The Cannondale t800 is an example of a good choice of equipment if your aim is to increase your cycling performance. As with many pursuits, cycling fast and efficiently can sometimes depend greatly on your choice of equipment.
If one of your goals is to become a well-conditioned cycler, one of the most important steps you need to take is to improve the ability of your body to utilize its own energy sources. In order for you to feel that your efforts on your bicycle means that your body has to learn how to respond to changes in its level of lactic acid. When you are putting your body under pressure while cycling, such as when you are climbing a hill, this is when lactic acid builds up in your muscles. It is the body’s efficiency at removing as much lactic acid from the muscles as possible that dictates the endurance of the cyclist.
Here are some tips in order to increase your cycling performance;
Ride as hard and as far as you can to raise your VO2 max
The best way in which to raise your VO2 max is through high-intensity endurance work. It is considered that your anaerobic threshold is one of the best indications of endurance performance, and you should ride just under your anaerobic threshold for as long as you can. Most cyclists start by attempting to hold the intensity for between 10-30 minutes, and then increase the time as endurance improves. Increasing your aerobic maximum is no simple task, and it must be said that it is largely determined by genetics.
Stimulate your anaerobic threshold through interval training
The anaerobic threshold of a cyclist can be increased through interval training, which enhances the utilization of lactic acid. To get the most out of interval training, the cyclist’s heart rate is used as a guide. The cyclist rides at 80-90% of their maximum effort for 20 seconds, then follows this with a lower intensity recovery period of 1-2 minutes. The aim of this training is to attempt to improve the numbers, and the number of intervals achieved increases as there is an improvement in the cyclist’s fitness.
Use hills for training
If you use mountains or hills for training, you give your body the opportunity to tolerate increased amounts of lactic acid. This has the effect of allowing you to continue training above your anaerobic threshold for increasingly longer periods, which is of major importance for sprinting and climbing.
By participating in long workouts of 20-60 minutes at anaerobic threshold intensity, and foregoing recover periods, you will increase your lactate tolerance.
Using weight training
A great way to increase the size of your quadriceps and other muscle groups is to hit the weight room and embark on hard sprints and weight training. Of course, the quadriceps are the powerhouse muscles needed to move your bicycle.
For sprinters, this power is key and weight training should include lifting to involve the major muscle groups. For endurance riders, there is no need for the additional bulk that weight training causes, so the weight room should be the focus of those looking to improve endurance.
The number one key to increasing your cycling performance is to participate in activities that train your body to get rid of lactic acid as efficiently as it can. Hill climbs, hard riding, intervals and weight training will all contribute to increasing the performance of your body’s energy systems.