The desire to increase one’s power is something shared by beginner, amateur, and professional cyclists alike, but due to our busy lives, it can be hard to dedicate so much time to training and research. In this article, there are five tips that can help you achieve higher power numbers on your bike, regardless of your age, ability, or the kind of riding you do.
1. Ride uphill
It is well accepted that having a local climb, especially a long one can be beneficial to improving cycling performance. In fact, doing so can be a great way to increase your muscular endurance. When cycling uphill, cyclists tend to use a lower cadence and increase pedal force when riding up hill. Two ways to use local hills to your advantage is to do endurance training by riding up increasingly longer climbs, doing hill repeats, and doing high-intensity sprint intervals. Climbs have the added bonus of not having to stop, when can be a hindrance to training in cities and places with frequent stop signs and traffic lights.
2. Ride into headwinds
Unfortunately, not everyone has access to good climbs. There is a solution though. Riding into wind can be just as effective. It can be very effective in improving one’s muscular endurance. If you find a circuit, you can even practice your riding in crosswinds and tailwinds, where you can recover before your next interval.
3. Follow the 75% rule
The 75-percent rule is simple. At least 75% of your riding time should be at or below 75% of your max heart rate or FTP(the power you can hold for one hour. The only caveat is that a heart rate monitor or a power meter must be used. They can however help you tremendously in your training if you use them correctly. For those familiar with zone training,the intensities we are talking about correlate to zones 1 and 2. The remaining training should be at 90-100% of your max heart rate or 106-150% of your FTP.
4. Use block training
Essentially, block training means two or three days of hard workouts followed by an equal amount of recovery. This training can help you adapt to higher intensities. One must be careful to not overtrain, as hard workouts put more stress on your musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems. Adequate recovery is important regardless of the riding you do.
5. Be competitive and have fun
While the training methods mentioned can help you get to the next level in cycling, it is important to love cycling and have a reason for doing it. While everyone has their own reasons for training, if you really want to be your best, is important to surround yourself with those who also like cycling and have similar goals. They say we are the five people we are closest to. If you want to be a better cyclist, spend time cycling with other riders. Don’t be afraid to ride with people faster than you and push yourself. Try going for a KOM, or if you aren’t ready for that, try to improve your ranking or times.