How to increase leg strength / power

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  • How to increase leg strength / power
  • MTT
    Member

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    STOP IT, STOP IT PLEASE

    <arms flail>

    1) HRM’s for new cyclists are not daft. £30 that is all you need to spend, but if you wish… given the freedom of choice bestowed by our forefathers… you can buy a sodding powermeter if you sodding well like because they are better. RIGHT??

    2) If you have a limited training time… CONTROLLED INTERVALS ARE THE BEST FORM OF TRAINING. As described in my previous post intervals needn’t be 30 second blats up a hill but 2 x 20 at FTP (Functional threshold power/HR — maximum sustained speed). Simply riding you bike lots in the grey area is NOT the best way of improving cycling performance.

    3) YES THERE ARE SHORTCUTS, see above, these are not shortcuts for people who know what they are doing, rather an unfair advantage over those who prescribe riding your bike more as being the most effective training method.

    Premier Icon dropoff
    Subscriber

    Try developing a “training loop” about 10 – 12 miles incorporating road and off road ( from your house is ideal). When you get used to doing it try to vary your saddle height, drop it 2 – 3 ” and feel the burn 🙂 Your legs will soon develop

    rs
    Member

    No real advice but know what you mean, I hadn’t cycled since about October and despite lots of running and feeling fitter than before, when i got back on the bike at xmas my legs were totally fooked. I guess my advice is just to ride more, its the best thing thing for getting better at it.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    MTT I don’t want to start an argument or get you annoyed or anything, but I still disagree I’m afraid. Two long FTP intervals will be great for those 10 mile TTs but you’ll still end up being knackered after an hour of riding I think. If short high intensity sessions are all you do, your muscle memory will be trained to ride like that and it’s all you’ll want to do when racing or out riding. Then when you come to an endurance race you’ll set off at that pace and die after 4 hours. It’s exactly where I was in 2003.

    I thought he didn’t have enough base fitness based on the comment about getting pretty tired on longer rides – and doing short sessions won’t do anything for that. Base fitness is important, and there’s no shortcut for that.

    As for HRMs, they are nice, and cheap indeed, but they are of limited use unless you know your zones. And I don’t think much of the generic recommendations, they are far too vague. As for power meters… It takes a certain sort of dedication and commitment to ride this way. First of all you have to splash a ton of cash one one – more than many people’s whole bikes – but even if you have the cash they have a habit of sucking all the fun out of riding which is a length to which most people are not prepared to go I think. You find yourself seeking out flat open road rides so that you can keep up a good constant power, and it’s bloody murder. Bloody boring murder at that. I didn’t think it was worth telling the OP about that kind of training!

    Anyway, I’m off out for a 2.5 hour constant power tempo session on suburban dual carriageway and flat A road. In the dark 🙂

    crikey
    Member

    Ho hum….

    The powermeter and heart rate monitor thing crops up every now and then, and I’m sure they can help you wring out the last drop in terms of performance, but the thing is….. you still have to ride your bike. Time in the gym, rowing or whatever, only makes you good at rowing or whatever. Cycling is a very, very specific sport, and to get good at it takes lots and lots of cycling. There is no other way, there are no shortcuts, there is no magic to it. You can measure it however you like, use power, use heart rates, use time, use speed, use hours spent away from your family, but you stll have to actually go and do it, and if you’re not doing it as much as you can, buying training tools is a waste of money, which would be better spent on a road bike and a decent waterproof and some flowers/chocolates/vibrating object of choice for t’other half.

    I’ve been through this, I’ve got 3 HR monitors gathering dust. What made me get faster was getting my butt kicked in every race I did, on every chain gang, every sunday.

    Hard work is the key, not training aids.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Hard work is the key, not training aids.

    I dunno why you think it’s either/or. No-one’s saying training aids are a substitute for hard work. What I’m saying is that training aids AND hard work are better than unfocused hard work. Put another way, you have to know how to use training aids to get an advantage.

    If you just look at your power and heart rate and think “oh, look at that” then that is a big fat waste of money, yes. I use a power meter for more than that tho. I get a blood lactate test every now and then, and that tells me at what levels of exertion certain things happen in my body. So I know that for instance, to train my fat burning metabolism and increase endurance (base training) I need to be sat around 210W. I could just go on a long ride at any old pace, but I wouldnt get as much endurance benefit.

    I do base rides, I also do general rides and speed rides. Some I enjoy more than others, but there’s no doubt that the power meter has helped me but ONLY because I am a scientific geek and that’s how I want to do my training. Most people probably wouldn’t be happy doing what I’m doing, and that’s fine.

    I’m still a fairly rubbish racer tho, but that’s a different issue. I suffer from temporary motivational black spots which means training doens’t get done. So yes, that messes things up a bit. But the challenge of training to get fast is for me about more than just pushing the pedals.

    Take a look at this book– I’ve found it very usefull – for the last 33 weeks have based my training on the principles

    crikey
    Member

    I understand the attraction of ‘sports science’, and I see the undoubted advantages of training in a measurable and scientific way, but the fact remains, and you have indicated it yourself, that hard work is what counts, not the tools or the measurements.

    In the days I used to go out training with the local chain gang, the people ripping it up at the front after 60-70-80 miles were the old ex-pros, the guys who were out at every opportunity, the fellas who always rode hard, and who never bothered with anything that didn’t make them faster.

    So many cyclists look for the magic beans, look for the Holy Grail, and ignore the obvious; it’s a hard sport, and the people who do best are the hard ones.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    There’s this lad I know very vaguely. He rides a huge amount, and does 5 hour rides at his tempo pace, which is a lot faster than my tempo pace and I can ony manage 2.5 hours. He sets off on 24 hour solo races and streaks into the lead but a good 75% of the time completely blows up after about 14 hours or so and retires. If he manages to stay in, he wins or gets a podium. If he trained a bit smarter with that much time commitment and natural talent, he’d be unstoppable.

    Just because it’s mostly hard work doesn’t mean that science doesn’t help. So don’t knock it! And besides, some people like to understand their bodies.

    hockropper
    Member

    I concur about the Rob Sleamaker book, its an excellent training book , there is also a website where you can get a excel spreadsheet that automatically works out the figures for you here <www.geocities.com/kenbhart/train.xls>

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