I guess all of you have tried this kind of activity on your bike. We are talking about biking at intensities that can only be maintained for a very few minutes or maybe just seconds.
These jumps require anaerobic power, which can be trained separately in your training program. Several tests are made to measure maximum oxygen uptake in the lab, but unfortunately, there are no similar possibilities to measure anaerobic power.
Thus, we have to develop indirect methods to evaluate anaerobic power. Testing with a power meter will be the best evaluation of anaerobic capacity for most riders. Find your average power output in a 60sec. all-out test.
Lactate is not responsible for fatigue
One of the biggest myths about anaerobic power is that lactate is responsible for fatigue.
Lactate is just a piece of sliced sugar, and a couple of studies have shown that lactate itself does not produce fatigue. One of the studies I will present in the future claims that lactate protects the muscles from fatigue. There are probably many reasons why we determine exercise at severe intensity.
Road cyclists don´t train enough anaerobic power
Road cycling is an aerobic discipline, with more than 98% of the work covered by aerobic metabolism. Thus, most cyclists don’t offer much attention to the training of anaerobic processes. Instead, they train for aerobic power and focus on lifting their anaerobic threshold. Having a high VO2 max and a high anaerobic threshold are the two most important physiological factors with an impact on your performance.
Nevertheless, many races have breaking points where anaerobic power is essential. If you don’t have enough anaerobic power, you will not drop the riders behind you. You need anaerobic power that gives you extra punch in your attacks.
Strong riders don’t win if they lack anaerobic power
If you feel comfortable during the race, just waiting for the moment to attack, then unsuccessful attacks might be caused by insufficient anaerobic power/sprint. What happens is that the whole bunch reacts when you start to jump and catch you quickly because there is not enough punch in your jump.
Also, the other riders may be extraordinarily aware of your attacks since you have shown that it’s not a problem for you to stay in the group.
So how can we solve this problem?
Focused anaerobic training with a power meter! Anaerobic exercise has never been easier than now. Power meters make it much easier to produce the correct workload during the intervals (pacing control during a 40second interval is difficult without a power meter).
If you have been riding on the track, you will know how much influence pacing control has on performance. I guess that we all have tried to start too fast on time trials on the roads, but it hurts so much more when it happens in short events like a 1000m or just in a short interval.
If you cannot maintain watts at the end of an interval, I’m sure that a power meter will help your pacing, and after a couple of months, you will see that your training is more effective and gives better results.
Anaerobic endurance program
I have made a specific anaerobic cycling workout that athletes could use to develop a higher level of anaerobic endurance. This program is a part of the indoor training programs.
15 minutes – warm-up (increasing intensity)
5 x (60sec. maximum power + 6 min. recovery)
This program is designed to increase your anaerobic capacity. During the intervals, the body is exposed to enormous amounts of anaerobic metabolites. After only a few of these sessions, your body will be better to work in an anaerobic environment.
This skill is primarily used in competitions, where jumps and sprints demand anaerobic efforts. However, this training art is exhausting, and road cyclists should mainly use it for competition preparation.