VAIL — It's ski and snowboard season but don't put away the biking gear just yet; a little cross training actually can improve strength and stamina for skiing and riding, capitalizing on cycling fitness gains from summer training. Abby Ruby, a sport psychologist and senior Carmichael Training coach, is teaching a four-week “Power for Powder” Cycle Training program at The Vitality Center at Vail Mountain Lodge Spa from Monday through Dec. 19 that will follow protocol designed to help participants increase their power, both on and off the bike.
Power training can increase cycling power by 13 percent in eight weeks and program participants can expect to ride away with: a 13–17 percent increase in wattage output upon completion of the program; an understanding of how training with power at threshold allows for longer and faster riding, while utilizing the aerobic energy system; working through mental road blocks to reach goals; and cutting-edge nutrition protocol for fueling the body pre-workout, during and after high intensity training.
“In four short weeks participants will not only get stronger on the bike, they'll learn why they're doing specific workouts,” Ruby said. “Fundamental principles of exercise physiology as well as on-the-bike training technique will be explained throughout the workouts so everyone can leave the program stronger and smarter.”
Ruby's training philosophy centers on training using power as a quantifiable measurement of success.
“Measuring heart rate was a breakthrough in this field 20 years ago,” Ruby said. “Now we have power measure in watts and kilojoules. Power is a more accurate and instantaneous reading of exertion.”
Through training, both the amount of time an athlete can ride at threshold and the power at threshold increase. The net result of training with power is an increase power at threshold so cyclists can ride longer and faster utilizing their aerobic energy system. This also translates to more fun on snow thanks to better aerobic fitness and increased leg strength; a great way to maximize a powder day.
In addition to teaching Power for Powder, Ruby is offering a variety of one-on-one options, including: individual nutrition counseling for exercise and adventure, certified through the International Society for Sports Nutrition; strategizing for optimal performance, life coaching and sports psychology; Integrative Counseling, helping athletes actualize goals using an integrative body/mind/spirit approach. She earned her doctorate degree from the University of Iowa. She is a triathlon coach, has her sport nutrition certification and is a certified yoga instructor. She currently writes, teaches, coaches, races triathlon and ultra marathons and practices yoga.
The Power Cycle Program is a four-week training course that takes place twice each week from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday and Thursdays through Dec. 19 at The Vitality Center at Vail Mountain Lodge Spa (no class on Thanksgiving). Cost is $200 for Vitality Center members, and $300 for non-members. The program is limited to eight participants and pre-registration is required. For information or to register, visit The Vitality Center website at www.vitalitycenter.com or call 970-476-7721.