Home Chat General Chat

Power is King

Ok after the first tri at the weekend there a few things sprung to mind on where to improve.

The main area is the bike, I was drastically let down with my time and while I could go and buy a brand new really expensive bike, I don't think that this would solve my problem.

I was overtaken about three times by people who simply were better at pushing themselves and transferring power into the pedals better than I can.

I use my turbo twice a week and go out at the weekend on 20k+ cycle runs, I live in a hilly area and I always finish on this particular hill which is a 1 in 5 ratio (approx 350m long).

So how do I develop better power to the pedals????

I use Look Keo classic clipless pedals and I've upgrade my wheels to shimano tiagra with continental tyres. I did feel a lot faster with these on but just not good enough especially on the hills.

Do other people stand or sit when going uphill? I always feel the need on large slopes to stand up???

Any takers on this one?


  • MowfMowf Posts: 272
    I have exactly the same problem. I can offer no advice, just empathy for your frustration. And thanks for starting this thread, hopefull the Treefrogs of the forum will have some good stuff.
  • Do not stand up on hills, i read in MBR that you generate less power and work less efficiantly standing up on a bike.

    As for leg power, you could try working a few sprints into your training (not running sprints, although those might help your running). Im sure that muscle in a tri is bad though...hmm...what everyone else say?

  • are you heavy?

    i kill my friend on his carbon bike on the flats. really pisses him off and he is 2 stonelighter that me, but when we hit a few k of hills, hes gone baby.

    weight and hills dont mix.

  • jacjac Posts: 452
    Standing knackers you out - no two ways about it. Your heart rate goes through the roof, all your weight is going through your core and legs and your speed diminishes.

    To begin I found sitting a real drain (on the quads!), but it does get easier and I can maintain a much better speed than I would standing. For me cadence is crucial...I aim to keep it between 60-80. It might mean pushing a low gear but my legs thank me - and I can really motor once I reach the top.

    Other things I've noticed - if I attack the hill at the bottom I'm shattered at the top. If I keep it steady I can attack at the top (common sense I'm sure!)

    For raw power I guess you want to be doing some hill sprints.

    I'm sure there are guys here who have much more experience but so far that is what has helped me.

    I also did a fair bit in the weight room pre my bike training - squats, step-ups and leg press, which has helped my force-to-pedal.
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    Jac has some really good words of wisdom there.

    To put the power in you need to develop the muscle in your calfs and quads.

    Squats with weights and rowing squats will help. Step ups are good but mountain walking is great. Fet some weight in a ruck sack and walk up a mountain. (thats my favourite way of doing it)
  • ok im sorry i cant take it. Someone mentioned squats.


    Develop strength, power while maintaining full body movement.

  • MrSquishyMrSquishy Posts: 277
    I had some cycling analysis done recently where they hooked my bike up to a turbo & laptop and produced some colourful charts that showed what was happening during a revolution of the pedals.

    Turns out I wasn't generating enough power throughout the whole revolution and it was suggested I did single leg drills on the turbo to help with this - it feels odd, but I was told to pretend I was scraping dirt off the bottom of my shoe when my foot was at the bottom end of the revolution. Still have to consciously think of this in order to do it, but hopefully practice will make permanent.
  • MGMG Posts: 470
    I think single leg drills are partly a waste of time (you dont hop doing running training) It creates an unbalance and you tend to lean in to the push and pull and this is not natural.

    You're just not aerobically fit enough at the moment (both capacity and endurance), it will come with training, stick with it. Just keep getting the miles in.

    This shows up more on hills, everyone increases their power output on a climb and they have more in reserve than you.

    Technically, 'strength' means you ability to lift weights - any inability in that department isn't limiting you.

    Keep at it with the training dude.

  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    As Mr Cone says I acn bore on about what works & doesn't, even contradict myself in a single sentence if I try hard enough, but bsically chose your parents carefully..oh too late for that then? Ummm whilst gym stuff (yes even dumbbells with handles) will strengthen & possibly build you only get strong at what you do i.e squatting makes you very good at squatting, swinging kettelbells makes you v good at drone drone, all good, but very little carryover, so distance bike rides improve localised muscular endurance & strength to a degree...you get better at cycling longer distances, cycling up hills increases strength & strength endurance..you get better at going up hills...for longer, hill sprints.....do you see where I am going with this?
  • Jelly legsJelly legs Posts: 278
    Be honest and answer me a question.

    How many times during your Training or race did you put it in the big cog ?

  • BopomofoBopomofo Posts: 980
    Pick your favourite circuit of about 50km length. Have a decent dinner the night before, make sure the bike is clean and lubed, get up early, have a breakfast of muesli or - God help us - Horse food (otherwise known as 'porridge') then get on your bike. Stick it in the big chain ring, do about 20mins to warm up then pick up the pace. Go up all your usual hills but keep it in the big chain ring.

    I will be with you. When you feel the urge to stand up just imagine a big angry bald twat sat on your shoulder shouting "Sit down you f**king ponce!"

    Do this a few times a week.

    Nothing has helped me more in cycling than going out on 'big cog' runs. It forces me to put in the effort to keep my cadence up. I have also learned that standing up is a handy tool to help 'finish off' a hill or to boost cadence so you can sit back down again. People who stand up for an entire hill are people who get a 'DNF' later on that day 'cos their legs fold on the run.

    'Big Cog' runs also convinced me to ditch the compact and get some proper chain rings. Woo hoooo!

    *usual disclaimer: ignore me, because I'm not a coach, I'm slow and I'm crap*
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Jelly legs wrote:

    Be honest and answer me a question.

    How many times during your Training or race did you put it in the big cog ?

    I actually tried to get in on the big cog as much as possible but I can honestly say that going up hill it was on about the third smallish cog (8sp bike).

    I had tried to keep it on the big cog so that I was generating plenty of power, this was evident on the downhill when I blitzed passed the guy who overtook me..... on the uphill he nailed me easily.

    Bopomofo.... I think you have perhaps nailed it for me as I've not down any big cog training at all except for 30min here and there on the turbo..... Seems like a plan.

    You also were correct, I was standing up plenty and my legs were gone for the run but I was determined to finish.

Sign In or Register to comment.