In my last article, I discussed the value of your power to weight ratio and how it can help improve your cycling results. We know how to reduce our weight through regular exercise, eating healthier, etc. However, where cyclists often struggle is how to improve the numerator - power - especially during the season.
Why do you care about increasing your power? Well, the more power you have, the harder and longer you can ride, whether it is hammering at the front of the peloton or pushing hard up your "favorite" hill. But improving power requires dedication, focus and work (sound familiar?).
Here are five tips you can use to improve your power:
- Ride uphill - Riding uphill is a great way to increase muscular endurance and strength. The formula is simple: pedal a relatively large gear at a moderate cadence for an extended period of time.
- One way is to progressively increase the climbing distance. If you don't live in the mountains where you climb for miles, then find a good mile plus hill and do four to six repeats with a good recovery between each effort. But make sure you are pushing a gear that is hard but in which you can maintain at least 70 rpm's.
- A second way is to find a short, steep climb and do high intensity intervals of about 60 seconds. Just like above, progressively add more intervals to your effort.
There are methods that I've used in the past and continue to use today to push myself so I know they work. Just one last piece of advice and that is to use a heart monitor and, if possible, a power meter in your training. They provide instant feedback on your effort. They also help you measure your progress over time.
Good luck and feel free to contact me if you have questions or if I can help you in any way.