Power is the most crucial element for cycling. The more cycle power you have, the faster you can cycle at a given distance. Whether you cycle as a hobby or a competitive sport, increasing your cycling power is the key to improved peak performance and endurance. One of the errors many cyclists make is riding at the wrong intensity, effort, and terrain, which affects their overall cycling performance. That said, here are simple proven ways to increase your cycling performance.
Ride uphill more often to increase your muscular performance
Riding uphill gives you the ability to pedal at a large gear in average tempo for an extended period which is an excellent way to increase muscular endurance. It has proven effective for many cyclists because it improves the average pedal force or the ability to push harder on the pedals, even when at peak performance.
One of the best ways to achieve this is to start with hilly rides with about 1000 feet of climbing, then gradually increase the distance until you can cover 3000feet climbing in a single cycle. Another way to improve your muscular performance is to perform short, high-intensity sprints lasting about 60 to 90seconds up steep hills. You can ride downhill to recover and sprint up again in cycles.
Ride into the wind
If you don’t live in gilly lands, riding uphill will not be feasible. However, you can achieve the same results by riding into the winds. The only drawback is that you cannot plan a headwind ride in advance, so you can only take advantage on a windy day.
Like riding with bigger gears or uphill, riding into headwinds helps you improve your muscular performance. The goal is to accelerate into every headwind and recover when encountering a tailwind or crosswind.
Incorporate block training into your routine
Block training is one of the best ways to boost your cycling power. It involves performing intense workouts for 2-3days consecutively then allowing yourself the same amount of recovery. The recovery may be in days off or doing easy exercises such as stretches. Since cycling puts severe stress on your musculoskeletal and cardiovascular system, block training is effective in helping you adapt physically and boost your cycling power.
The principle behind it is to give your muscles enough time to recover before the next training. For instance, you can have a four-day training block of uphill cycling, sprints, a day off then, and a recovery ride on the fourth day.
Supplement with beta-alanine
Beta-alanine for cyclists has proven effective in improving endurance and cycling power. Beta-alanine improves the carnosine levels in your muscle which buffers muscle acidosis, and it stands to reason why it is beneficial for cyclists. Several studies have proven that beta-alanine supplementation improves speed and performance in high-intensity training such as cycling and sprinting.
Stick to the 75% cycling rule
At least 75% of your training time or miles should be below 75% of your maximum heart rate during any training week. That means most of your cycling should consist of endurance-enhancing rides and easy recovery. In simple words, at least three-fourths of your training should take place within 50-70% of your maximum heart rate.
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