Ryan Riell

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Why is Riding on a Trainer Harder?

This time of year, a lot of athletes are indoors on bike trainers due to weather. One very common question I am asked is "why does it seem so much harder to ride on a trainer than ride outside? "The reason is simple: it is!Why is Rdiding on a Trainer Hard?From a physiology perspective, the trainer is more energetically demanding than the road.

The main reasons for this are as follows:

1. Rolling resistance is different
The flywheel will decelerate your bike a lot more quickly than the road. This requires constant pedaling, which requires constant pedaling, which is an increased level of muscle activation.

2. Reduced rate of convective cooling
On a trainer, the usual source of convective cooling is provided by a fan. When riding outside, the athlete is generating "wind" that is equal to their speed moving forward. This overall reduction in your ability to shed body heat (reduce core temperature) will increase the RPE of any session.

3. Lack of "moving" or "shifting" around on the bike
While riding outside, we are constantly shifting in position for various reason (comfort, change of intensity, terrain, traffic, etc...). When we are on the trainer, those small and often subtle shifts are not required, leaving "comfort" as the main reason to change body position. As discomfort in the seat area increases, so does RPE.

4. Lack of "moving" or "rocking" the bike
When we are outside, we move the bike underneath us. Not only in a forward fashion by pedaling, but from side-to-side. When we do this outside, it changes the recruitment pattern of the muscles being used, to include activating additional muscles that are not used while "sitting" on the trainer.

FTP Challenge: 5-week cycling program that will increase your FTP!

To Check or Not to Check Your Email First Thing in the Morning?


I read an interesting article from Business Insider titled “14 things successful people do before breakfast.” There are some great little tips in there, but there is one that I absolutely do not agree with: checking your email as one of the first things you do each morning. Here’s the quote from the article:

“While time-management gurus may suggest putting off email as long as possible, many successful people start the day with email. In fact, one recent survey found that the first thing most executives do in the morning is check their email.

They may quickly scan their inboxes for urgent messages that need an immediate response or craft a few important emails that they can better focus on while their minds are fresh.

For instance, Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project,” wakes at 6 every morning before her family’s up at 7. She uses the time to clear her inbox, schedule the day, and read social media. Getting these tasks out of the way from the start helps her concentrate better when she moves on to more challenging projects, she told Vanderkam. “

If you are a wise entrepreneur, you know that your daily schedule is incredibly important. You have scheduled your days in advance, setting time aside for specific tasks that have to be performed and for project development. Your time is the most valuable commodity you have.

Checking your email first thing in the morning is one of the best ways to throw your entire schedule out of whack and really mess up your day.

Here’s why I am a NOT a proponent of checking your email first thing in the morning: 90+% of the emails you receive consist of someone wanting something from you. It really is that simple, the sender of the email wants something, whether it is time, money, your opinion, your approval, for you to do something for them, etc., they want your time.

Checking your email first thing in the morning lets the sender hijack your schedule. If there is a task that needs to be accomplished, you will be tempted to shift your focus from what you had planned in the morning to dealing with the task presented in the email. Even worse than a time sink, which you can get yourself out of if you can recognize that you fell into one, is what interruption can do to your mindset and mood.

What happens every time you get a less than pleasant email demanding some sort of action by you or your company? What happens to your mindset and mood? How does that affect your productivity for the rest of the morning?

“But what if there is a major problem” you ask? If the problem is big enough that you need to address it immediately… they will call you instead of or along with sending an email.

If you get up at 6:00 in the morning and start by checking your email, there is a very real possibility your morning will turn into your workday very, very quickly. Your plans to go to get out and exercise or to spend time with your kids before they go to school just got put on hold, by someone else, because you checked your email.

So what’s the solution? If you work for someone else and there is the potential that you will need to know what is in your inbox prior to getting to work, then wait to check your email until you are getting ready to leave for, or are on the way in to work. You could leave ten minutes earlier for work and check your emails in the parking lot before you go inside. Either way, you still own your morning.

If you work for yourself, simply schedule time into your day to check your email and to respond appropriately. Block off time during your workday to go through your unread messages and deliver an appropriate reply. Once the time is up, move on to your next scheduled task!

Remember: if there is a big enough issue, you will get a phone call. In the 10 years I have worked for myself, I have never, ever had an issue that came through only on email that absolutely critical.

Guard your schedule, guard your time… it’s the most valuable thing you have.

3 Swim Training Tips

Today, we have three pretty solid swim training tips for you to checkout! Hopefully they will provide some interesting things for you to think about when it comes to your swim training.



These swim tips were originally posted in the Tower 26 blog by swim coach Gerry Rodrigues. The full article can be found here: http://tower26.com/dont-do-these-in-triathlon-swimming/.


Doing More Than the Bare Minimum?

JJ WattI saw an interesting interview a few weeks ago on Sportscenter with JJ Watt, a defensive end for the Houston Texans. I've typed up the most important part of the interview below, it lays out the roadmap to high performance. While he is a football player, playing a team sport, he was talking about himself as an athlete and trying to become the best athlete he/she possibly can. His words apply to anyone wants to be great at what they are doing, whether it be in sports, business or your personal life.

"The only way you're going to get better is if you put in the work. And if you do the bare minimum, you just go out the practice, you just do what you told to do and that's it, you're going to get bare minimum results. If you want to be great, you have to go above and beyond, and do whatever it takes to be great." - JJ Watt

In triathlon terms, this is referring to the "extra" work that must be put in to get the most out of your athletic ability. This doesn't necessarily mean adding additional workouts, it could, but that is not the main point of this post.

In triathlon and endurance sports, it also means doing the small things that your body needs to fully recover between sessions. Activities such as foam rolling, active stretching, supplemental strength exercises, proper nutrition and enough sleep are a few examples for the extra work that would account for extra work.

Do you make time in your busy schedule to get in the extra work or are you just doing the bare minimum?

Coach Ryan