When the weather is lousy or you just don’t have the time for a 2 hour ride you should break out your trainer and practice your pedaling technique.
Every road and triathlon cyclist should be doing these drills at a minimum. Actually you should be doing much more.
Before you start make sure you have your bike placed securely in your trainer. short video here
Using an indoor trainer is a unique opportunity to practice some drills that will improve your pedaling skills without the distractions of the road. Incorporate the following drills into your workout two or three times per week and you will see a tremendous improvement in your speed and comfort on the bike. Make sure you have warmed up for at least 20 minutes before beginning.
Single Leg Drills — Benefit: Develop Smooth and Fluid Pedal Stroke
Unclip one foot, brace it against the trainer. Try to pedal smooth circles with one leg. Maintain even pressure throughout the entire revolution. At first, try only a few revolutions. Your leg will fatigue quickly. Don’t be discouraged; this is normal even for very experienced riders. Do this a few times on each side.
High RPM Spin — Benefit: Widen Range of RPMs
Pedaling from your normal rpm, slowly increase your pedal speed until you are at least twenty percent higher than normal. Practice and maintain a smooth pedal stroke and steady body position (no bouncing). Work up to where you can maintain this smooth, high rpm pedal stroke for one minute at a time. Repeat for 5 sets.
Listen to the Trainer — Benefit: Awareness of Pedal Stroke
As you ride, the sound of the trainer should be an even hum. The variations in the hum identify parts of your pedal stroke that are not smooth and consistent. Use this auditory feedback to practice your single leg drills and high rpm spins.Victor Jimenez is a bicycle fitting specialist and the owner of Bicycle Lab.
Bicycle Lab specializes in one-on-one bicycle fitting and building high end custom road and triathlon bicycles.
Classes and clinics on cycling skills and techniques are also offered to individuals, teams and coaches.
Bicycle Lab is based in Carrboro, North Carolina. Go to www.bicyclelab.com and sign up for the cycling tips newsletter.