Circle of Victory
Improving those circles can transform a perfectly fit cyclist into a devastatingly faster cyclist
the top section and pull your foot backwards as you clear the bottom section. During the recovery section of the stroke, you are simply trying to remove the weight of your leg off the pedal so that your other leg doesn?t expend energy to lift it up. As you clear this recovery section, pretend like you are throwing your knee over the handlebar and once again attempt to slide your foot forward inside you shoe. Start slowly at first and only increase your cadence if you can maintain correct form. Watch for your chain drooping during those top and bottom sections as this indicates areas where you are losing the correct force on the pedal. You can start with 30 second intervals per leg, and then pedal a minute with both legs concentrating on the form you employed with each single leg. Slowly increase your single leg cadence (using correct form!) as you pick up the proper motor pattern and gradually increase the length of the interval as your musculature adapts to this new pedaling style. A sample workout for single leg pedaling might look like this:
10 minutes warm up
30 seconds R leg, 30 seconds L leg, 1 minute both legs concentrating on correct form. Repeat twice.
30 seconds L leg, 30 seconds R leg, 1 minute both legs concentrating on correct form. Repeat twice.
5 minutes easy spinning.
45 seconds R leg, 45 seconds L leg, 1 minute both legs concentrating on form. Repeat twice.
45 seconds L leg, 45 seconds R leg, 1 minute both legs concentrating on form. Repeat twice.
5 minutes easy spinning.
1 minute R leg, 1 minute both legs, 1 minute L leg. Repeat twice.
10 minutes cool down.
You should attempt to get at least 7 minutes of intervals for each leg in a single workout. These workouts are best done in the early foundation or base building periods of the season when intensity is still low so you can learn the correct pattern and carry it over into the later parts of the season when you are applying more force and riding at higher intensities. It will be much easier to engrain the correct motor patterns when your attention is not competing with aerobic intensity and you can concentrate fully on the task of improving technique.
Another key to unlocking the power of your pedaling technique is cadence. Simply put, you should strive for a high cadence in all gears. This is the most obvious change in Armstrong?s pedaling style since his return to the pro ranks. His cadence is much higher than most of his competitors both on the flats and in the mountains. Why should you emulate the champion?s high revving style? Again, let?s do some breakdown here, a simple cyclist?s physics class. Power is the product of force and velocity. Applied to cycling, this would be pedaling force and cadence. A higher cadence increases the velocity (of your legs) so for a given power output the force you