4 Cycling Drills to Increase Your Power per Stroke

Simply put: the more force you can apply to your pedals, the faster you will go. So, it stands to reason that by improving your pedaling efficiency (applying force throughout more of the pedal stroke), finding your optimal cadence (between 80-100 RPM's), and balancing out your pedal stroke (both legs applying equal force to the pedals), you can become more efficient and thus increase your speed.

More: A Breakdown of the Cycling Pedal Stroke

In order to increase your pedal-force, perform the following drills on your stationary trainer, one to two times per week. These workouts can be stand-alone, or you can use them as a warm-up to a longer training session.

One-Legged Drills

Warm up for 10 to 15 minutes of easy spinning (both legs).

Then, with the non-working leg unclipped and resting on small stool next to the trainer, do:

  • 30 seconds right leg
  • 30 seconds left leg
  • 30 seconds both legs, focusing on proper form at a comfortable cadence

Repeat sequence 3 times. Aim to build the interval to one-minute as your form and fitness improve.

Then,

  • 5 minutes of easy spinning
  • Repeat the sequence

Cool down with 10 to 15 minutes of easy spinning.

Total Time: Approximately 44 minutes

More: Tips and Tricks to Boost Your Cycling Pace

One-Leg Focus Pyramid

Warm up for 10 to 15 minutes of easy spinning (both legs).

Both legs remain clipped in to the pedals with the non-pedaling leg just "going along for the ride" on the one-legged portions.

  • 30 seconds right leg
  • 15 seconds both legs
  • 30 seconds left leg
  • 15 seconds both legs
  • 45 seconds right leg
  • 15 seconds both legs
  • 45 seconds left leg
  • 15 seconds both legs
  • 60 seconds right leg
  • 15 seconds both legs
  • 60 seconds left leg
  • 15 seconds both legs

Repeat pyramid three times through.

Cool down for 10 to 15 minutes of easy spinning.

Total Time: Approximately 49 minutes

More: 3 Key Workouts for Olympic-Distance Cycling

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About the Author

Karen Buxton

Karen Buxton is Level-III USA Triathlon certified coach with over 25 years of coaching experience and author of The Triathlete's Guide to Off-Season Training. Coach Buxton works and trains in Greensboro, North Carolina and can be reached at Karen@coachbuxton.com. Find out more about Coach Buxton at www.coachbuxton.com

Karen Buxton is Level-III USA Triathlon certified coach with over 25 years of coaching experience and author of The Triathlete's Guide to Off-Season Training. Coach Buxton works and trains in Greensboro, North Carolina and can be reached at Karen@coachbuxton.com. Find out more about Coach Buxton at www.coachbuxton.com

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