Author Topic: Improving power  (Read 1909 times)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Improving power
« on: March 05, 2018, 08:44:05 pm »

Based on the observation that the slightest incline or headwind reduces me to substantially lower forward speed. The obvious solution is to improve my power to weight ratio, and whilst I'm working on reducing the kummerspek I'm lugging around, it would be great if I could improve my power. I don't yet have a power meter, so I'm not sure what my current power output is. Which means that anything I do is going to be in a somewhat abstract sense. But with that in mind, Can anyone recommend things I can do outside on the bike, or indoors with non-bike based exercises, to help improve my power output?

Thanks

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Improving power
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2018, 09:55:49 pm »
One thing you could do, as I have, is find a circuit of say 5 miles in length, and time yourself round it. The faster you go round the more power you are producing. This is of course totally unscientific as there are a lot of other variables at play. But if you do it often enough you will start to see a trend. You could do the same with a hill climb.

Re: Improving power
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2018, 03:32:44 pm »
A better power-to-weight ratio won't really help you in a headwind (if achieved through weight-loss), but will on climbs. More power is always good.

In very general terms the way to raise power is to make sure you cycle enough to have a good base level of fitness, and then frequently do some things which are uncomfortable either because they're intense (flogging yourself up a short hill, maybe many times) or sustained (riding at a hard pace for longer than is pleasant - in 20 minute blocks, say). If you have a good mix of these things done often enough, your power will rise. Although not quite as useful as a power meter, a heart rate monitor can be useful in helping to measure effort.

A classic way to increase speed (power) is to go out riding with a group that's just a bit faster than you ...

LMT

Re: Improving power
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2018, 05:02:55 pm »
Find a hill and do some hill repeats. Keep the cadence high <95rpm, breathing should be laboured but not to the point where you are wrecked. Repeat two or three times a week. There is some other things to can do but you really do need a PM or access to a Wattbike...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Improving power
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2018, 10:38:43 pm »
Find a hill and do some hill repeats. Keep the cadence high <95rpm, breathing should be laboured but not to the point where you are wrecked. Repeat two or three times a week. There is some other things to can do but you really do need a PM or access to a Wattbike...

That's going to be a fun challenge in Noord Holland... I can see myself spending a lot of time on the Kopje Van Bloemendaal...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Improving power
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2018, 10:37:47 am »
basic principles of training are that first it is necessary to have a good base which is developed by doing longer rides regularly, then improving power by doing shorter and higher intensity work. your body adapts best when you spend considerable amount of time in the "hurt zone". as it is not possible to do a single big block of high intensity work, it becomes possible when the block is split into several chunks/intervals. as others suggested, riding with stronger group, doing hill repeats and getting out of your comfort zone (i.e. just pedaling) more often will increase power as long as these efforts are done consistently.

jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
  • ACME S&M^2
Re: Improving power
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2018, 11:58:19 am »
Find a hill and do some hill repeats. Keep the cadence high <95rpm, breathing should be laboured but not to the point where you are wrecked. Repeat two or three times a week. There is some other things to can do but you really do need a PM or access to a Wattbike...

That's going to be a fun challenge in Noord Holland... I can see myself spending a lot of time on the Kopje Van Bloemendaal...

J

You've got plenty of hills, you just need to find a flat path in the right direction in to the wind!  :thumbsup: (Dutch Hills)
Regards,

Joergen

Re: Improving power
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2018, 12:06:26 pm »
Plenty of good advice, but my experience is that shedding some weight has the biggest impact on hillclimbing, I notice every kg lost which is great motivation to lose another...
I've never been good at on the bike training, I think I'm too easily distracted, or just enjoying the ride.  If I have a specific goal I do better using the gym, I probably get more from an hour spin or wattbike session than from a days riding, though it's a different sort of fun.  If I can fit in two a week, it's not many weeks before I notice the difference on the bike.

Re: Improving power
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2018, 08:45:57 pm »
2 things that worked for me in my preparations for LEL 2017 were half a dozen 200km Audax rides and my daily 30km commute, riding a bike that was huge fun and rewarding to ride in an energetic way (hard tail mtb with 2" slicks).  Despite maintaining a full fat diet the weight reducing effects of this combination were pretty dramatic to the point where I was beginning to get a little worried as my weight continued to drop regularly over the months preceding LEL.

I successfully competed LEL and retired the "fun bike" for a few months and continued my regular cycling on a more conventional mount and watched my weight rise steadily thereafter by about 1kg per month.  Have fun!



Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

dim

Re: Improving power
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2018, 10:15:28 am »
I choose one rear cog smaller than what I'm comfortable with, and try and maintain the same cadence .... so far, it's working, and I'm definately getting faster (and fitter). I don't have a powermeter though
“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.” - Aristotle