While aerobic capacity is a critical foundation in an endurance sport like cycling, the ability to generate bursts of power is often the secret sauce that determines victory or success. Is there a difference between training for power on versus off the bike? Solo power from Annemiek Van Vleuten at the 2022 Worlds A Powerful Argument
First, let’s define what we mean by power. We are focusing on the physics or neuromuscular definition, which is the ability to perform a lot of work in a short period of time. In physics, Power = Work / Time.
Think of an American football offensive lineman coming up from the line of scrimmage to block an onrushing defensive lineman. Pure strength or work performed by itself isn’t the critical determinant of success, so being able to lift a massive weight very slowly isn’t going to help. Rather, success comes in the ability to generate a huge amount of force very quickly to push back against the defender for a very brief period of several seconds.
In cycling, the power number in Watts that we see on our display is the same equation. Namely, 1 Watt = 1 Joule / Second. So 500 W means that we’re performing 500 Joules of work in 1 Second.
So How Do We Increase Power?
Increasing neuromuscular power on the bike brings about a host of benefits. It can help us surge up a series of short rolling hills. It can make those stinging attacks that create a gap […]