The thing with indoor cycling is, when it's done properly it works.
And when you measure useful stuff you can see exactly how much improvement you're making - and this is what Jon found when he improved his FTP by a rather tidy 15% in just a few weeks.
"I wanted to give some feedback on the couple of months I spent training at Foxies whilst based in the West Country. I was based in Portishead in April and May so decided to sign up to a number of your sessions to keep my training on track. Suffice to say the sessions were excellent. I was challenged during every one and it was a struggle to say the least! However, I was also massively motivated and encouraged to work hard during each session. The net result was a significant, circa 15%, improvement in FTP during the period which I have been able to take forward into my summer rides and reap the benefits. For example, I set myself a target of breaking 8 minutes on Box Hill in Surrey. I not only broke it, I smashed it (7:17)! Not bad for a 56 year old who previously took around 9 minutes to drag myself up the hill. I don’t believe I would’ve done this without the sessions at your studio.
So, please pass on my thanks to all the instructors and I look forward to dropping in for a session when I’m back in Portishead.
Hard work pays."
And there you have it. It works. You can measure it. If you want to improve your functional threshold power (this is a great metric for everyone not just cyclists - it shows that you're getting fitter, stronger, and improving body composition by increasing muscle and decreasing fat) - we have great sessions for you.
"Celebrating the legacy for cycling created by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 starts at 06:00 in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, then follows a 100-mile route on closed roads through the capital and into Surrey’s stunning countryside. With leg-testing climbs and a route made famous by the world’s best cyclists at the London 2012 Olympics, it’s a truly spectacular event for all involved. The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 finishes on The Mall in central London, shortly before 150 professional cyclists race in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on a similar route."
Then all you need to do is get prepared for the ride of your life... (But we can help you with that.)
Thinking about it?
by Angela Reed-Fox
If you're a cyclist anyway, you'll want to be able to achieve a higher power on the bike for competition and personal satisfaction as well as the fitness that comes with being able to ride at a higher level.
However, there are benefits to be had for focusing on power, even if you have no plans for leaving the studio and striking out on the road. Power is a great indicator of your increasing fitness, whereas heartrate isn't (heartrate is a good way of training and monitoring your workouts, it just isn't so good at showing your improving fitness). As you focus on power, you'll be challenging your muscles more - this will help to build and strengthen muscle and speed up your metabolism, helping you to burn more calories.
So how do you do it?
Warm-up and Recovery
Obviously before you make any changes to your workouts, make sure that you're warming up adequately in the first place and giving your body the recovery it needs. These two things will serve to reduce the chances of injury, enable your body to get the most out of the workout, and then afterwards, to adapt so that you get the results you're training for. These two points are very often missed.
This is a technique where you take two or three days to do very hard workouts, and then you take the same number of days as recovery. So for example two days for workouts, two days recovery. This works by initially challenging your cardiovascular and muscular systems at a higher level than normal, and then providing the opportunity in recovery for the body to repair,build and adapt. Always ensure that there is approrpiate recovery before tackling your next block of training days.
Challenge yourself when you have a timetrial or long challenge - maintain the same cadence (ideally 80-90rpm) and then every minute increase the resistance but keep to the same cadence. If you find cadence is dropping, reduce the resistance and try again.
Intervals are great for giving you hard, yet short challenges. Build your muscular strength by maintaining a cadence of around 80rpm, stay seated, and fire off some 20-40 second high power intervals.
Effective cadence is the key - there is no need to go above 110rpm, in fact between 90-110rpm, you'll find your sweet spot where you can maintain the greatest power. Work on intervals of around 3-5 minutes to improve neuromuscular coordination, which enables you to work at a higher level. You should be aiming at the top of your aerobic zone (around 87-90% of max heartrate) drifting higher towards the end of each interval.
Functional threshold power
Do a functional threshold power test. Armed with your results, go for 75%. Do 75% of your weekly training at 75% of your FTP. the rest of the time you'll either be working at 90%+ of your max heartrate and between 105-150% of your FTP, or recovering from these high intensity hits. This ways you'll be building cardiovascular and muscular endurance as well as strength.
At the end of longer challenges such as time trials, go for a power finish - when there are only 30-40 seconds left on the clock, add more power (even if you're already tired) and go for broke.
And there you have it - six lovely ideas for boosting your power - and your results - regardless of your fitness goals. Don't forget the warmup and recovery!
For the highest quality safe, effective and efficient cycling classes, join us. You deserve it.
by Angela Reed-Fox
It might be something you've never considered doing - but if you've had your cycling helmet for a couple of years already, or if at any point you have the misfortune to fall off your bike, you should check your helmet.
Impact can weaken the structure and integrity of your helmet, and impair its ability to protect you.
If in doubt, splash out on a new one - don't risk a head injury. If it's an old helmet, you're probably overdue for a change anyway.