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On-bike strength training
To supplement the strength exercises you are doing in the gym or at home, you also need to do more specific on-bike strength sessions. This develops the amount of force you can apply to the pedals. Below is a great 12-week programme to do just that. It can be done on a flat road or turbo trainer, once a week.
–Warm up for 20 minutes with some Zone 2 riding.
–Select a gear 3 down from the top (easiest) cog on the back, big ring at the front.
–Pedal for 1 minute in this gear until your heart rate reaches no higher than middle zone 3.
–Next, pedal easy for 1 minute to let your heart rate drop down to zone 2 again.
–Next select a gear one harder down the block and again pedal for one minute, driving your heart rate into mid zone but no higher. Pedal easy for 1 minute to recover.
–Keep this going, selecting one gear harder each time and hitting the same heart rate of mid zone three.
–What this is doing is conditioning you to push progressively harder gears – so as your heart rate stays the same, your cadence will come down, developing your leg strength against increasing resistance.
Do the 12-week programme like this:
- Week 1: 1min on 1 mins off
- Week 2: 2mins on 2 mins off
- Week 3: 3mins on 3 mins off
- Week 4: 4mins on 4 mins off
The next block sees us reduce the recovery time:
- Week 5: 4mins on 3.5 mins off
- Week 6: 4mins on 3 mins off
- Week 7: 4mins on 2.5 mins off
- Week 8: 4mins on 2 mins off
- Week 9: 4mins on 1.5 mins off
- Week 10: 4mins on 1 mins off
- Week 11: 4mins on 30 secs off
And finally the last week where there is no recovery, just one straight through interval in progressively harder gears. Clearly if you are doing this on the road you need to find somewhere you can ride uninterrupted for the required duration.
- Week 12: 4mins on in each gear.
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