Increasing power output

When drugs don't work: training and health tips!
User avatar
phreak
Posts: 1724
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 13:22 pm
Contact:

Increasing power output

Postby phreak » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:36 am

I'd like to increase my general power output as I tend to get dropped on flat rides quite easily but can do fine on climbs. I'm short (5'5") and weigh 59kg so understand that my physique will probably prevent me being Indurain'esque on the flat but I'd still like to improve as much as possible.

Any tips other than simply riding more? I go to the gym three times a week, is it worth increasing leg work there?

binlinus
Posts: 299
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 14:04 pm

Postby binlinus » Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:14 pm

Hi

Stop going to the gym. Leave it to the late autumn. Cycling is an endurance sport and you need good heart and lungs. To develop more power output you need to do intervals that will improve your heart and lungs. I'd also suggest you find a slower group for your group rides while you work on improving your power output.

Two types of intervals will do this for you:

2 x 20 minutes with 15-20 mins rest in between after a good warm up. Both the intervals should be as hard as you can go with the second interval as intense as the first. You need to be well rested to do these properly.

5 x 5 minutes with 5 minutes rest in between and after a good warm up. You could do these on a hill. Again all the intervals need to be the same very high intesity with the last interval only just possible.

These are very intensive workouts (don't do them on a ful stomach) and depending on your ability to recover you may just want to do them once a week: 2x20 one mid-week, then 5x5 the next, with an easy group ride on the weekend. This will bring on your fitness very quickly. Maybe try one on the first week then the other on the second week, then do a week with both, then take an easy week to recover. By the end of the fourth week you should see a noticable difference in your fitness.

You may also want to do some sprints at the begining of these works out. Say 3x15 seconds out of the saddle as hard as you can go with 5 mins recovery in between. These will help you sprint to get on the back of a group if you get dropped. Because these are very short bursts they won't affect your ability to do the intervals above. They'll also address your muscular strength that maybe you are looking for the gym to improve.

HTH

Bin

User avatar
TechnoBuddhist
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:15 am

Postby TechnoBuddhist » Thu Aug 02, 2007 18:56 pm

I'd agree, ditch the gym and hit the roads or at least a turbo trainer.

This is my last week of a 6 week training plan from The Lance Armstrong Performance Program and my power has gone up an average 30-35 Watts so far.

I've been training on my tacx turbo and the graph below shows progress so far. The straight lines are the trend lines.

Image

If you aren't familiar with the training plan, you basically build up your tempo riding, 3 times a week which is at a heart rate of 75-85% and a cadence of 70-85. Week 1 is tempo for 10mins on the flat, building up to 60mins on hilly terrain. After week 3 I made my 'on the flat' rides at a gradient of 1%.

After my hols next week I'm gonna add some interval sessions for 4 weeks then after another week off I'll do 4 week tempo training again, to raise it some more.

Clem
Posts: 528
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 10:13 am

Postby Clem » Thu Aug 02, 2007 19:36 pm

Gym work is fine if you've nothing else you can do in your lunch break - I can hit from 150-170bpm on a stationary bike, shower and be back at my desk looking reasonably OK, three or four days a week (chucking in some small amounts of weights work - which is good for the bones, if nothing else - and some rowing machine work, which gives a wattage readout).

Hardcore bikers would argue that I should be commuting at least some of my journey into work and then take the bike out at lunch time. I did do that in the past but where I live now doesn't lend itself very easily to this.

At least what I do is better than wandering around the shops or sitting in a pub! Got me over the Stelvio a few weeks ago too (with some hilly training rides, weekends and evenings as well). Friend of mine was going better than me and he swears his training was largely down to spinning classes in Sweden. Now that really is a commute which knocks the stuffing out of your week/home life!

User avatar
phreak
Posts: 1724
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 13:22 pm
Contact:

Postby phreak » Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:37 am

Thanks for the tips. I should perhaps add that the gym work is for general strength/fitness and mainly works my upper body, I don't ever go on the stationary bikes (prefer to cycle there and back instead).

The only problem I have with the wattage is that I have no way of measuring that. Neither my bike computer or turbo come with that parameter included so I have to rely more on speed.

binlinus
Posts: 299
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 14:04 pm

Postby binlinus » Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:34 pm

phreak wrote:Thanks for the tips. I should perhaps add that the gym work is for general strength/fitness and mainly works my upper body, I don't ever go on the stationary bikes (prefer to cycle there and back instead).

The only problem I have with the wattage is that I have no way of measuring that. Neither my bike computer or turbo come with that parameter included so I have to rely more on speed.


Speed is not necessarily a good indicator. You need to become aware of the effort you are making and able to ride consistently at a given perceived exertion. If you have a heart rate monitor or better still a power meter it helps, but you don't need them. If you ride (nearly) as hard as you can for 20 minutes -- and the effort is the same for the entire 20 minutes -- so that you know what that exertion feels like then repeat the ride after 15-20 minutes rest with the same, consistent intesity, you teach yourself the ability to pace yourself.

On your turbo trainer, speed may be a good indicator of your effort. But it's what you feel in your heart, lungs and legs is what is important.

Bin

User avatar
phreak
Posts: 1724
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 13:22 pm
Contact:

Postby phreak » Sat Aug 04, 2007 10:34 am

Thanks for the tips everyone, plenty to chew on.


Return to “Training, Fitness and Health”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dalton and 4 guests