Skip to main content

Fitness questions and answers for July 17, 2007

Form & Fitness Q & A

Got a question about fitness, training, recovery from injury or a related subject? Drop us a line at Please include as much information about yourself as possible, including your age, sex, and type of racing or riding. Due to the volume of questions we receive, we regret that we are unable to answer them all.

Carrie Cheadle, MA ( is a Sports Psychology consultant who has dedicated her career to helping athletes of all ages and abilities perform to their potential. Carrie specialises in working with cyclists, in disciplines ranging from track racing to mountain biking. She holds a bachelors degree in Psychology from Sonoma State University as well as a masters degree in Sport Psychology from John F. Kennedy University.

Dave Palese ( is a USA Cycling licensed coach and masters' class road racer with 16 years' race experience. He coaches racers and riders of all abilities from his home in southern Maine, USA, where he lives with his wife Sheryl, daughter Molly, and two cats, Miranda and Mu-Mu.

Kelby Bethards, MD received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University (1994) before obtaining an M.D. from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 2000. Has been a racing cyclist 'on and off' for 20 years, and when time allows, he races Cat 3 and 35+. He is a team physician for two local Ft Collins, CO, teams, and currently works Family Practice in multiple settings: rural, urgent care, inpatient and the like.

Fiona Lockhart ( is a USA Cycling Expert Coach, and holds certifications from USA Weightlifting (Sports Performance Coach), the National Strength and Conditioning Association (Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach), and the National Academy for Sports Nutrition (Primary Sports Nutritionist). She is the Sports Science Editor for Carmichael Training Systems, and has been working in the strength and conditioning and endurance sports fields for over 10 years; she's also a competitive mountain biker.

Eddie Monnier ( is a USA Cycling certified Elite Coach and a Category II racer. He holds undergraduate degrees in anthropology (with departmental honors) and philosophy from Emory University and an MBA from The Wharton School of Business.

Eddie is a proponent of training with power. He coaches cyclists (track, road and mountain bike) of all abilities and with wide ranging goals (with and without power meters). He uses internet tools to coach riders from any geography.

David Fleckenstein, MPT ( is a physical therapist practicing in Boise, ID. His clients have included World and U.S. champions, Olympic athletes and numerous professional athletes. He received his B.S. in Biology/Genetics from Penn State and his Master's degree in Physical Therapy from Emory University. He specializes in manual medicine treatment and specific retraining of spine and joint stabilization musculature. He is a former Cat I road racer and Expert mountain biker.

Since 1986 Steve Hogg ( has owned and operated Pedal Pushers, a cycle shop specialising in rider positioning and custom bicycles. In that time he has positioned riders from all cycling disciplines and of all levels of ability with every concievable cycling problem.They include World and National champions at one end of the performance spectrum to amputees and people with disabilities at the other end.

Current riders that Steve has positioned include Davitamon-Lotto's Nick Gates, Discovery's Hayden Roulston, National Road Series champion, Jessica Ridder and National and State Time Trial champion, Peter Milostic.

Pamela Hinton has a bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology and a doctoral degree in Nutritional Sciences, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She did postdoctoral training at Cornell University and is now an assistant professor of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studies the effects of iron deficiency on adaptations to endurance training and the consequences of exercise-associated changes in menstrual function on bone health.

Pam was an All-American in track while at the UW. She started cycling competitively in 2003 and is the defending Missouri State Road Champion. Pam writes a nutrition column for Giana Roberge's Team Speed Queen Newsletter.

Dario Fredrick ( is an exercise physiologist and head coach for Whole Athlete™. He is a former category 1 & semi-pro MTB racer. Dario holds a masters degree in exercise science and a bachelors in sport psychology.

Scott Saifer ( has a Masters Degree in exercise physiology and sports psychology and has personally coached over 300 athletes of all levels in his 10 years of coaching with Wenzel Coaching.

Kendra Wenzel ( is a head coach with Wenzel Coaching with 17 years of racing and coaching experience and is coauthor of the book Bike Racing 101.

Steve Owens ( is a USA Cycling certified coach, exercise physiologist and owner of Colorado Premier Training. Steve has worked with both the United States Olympic Committee and Guatemalan Olympic Committee as an Exercise Physiologist. He holds a B.S. in Exercise & Sports Science and currently works with multiple national champions, professionals and World Cup level cyclists.

Through his highly customized online training format, Steve and his handpicked team of coaches at Colorado Premier Training work with cyclists and multisport athletes around the world.

Brett Aitken ( is a Sydney Olympic gold medalist. Born in Adelaide, Australia in 1971, Brett got into cycling through the cult sport of cycle speedway before crossing over into road and track racing. Since winning Olympic gold in the Madison with Scott McGrory, Brett has been working on his coaching business and his website.

Richard Stern ( is Head Coach of Richard Stern Training, a Level 3 Coach with the Association of British Cycling Coaches, a Sports Scientist, and a writer. He has been professionally coaching cyclists and triathletes since 1998 at all levels from professional to recreational. He is a leading expert in coaching with power output and all power meters. Richard has been a competitive cyclist for 20 years

Andy Bloomer ( is an Associate Coach and sport scientist with Richard Stern Training. He is a member of the Association of British Cycling Coaches (ABCC) and a member of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES). In his role as Exercise Physiologist at Staffordshire University Sports Performance Centre, he has conducted physiological testing and offered training and coaching advice to athletes from all sports for the past 4 years. Andy has been a competitive cyclist for many years.

Michael Smartt ( is an Associate Coach with Richard Stern Training. He holds a Masters degree in exercise physiology and is USA Cycling Expert Coach. Michael has been a competitive cyclist for over 10 years and has experience coaching road and off-road cyclists, triathletes and Paralympians.

Kim Morrow ( has competed as a Professional Cyclist and Triathlete, is a certified USA Cycling Elite Coach, a 4-time U.S. Masters National Road Race Champion, and a Fitness Professional.

Her coaching group, eliteFITcoach, is based out of the Southeastern United States, although they coach athletes across North America. Kim also owns, a resource for cyclists, multisport athletes & endurance coaches around the globe, specializing in helping cycling and multisport athletes find a coach.

Advice presented in Cyclingnews' fitness pages is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to be specific advice for individual athletes. If you follow the educational information found on Cyclingnews, you do so at your own risk. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.

Burning knee pain
Knee shred
Recovery drinks
Losing weight for races

Burning knee pain

I am a 48 year-old male (weight 147lb, maximum heart rate 190+bpm, resting heat rate <55bpm). I ride regularly 30-60 mile per ride (Friday - Sunday) and weight room/exercise cycle for one hour twice weekly when travelling for business. I ride year round, as I live in Texas. My average Watts on a 50 mile ride is 220 with a max of 545. I ride Speedplay pedals and Rocket7 or Sidi shoes.

For years I've had no problems, but after a very windy (gusts 20+) 47mile ride in April, I experienced a burning sensation in my knees, especially my right knee. I've tried RICE for two weeks and the pain diminished. I swapped shoes and bikes (54cm Moots or Specialized). Same results. I've gone to my LBS for a fitting and no major adjustments.

Today, after a 60 mile hilly ride, my knees were very uncomfortable after the ride.

I've an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor. From a cycling, mechanical or physiological perspective what is your advice? I'd be very disappointed if I was unable to ride.

Texas, USA

Steve Hogg replies:

The combination of shoes and pedals you have may mean that you don't have enough foot over the pedal. Speedplays have less rearward adjustment in their plastic baseplate adaptors than other 3 bolt cleat systems. Additionally, Rocket 7's standard cleat placement is much too far forward in my view. Sidis are better but I would say that approximately 50% of Sidi/Speedplay users don't have enough foot over the pedal.

Knee shred

I'm a 47 year-old road Cat. 4 racer (5'9, 145lbs) averaging 450 hours on the bike per season. The past two seasons have ended with a stiff, sore left knee.

Last year I underwent a complete fitting with video alignment and a spin-scan. My Speedplay Zero cleats received two Lemond shims on the inside (same with the right). Winter training did not rid me of the pain and I sought an orthopaedic surgeon. Four months ago, surgery removed my ACL (torn in 1990) repaired medial and lateral meniscus tears and a grade IV defect in my medial femorial condyle was drilled to create a scabbing patch.

Two months of physiotherapy have stabilized my knee and I am beginning to spin without resistance. My question has to do with shoe set up, specifically the Lemond wedges and heel in/out possibilities. The surgeon and physiotherapist theorize that to relieve pressure on my medial femoral condyle I should remove the wedges (maybe even reverse to the outside) and perhaps work a bit of heel out to give more pressure laterally than medially.

Because of the complexities of the cycling motion, neither has confidence in that opinion. I believe that if I can relieve the grinding on this tender medial Femoral Condyle, I can return to racing, lose these 10 pounds of fat and perhaps save my marriage.

Marco P
Ohio, USA

Dave Fleckenstein replies:

In order to address the problems with your alignment, I think that it is important to understand the anatomy of the knee and how it relates to the underlying goals that you are trying to achieve with your fit. The meniscus is a structure that performs two distinct roles:

Recovery drinks

Do you recommend a recovery drink, such as Endurox, after every cycling workout, or just longer, more intense ones?

Local cycling 'veterans' tell me they only use a recovery drink after longer, (2-3 hour + plus rides). Anything under, say two hours, it's not necessary.

I'm a 43 year-old male doing mostly local and regional club rides and races. Typically about 200 miles per week.



Scott Saifer replies:

You don't need any special recovery food or drink unless you exercise long enough or hard enough to deplete your glycogen supply. If you use a small fraction of your glycogen, normal eating and drinking will serve to replenish it just fine before your ride the next day. If you run the glycogen supply most of the way down, normal eating and drinking will not replenish it over night. That's when you need to think about special foods and taking advantage of the glycogen restoration window (the period of about an hour after a ride when your body will make more of your consumed carbohydrate into glycogen and less into fat).

Losing weight for races

I am a 27 year-old man, 268lb and I would like to loose some weight so I can get into road racing. I'm just wondering what is the best way to go about it?



Scott Saifer replies:

Please see this handout that I share with my clients who need to lose weight for racing.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1