Having worked on your pedaling technique and working on Strength/Force the third stage is to combine the two and work on at a high intensity.
In effect, if you ride mostly on flat terrain at a high cadence of 90rpm you will not have the muscular development to ride a 20km climb in a 34×25 at 70-80rpm. You will fatigue quickly but with commitment you will gain minutes towards the end of a cyclosportive.
Velocity and Force develop at the same time and not one after the other.
Force will increase slowly so takes a lot of commitment.
To ride at the same cadence, same HR but one extra tooth at the back.
- Cadence must stay in the 40-50rpm range. It’s an exercise of over gearing ie resistance training.
- The muscles must always feel uncomfortable and unnatural and at first difficult to complete.
- These are not optimal cadences and you need to adopt the attitude that the aim is not too improve pedaling technique. During a cyclosportive you will rarely pedal below 60rpm apart from on very steep gradients – or when it all goes horrendously wrong! The idea is to gain strength so you can use an extra tooth. Ie you will be able to climb at the same optimal cadence (70rpm) and HR in a 34×25 rather than a 34×26/27. Strength is crucial on climbs because you’re continually fighting against gravity.
- The exercises proposed here are based around changes in rhythm so you will need to use a big gear.
- These exercises can be used to improve pedaling technique as the low cadences and resistance enable you to feel the different phases of the pedal stroke.