Bearden, who was one of my inspirations to create this podcast. Shawn has his own super successful podcast 'The Science of Ultra', where he conducts interviews, has a coaches corner and some individual information about ultra trail running. He is a former soccer player who, after studying at Florida State University then became a professor of physiology at Idaho State University, turned to running in what he called a mid life crisis. Although this was not just the run of the mill running this was the really long 'ultra'' stuff. This episode starts by getting a bit more background on Shawn and why he decided to start his podcast. We then try to compare his work as an exercise physiologist, coach and now podcaster on ultra running to the world of ultra cycling.
I would certainly recommend that even if you are not a runner that you have a listen to Shawn's podcast as there is some great material there that is relevant to any athlete or coach.
In the last episode I discussed the translation of research with Dr Laurent Bannock and for this episode I wanted to explore what it is like for a successful rider and how science could guide their training.
The rider is Andy Bruce who I have known since he took up cycling in 2011. In this short time he has made fantastic progress so that in 2019 he managed to win one of those stripey jerseys that we would like to have by becoming the World Masters Points Race winner. I think as well as his progress I do marvel at how Andy manages to fit in all of his training around a busy job that involves a lot of international travel.
Anyhow as you see below his palmares speaks for itself ;
World Masters Points Race (M45-49) Championship - Gold
World Masters 3k IP (M45-49) Championship - Silver
British Masters 3k IP (M45-49) Championship - Gold
British Masters Road Race (M45-49) Championship - Silver
Scottish Veterans 3k IP Championship - Gold
Scottish Veterans Road Race Championship - Gold
Scottish Senior 4k Team Pursuit Championship - Gold
Scottish Senior Team Time Trial Championship - Gold
Scottish National Olympic Time Trial Team Championship - Gold
Previous Significant Podiums:
British Masters Circuit Race Championship - Silver (2017)
Scottish Veterans 3k IP Championship - (Gold in 2018, Silver in 2017)
Scottish Veterans Road Race Championship - (Gold in 2016, Silver in 2017)
Scottish Senior Circuit Race Championship - Bronze (2018)
So the podcast follows his journey to the present day trying to extract what leads to success at this level and the lessons that he has learned along the way.
A joint podcast with Dr Laurent Bannock, Institute of Performance Nutrition (www.theiopn.com), 'We do Science Podcast'. Both Laurent and I have an interest in the translation of research into practice and how practitioners, coaches and athletes can first of all access appropriate information but also how the latest research influences practice. We discuss how research findings can be difficult to interpret and therefore are easily misinterpreted and the key reasons why findings might be misinterpreted. Over the last 10 years there has been a very significant increase in research publications across all of the sport sciences and even specialist researchers find difficult to keep up thus it is even more difficult for practitioners, coaches and athletes to keep up. It is also difficult for these non-researchers to put any single research finding into context against all of the preceding research. It can also be said that practitioners and coaches have a key role in highlighting potential areas of research, ensuring that the research that is conducted attempts to answer relevant practical issues.
We suggest that accreditation of practitioners combined with a learning mindset are critical to ensure that practitioners provide evidence based practice. Researchers have a key role in communicating their findings in a way that is accessible and practical to practitioners.
We refer to two recent publications both of which outline some of the key issues.
From Paper to Podium: Quantifying the Translational Potential of Performance Nutrition Research
Close GL, Kasper AM, Morton JP
Sports Med, 2019
The Translation of Sport Science Research to the Field: A Current Opinion and Overview on the Perceptions of Practitioners, Researchers and Coaches
Fullagar HHK, McCall A, Impellizzeri FM, Favero T, Coutts AJ
Sports Med, 2019
Episode 4 - Crash Bang
In this episode we discuss a recent paper on acute injuries in mountain bikers published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. Injuries are always present in mountain biking so this paper tries to provide a bit more detail comparing amateur and elite riders.
Stoop, Rahel, Erich Hohenauer, Thomas Vetsch, Tom Deliens, and Ron Clijsen. 2019. “Acute Injuries in Male Elite and Amateur Mountain Bikers: Results of a Survey.” Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 18 (2): 207–12.
Appropriately also included is an interview with Dr Michale Bottlang the inventor of the Bontrager Wavecell helmet. The revolutionary helmet design which is designed to reduce the rotational forces potentially experienced by cyclists in a fall.
The interview gives a great insight to the science behind the development and testing of the wavecell helmet. If you are interested in a more visual representation of the benefit of this technology then this video (https://youtu.be/iilGcMeKkuc) using an egg as a representation of your brain gives a very clear image of the improvement that wavecell can make.
In our news section we talk about:the recent press that eBike users are just as active a normal bike users
brief discussion on a new paper looking at the long term of high dosage of vitamin D
the recent revelations from Jani Brajkovic about the prevalence of eating disorders in the pro peleton the true story of the cyclist with the highest-ever VO2max
Remember if you have a burning question that you would like us to answer in our podcast then please do get in touch via our website www.cycling-science.com.
Episode 3 - Critical Power
Research Paper and Interview
I speak to Dr Paul Morgan about his paper on ‘Critical Power’ and its potential relationship with TT performance and FTP.
Morgan, Paul T., Matthew I. Black, Stephen J. Bailey, Andrew M. Jones, and Anni Vanhatalo. 2019. “Road Cycle TT Performance: Relationship to the Power-Duration Model and Association with FTP.” Journal of Sports Sciences 37 (8): 902–10.
Death of Kelly Catlin, we discuss the circumstances around the tragedy of Kelly taking her own life earlier this year. Are there lessons to be learned in terms of the mental health of athletes.We try to raise awareness of the some of the issues and how this might apply to cyclists and what resources are there available for coaches?UCI probing blood doping scandal after two Austrian pro cyclists confess.
Two cyclists (Stefan Denifl Georg Preidler) confess to blood doping, raising questions about the biological passport and its ability to catch the cheats.
UCI start to control Tramadol, not banned by WADA but there will be sanctions for pro-tour riders who have a positive test for tramadol.
Episode 2 Cycling and Pollution
In this episode we discuss the findings from a research group in Canada who have recently published two papers from the same study where they had some cyclists exercise while inhaling diesel fumes.
Giles, Luisa V., Christopher Carlsten, and Michael S. Koehle. 2018. “The Pulmonary and Autonomic Effects of High-Intensity and Low-Intensity Exercise in Diesel Exhaust.” Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source 17 (1): 87.
Giles, Luisa V., Scott J. Tebbutt, Christopher Carlsten, and Michael S. Koehle. 2018. “The Effect of Low and High-Intensity Cycling in Diesel Exhaust on Flow-Mediated Dilation, Circulating NOx, Endothelin-1 and Blood Pressure.” PloS One 13 (2): e0192419.
Interview with Dr James Tait, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds who talks about his research which is more focused on characterising the dose of pollution that cyclists are subjected to in congested traffic.
Linking to the discussion in our first podcast we return to Zwift, where we talk about the idea the Zwift racing is harder than real racing. I tend to agree with this great article in Cycling Weekly https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/11-things-know-race-zwift-407278/amp
Bert de Clercq the first pro-peloton cyclist to return to top flight racing with an artificial hip.
The rise of women’s pro racing, how fast are they or were the men just too slow? We discuss the incident when the women's race caught up to the men's race that had started 10 minutes earlier in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Remember if you have any questions you would like us to answer then go to our website and submit your questions. www.cycling-science.com
1.Introduction to the hosts of the Cycling Science Podcast
2. Background of the Cycling Science Podcast hosts
3. Research paper review
Keay N, Francis G, Hind K. Low energy availability assessed by a sport-specific questionnaire and clinical interview indicative of bone health, endocrine profile and cycling performance in competitive male cyclists BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine 2018;4:e000424. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2018-000424
4. Interview with Dr Ruth McKean
Ruth is a very experienced sports nutritionist having worked for many years in the Scottish Institute of Sport and Scottish Swimming. She has recently moved to work with the British Skeleton Squad. Ruth talks in depth about RED-S and energy deficit in athletes. She also discusses her work with Mark Beaumont in his successful attempt to cycle around the world in less than 80 days.
Robert Marchand, French World Record holder is back cycling at the age of 106!
Zwift has recently secured a $120 million funding boost to further improve the platform but what is Zwift? What do the hosts think?
Strava annual report shows that the over 50’s are the most active cyclists in 2018
Powermeters to be banned in the Tour de France