Improve your riding with InfoCrank’s power webinars

Improve your riding with InfoCrank’s power webinars

Want to know how to accelerate and attack or how to keep going for hours? Ever wondered how to structure your training so you get faster and find more enjoyment?

Over the coming months, we have a busy schedule of webinars aimed at helping riders to get the most out of their power meter and training.

The webinars are hosted by Verve Cycling CEO, Bryan Taylor – a true expert who has worked alongside the world’s best coaches and riders, including the GB Cycling Team and the UCI.

Demonstrating practical, easy-to-do steps and skills, the webinars aim to give you new-found knowledge that you can take away and slot into your everyday training routine.

To view the available times and register, please click the relevant links in the schedule below. Spaces on the webinars are limited. If you can’t make the session, please let us know as there is potential to add additional dates – just get in touch via improve@vervecycling.com.

Schedule

Thursday 22 April 2021: Five ways to go faster – the short game
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Thursday 29 April 2021: Five ways to go faster – the long game
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➡️ Find out more about this session

Thursday 13 May 2021: Five ways to improve your training
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Thursday 27 May 2021: Five ways to make 2021 your best riding year
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Thursday 10 June 2021: Five things all coaches should know
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Five ways to go faster – the short game

Five ways to go faster – the short game

Over the coming weeks, Verve Cycling CEO, Bryan Taylor, will share five simple concepts that you can slot into your everyday training routine to help you go faster.

The first webinar will cover three of them in what Bryan calls the ‘short game’. That is the training you do so that you can accelerate, attack and sustain a three to 10 minute effort. The next webinar will look at the endurance aspect.

Even since our childhood days of first riding a bike, we’ve always wanted to go as fast as we can. It’s a simple cycling joy.

We all love cycling, but we don’t all like training even if we secretly want to go faster.

Here at Verve Cycling, we are in the business of measurement which means that our bias is often towards numbers and measures. However, this does not mean that it is all about the numbers that you can see on your bike computer. I had to be reminded about this by one of my mentors years ago.

He said: “Bryan, it is not all about watts, the aim is to go faster.”

Now I know this man was the coach and team owner of two Tour de France multiple champions and world champions, but even so, his words confronted me.

Eventually, I realised that he was right. Yes, you can ride and just enjoy the scenery, and I love doing that. But if you are training, then in the end the only thing you want to do, is go faster.

So, how can you achieve this? Over the coming weeks, I’d like to share with you five simple concepts that you can slot into your everyday training routine. I think they will pay great dividends for you and make you faster.

The first webinar will cover three of them in what I call the ‘short game’. That is the training you do so that you can accelerate, attack and sustain a three to 10 minute effort. The next webinar will look at the endurance aspect.

You may have heard coaches describe some of these approaches in the past – what I will try and do is reduce some of the important, but technical language and try to speak in simple, clear, understandable terms.

If you want to go faster for very short periods, like an acceleration from a slow speed or standing start, it requires significant immediate effort. Most sub-elite riders do not practice this skill and tell us that they cannot sprint. We contend that is not true – they have just not practiced the correct routines. In the webinar, we will discuss the way to do it – simple but hard.

Five ways to go faster – the short game 1

Image: Michael Blann Photography

But if accelerations are simple but hard, then the attack and sustain is simple but harder still. Simple to understand and so hard to do that most sub-elite riders prefer to not practice it. But a little work here goes a really long way and once you get it under your skin, it is a bit addictive and enjoyable in itself. What I will tell you how to do will centre on 45 seconds to one minute efforts and we will see how that parlays out into performance even up to several minutes.

Those first two exercises involve technique and even more brute strength and powerful will. The next practice requirement is skill based – We will look at fast pedalling, both what it is and what I don’t think it is. We will also touch on super-fast pedalling

Integrate these things into your training programme and you will have plenty of time to enjoy the bike and the scenery even while your speed increases.

You can have your cake and eat it too!

The first webinar in this series, Five Ways to go Faster – the Short Game, will take place on Thursday 22 April 2021 with Verve Cycling CEO, Bryan Taylor. Click here to view the available sessions and register.

The second session in the series, Five Ways to go Faster – the Long Game, will take place on Thursday 29 April. Click here to view the available sessions and register. 

Five ways to go faster – the long game

Five ways to go faster – the long game

So, you still have a need for speed on your bike?

In the first part of this series looking at five ways to go faster, we looked at the ‘short game’ – something I cover in more depth in my most recent webinar

You have been working on aspects of your training and have now increased your speed on the take-off for the attack and the short hill climb and once you have attacked, you can sustain a high level of effort for several minutes.

Now we want to focus on the long game – how can you do all that we talked about but keep going for hours? It’s a golden question, but there is no solution to this that does not involve time.

Some people, particularly in these interesting and challenging times, have become very fast at short distance indoor events, but are going to be found somewhat wanting when they get back out on the roads again.

There are two problems about building up speed without building up endurance.

The first is maybe not intuitive. If you have a health or injury problem and you do not carry endurance fitness into it, you basically have to start again. You could have multiple setbacks when endurance fit and return back to your top very quickly even several times in a season, but not if you only have ‘speed fitness’.

The second problem is that the world is filled with riders who can ride fast for a short distance, but not make the distance of the event – for most of those you need endurance fitness.

Five ways to go faster – the long game 2

What we will cover in part two of the Five Ways to go Faster webinar are some examples of how to do endurance training and riding, how to handle multi-day events, and also how back-to-back days of long riding make you stronger. The incredible irony of true endurance training is that when you do it slow, you actually get faster. We will explore that.

The last of our five tips will be focused on rest, which I will combine with testing. But in simple terms, proper rest is the pump that primes your improvement. Remember, most sub-elite riders do not improve. This session explains the two main reasons why that is a fact.

To join the Five Ways to go Faster – the Long Game webinar with Verve Cycling CEO, Bryan Taylor, on Thursday 29th April 2021, click here to view the available sessions and register.

The first webinar in this series – Five Ways to go Faster – the Short Game – will take place on Thursday 22nd April 2021. Click here to view the available sessions and sign-up. 

How to set power training zones

How to set power training zones

Cycling power meters, something once the preserve of well-funded professional teams and national elite level coaching programmes, have now been made accessible to cyclists of all abilities, budgets and disciplines.

Whether you’re a relatively new convert to cycling, already a battle-hardened veteran or someone returning to the sport after some years of a lay-off, structured training with power is one of the most effective ways to take your performance to the next level. Here’s our guidance on getting started with a power meter and setting your power training zones.

Training with a power meter allows you to isolate the key factor underpinning performance in a way that training with just speed or heart rate data simply does not. Speed and heart rate can and will be influenced by many extraneous factors such as hydration levels, nutrition, wind speed and direction and body position, whereas the power you produce through your legs will always remain an excellent indicator of performance on any given day.

How to set power training zones 3

In order to productively begin training with power first you must perform a Functional Threshold Power or FTP Test. Watts is the measure of rider output and therefore power, the increase of which is the objective of any structured training programme. In a nutshell the test aims to capture the maximum number of Watts you can generate on the bike over the course of an hour. Periodically running the FTP Test will tell you whether you are improving (increasing your power) or regressing (witnessing a decrease in your power output).

In order to use your FTP Threshold productively, training should be structured around certain ‘Zones’ or percentages of this figure. These are called power training zones and can be roughly broken down in the following way:

Zone 1: Active Recovery – 55% of FTP figure (Easy effort).

Zone 2: Endurance – 56% to 75% of FTP figure (Easily sustainable for several hours, excellent for building general endurance).

Zone 3: Temp – 76% to 90% of FTP figure (Ride interval times to be between 20 minutes and 3 hours, a more focussed effort).

Zone 4: Lactate Threshold – 91% to 105% of FTP Figure (More serious effort, ride interval times to be between 15 minutes and 30 minutes).

Zone 5: VO2 Max – 106% to 120% of FTP figure (Hard effort with intervals to last no more than 2 minutes to 8 minutes).

Zone 6: Anaerobic capacity – 121% and above of FTP figure (Almost maximal effort with intervals to last no longer than 30 seconds to 3 minutes).

It should be clear however that in order to use this approach most effectively, both your FTP figure and any subsequent power data must be accurate, which is to say both true and precise.

There is only one power meter out there that takes its claims of accuracy seriously, and that’s the InfoCrank. The proprietary technology within the InfoCrank makes it stand out as head and shoulders above the rest – independently proven to be the most accurate power meter in the world. The go-to choice for most of the successful national cycling federations, globally the InfoCrank is capable of providing data of a quality all other power meters simply cannot.

There is no doubt that with a thoughtful and consistent approach to training with power any cyclist could steadily increase their individual performance. And there is little doubt that as performances improve, the accuracy of the data will become decisive in who crosses the finishing line first.

Boris Clark: Week in Numbers

Boris Clark: Week in Numbers

Boris Clark rides for Veris Racing in Perth, Australia. He’s been reflecting on one of his stand-out blocks of training from this year – a week in April during lockdown. Boris also shares some of his key stats from the week, with impressive numbers to show for his hard work.

Week in Numbers

  • Total hours on the bike: 24 hours 37 minutes
  • Total kilometres: 700 kilometres
  • Max power output: 671 watts (no sprints that week!). Best effort – 453 watts (6.5w/kg) for 9 minutes 51 seconds
  • Total metres ascended: 11,557 metres (including virtual metres!)

 “This was a week I did during our lockdown in New Zealand. We were able to train outside, but had to keep close to home, so a lot of this was done with many laps of the same roads! I ride for the Veris Racing team in Australia and was preparing for what at the time was looking like it would be a delayed national road series. The main aims were longer efforts and building load with these, but the week also includes a virtual everesting and a Strava King of the Mountain (KOM).

“Things kicked off on Monday with a virtual everesting I had arranged with a mate. I ended up a little bit ahead of him and kept riding to support him to finish, so I ended up with 10 hours 5 minutes on the trainer, 226 virtual kilometres, 9302 metres of virtual climbing, average power of 203 watts (3w/kg), and 7590kJ of work completed!

“After that, I had two days of super easy rides before getting stuck into training again. The next ‘proper’ session was on the Thursday and was 2 hours 45 minutes with 4×10 minute efforts separated by 8 minute recovery. I was still pretty tired from the everesting so my heart rate was down and perceived exertion up. I did the efforts at 395 watts, 385 watts, 391 watts, and 391 watts respectively, with the second and fourth efforts being done at low cadence (65rpm approx).

“The next day I backed this up with a four hour ride with 2×45 minute efforts at 302 watts and 304 watts, before finishing with a 1 hour effort at 304 watts. I averaged 265 watts for the four hours and average heart rate for the ride was 145bpm.

Mt cootha - landscape
Perth crit - landscape
wet tropics landscape

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“I then did a two hour easy ride on the Saturday, and Sunday I went to get the Strava KOM back on the local climb. The climb is 4.24km long at 5.6% average. To get the KOM back, the effort was 9 minutes 51 seconds at 453 watts (6.5w/kg), which was and remains a PB over the 10 minute (approx) time-frame. I then rode endurance pace for the rest of the ride, averaging 210 watts for a total of 4 hours.

“I feel very privileged to have the InfoCrank as my power meter. I’ve used others in the past, and none were as easy to set-up or maintain as the InfoCrank is. I’ve also had days in the past where I’ve felt good yet my numbers are poor, which makes it hard to know if it’s actually your legs struggling or perhaps some drift in the power meter. Luckily with the InfoCrank I know that is not a possibility.

“We are provided with an InfoCrank as a member of the team, but I’ll likely buy a power meter personally for my Time Trial bike soon, and I really wouldn’t consider any other option after my experience with InfoCrank compared to the other power meters I’ve used.”

Lucie Fityus: Week in Numbers

Lucie Fityus: Week in Numbers

Lucie Fityus rides for Veris Racing in Perth, Australia and has been using the InfoCrank power meter to support her training and racing for the past six months. Lucie took some time out to reflect on her stats from a key training block last month.

  • Training block: 14 – 20 September 2020
  • Total hours on the bike: 14.5 hours
  • Total distance covered: 308 kilometres
  • Total metres ascended: 2,635 metres
  • Maximum power output: 849 watts

“I’ve been powered by InfoCrank for around six months now. I have had the road cranks since March and last week I put a power crank on my track bike too. I have absolutely loved using the InfoCrank as they provide such accurate and reliable results every week and have been instrumental in tracking my training progression. They also help me to connect to my coach Brad, who uses the numbers to gauge how to set my training program. 

“In this particular week of training last month, I had shorter duration rides with intensity thrown in. This is to condition my legs for shorter track races that don’t require huge amounts of base kilometres, but need generous power output.

“On Monday, I did my usual weekly sub-maximal fitness test so that my coach can gauge my fatigue and current form. Then on Tuesday I completed ten one minute intervals with two minutes of rest inbetween – achieving a third highest one minute power personal best of 433 watts).

Lucie Fityus: Week in Numbers 4

“Wednesday was some low intensity volume and Thursday was a track session I attend weekly in Sydney. On Friday, I decided to spice things up a little by going on a short mountain bike ride close to home. Saturday was another shorter day of intensity on which I had to complete eight 30 second intervals with three minutes of rest in between.

“The next day I had two hours of training with six four-minute Fartlek efforts to complete. I find these the hardest as they don’t allow much rest during the intervals and usually require going up a hill! I do love these weeks though as the shorter more intense training suits me as a road sprinter.

“My power output on the intervals has just been better and better, and I really love that with my InfoCrank, I don’t have to calibrate them before every ride and they’ll still maintain high accuracy! 

“I’ve just got say a huge thank you to Verve and InfoCrank for the amazing support for Veris Racing and its athletes. I always recommend these amazing cranks to my fellow riders, many of whom have gotten them too!”

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