Have you ever gone ALL-OUT on a Strava segment thinking that you set the KOM by a long shot, only to cringe when you load up the app after your ride and see that you were substantially slower than the fastest time? What hurts, even more, is when that faster time was done with less power than you put out in your effort. Often these KOM's of fast times with relatively low power outputs are done by World Tour pro's who have mastered the skill of Power Control.
Sure, the top pro's CAN put out the big numbers when they really need to, but they refrain from what we call BLEEDING WATTS at all costs because those massive efforts are very costly when we look at energy exchange. Instead, the pros that have mastered power control look to gain the most speed using cadence, body position, and technique in exchange for the lowest amount of power possible. A true master of FORM Power Control will apply this fundamental to all situations in competitive scenarios, even when things are seriously hot, like going on the attack or covering nukes from other riders.
At CINCH we have our athletes practice the same power control the same way that they would need to use this technique in their races, or group rides.
Here is an example of how FORM Power Control can be an effective part of your workout.
FORM Power Control is a technique where you focus on how you deliver your power in your pedal stroke. There are so many variables in cycling that it is important to not only push the power but to be able to do key things in cycling with power.
Cycling is a sport that does not take kindly to one-dimensional ability. Terrain, weather conditions, and other riders reward those that have “Swiss army legs” handsomely.
If you look to the photo below you will see one of my CINCH workouts. In this workout, like all of mine, I combine targeting physical growth with teaching by simulating real-world cycling scenarios.
The scenario in this particular workout is a winning breakaway simulation.
In the photo, I detailed what was going on in the simulation and what components of FORM Power Control I was looking at.
An important to note to make is that this athlete had to make many cadence and body position changes during the workout while controlling the power. The result of that is more speed coming out of the power, but a greater challenge to produce a smooth power graph in some places.
In addition to performance analysis, I use FORM Power Control to show me what physiological areas they are performing well in, and which ones they may need extra attention in. As you can see from this photo, some zones are very controlled and others are more jagged. This is because we have not done much work in them yet and this athlete is not efficient in them yet. But it’s clear this rider is making excellent progress and handled the workout well.
In summary, by focusing on true developing master level power control you will be able to not only go faster with less power, but you'll be able to arrive at the finale of your competitive events in better condition, allowing you to do a better finish when it matters most.
If you're interested in learning more about CINCH coaching, click HERE