Skill de­vel­op­ment/ped­alling econ­omy

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - T1 -

There are a num­ber of ped­alling drills that can help you de­velop an eco­nom­i­cal pedal stroke. Elim­i­nat­ing dead spots around the pedal stroke al­lows ath­letes to use the force ap­plied to the ped­als more ef­fec­tively.

A pedal stroke in­volves: 1. Push­ing down on the ped­als (the front of the pedal stroke). 2. Pulling up (the back of the cir­cle). 3. “Scrape mud off the shoe” pulling back with the calf (the bot­tom of the cir­cle). 4. Up and kick a door (over the top). 5. Push­ing down while pulling up (think­ing about two sides at once).

Ped­alling one leg at a time ex­poses im­bal­ances and trains the hip flex­ors, so one-legged ped­alling ef­forts are very help­ful. Do­ing ped­alling drills in a big­ger gear (un­der a higher load) is eas­ier, so it is a good place to start, as it al­lows more feel around the pedal stroke. It takes a while to fig­ure out where you’re ap­ply­ing force, so slower, low ca­dence drills to start are more ef­fec­tive. Once you’ve mas­tered the drills you can start work­ing in an eas­ier gear at a higher ca­dence.

Ca­dence drills are an­other speed skill. Given that power is the func­tion of force and speed, higher ca­dences at a given amount of force re­sult in higher power. Ca­dence train­ing is crit­i­cal for ath­letes who com­pete in dis­ci­plines that re­quire high power ef­forts like draft le­gal and cross triathlon. But ca­dence drills are ben­e­fi­cial for other triath­letes, too, as they im­prove ped­alling econ­omy.

Per­form­ing all your skill de­vel­op­ment work on rollers, rather than a trainer, is more ef­fec­tive, too. Bal­anc­ing the up­per body on the bike while per­form­ing the drills re­quires the sta­bi­liz­ing mus­cles to fire. This co-or­di­na­tion helps in­grain the tech­nique. You can also see any in­ef­fi­cien­cies in your up­per body when rid­ing on rollers, whether it is rock­ing from side to side or bounc­ing up and down. A quiet up­per body is im­por­tant to ped­alling econ­omy.

RIGHT Step up ex­er­cise LEFT Split squat ex­er­cise

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