In a previous article, I introduced five relatively simple ways to boost cycling power. These included riding in bigger gears, riding uphill, riding into headwinds, using block training and following the 75-percent rule. Here are five more ways to increase your bike power.
1. Do some power bursts.
Power bursts are a great way to increase your leg strength and muscular endurance, which is the ability to pedal a relatively large gear at a moderate cadence (i.e., force generation). It’s a versatile workout that you can complete on any terrain. Begin by warming up thoroughly. This should include easy spinning as well as a few pulls in bigger gears to prepare your legs. The warm-up is critical because of the stress placed on the knees due to the use of relatively large gears.
Begin each power burst by spinning at a very low cadence (i.e., coasting) and speed. Shift to your big gear (e.g., 50 x 11) and while seated, pedal as hard as you can until you reach 80 rpm. This should take about 15 seconds. Shift to a small gear and spin easy for three minutes at 90 rpm. Repeat 10 times and build up to 15 power bursts per session.
2. Do some cadence intervals.
Another way to increase power is to elevate your pedal cadence. You can do this with a cadence intervals session, which is a moderate intensity workout that will improve your neuromuscular coordination (i.e., improved coordination and cooperation between the muscles that enhance your ability to pedal at a very high rate).
To do this workout, use a relatively small gear that allows you to train at 85-percent to 98-percent of your lactate threshold heart rate (76 percent to 90 percent of your functional threshold power) while pedaling a cadence of 100 to 110 rpm. Start with three x eight minutes and increase the length of the hard efforts until you can complete three x 15 minutes with five minutes of recovery.