Cycling sprint training: Tips to improve your cycling power

Cycling sprint training
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Saying the rider who produces the most power wins is not always true when it comes to racing but it’s not too far from the truth. While there are many performance factors that go into winning a race, at the end of the day, you need the power to back it up.

The main issue with improving your power is that it, unfortunately, means putting in some more training (or more structured training). The following training methods or tips will assist in boosting your power output:

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Week 1
DayDuration (minutes)Training
Monday0Rest
Tuesday601 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Keep Cadence High. Include 3 x 2min of very high cadence (>110 rpm). Keep to a very easy gear and stay in high zone 2 / low z3 heart rate. Rest 5 minutes between intervals.
Wednesday45Gym Strength Session
Thursday601 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Any cadence
Friday45Easy active recovery. Have a good social ride. Maintain a good cadence throughout
Saturday120Warm up 30 min zone 2 and 3: Follow with 3 x 10 minutes of seated climbing on moderate gradient. Keep cadence low (50-60). Recovery of 10 minutes - zone 2 between climbs. Keep shoulders and hands relaxed during climbs and try to keep pelvis stable. Stand for 50 metres if you cannot sustain seated position. This session is about keeping your core stable and generating a round pedalling action. Focus on pulling up and pushing over the top of the pedal stroke.
Sunday1502.5 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Any cadence. Low intensity ride in zones 2 on undulating terrain.
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Week 2
DayDuration (minutes)Training
Monday0Rest
Tuesday601 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Any cadence
Wednesday45Gym Strength Session
Thursday60IMTG ride: 1 hours LSD - zone 2 ONLY - Fasted state: Do not eat breakfast. Drink only water. Keep to zone 2 only!
Friday60Easy active recovery. Have a good social ride. Maintain a good cadence throughout
Saturday150Warm up for 45 min in zone 2 and 3: Follow this with 8 x 4 minutes in a high gear and at a low cadence (Use a gear which you can only just turn over. Keep your cadence at 40-50 during the high gear efforts and at 90 during the rest periods. Rest 4 min in zone 2 between each high gear effort. Warm down 45 min - zone 2.
Sunday1803 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Low intensity ride in zone 2 on flat terrain. Keep the cadence > 90 RPM
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Week 3
DayDuration (minutes)Training
Monday0Rest
Tuesday601 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Keep Cadence High. Include 3 x 2min of very high cadence (>110 rpm). Keep to a very easy gear and stay in high zone 2 / low z3 heart rate. Rest 5 minutes between intervals.
Wednesday45Gym Strength Session
Thursday601 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Any cadence
Friday60Easy active recovery. Have a good social ride. Maintain a good cadence throughout
Saturday180Warm up 60 min zone 2 and 3: Follow with 3 x 10 minutes of seated climbing on moderate gradient. Keep cadence low (50-60). Recovery of 10 minutes - zone 2 between climbs. Keep shoulders and hands relaxed during climbs and try to keep pelvis stable. Stand for 50 metres if you cannot sustain seated position. This session is about keeping your core stable and generating a round pedalling action. Focus on pulling up and pushing over the top of the pedal stroke.
Sunday1803 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Low intensity ride in zone 2 on flat terrain. Keep the cadence > 90 RPM
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Week 4
DayDuration (minutes)Training
Monday0Rest
Tuesday0Rest
Wednesday60Easy active recovery. Have a good social ride. Maintain a good cadence throughout
Thursday601 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Any cadence
Friday0Rest
Saturday1202 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Any cadence
Sunday1202 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Any cadence
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Week 5
DayDuration (minutes)Training
Monday0Rest
Tuesday601 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Any cadence
Wednesday70Warm up 15 min zone 2 and 3: Follow with 3 x 8 min (40:20) intervals (40 seconds maximal sprints with 20 seconds recovery between each sprint). Recover 8 min zone 2 between intervals. Cool down 15 min Zone 2 afterwards
Thursday45Gym Strength Session
Friday60Easy active recovery. Have a good social ride. Maintain a good cadence throughout
Saturday135Warm up 45 min zone 2 and 3: Follow with 40:20 intervals. do 6 x 40 seconds maximal sprints with 20 seconds recovery between each sprint. Rest 15 minutes in zone 2 and then do another set of 6 sprints. Make sure that you do the sprints with the same average power for each sprint instead of going all out and then fading. Warm down 45 min zone 2 only at high cadence (90-115).
Sunday2103.5 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Low intensity ride in zone 2 on flat terrain. Keep the cadence > 90 RPM
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Week 6
DayDuration (minutes)Training
Monday0Rest
Tuesday60 1 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Any cadence
Wednesday80 Warm up 15 min zone 2 and 3: Followed by Intervals of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 minutes in duration. Rest the duration of the previous interval. Warm down 15 minutes zone 2. Power output should be 85% of PPO for each interval.
Thursday45 Gym Strength Session
Friday60Easy active recovery. Have a good social ride. Maintain a good cadence throughout
Saturday150 Warm up 45 min zone 2 and 3: Followed by 8 x 4 minutes zone 5 (or above 80% Peak P.O) with 4 minutes rest between repeats. Warm down 45 minutes zone 2.
Sunday180 3 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Low intensity ride in zone 2 on flat terrain. Keep the cadence > 90 RPM
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Week 7
DayDuration (minutes)Training
Monday0Rest
Tuesday60 1 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Any cadence
Wednesday90 10 x 30sec sprints. Warm up 20 min zone 2 and 3: Follow with 10 x 30 second maximal sprints (Start from slow speed on 8-11% gradient. Accelerate as hard as you can and keep dropping through the gears to maintain high resistance). Rest 5 min between each sprint (You can stand still and gasp for the first 2 min). Warm down 15 min zone 2 only at high cadence (90-115).
Thursday45 Gym Strength Session
Friday60 Easy active recovery. Have a good social ride. Maintain a good cadence throughout
Saturday180 Warm up 60 min zone 2 and 3: Followed by 8 x 4 minutes zone 5 (or above 80% Peak P.O) with 4 minutes rest between repeats. Warm down 60 minutes zone 2.
Sunday150 2.5 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Low intensity ride in zone 2 on flat terrain. Keep the cadence > 90 RPM
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Week 8
DayDuration (minutes)Training
Monday0Rest
Tuesday0Rest
Wednesday60Easy active recovery. Have a good social ride. Maintain a good cadence throughout
Thursday60 1 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Any cadence
Friday0Rest
Saturday120 2 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Any cadence
Sunday120 2 Hour LSD - zone 2 - Any cadence

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