Circle of Victory
Improving those circles can transform a perfectly fit cyclist into a devastatingly faster cyclist
have to apply comes down. Creating more force increases the load on the muscles, while raising cadence increases the load on the cardiovascular system. You are therefore shifting load away from your muscular system and putting it onto your cardiovascular system. The longer and more often you leave this load on the cardiovascular system, the more you conserve the energy stores in your muscles. This glycogen in your muscles is limited, so you want to conserve this fuel for times when you have no choice but to use it. You want to hum along at high revs until you need to call on the glycogen to drop that pack demolishing attack or race winning sprint. The drill you employ here, to teach your nervous system and ready the muscles, is high cadence intervals. To accomplish this, use a light gear, which keeps your heart rate well within aerobic boundaries, and pedal at a cadence between 107 and 130. You should also concentrate on the form you learned in the single leg drills and only spin as fast as you can with this correct form and without bouncing in the saddle. Stay on the flats during these intervals or perform them on an indoor trainer or rollers. The intervals should be between 5 and 10 minutes with an equal amount of time of easy spinning in between. Remember correct form, no bouncing! Increase the length of the interval as your nervous system and musculature adapt to the higher operating speeds. A sample workout of these high cadence drills is listed below.
10 minutes warm up.
5 minutes high cadence interval, 5 minutes rest interval. Repeat twice.
7 minutes high cadence interval, 7 minutes rest interval. Repeat twice.
10 minutes high cadence interval.
10 minutes cool down.
Again, these drills are best done in the early periods of your training year. This will allow you to focus on learning and engraining this higher cadence at lower intensities of training. The resulting undivided attention to improving your cadence will lay the technique foundation necessary to apply high cadence at greater intensities later in the year.
These technique drills and the application of the learned abilities can help you make the most of your hard earned fitness. In the pursuit of athletic excellence you should leave no stone unturned. Analyzing and practicing your pedaling technique and cadence will add an extra dimension in your training, possibly turning the stone, which could lead to improved results. Perfecting those little circles could ultimately be your circle of victory.
Seiji Ishii is a Carmichael Training Systems (CTS) Cycling/Multisport Coach and USA Cycling Expert Level Coach. To learn more about Seiji and CTS, visit the web site at http://www.pepesearch.com/cgi-bin/adclick.cgi?manager=adcycle.com&gid=16&cid=59&mid=122&id=992.