High Intensity Bike Training

What will High Intensity Training for cycling do for you?

The idea behind the high intensity training for cycling just means taking your basic cycling and shaping it up for endurance and getting into the best form possible.  Who wouldn’t want to do that?

If you have been reading this site for any length of time, then you know that most of the training you do is best if you do it with your bicycle as cycling can usually make up about 50% of the actual triathlon race.

I don’t want you to be confused.  You will hear from me a lot talking about the ‘basics’:  basic endurance, basic training knowledge, basic concepts, etc.  But you won’t get very far if all you do is basics all the time.  We are now getting to the fun part, which is the cycling training at high intensities.

You will be able to improve stamina.  You will be able to improve speed.  You will also improve resistance to high levels of lactate.  The increase of degradation rate of lactate will also happen.  All of these are important in order to make the necessary improvements in the triathlon.

Lactate is produced inside of the body when you exercise above a certain level.  This level will vary for each person and will depend mainly on the training you do.  When exercising about this particular level to improve in your career, but it will harm your progress  when you lack the basic endurance.

There are two ways that basically will increase your speed:  one is a coordinative component.  This is where you work on the intramuscular coordination, which is more muscles being fired and efficiently while pedaling.

This will also include an optimizing the stroke so that you are using a more holistic pedaling.  The second one is about a strength component.  This will increase the size and amount the muscle fibers so they are able to push more energy down when you are cycling.

Let’s go over the first way in more detail.  High intensity cycling training will involve a good amount of coordinative work.  But most triathletes don’t seem to do this for one reason or another.  It can cost you minutes or hours during a season.

Here are two great drills on this topic that I use on a regular basis:

Using the whole pedal stroke

The simplest and most effective way to help your legs to pedal more effectively will be to ride using one leg.  It really sounds easier than it is, so it is a good idea to do this particular exercise early during the ride while you are still fresh.

Once you have warmed up properly you can either unclip one foot or just don’t exert energy from the leg and use the other leg.  This will feel different as you have to use one leg to go the entire way around.  Do this as long as it feels comfortable to you and then take a pause.

After using both legs switch and use only the other leg.  It would be a good idea to do this in a variety of different gears and pedaling at a variety of different paces.  You need the focus to be pedaling fluently.

Increasing your spin

The next idea for improving the cycling skill would be to pedal as fast as possible in an easy gear for you as long as you can, until it begins to feel uncomfortable.

You need to remember to pedal as smoothly as you can without having an upper body bounce.  This is a good way to work on increasing a faster spin and preserving the muscles and save energy.

What is the way to go on with a training that will help your leg strength?  Does that mean pushing yourself with a boring, stubborn workout in the gym?

It is not necessary.  Not at this point and time, as long as you are willing to follow a few simple guidelines that are available on this site.

You have all that you will need for the weight portion of the high intensity cycling training.  You have your own bicycle and yourself.
There are many approaches I will show you, two of the most important are going to be shared today:
Extensive Weight Cycling Training and Intensive Weight Cycling Training (uphill).

Using the Extensive Weight Cycling Training you will want to exercise by pedaling at a really slow pace and with your gears on high.  Also, keep a cadence of 50 – 70 rpm.

Then do this on a plane or slightly molded terrain for anywhere between 20 minutes and 2 hours.  You also need to make sure that your heart rate never exceeds 80% of HRmax.

The Intensive Weight Cycling Training, which is also commonly known as hill training is done so in a way that is in interval training on a slow or decent rise between .3 – 1.3 miles.

You will want to warm up properly before you begin this.  Also, do not put everything into this.  Make sure your heart rate stays below 90 % of the HRmax.

When using both of the methods you will want to make sure you give your body enough time to recover from the training before you repeat either one of them.

This is done by actively simply reducing the intensity for as much as 10 minutes or until your heart rate drops below 70% of the HRmax.

When you are starting out with cycling you need to make sure that the high intensity training shouldn’t be on the schedule at all.

It will more than likely do more harm than good.  It is important to remember that basics first, goodies second.  Once you have the basics mastered you get go full force with the other things, not before.

Good luck!

Terry

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