Thursday, January 12, 2006

Circles

Technique. Going faster without expending any more energy. This has been an area of special focus this pre-season, and will continue to be so. I'm very happy with the progress so far, since my pedal stroke is smooth and even all the way around. As the Great-One always tells me -"technique should be with you, and on your mind, during every training session".

Despite these very wise words, I have had several sessions solely dedicated to working on my circles and it has paid off. The numbers don't lie and they have been kind to me so far this year.

Tomorrow is a rest day, before a fairly hard Saturday and Sunday. Lots of eating and sleeping, in other words.

4 Comments:

Blogger iain said...

What's your training technique for turning circles Mags? I have heard that one footed turbo training can be quite effective? Enjoy your day off.
Iain

09:19  
Blogger mags said...

Iain,

There are a few types of sessions that I've used with good results:

Pedalling with only one foot is a good way to neutralize dead-spots. This is, naturally, best done on a trainer.

Out on the road, you can still work on one leg at a time, by trying to only focus on the motion of one leg. When you get tired, just switch "leg of focus".

Riding fixed gear also helps the technique. Be sure to pick a course with some rolling hills.

And finally, I've concentrated on low gear, high cadence work. No bouncing or rocking, just high cadence and pedalling smooth circles.

This is in a nut-shell what I've been doing to improve technique. But maybe the most important thing is actually what goes on between my ears.

It can be so easy to just sort of drag yourself onto the bike and pedal away, like a zombie. This is counter-productive, especially if you want to improve technique. Instead, I have really put an effort into making sure every single minute of every session is high quality and concentrated. Working on technique takes more mental stamina then anything else. Make sure you concentrate on the task at hand and evaluate your performance as you go. That is maybe the key to success.

Mags

12:19  
Blogger Lever said...

I'm a mountain biker but I was thinking about your circular pedalling moves when I was biking through mud in Essex a couple of weeks ago. I still haven't made the leap to clip pedals even though I had toe straps on a race years ago, but even so I still focused on "circles, circles, circles" and yeah it was good :) I was tired anyway (I'm not as regular as I should be) and the circles helped conserve what little energy I had. Hmm... maybe a racing bike will do me some good...

Thanks for sharing, Mags :)

17:07  
Blogger mags said...

Lever,

Yes, the efficiency difference is enormous. With correct technique you are spending A LOT less energy at the same speed.

Mags

17:25  

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