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2 Key Components for Your Cycling Success

When we’re talking about cyclists who are at the top of the game, often  we see them as fast and powerful machines who look like they’ve spent most of their time working on speed and power.

Whilst there is a substantial amount of speed and power work completed during the season, many fail to see the work our great cyclists have done in the gym or on the road during in the early part of the season.

When you look at your overall season, it’s important to look at the layers of training required to perform at your best at the pointy end or competition phase of your season. 

Structuring your training is like building a house, the foundation has to be very strong before you can put the windows, doors and roof on.

Having a solid foundation in track cycling is ensuring that you have two main components:

  1. A strong aerobic fitness base
  2. A strong strength base 

1. Aerobic Fitness 

Aerobic fitness is the base level energy system which requires oxygen.

By working on your aerobic fitness base, you’ll achieve a number of things - here's a few:  

  1. Your ability to recover will be improved
  2. Your ability to sustain higher functional threshold powers over a long period of time will be strong
  3. You will improve your ability to back up between racing sessions and events
  4. Your immune system will be stronger
  5. Your ability to develop and improve on your anaerobic and ATP-CP systems will be more successful

Depending on the discipline you’re focusing on, the extent to which you work on developing a strong aerobic system will be subject to differ.

For example, a track sprinter will not be required to complete the same amount of volume of high end aerobic activities in comparison to a points race rider or road cycling athlete.

2. Strength Development

Strength training refers to your ability to shift weight or produce / withstand high force.

Strength is the first step in the process to developing power and speed.

Without strength, your ability to produce greater powers and speeds will be limited.

Additionally, strength will enable you to:

  1. Lift heavier weights and push larger gear ratios (coupled with good efficiency, power and speed - great outcomes are more likely)
  2. Support good posture and stability on the bike
  3. Retain muscle mass
  4. Improve and retain bone health
  5. Prevent injuries

By developing a good solid strength base in the early part of the training season, when it comes time to shift to a strength-power or power-speed phase, your body will have better developed both stronger muscle fibres and neural pathways.

There are a number of other components that you need to factor into your training season, these includes areas such as nutrition, season planning, and recovery.

Where are you at with your cycling training? We'd love to hear from you! Leave us a comment below and let us know where you’re at with your training this season!

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