3 techniques for improving cycling performance
If you want to take your speed and performance to the next level, there are several factors to consider: Endurance to cycle longer (and at lower gears), strength to pedal more powerfully (at higher gears) and speed (doing it as rapidly as possible).
To follow the training in this article you will need to sign up to a gym, as the strength training listed within requires barbells and weights most commonly found inside a fitness installation.
Since this will only be part of your training, using a contract free gym (some of the UK’s favourite contract free gyms include Pemberton Centre Rushden in Coventry, the Lewes Leisure Centre, the Clifton College Sports Centre, and Pace Health and Fitness in London), is a great way to only pay for what you use.
Training endurance is fairly straight forward, you are already doing it if you ride your bike. However, to increase your levels significantly you will need to focus and push the limits of what you can achieve.
Finding a long, gradual incline is an excellent way to increase your ability to apply force for long periods of time without getting fatigued. If you prefer, long rides on a flat surface at about 60% of your maximum effort also builds up your endurance in an effective way.
Over time you will notice that you can complete the same distance faster and without being exhausted.
While you can easily do strength training on your bike by choosing high gears while trying to keep the same rpm, nothing beats actual strength training in the gym. Squats, deadlift and leg presses. Start light and increase the weight gradually.
If you want a full body workout, consider a 5×5 program, but note that this kind of training style will impact your cycling performance as the weights go up.
There are many training styles that are recommended by coaches all over the world, and one that many acknowledge as the best is interval training, as it builds up speed and endurance at the same time.
Find a good stretch of flat road, ride for 15-20 minutes to warm up, and then start going a few mph faster (2-5 depending on your starting endurance level) in two minute bursts.
Don’t just pedal faster, try to maintain the same rpms throughout the entirety of that burst, but with a higher gear in place. Once you feel it’s getting easy, increase the amount by which improve on your previous speed.