Road Cyclists Blogs

Whack The Weak

Fine tuning. That is what this time of year is all about. By now, you have been riding or racing a fair amount. You did the skill work by doing miles and working on increasing power output and on bike fitness. As we move into mid season, you may want to evaluate where you are at. Know what is working. Know where you need to spend extra time - and do it now! If you wait too long, its too late. And don't just think of addressing the weakness while you are on the bike. This is a big myth. Do it in the weight room through movement, mobility and strengthening. You can also spend a bit less time on the bike. Your race/ride fitness won't change a whole lot. Two hard sessions each week will keep you tight. If that upper body is tired, focus on some pulling exercises. Pull-Ups are golden. One arm cable rows with a squat (to mimic bike movement), burpees and heavy overhead work (i.e. shoulder press, push press) are good power and speed movements. If low back is in issue on climbs, work on the Glute Ham Developer (GHD), Hollow Rock and Deadlift to engage that posterior chain. You can do some simple 5 x 5 schemes and load to 8-85% of 1RM. If stamina is your enemy right now, don't ride more volume! Again, a common mistake. You need to hit sustained intervals with adequate rest times. Go with 5 minutes on, 5 minutes off and do several sets working to decrease recovery time while maintaining watt output. You want to work at just at/below threshold. You want to work at a high capacity but without seeing a drop in performance over the length of the interval. If sprinting has left you, its easy. Explosive efforts! On the bike yes, but also mix in dynamic lifting and box jumps. This means you accelerate throught the lift (i.e. do a box squaat and take less than one second to get to the top). Weakness work is focus time. Fine tune it now so it can pay off in May and June when most other riders are burying themselves.
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