Get out of your legs and into your heart… find your technique, lower your torque, and fly over the miles!
It’s no mystery to all of us that there are many different styles of cycling. As we study the Tour de France, the Ironman in Kona, local time trials, and the leaders of local mountain races, we see quite a variety of styles. If you want to work on your distance cycling endurance or your ability to run off the bike, then the following tips are for you.
1. The majority of great cyclists ride at higher rpms and are actually powerful at higher cadences, not just lower rpms as are we all. It takes serious commitment to cycling to develop a complete pedal stroke, to initiate the stroke from the psoas and hip flexors, and to recruit all the elements of the lower kinetic chain in our pedal stroke. Any new rider can push DOWN on the pedals and go forward, come home with tired quads and call it a day. But there is so much more to cycling…
2. If you cycle with an eye to aerobic endurance instead of muscular endurance, then you can succeed at a higher performance level in your cycling and your legs will last longer in distance rides. If you had a power device that showed you torque, your goal would be to ride with low torque, relatively high rpm (90 or greater) and steady power output. Your secondary goal would be to maintain your effort and output for the entirety of your ride and to eliminate power-sapping huge spikes or “burnt matches” in cycling speak.
3. In real-world this means committing to the trials of miles spent riding at higher rpm and slower speeds, letting go of groups and chases, and putting the “hammer” back in the tool box where it belongs. Engage with your hip flexors, pedal ”up and over the top”, “scrape the ground” and drive your knees skywards to round out the technique and power distribution of your pedal stroke. Think about using all of your leg muscles more evenly and then let your heart do the rest. Make your workouts aerobic in nature instead of leg-press sessions that end with a BANG or a blow up. Endurance cycling is not weight lifting.
4. You choose: Push down, go big, low RPM, burn the quads, deplete the muscle glycogen of those muscles in particular, and then begin that limp back to your ride start… Or find another way.
Get our of your legs and into your heart through smarter cycling training. Technique over torque time and time again.
Level II Cycling Coach with Distinction
2014 3rd Overall finisher- Black and Blue 200 mile solo ride
2014 Top Female Queen Isaqueena’s Last ride
2014 Coaching Sponsor of Blue Ridge Brutal