So, you’re finally tired of being the last up the climbs on weekend club ride and you’ve decided to get serious. You have set yourself the goal of increasing your 5-minute maximum sustainable power on the bike, so you sit down, pen and paper in hand to develop your strategy, but then realise you’ve no idea quite where to start. Check out some of our simple tips below that will help transform you into a better cyclist.
Break it down!!!
Like anything, the best place to start is by breaking the goal down. Improving your 5-minute power output on the bike will require a campaign on several fronts. You will need to consider the physical training required, the necessary mental preparation and also how you are fuelling your body for training and recovery.
- Interval training: To improve your 5-minute power you will need to focus on high-intensity interval training. This will necessitate riding at or above your maximum sustainable power for a set amount of time, followed by an appropriate rest period. By gradually increasing the intensity and duration of your intervals you should see a gradual increase in power output. For this approach to be effective the emphasis should be on gradual increases. Set yourself targets that are challenging but not impossible to hit.
- Strength training: As we’ve said previously, do not be afraid to incorporate strength training into your routine. This could be a form of calisthenics or even with free weights. Any exercises that target your legs, core and upper body will be beneficial. The aim is to increase strength, not add size and/or weight. As always consult a trained physician before embarking on or fundamentally altering your approach to training.
- Don’t neglect the mental aspect. Try and practice visualisation techniques that help you prepare for your high intensity interval training sessions, as well as your 5-minute benchmarking sessions. Pushing yourself to these limits are as much a mental game as they are physical. Being able to push on through those mental barriers can take your performances higher than you thought possible.
- Proper nutrition is always key to achieving your cycling goals, especially where the body is being pushed beyond its regular capabilities. Always ensure you are consuming enough carbohydrates to fuel your rides and training sessions as well as enough protein to assist with muscle growth and repair. The advice of a professional dietician can be indispensable and it’s highly recommended to consult one when possible.
One small additional point is about consistency. Make sure that you plan ahead and stick to a regular training routine with all the training sessions identified alongside their objectives. Always set achievable goals and remember that gradual progress is better than trying to make big leaps in performance.
Finally, remember that increasing your 5-minute maximum power output is hard enough as it is. Do not compound the difficulty by using power meters that are not providing reliable and consistent data. The InfoCrank is the only crank based torque measurement power meter available and there are no fudges or algorithms, just 256Hz measurement of both torque and cadence to give the most accurate and reliable power data out there.