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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What methods are recommended to improve power in the legs? I was racing last weekend and while the cardio was good, the legs had no gas right from the start. Granted I had just come of a week of having a cold, but I just couldn't get the legs going. It almost felt like I was bonking from the start. Weird.

Anyway, after getting passed by folks I shouldn't have I figure I had better start developing some power.

Thanks!
 

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Too general of a question

Maybe if you tell us what you do it terms of training Hours, Intersity, as well as what class you race in we could give you some ideas. Power = Work/time. So to increase it ride faster.
Check out some books on training for Cyclists. Dave Morris's Performance Cycling, and Joe Friels The Cyclist Training Bible, are probably the 2 most commonly used training methods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, here is some more info. I have been riding for about 5 years, mostly recreationally here in the SW. I have done a several races over the last 3 years and am now in "Sport" class. I am not a threat to the podium, but generally am close, if not in, the top 10-12 riders out of a 25-30 person field. My training right now consists mostly of just riding around the local trails, and some road work (15-30 miles). I have recently started a gym workout, but it is not much to speak of at this point and is not intended for bulking up, but rather toning. I average 2-4 rides/week for about 2hrs/ride and 12-15 miles, depending on the schedule (more miles if on road bike, but same time). Here in the SW we have lots of loose sand and good size rocks, which makes climbing pretty challenging and technical. Physiche-wise I could stand to lose about 10-15 lbs, but my body-type is sort of "mini-clyde" at 170 lbs.

I guess my question is more about the type of terrain I should focus on. Would it be more beneficial to use the road bike or mtb and look for long climbs, more interval training, or something different altogether? As you can tell, I am pretty ignorant when it comes to training strategies. This is the first time I have seriously considered a true "training regimen" outside of just logging miles. If there are some specific questions that would help answer the question, let me know.

I will check out the books.
 

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More time on the bike

I think you just need more riding time and probably spend more time on the road bike building up endurance. If you can get on your road bike 4x a week and average at least two hours that would be a start. I think if your under 35 you should set a goal of trying to average 20mph over the 2 hours. It might take a while to get there. The other one or two days a week ride your mountain bike and try to get a couple of hills in. If you have some nice hills to hit on the road bike that would be great, you average speed would be less though than 20mph. Have fun:)
 

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i might be a little biased, but dont be too afraid of hitting some heavy weights. a good way to gain some serious power is to do squats and deadlifts. oldschool moves that are tried and true. just watch your form. my cardio is my weakness, but at the start noone can touch me, legs that can genreate 300 lbs per pedal in the right fasion are going to cause a 25 lb bike to go pretty quick, especially since most of us know where the race is won, you might want to get some more brute strength in your legs while you log the base miles and get that cardio up to maintain your start. be sure to ask a trainer how to do them before killing your back and knees.
 

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Lately I have had good results from very short intervals up hills which are very steep. These are 20 to 30 second climbs of maximum intensity/speed using the highest gears possible. I do 2 sets of 6 reps using as much resting time as I need between reps and sets. Then I do an easy mtb ride to stretch out. This isn't meant to tap into the lactate system at all. The rep ends about 15 seconds after the burn starts. It's just meant to increase power. Later I expect longer intervals.

OK. I'm not an expert but I'm getting better results quickly by doing this once a week.

Good luck.
 

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Get yourself a fixed wheel road bike, or maybe a SS mtn-bike. Ride the fixed everywhere, leg strength will soon follow.
 

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For power you can try any of these
  • simply ride in a tougher gear when you ride and/or charge hills faster
  • intervals
  • weight train (leg presses, lunges, squats, leg extensions, leg curls, calf raises)
No, I didnt mention road biking. Sure it'll be beneficial but who wants to wear lycra and expose themselves to crazy drivers and exhaust gases.
 
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