Buried in a posting on February 12 about my favorite interviews from “The Outspoken Cyclist” was the January 15th interview of Dr. Gabe Mirkin.
If you’ve always felt overwhelmed by some of the overly complex discussions, articles, or books on fitness, exercise and nutrition, or been sold a bill of good that the path to improved cycling performance can be found in your wallet, i.e., making investments in heart rate monitors, power meters, etc, Gabe Mirkin’s articles might be what you’re looking for: it’s all straight talk with basic concepts that are easy to grasp and apply.
We met Gabe and his wife Diana many years ago at an Eastern Tandem Rally in Frederick, Maryland, but never really got to know them well. We’ve since crossed paths at other rallies and have many common tandem friends from the Mid-Atlantic area and, more recently, quite a few common friends from The Villages in Florida where they now maintain a home and are active members of the PANTHERS tandem club. I was finally able to spend some time with Gabe at the 2009 Southern Tandem Rally at The Villages during Saturday’s lunch stop. Without exception, all of the folks who spend any time with Gabe and Diana extol his ability to dole-out useful advice and guidance, along with tons of encouragement and enthusiasm noting that he truly does walk-the-talk… and it shows. They’re still very active, strong tandem cyclists now into their 7th decades who are always ready for the next ride.
Anyway, while responding to a new stoker’s questions about trying to “improve their performance” as part of a new tandem team, it dawned on me what she really needed wasn’t so much of a dissertation on cycling. What she needed was some easy-to-understand basics on fitness, exercise and training. Rather than paraphrasing, I decided to provide her with some links to articles hosted on DrMirkin.com, Gabe’s amazing website jam-packed with all kinds of useful information.
The articles that I provided her links to were these:
- Start and Exercise Program: http://www.drmirkin.com/fitness/1550.html
- The Meaning of Fitness: http://www.drmirkin.com/fitness/1049.html
- Understanding Maximum Heart Rate: http://www.drmirkin.com/fitness/9156.html
- Principles of Training: http://www.drmirkin.com/fitness/8700.html
- Spinning / Cycling Efficiency: http://www.drmirkin.com/public/Ezine022507.html
- Cycling Cadence: http://www.drmirkin.com/fitness/cycling_cadence.html
- Efficient Cycling Cadence: http://www.drmirkin.com/archive/6219.html
This is just a small sampling of what you’ll find at Gabe’s website. If you’re intrigued, but not yet moved to check out what you might be able to learn from Gabe, let me offer you two more things to consider. Again, the first would be listening to Gabe’s interview with Diane Lees on The Outspoken Cyclist, which you can find HERE.
The second is a downloadable, free guide to fitness and health that Gabe published back in 1998. Similar to the articles that I linked to above, this ~60 page pocket guide offers a lot of straight talk on a wide range of subjects.
Chapter 1. Fitness Basics
Chapter 2. Serious Competition
Chapter 3. Strength Training for Everyone
Chapter 4. Injuries and Problems
Chapter 5. Eat to Compete
Chapter 6. Straight Talk about Performance Enhancers
Chapter 7. It’s Never Too Late