It is time to talk a little bit about high-intensity cycling training. At some point, we all wish to push ourselves, try to reach our maximum or simply decide to test ourselves. To get better results, you need to include strength and conditioning workouts in your training routine. Especially those that will allow you to surpass your current level.
I started out as a beginner. But at one point, I decided that I could push myself to the limits and test my body. But the regular training that I was doing was not going to cut it. I needed to up my game and do some research before I could do it.
The worst thing that one can do is go in without a plan and risk injuring oneself. So increasing your cycling performance requires dedication and determination, but it also means being smart with your workout.
The 75 Rule
Training at high intensity also means being able to reach your maximum heart rate. One of the ways to prepare is to ride 75% of your weekly training sessions at or below 75% of your maximum heart rate. This basically means that at least 3/4 of your weekly training sessions should be kept in Zone 1 or 2.
To put it in simpler terms, most of your cycling should consist of endurance-building rides and easy recovery. As far as getting faster goes, 10% of your weekly rides should be in Zone 5 or going really high and intense.
The result of this rule is a small amount of intense effort combined with endurance training and adequate recovery. This training regime will allow you to alter your physiology. But will not put too much of a strain on your body and will prevent injuries from occurring more often.
Other Ways of Increasing Cycling Power
While the 75% Rule is something that a variety of cyclists practise, it is by no means the only way available to increase your power. All cyclists know that power is all that you need to be better at cycling. But getting to it requires going through all kinds of tricky roads that may lead you to success.
My research has led me to try some other tactics as well. Some of which are the following.
- Ride in bigger gears: Spend a progressively longer time in a bigger gear during a usual ride to maximise your power output.
- Ride uphill to develop muscle endurance: Riders tend to reduce cadence and increase the average effective pedal force when going uphill. So to increase your power, one should overload climbing distance.
- Use block training: This type of training consists of very hard workouts that last 2-3 consecutive days, followed by the same amount of recovery time.
- Ride into headwinds: Riding into headwinds is an excellent alternative to riding uphill, especially if you live in areas with mostly flat terrain.