A well-trained cyclist's seemingly smooth pedaling style, honed over countless miles and millions of pedal revolutions, can contribute to increased endurance, pedaling efficiency, and power production. However, it is also critical to lower the risk of injury through post cycling recovery.
Although there is no quick fix for increasing your cycling efficiency, there are a few things you can do to get more power out of your pedal stroke, such as ensuring bike fit, maintaining optimal cycling cadence, and an improvement in technique.
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Tips To Improve Cycling Performance
Cadence (Cycling Power)
Practicing and applying optimal cadence cycling will provide you with a deadly two-edged sword. The higher your cadence, the less force you exert on the pedals to produce the same amount of power. Less effort on the pedals equals less stress on your leg muscles, leaving you with greater reserves for the ride. Of course, you may obtain a higher speed by applying the same force with a higher cadence. Next, the faster your feet move during a pedal cycle, the shorter the time interval during which you must exert this force. An ideal cycling cadence is one that achieves the balance between speed and comfort to push you the extra mile without the risk of injury
A smooth pedaling style can improve your efficiency by increasing the number of Rotations Per Minute (RPM) while also reducing the risk of injury to joints and muscles. It also has the ability to extend the life of your bike because it puts a lot less stress on your equipment. If you happen to be cycling everyday, it is critical to have your bike setup properly. This ensures that you're comfortable and injury-free, but also boosts performance and provides cycling comfort.
Spokes' Co-Founder and Performance Director, as well as BikesEtc Magazines' Cycling Guru, Pav Bryan, explains, "Pedaling efficiency is vital to ensure that you receive the greatest power out of each revolution." “Getting it right implies you'll be able to produce more power while using the same or less energy.” (i)
While cycling, the cyclists body accounts for 70 to 80 percent of drag, with the bike, clothing, and helmet accounting for the rest. As a result, achieving aero on the bike will significantly increase efficiency. Aerodynamics also involves the correct angle in terms of degree knee bend cycling. The angle of your knee could also affect aerodynamics and determine the speed at which you ride. However, a rider must also consider comfort. A position that is uncomfortable and causes back, shoulder, or neck pain is unsustainable and potentially dangerous.
Strength training can help to improve force capacity, motor patterns, stability, bend cycling, and correct balance. Enhanced force capacity allows you to recruit more muscle fibers, resulting in increased efficiency. Better balance and motor patterns can lead to better coordination, which can help you avoid wasting movement.
For a more detailed read on strength training and the benefits of strength training, be sure to check out our article Strengthening Leg Muscles for Cyclists by clicking here (https://spryngme.com/blogs/cycling/guide-to-strengthening-leg-muscles-for-cyclists)
Cycling Training Program To Increase Power
Many cycling programs, especially during the base stage, include optional cadence intervals (ii).
Ericsson Program: Ericsson consists of 4 sets of 8-minute spin-up intervals between 88 and 94 percent FTP, with riders starting with a slightly faster-than-usual spin for the first 4 minutes, increasing their pedal speed for the next 3 minutes, and then spinning all-out for the final minute. These activities are designed to improve leg speed over time and fine-tune pedaling efficiency to improve cycling performance.
Fartlek Training Program: The Fartlek training method is named after the Swedish word "Fartlek," which means "speed play." It aims to improve your cycling speed and endurance by raising your lactate threshold, which is thought to have a direct impact on your speed. When it comes to cycling, Fartlek determines the intensity of your workout. You can gauge your effort and alternate between your highest and lowest speed thresholds in this less structured form of interval training. It can not only help you improve your cycling endurance and stamina, but it can also help you push yourself to new limits while training on your bike.
How To Increase Cycling Power
If you want to boost your power, you need to consider three factors: your base fitness, aerobic fitness, and race power.
Base fitness refers to your capacity to comfortably cruise at a reasonable power output while using fat as a major fuel source for harder exertion. Improving base fitness entails staying in your base training zone and gradually increasing the speed and power you can maintain while staying there. Improving your base fitness answers the question of how to increase leg power for cycling.
If you’ve wondered how to improve your cycling speed along with your base fitness levels, you require good power production at mid-range exertion. The key to becoming a good long-distance athlete is developing aerobic fitness. This allows you to maintain a higher proportion of your maximum power for longer periods of time without becoming fatigued. For the training results to be maximized, it's critical that the training stays within the appropriate zones, just like with base training.
When planning to compete in a race you would wonder how to increase speed cycling with power. Short-distance racing is usually done at 85 percent of maximum power or more. Increasing power at this stage is crucial for a quick bike leg. Top-end training, when combined with a strong aerobic base, will result in significant power gains for the amount of time spent exercising.
Recovery After Cycling
There's no arguing that the time spent off the bike is just as important to an athlete as the time spent training. You may be left with more than just painful legs if you lose the opportunity to repair muscle damage.
“It's the most crucial aspect of training,” professional cyclist Liam Holohan explains. So many guys go beyond with their training and never recover — their form deteriorates, and it's a terrible cycle. They believe they aren't performing well, so they train even harder, which just makes things worse.” (iii)
The easiest and most effective way for recovering after cycling is to use a foam roller. Foam rolling is thought to help relieve muscle fatigue and soreness while also improving muscular performance. It also helps avoid stiffness which, in turn reduces the chance of injury, improves joint mobility, and helps your muscles relax. As a result, this makes foam rolling an important aspect cycling leg recovery.
If you don't drink enough water after a long day on the bike, you may become dehydrated. While cycling, it is recommended that you drink at least one 500 ml bottle per hour. However, just drinking water is not enough in most cases. We lose electrolytes when we sweat. The main salts lost are sodium and chloride [potassium, magnesium, and calcium are electrolytes lost in low concentrations]. We can even see it crystallize when we're sweating a lot, which is all the salt we're losing. Therefore, it is important that we replenish the lost electrolytes by consuming various forms of Isotonic drinks or coconut water.
An ice bath is a great way to reduce inflammation that has reached dangerously high levels all over your body. It also constricts blood vessels, drains waste products from the body, reduces edema and tissue disintegration.
Spryng compression wraps are an excellent at-home calf muscle recovery solution. Spryng will help you heal faster by improving blood circulation in your strained calf muscles. It can dramatically improve the leg recovery after cycling even if you use it for just 15 minutes after your workout.
For more information on how SPRYNG works and its benefits, click here (https://spryngme.com/pages/the-science-of-spryng)
A strong cyclist is an efficient cyclist, according to people in the field of cycling and training. With the tips and methods we've offered, you can be confident that your next training session or race will be one that you will not only breeze through, but also one that you will thoroughly enjoy!