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  1. #1
    Senior Member Kadowaki's Avatar
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    Training for Power

    If I want to increase my ability to generate power can I train at a (relatively) lower cadence and a (relatively) higher gear to shift the burden from my cardiovascular system to my legs?
    We live in flatland and the longest "hills" are < .5 miles.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Try sprints & intervals. You simply cannot stress the muscles enough while riding at steady-state speeds. Big difference in exertion between 200w vs. 1200-1600w.

  3. #3
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    1200W? 1600W? That's beyond the normal cyclist isn't it?

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Nope, that's max-power at sprinting speeds. Most people here can probably do 1200 easily. I've seen a people post 1400w. That kind of exertion will build up strength much, much quicker and better than just mashing big gears for miles & hours on end.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kadowaki's Avatar
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    Good advice, well established regimen,


    But ... if your going on a 2-4 hour group ride anyway, is there any benefit to pushing a higher gear at lower cadence?

    BTW I can't do 1200 easily

  6. #6
    Pokes On Spokes JPradun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Nope, that's max-power at sprinting speeds. Most people here can probably do 1200 easily. I've seen a people post 1400w. That kind of exertion will build up strength much, much quicker and better than just mashing big gears for miles & hours on end.
    You need to snap back into reality.
    The quest for success: Collegiate Nationals:
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    (Updated daily 3/26-4/4-: North Carolina training camp)

  7. #7
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadowaki
    Good advice, well established regimen,

    But ... if your going on a 2-4 hour group ride anyway, is there any benefit to pushing a higher gear at lower cadence?

    BTW I can't do 1200 easily
    Well, you can probably do 1000 right now, and 1200 will be easy after a month or two of sprints & intervals. On the 2-4 hour group ride, I'd recommend spinning easy and sitting in so that you'll complete the distance with reserve energy. Then sprinkled throughout the ride, add some sprints & intervals to really tax the muscles. Stressing them at 60% versus 40% isn't going to do much to increase strength and power. You need to stress them to 100% on a regular basis. Muscles only improve to deal with stresses above what they can already handle.

  8. #8
    NorCal Climbing Freak
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    I wish I were most people. My 5 sec max is ~830, and that is on a good day.

  9. #9
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Well, you can probably do 1000 right now, and 1200 will be easy after a month or two of sprints & intervals. On the 2-4 hour group ride, I'd recommend spinning easy and sitting in so that you'll complete the distance with reserve energy. Then sprinkled throughout the ride, add some sprints & intervals to really tax the muscles. Stressing them at 60% versus 40% isn't going to do much to increase strength and power. You need to stress them to 100% on a regular basis. Muscles only improve to deal with stresses above what they can already handle.
    +10 This is the best group ride advice I've ever read here. Must be because I agree with it!

    That's exactly how you do it. Even on a zone 2 solo recovery ride, I'll bump my legs on a couple of risers. It's a little weird for your ride partners, but most folks can sit in your draft for 15 or so minutes while you pull at LT. Going off the front on an attack is really good practice. By the time they've caught you and you're sitting on the back, it's time to go again. Then the last part of the ride you'll really suffer, of course, but that's good training, too! Most people are pretty good humored about riding with some weirdo like that. After all, you're mostly just hurting yourself.

    I guess I do a little differently than you're advocating, Danno. I try to immolate myself once a week. That does seem to work. Do you really think I'd do better to finish with something in the bank? That's not how it's going to be on the rides I'm training for.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
    I guess I do a little differently than you're advocating, Danno. I try to immolate myself once a week. That does seem to work. Do you really think I'd do better to finish with something in the bank? That's not how it's going to be on the rides I'm training for.
    You got it exact the way I meant it. What I should've said was to spin easy such that if that was all he did on the 2-4 hr ride, he'd have something left over. Then add sprints & intervals to use up that extra reserve so that by the end of the ride, he's completely wasted. Those attacks off the front, king-of-the-hill sprints and chasing down breaks are what really gets you the power-increases. The long miles in between? Well that's to work on a completely different system, your energy-delivery.

  11. #11
    seattle based cyclist merlinman's Avatar
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    I'm totally in this camp. 2 points of clarification. One other good way to build power is to do the famous 2x20 minute LT interval workout 1xweek, separate from the group ride strategy described. The other point is to back off every 4th week, then ramp it up for next cycle.
    Andiamo!!

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