Return to Fitness

Finding the Bright Spots in a Pandemic Year

November 2, 2020
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Words and photo by Kristen Phillips This has been a year of curveballs and those of us lucky enough to continue training through the pandemic are a fortunate group. Especially for those of us who are “pandemic parenting” and working every day to keep up with work, family, and fitness – it takes a lot of support and internal motivation. The benefits of anchoring every day with a workout that makes us feel happy and healthy are worth it. For…

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Race Reports

Vermont Super 8 Race Report

October 13, 2020
Vermont Super 8

Words and Photos by AOC Athlete Tony Prikes Event: Vermont Super 8  Rider category: ‘Self sufficient’ (Riders in this category must remain outdoors for the entirety of the race with no ability to buy or purchase any goods or services.) Bike/Stuff: Trek Procaliber 9.7; rigged to 60lbs; ~ 3 liter water capacity; 6 days food This was my first bikepacking/endurance riding experience and I enjoyed every minute of it.  This race in my opinion is more than just a race. …

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Coaching Advice

Why Sleep Matters

March 30, 2020
Why Sleep Matters

Words and photo by Lisa Mazzola Remember the days of our youth when we could sleep in, which often meant over eight hours of sleep a night?  In my adult years, I feel lucky when I get 6-7 hours of quality sleep a night. I became sleep obsessed when I started training as an endurance athlete, knowing how important sleep is for recovery and performance.  Now as a coach, it is one of the metrics that I nudge my athletes about…

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Return to Fitness

Returning to fitness after a baby

January 19, 2020
Return to Fitness

Words and photo by Kristen Phillips It’s been a slow roll coming back to fitness after giving birth to a baby boy 14 months ago, but with the turn of the new year it's time to begin again. Becoming a mother has been an awesome experience and the time away from training has made my heart fonder. I was lucky to have a healthy pregnancy and ride consistently until 35-weeks. My husband and I have been riding and racing bikes…

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Coaching Advice

Conquering the Cols: Training for the Demands of the High Mountains

November 12, 2018
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Words by Lisa Mazzola After my last trip to the Pyrenees in 2016, I knew I wanted to go back at some point and ride some of the cols that I missed and shadow parts of the Tour de France. When the course was announced for the 2018 Tour, the moment presented itself. I would have the chance to ride some new mountain passes that would also be included in the tour and revisit some old favorites. The planned routes…

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Nutrition

Managing Nutrition with My Fitness Pal

August 13, 2018
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  Words by Kristen Phillips One topic that comes up a lot with athletes is how to manage nutrition. It’s a question I’ve asked myself a lot through the years, and the recent rediscovery of My Fitness Pal has made a noticeable difference. It has essentially enabled me to be more aware of what I eat, and with that, become my own nutritionist. It’s all too easy to eat empty calories or overestimate what a serving size should be. It…

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Coaching Advice

Three Tips for Pre-Event Pressure

June 17, 2018
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Words by Kristen Phillips If you’re a cyclist focused on improving your skills and abilities, it’s important to set goals that challenge you. Without them, it's hard to progress in meaningful ways. Cycling is a sport that stretches us mentally and physically and can take us to exciting new places within ourselves. This can happen by racing, participating in organized events, and by traveling to ride your bike in new places. If you’re working towards a goal that scares you…

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Mental Training

Mind Overrides Matter: The Mental Side of Training

February 20, 2018
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Words by Lisa Mazzola “I was deep in the pain cave”, “shut up legs”, “sufferfest”; These are things that you hear often in the cycling community. Whether in a race, on a big climb, or during a long and grueling group ride, the ability to suffer is something that we bond and brag over. But how much of that suffering is mental and how much is physical?  I know for myself, it is hard in the moment to distinguish what…

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Coaching Philosophy

Self-Reflection: A Cyclists Guide

December 18, 2017
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Words by Kristen Phillips Good coaches create a supportive environment for learning. Art of Cycling maintains that in order for performance-based (competitive) cyclists to truly thrive in this sport, they need to stay inspired. Inspiration is key to motivation, and motivation is how we keep up with the demands of training. By learning more about who you are as a cyclist, your goals can better align with what you want from the sport and help keep you focused when the…

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Race Reports

Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb

September 6, 2017
Mount Washington Hill Climb - 2017

Words by Lisa Mazzola The Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb (MWARBH) is an annual bicycle racing event held in New Hampshire. Considered by many as one of the toughest hill climbs in the world, the course is a 7.6-mile climb up to the top of Mount Washington. The highest peak in the northeast United States: it has an average grade of 12% with extended sections of 18% and the last 50 yards is 22% to the finish line. And if…

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