Coaches' Blog

Coach Ainslie

Road rash! We've all had it or had a friend or teammate get it from a crash. Road rash hurts and can take you out of action for extended periods. If not taken care of properly it can keep you away from training and negatively influence your training. Here are some tips for properly caring for road rash:


1. Christy Duran MD with the Family Clinic of Fort Collins says "the initial cleaning is crucial - first soak the wound with peroxide (this is the only time you will want to use peroxide or it can actually delay wound healing) then wash with soap and water and a lot of scrubbing. 

2. Duran also says keep the wound covered and moist with antibiotic ointment. Letting a wound dry out is painful and can limit range of motion. Try using a product like "Tegaderm" or similar.

3. Change your dressing every 24hrs. Leaving them on too long can create a situation where they dry out and then stick. Prying stuck bangages off is painfull and can slow down healing as you're reopening the wound. Its important to cleanse the wound before you redress it too.

4. Dr. Duran says return to activity as you can. If it hurts don't do it. Unless you're in the middle of a stage race, take it slow since a tired body heals more slowly.

I like to joke that there are two types of cyclists: those who have crashed and those who will crash. Road rash is a hazard of riding your bike. If you should have an accident though, following these tips can help you get back in the saddle sooner. 

Coach Ainslie

As we inch deeper into winter more of your training is going to be spent indoors. Trainer hours can be tedious but its important to continue to build towards the coming racing season. Incorporating some cross training activities into your repetoir will contribute to your mental health and help you become a more rounded athlete. 

Any athlete I work with I suggest they try alternate activities instead of logging a ridiculous amount of trainer hours. Things like mountain biking, skiing, swimming, running, snowshoeing or weight training etc are perfectly acceptable and still help build endurance and/or strength. Within a short driving distance of many Colorado locations you can find trails to snowshoe or mountain bike on.

I've said it many times but cycling is a very sports specific activity and cyclists have a tendency to become pretty one dimensional. One of the things I've found over the years is that cross training helps to maintenance a lot of the smaller stabilizer muscles we tend to neglect during the cycling season. When I started adding in cross training to my athletes training I noticed that my athletes started getting injured less and the duration of their injuries was reduced. 

With this in mind, try to find activities that you like and take a gradual or incremental approach when you start. Jumping into an unfamiliar activity whole hog can increase your risk for injury. Do a small number or workouts initially and then add as you progress. 

Cross training is a valuable tool in any athletes collection. With a sensible start and fitting new acitivities in with your riding plan, you can build your fitness while keeping your indoor trainer time to a minimum. Plan your schedule so you can hit your key bike workouts. Some days the trainer is an evil necessity. 


Coach Ainslie










The Frostbite TT is one of the first races of the year here in CO. It is an out and back time trial on the frontage road norther of Fort Collins. In fact, you're very nearly in Wyoming. This race is traditionally very windy with a block headwind in one direction or the other. Because its so early, preparation is hard because our weather can be somewhat adverse. 

To start with, you should start incorporating longer threshold type intervals into your training in early January. In general, this would be fitting in your normal season preparation anyhow. Try starting with 5 to 8 minute intervals at or slightly above threshold. Gradually increase how long these intervals are throughout the spring. A former pro with the Garmin/Cannondale team told me he'd do up to an hour of threshold work. The Frostbite TT can sometimes have a headwind on the way back from the turn-around so, it pays to be able to do an extended threshold interval at the race.

Try to do some of your threshold intervals on your TT bike or TT setup. The mistake a lot of riders make is only riding their tt bike/setup easy during the week. The geometry of your TT bike/setup is different and only riding easily will not help you prepare to do the hard riding. Schedule some of your tempo or threshold efforts on the TT bike so you get used to riding in this configuration while under pressure. It'll go a long way towards helping you be ready on the day of the event.

Get a good warmup. If there is a headwind in the initial part of the race, you're going to need to be able to go hard from the gun. Try doing a short tempo at first, say 5 to 7 minutes. Then go easy for a few minutes and then do 3x3min threshold efforts to open up the pipes a little. Allow for a short cool and then head to the start. Try to time this so you can arrive to the start in time and while you're still in a warmed up state. If you arrive at the start a few minutes before your start time (which you should) keep rolling around in circles to keep the legs moving. 

Do a cool down after the race. A cool after the race will help you to feel better the next day if you have another training day. Even if you don't, a short spin on the trainer or on the road will loosen you up before you get in the car to drive home. Allow for 15 to 20 minutes of cool down. 

If you have any further questions on how to prepare for the Frostbite TT or any race, gimme a shout:


Coach Ainslie





Tom Carter is one of my oldest friends and is always there for the cycling community. Now he needs our help! On Monday night Tom Carter, the Bee Farm race director and YGR Wounded Rider Program director, was admitted into the Medical Center of the Rockies ICU with a ruptured esophagus and fluid in his lung. During the week he had surgery to remove part of a lung, was sedated and put on a ventilator. I haven't heard how Tom sustained these injuries. As of Friday morning he is not able to have visitors. 
The following message was posted to Facebook by Tom's sister in law. 
"Tom Carter was hospitalized Monday night and is in the ICU. He is critically ill after rupturing his esophagus. His brother Charlie Carter and I know he has helped a good many in the community - and we are asking that folks gather support for him.
He had surgery Monday night- part of his lung was removed. He is sedated and on a ventilator. They are hoping to remove the vent today.
He cannot have visitors at this point. It is going to be a long road to recovery for Tom.
I'll post updates as they come. Charlie is by his side. Message me if i can answer any questions.
Thank you......"
A GoFundMe Page has been established to help with medical expenses. Please donate.

Coach Ainslie

It is now mid October and many of you are starting to transition into your winter training regimen. Maybe getting back on the bike this month, maybe next. You want to optimize your training this winter so that by February or March you're ready to hit the ground "running" and either add intensity or start racing. I see cyclists make 3 mistakes typically during their winter regimen that negatively influences their performance as we enter the cycling season.

1. Too hard too early. 

     We've all seen it before. That guy who is flying fit in December or January. But, where is this guy in June or July? Nowhere. There are many schools of thought about when to add in intensity and I'm not totally against having intensity in your training. What I am against though is approaching peak fitness in the first two months of the year. Winter riding should have a big focus on reestablishing your aerobic foundation/motor and honing pedaling efficiency. The odd day of intervals here and there is great but, you have to carefully monitor how and when you spend your efforts. 

2. Too easy.

    While winter training is a time to get in some good, over-distance rides, all that slow training only trains your body to do one thing: go slow for long distances. Add in some specific type training like tempo riding or longer threshold work that will recruit other energy systems. Going on a few group rides a month is a good way to get in some hard pedaling. Or, structured interval rides that are not based around slow, sustained stuff will benefit you.

3. No eating/drinking enough during rides.

   Winter riding is often very energy costly on two fronts.

   a. It takes more calories to thermo-regulate. When its cold, your body spends quite a bit of energy on maintaining body temperature in addition to fueling the pedaling motion. Add in some extra calories to make sure you can stay warm on cold days.

    b. Cold air is a bit drier (at least here in Colorado). It takes more moisture to moisturize the air going through your nasal passages and esophogus. AND, because it's cold, its easy to feel that you don't need as many fluids because your not sweating as much. I would argue you need at LEAST as much water. Try to remember to drink during your long or cold rides. Stick with the standard of 1 bottle an hour minimum.

   Paying attention to these three items will allow you to enter the spring/race season with a more solid foundation to build off of and make your winter riding more pleasant, effective and fun. 




Coach Ainslie

This year I have been fortunate enough to do a bit more cyclocross announcing than I have in years past. At the last couple events I have heard quite a few of the athletes saying the same thing and that is "I'm tired", "I need a break" or saying they're going to call it a season any day now. 

The cycling season starts earlier and earlier every year it seems and then continues into the fall if you're doing 'cross. The races here in CO are well attended and most of these athletes are not 'cross specialists, rather roadies who are trying to squeeze in a few more races. What this means though is that they have to extend their organized, intensive training. 

Thats a lot of miles and hours. A rider I spoke with yesterday told me he was at about 10,000mi for the season. That's a lot of accumulated fatigue. I can remember the 4yrs I raced as a pro, I put in 19,000mi yearly. I was tired at the end of those seasons. And not just physically tired but, globally tired. My mind was fried as well as my legs

The number of riders I've heard this out of in the recent past illustrates the need for a break at the end of your season. And that break is designed to not only work physically but mentally as well. You can back off the training, you can back off the food restrictions, you can do other activities instead of having to be so specific. 

So, this fall, find a place in your over-all training schedule to allow for a 2 or 3 week break. In this time you don't have to completely stop training, just keep it loose. If you don't feel like riding, don't. Allow yourself to have that 2nd serving at dinner, go ride your mountain bike or go hiking. These activities will help you refresh physically AND mentally.