Randy WarrenAll plans by this Coach
Form and Efficiency Drills
During this 8-week program, we will progress through increasing duration and difficulty of spinning and 1-leg drills. I also lead you through each of these workouts on IGTV @bicyclecoachrandy
These drills work on both neuro-muscular systems and muscular-skeletal systems. The neuro-muscular systems need to be trained so that they become ingrained into your body so that you can fire the muscles necessary for a smooth and efficient pedal stoke without having to think about it. This firing should be "automatic" so that you can have a smooth and efficient pedal stroke even when fatigued. The muscular-skeletal systems need to be trained so the the muscles needed to have and maintain a smooth pedal stroke are both strong and have endurance.
Proper pedaling technique
Proper pedaling technique is crucial when trying to be as efficient as possible on the bicycle. Few of us have energy to waste while racing. A proper pedal stroke utilizes more muscle groups and eliminates possible “drag” while pedaling. The more muscle groups employed to turn your pedals the less likely any one of those groups will fatigue over a given period of time. Also, if you are not pedaling in a complete circle, you are probably holding yourself back by resisting opposite forces on the pedals.
Proper pedaling stroke includes pedaling all the way around the crank. Think of this in terms of an analog clock. You want to exert force from 12 o’clock all the way around the clock face back to 12. Start by thinking of your stoke having four phases that are smoothly blended together. The four phases are 2:00 to 5:00, 5:00 to 8:00, 8:00 to 11:00 and 11:00 to 2:00.
The power phase of your stroke, the phase when you will be able to exert the most pressure comes from 2:00 to 5:00. This is primarily a downward motion using quadriceps and gluteus maximus muscle groups (front of your legs and butt). The next phase utilizes your hamstrings (back of your legs) as you pull your foot backwards. Think of this part of the stroke as scraping mud off of the sole of your shoe on a step. The next two phases use smaller muscle groups in your legs and hips. Although these muscle groups are not as physically strong as the ones used in the first two phases, you still need to utilize them for an efficient pedal stroke.
In the 8-11 phase, think of lifting your foot off of the pedal. You won’t be able to do this; in fact, research shows that at higher pedal cadences it is actually impossible to lift up on the pedal during this phase of the stroke. If you can, however, lessen the resistance on the pedal, you will increase your efficiency (remember, your other foot is now in its power position). The final phase is where you think about lifting your foot over the pedal axle.
A hard part of smoothing out your pedal stroke is to not think of it as a four-phase process. You need to blend each of these four areas. Thinking of pedaling in round circles, around the clock face, not in squares as if around a box. Work in this area during the winter will pay huge dividends for the rest of the year.
How it Works
Training Plan Sample Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
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Training Load By Week
This plan works best with the following fitness devices:
- Power Meter
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