I guess I felt rowdy this morning. I upped the pace to D.Miguel who rides at a 1.8 W per kilogram pace. I forgot that little bit at the beginning and wondered why I was working so hard just to try and keep up, but that explains it. There were 100 other riders with me today.
One really nice aspect of indoor riding is being able to focus on your form. Since you aren’t having to pay attention to steering and breaking and all the other things that come with riding outside, you can stay focused on your pedal stroke a lot more.
While it may seem like an obvious thing, you just push the pedals. A pedal stroke is pretty complicated. You have the downstroke then you have the stroke to return the foot back to the top. So there’s a constant flow, and what you’re trying to do is have a smooth pedal stroke all the way around.
There are two drills for improving your pedal stroke. You have one-legged peddling, which is exactly what it sounds like. And you have the fast spin, which is also exactly what it sounds like.
For the one-legged peddling, you unclip your pedal (This can only really be done with clipped-in pedals). Then you try and have a smooth pedal stroke with one leg all the way around. At a slow RPM, this isn’t too bad, but once things speed up, it can become very difficult. The goal is to not have any knocking occur. Knocking is when your pedal stroke loses the smoothness and the freewheel gets a little bit ahead of you. When that happens, and you really gain momentum or pressure on the pedal, it causes a knocking noise as the chain and the freewheel reengage. You only need to do three or four 1-minute-long practice sessions per leg to get the benefits of this exercise.
The fast spinner exercise is where you try and spin your pedals with both legs as fast as possible. The trick to this exercise is to prevent your body from bouncing on your saddle while you’re spinning the pedals. The faster you can spin while keeping your body controlled, the better as it means you’ll be able to transfer more power into the pedals. Again, doing three or four sessions of this will give you benefits.
All that said, I didn’t do any pedal drills today. I just paddled for an hour and sweated. Talk to you tomorrow.