5 Simple Ways to Increase Power on the Bike

Use Block Training

Block training consists of very hard workouts for two or three consecutive days followed by an equal amount of recovery (days off or very easy workouts). Because of the severe stress placed on your musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems, block training is a very effective way to facilitate the physiological adaptation process and significantly boost your power. The key is to make sure you give your body enough time to recover after the training block.

For example, you can do a 4-day training block that consists of hill intervals (Day 1), sprint intervals (Day 2), a day off (Day 3) and an easy recovery ride (Day 4). Likewise, you could perform a racing block that includes a criterium on Saturday and a road race on Sunday followed by a day off and an easy recovery ride. In both cases, you have subjected your body to consecutive days of high-intensity effort followed by easy recovery days. Always make sure you have fully recovered from a training block before you attempt another high-intensity workout.

More: Boost Cycling Fitness With High-Intensity Training

Follow the 75 Percent Rule

The 75 percent rule states that during a given training week, at least 75 percent of your miles (or time) should be at or below 75 percent of your maximum heart rate. In other words, at least three-fourths of your weekly training should take place in Zones 1 and 2 (50-70 percent of MHR or 65-85 percent of lactate threshold heart rate). That's right, most of your cycling should consist of easy recovery and endurance building rides.

So how do you get faster? That's the other part of the 75 percent rule. Ten percent of your weekly mileage should be in Zone 5 (90-100 percent of MHR or 105 percent-plus of LTHR). In other words, it should consist of really, really intense riding. This is what allows you to modify your physiology. A relatively small amount of very intense effort combined with endurance work and adequate recovery.

More: 10 Training Fundamentals for Cyclists

Active logoReady to ride? Search for a cycling event.

About the Author

Tyrone A. Holmes, Ed.D, CPT, is a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise and a Level 2 cycling coach through USA Cycling. He provides Cycle-Max Coaching for cyclists and multisport athletes who want to improve their performance on the bike and Healthy Life Coaching for individuals who want to lose weight and develop healthier lifestyles. His latest book is Developing Training Plans for Cyclists and Triathletes. Visit his website at www.holmesfitness.com and his Fitness Corner blog at www.doctorholmes.wordpress.com.

Discuss This Article

Follow your passions

Connect with ACTIVE.COM