Power ped­alling

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - T1 - WITH ME­LANIE MC­QUAID

The key to strong cycling is strength and ped­alling ef­fi­ciency. Both are crit­i­cal to im­prove your per­for­mance. Nowa­days many triath­letes are us­ing power to gauge their cycling per­for­mance, so be­ing able to im­prove your power num­bers has be­come a big goal. In cycling, power is max­i­mum force ap­plied quickly. Train­ing to gen­er­ate lots of power in­volves per­form­ing short, in­tense in­ter­vals. How­ever, with­out strength, less force is ap­plied to the ped­als no mat­ter how fast they are turned. So power can’t be de­vel­oped with­out im­prov­ing strength, too. Sim­i­larly, if you’re in­ef­fi­cient when you are ped­alling, force is lost. With­out both fun­da­men­tals (strength and econ­omy), power im­prove­ment is not pos­si­ble.

The dis­ci­plines of triathlon that truly de­mand large bursts of power are draft-le­gal rac­ing and cross triathlon. For non-draft­ing triathlon events the ob­jec­tive is to slow down the least. This is largely de­ter­mined by strength, as the power must be ap­plied in a con­trolled fash­ion rather than in ex­plo­sive bursts. All dis­ci­plines of triathlon re­quire skill de­vel­op­ment, as ped­alling econ­omy is key to ef­fi­cient power trans­fer. You can im­prove your ped­alling ef­fi­ciency through drills. Strength train­ing is ac­com­plished through strength work, hill re­peats and overgear ef­forts.

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