Too Clip or Not to Clip (or known as being clipless)

So what does it mean to “clip in”? Clipping in means you are going clipless, makes sense right? But I will leave that story for another day. What we want to talk about here is why you want to be “clipped in”. Clipping in means you are attached to your bicycle at the pedals. AHHHHHHH, freaks you out, right? Well it really shouldn’t. I have taken many cyclists out for their first ride being clipped in, and within 1 hour, they have the hang of it and understand the benefits.

So why clip in?
The pedals on your bike really serve only one purpose – as a means to transfer power from you to your bicycle. So we need to speak of efficencies now.
Without something holding your foot securely to the pedal, it would be easy to slip off the pedal and send your foot into the wheel. There is a correct placement for the position of your foot over the pedal axle to get the most from your muscles. You shouldn’t have to think about how your feet connect to the bicycle while you’re riding. You should be concentrating on having fun!

Being clipped in allows both your hamstrings and quadriceps to be used in the pedaling stroke. This provides a more efficient action by applying power during more of the pedaling stroke. i.e. circular motion instead of pumping action. We don’t “mash” when we pedal. By mashing I mean an up and down motion. Your thought process needs to be more of a forward and backward motion so that you can peadl in a “circle”. A friend of mine who has won many state champiopnships puts it terms of “slippery slippers”. Imagine walking acorss a very slippery floor in very slippery slippers. You almost have to shuffle, forwards and backwards. That’s what you need to think about when pedaling.

There are ancilary benefits of clipping in. They are typically a lighter weight and more aero than platforms, but being clipped in with cycling shoes immediately mark you as a ‘pro’ cyclist immediately! It’s all about the look sometimes! I hope this helped you a bit and this will definitely help you go for the Extra Mile!

Coach Big Mac (A.K.A. McTorture)


What did you do this week?

Well you have decided upon a goal. An event of some magnitude, so your journey is about to begin. You may have been on this journey in the past, maybe you haven’t. The event is only a small part of your journey. Most of the journey will be in your training, your fundraising (if needed), your team (if part of one), and your family. I will say this now to you as I say this to all my atheletes that I train (and it is in bold for a reason!) WHAT YOU DO DURING THE WEEK IMPACTS WHAT HAPPENS DURING YOUR WEEKEND TRAINING!
What does this mean? If you don’t do the trainings during the week, you will probably falter during your weekend longer/harder trainings; If you don’t eat right during the week you will probably falter during your weekend longer/harder trainings; If you don’t hydrate during the week you will probably falter during your weekend longer/harder trainings; If you don’t sleep well during the week you will probably falter during your weekend longer/harder trainings. Do you see where we are going?

But our life gets in the way of a “perfect week” so do not fret. If you have a bad week of training, eating, hydration, sleeping or just a rough week, you will still be able to complete your weekend training. Just need not make a habit of it. A quick story of an experienced Century cyclist. Though they had completed multiple centuries in the past, they really didn’t have a good couple of months of training near the end. The cyclist went out to dinner often and didn’t do as many weekday trainings as recommended. The result, was that they were sagged during their event century and didn’t complete the entire mileage. So I will repeat….WHAT YOU DO DURING THE WEEK IMPACTS WHAT HAPPENS DURING YOUR WEEKEND TRAINING!

It is looking like I am about to start training one of the largest cycling teams that I have ever had! I am taking a group to ride America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride in Lake Tahoe in June. I have a lot planned for them this season and will hope to bring some of their trainings and trials and tribulations to you through this blog. So remember…….WHAT YOU DO DURING THE WEEK IMPACTS WHAT HAPPENS DURING YOUR WEEKEND TRAINING! and keep going the Extra Mile!

Coach Bryan (Big Mac)

Ten Ring

What are you aiming for in the new year? Are you aiming for the 10 ring? For those that do any target shooting, the 10 ring is the center ring of the target, your bullseye. It is the smallest of the target rings and is the goal to hit this when you are shooting. It is the goal. There it is, I said it, the goal. What is your goal this year?

Whatever your goal, be it business, personal, health, or just fun, needs to be defined, and focused upon. If you don’t focus on the 10 ring, you will miss it. You may hit the target but did you attain your goal? In business, goals may center around finances, leadership or market share. At home it may be getting the kitchen remodeled or maybe you just want to get healthier or maybe this is the year of the tattoo for you.

Ed Eyestone recently wrote in Runner’s World about taking “Dead Aim” to be focused on a goal precisely. He broke it down into five components around running. But I believe these five components can work for all of your goals, business, personal or fitness. He defines the process as 1) set a goal; 2) define the commitment; 3) schedule tune-ups; 4) determine weekly mileage; and 5) assign key workouts. Though I agree with the need to be focused, I will try to generalize these so that they may be applied to whatever goals, or Ten Ring, you are shooting for.

1) set a goal – here you need to be specific, not generalized. I want to be fit vs. I want to lose 10 pounds.

2) define the commitment – if you don’t have the time or resources commit you will not succeed. To double your revenue in business you may have to double your efforts, are you ready for that?

3) schedule tune-ups – sometimes you have to drop down or go back to the basics. Get refreshed, and slow it down once in a while and where you have been.

4) determine weekly mileage – this is just see tin weekly attainable milestones. Measurable, and something you can see will make your goals more achievable.

5) assign key work outs – these are key tasks that you will need to hit the Ten Ring. Could be specialized training, to specific marketing, to customized savings plan.

So use these to hit your Ten Ring for 2012 and keep going the Extra Mile.

Coach Big Mac

Hello World Part Deux

I am remiss in talking with you all lately. So in my first post in Hello World, we were comparing half full vs. half empty. As the holidays approach, many of us become stressed, probably way to much so. There is always so much to do….gifts to buy, friends and family to see, decorations, company gatherings and what not. So does this make your glass full? Overfilled? Busting at the seams?

Well back in terms of half full or half empty, one reader commented “It’s whatever I want it to be. When I want to reflect and appreciate how far I’ve come from my starting point (the empty glass) I’ll view it as being half full (of accomplishments). When I want to consider the future and how much further I can still go (the full glass) I’ll view it as half empty (with room to add more).” His comment hits it right on the nail! It is “whatever I want it to be”. What does this mean to you?

What it means to me is that you are in control. You control you, how you feel, act, live, react, motivate, all that you do. So now back to the holidays and a full glass. Can you control that? Why stress? Who is putting the stress upon you? Well I would venture to say it is …..YOU! Enjoy this time for all that it is worth, controlled by you. Don’t worry about others expectations, controlled by you. See the lights, hear the music, enjoy the time with friends and family, controlled by you. So even if your glass is full, enjoy it for all that it is worth.

Keep being you, just don’t forget you in all that you do and keep going the Extra Mile that you do.

Coach Big Mac

Are you thankful for…

Today is the day we give thanks. Give thanks for today, give thanks for yesterday, give thanks for tomorrow. We give thanks for family and friends, our pets, our homes, and Santa Clause. We seem to give thanks for all sorts of things. All are genuine, heartfelt and true through and through. But…….

Are you thankful for… Many of us give to others, give to causes, give to friends, neighbors, family and strangers. Mom’s are especially good at this. They are known for putting everyone and everything else first.

But during this time of year don’t forget….YOU. It is because of YOU that your friends and family are who they are. It is because of YOU, you do the things you do, your causes, your habits, your fitness, your style…we’ll just YOU.

Is this being selfish? I am not saying to put yourself above others, but to make sure you slice out a part of your day for…YOU! That glass of wine, cup of coffee, go for a run or ride your bike, take a slice for you. Without you, we are not, well us! YOU help us to be us.

Keep being you, just don’t forget you in all that you do and keep going the Extra Mile that you do.

Coach Big Mac

Hello World

This is my first step into the world of blogging. To go the Extra Mile you have to take the first step and get out of the comfort zone. So here I am, hoping to share with you all advice and tidbits of philosophy in all realms of leadership, life, health and fitness.

As a senior business leader as well as a certified coach I hope to share something that you can take away to help through your daily lives and physical training. So this will be about attitude, positive results and training tips for all kinds people, young and old, couch potato or trained athlete, mom’s and dad’s to business leader’s.

So Hello World, let’s begin with a concept of positive thinking….Is your glass half empty or half full? Do you see a negative here? Do you see two sides to this question? Can you pull positive from BOTH sides? Ahhh, that is the hard part, isn’t it?

You can always pull a positive from both sides of the fence. It is hard to find it from the “wrong side of the tracks”, that’s where you have to go the Extra Mile. Do you go that Extra Mile to find it? Can you pull positives from both sides of the question “Is your glass half empty or half full?”. Let me know what you come up with and my next blog will also give you my thoughts on that question. So, Hello World, its good to speak with you and looking forward to more of it!

Coach Bryan (Big Mac) Merritt