Pedaling efficiency is key to ensuring that you get the maximum power from each revolution. A smooth pedaling technique can also reduce the chance of injury to joints and muscles as well as putting less stress on your bike components.
The typical route we use will be a simple route around the woodford valley ( anticlockwise, as per the time trial route, but with a side trip up Mile hill). These exercises can be done almost anywhere though.
The training here isn’t a race, it’s about trying to perfect the technique, so slow things down first, and concentrate to get things right – a speed increase will soon follow 🙂
On the level – Single leg pedaling drills. Without shifting your backside on the seat, unclip one foot from the pedal and with the other leg, spend 30-60sec pedalling in a light gear. Concentrate to maintain a positive force on the pedal to keep the cranks turning in a smooth manner. The goal is to be able to pedal with the one leg for this period of time eliminating “chain slap” and keeping things smooth. Repeat three to five times for 30-60sec on each leg.
On slight downhills – High cadence, in an easy gear, gradually increase your cadence so that for the final 15 seconds you are spinning as fast as you possibly can without your backside bouncing on the seat. From Snakey back to the bridge is a good spot for this.
On slight uphill – Out of the seat pedalling. Efficiency can be increased for out of the seat efforts as well. Standing up gives us the ability to increase torque and power output by utilizing other muscles, although this does result in burning more energy. This can be improved simply through repetition. Whilst out of the seat, concentrate on achieving the perfect rhythm of rocking the bike away from the leg that is pushing down, using your opposing arm to pull up to the leg that is pushing down. Your bike short be rocking underneath you, whilst your body should remain fairly neutral.
On mile hill (or any other suitable medium grade, long hill) – Strength endurance. With your chain in the big ring, ride at your lactate threshold (Z4) with a cadence of 50-60rpm, concentrating on pulling up and over in the second half of each pedal stroke ( i.e. between 10 and 2 on a clock face). Make sure the whole stroke is smooth though.