5 Simple Ways to Increase Pedal Power


If you want to improve your cycling performance and would like to get faster, you need to increase your bike power. Lots of cyclists want these things but fail to target where they should. Instead, they end up cycling on the wrong terrain and wrong intensity and effort. This article will take you through 5 simple ways you can increase your pedal power to boost your cycling performance.

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When it comes to riding faster over a certain distance, you need more power. Increasing your power isn’t easy but here are some ways in which you can get cycling’s Holy Grail:

  1. Use bigger gears

If you use bigger gears but keep the same cadence and conditions the same, you will increase your power output. You can use this technique by choosing a bigger gear during a typical ride and you can increase the time you spend in this gear over the course of your rides. For example, if you frequently ride a three-mile circuit, choosing a bigger gear for one mile initially while keeping the cadence the same will help you to increase your power. Continue to do this for longer distances and you’ll see even more benefit.

  1. Cycle uphill

If you want to get better, cycling uphill is a great way of increasing your muscular endurance. This means that you are able to pedal at a pretty big gear with a moderate cadence during an extended time period. This technique is effective because people have the tendency to lower their cadence while increasing their pedal force when going uphill – in other words, push the pedals harder. You can increase your power output significantly by progressively overloading climbing distance. For example, if you begin with a hilly ride that climbs 1000 feet, start to add distance slowly until you are able to climb 3000 feet in one ride.  You can also enhance your power by doing short sprint intervals up really steep hills. These high-intensity intervals need to last between one minute and 90 seconds. Afterwards, ride down the hill and recover before sprinting up the hill again. See if you can build up to doing 12 of these in one workout.

  1. Cycle into a headwind

If you live somewhere relatively flat, you won’t be able to do much hill training. However, cycling into the wind is just as effective. This is a great way of improving your muscular endurance. However, it isn’t possible to plan this sort of ride with foresight but do make the most of windy days. If you find a rectangular route that is around two miles long you will be able to have experience of crosswinds, tailwinds and headwinds. You should aim to increase your speed during the headwinds. Ideally, choose a fairly big gear at around 90rpm and hold it for the whole of the headwind.

  1. Discover block training

Block training simply means doing very hard workouts consecutively over two or three days after which you should have recovery rest days (or easier workouts). Block training is really effective in boosting your power because it places a large amount of stress on your cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems. You must make sure, though, that you give yourself time off to recover. For instance, you should complete a training block of hill intervals on day 1 followed by sprint intervals on day 2 then a rest day for day 3 and an easy ride for day 3. In this way, you have subjected your body to two days’ effort at high intensity followed by recovery days that are easy.

  1. Follow the rule of 75%

This rule means that during any given week of training, at least 3/4s (75%) of your time (or miles) should be below or at 75% of your MHR (Maximum Heart Rate). This means that three-quarters of your training in a week should happen in zone 1 and zone 2 (50-70% of your MHR). This means that the majority of your cycle training is endurance-building rides and easy recover rides. How does this make you faster? Well, aside from the 75%, 10% of your weekly time or mileage should take place in zone 5 (90% to 100% of your MHR). This means that your riding is super intense. Training like this allows your physiology to be modified – it is quite a small amount of intense effort built up with endurance training and essential recovery.

Final thoughts

One final way you can improve your cycling power is to put yourself out of your comfort zone. Set yourself some achievable targets and goals and see the effect the changes in your training have. Setting yourself smart targets gives you something to aim for when you’re overcoming the mental battle when doing something challenging in your training.