5 pro cycling tips to increase your threshold power

16th September 2015

Getting faster on a bike is a simple equation – generate more power without adding weight. Sounds easy?

The question is, how do you generate more power? We’ve teamed up with cycling experts Nick Anderson and his team at The Cycling Bug, the fastest growing social network for cyclists, to give you 5 tips on how to increase your cycling power.

Nick says:

  • Get a lab test.  If you really mean business, data is your friend and will allow you to develop a programme based on evidence. We get our cyclists to undertake a Power Profile test such as the one offered by St Mary’s University. This test will give you maximum mean power output scores, maximum power data and an overview of short term muscular endurance – all key benchmarks needed to monitor improvement.
  • Don’t just churn big gears. Power is a product of your gearing AND your speed (in this case your cadence). Look to maintain a high cadence of up to 100 rpm whilst also increasing your gearing ratio in small increments in your tempo sessions through blocks of 3 weeks of training.  You can check how to make the most of your gears here, or try downloading one of these apps that will help you choose the optimum gear for your ride.
  • Make your kit work for you. Power can be lost if your bike is incorrectly set up or your components are not allowing your to transfer the power generated through your pedal stroke. Investing in a professional bike fitting can be one of the most useful purchases you make. Ensure you are using good quality carbon soled shoes that are stiff and do not waste energy through flexing is vital and power meters such as Garmin’s Vector system or PowerTap G3 are expensive but can help you ensure you get the most from each interval session you undertake.

5 pro cycling tips to increase your threshold power2

  • Climb strong. Including hills in your regular rides is a great way to build muscular endurance but also look to undertake some dedicated hill repeats of 6-8 blocks of 2-3 minutes up a steady incline, remaining seated pushing your heart rate up and over 85% as you aim to maintaining a high cadence but ensuring your gear ratio stimulates the burning sensation you’ll feel as hydrogen ions build up in your blood stream.
  • Threshold and flying 40’s. Look to include different kinds of interval work into your training week. Try these indoor workouts, or get yourself on the turbo or rollers to complete long blocks of work at anaerobic threshold effort (80-85% max HR) such as 3 x 10 or 3 x 15 minutes with 3-5 mins easy spin recovery aiming to increase wattage over time for the same heart rate and cadence. Also look to include ‘flying 40s’ once a week – surges of hard efforts for 40 seconds in a big gear, with 20 seconds easy spin recovery for 8-10 reps.

For support, training plans, and to make some new cycling mates join The Cycling Bug, the fastest growing social network for cyclists.