Elite cyclists aren’t the only athletes that have great tips for getting faster. Here are five training tips from ordinary, successful athletes who used TrainerRoad to increase their FTP by a total of 333 watts.
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1. Add Progressive Structure to Your Training.
Jack Turnbull rode quite a bit. But most of that riding was unstructured miles from commuting and spinning at the gym. While he was gaining some fitness from this routine, Jack wanted to continue to maintain the momentum he was building. He signed up for TrainerRoad and added 30 watts to his FTP in just twelve weeks.
The difference was the structured nature of the training plans. Structured training begins with a plan and uses specific power-based workouts that use your current capabilities. But structured training is more than just repeating the same workout. The best plans progressively add more to your workouts while giving you the rest needed to recover and adapt.
2. Try a Low-Volume Plan.
Jon Kaslow, a beginner to cycling, increased his FTP by 80 watts by completing a low-volume training plan. Low-volume plans are designed for efficiency and only require about 3.5 to 4 hours each week, so they worked well with Jon’s schedule.
As a new cyclist, Jon’s body would be unlikely to respond well to big training loads. By keeping his volume low and taking his rest weeks seriously, Jon recovered and improved at an amazing rate. If you are starting and have a hectic schedule, give a low-volume plan a try.
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3. Fuel the Work.
Rob Belsom squeezed his training for bikepacking events into the early hours of the morning between work and family life. One of the keys to finishing the training plan and raising his FTP by 59 watts was properly fueling his workouts.
Fueling workouts can be challenging, especially early morning ones. But Rob would take a sports drink during the shorter workouts and eat gels during the longer ones. Not only did this help make the work feel easier, but it prepared him for eating on the bike during long events.
4. Find a Dedicated Time to Train.
Finding enough time for each area of life is a challenge for many cyclists. Brad Kundracik’s strategy was to find a dedicated time to train where other priorities can’t interfere. Using TrainerRoad, Brad added 100w to his FTP, lost 35 pounds, and almost doubled his watts/kg.
Brad’s philosophy is if something’s important, you make the time. Carving out an hour every day can be difficult, but indoor training is incredibly time-efficient. It also helps to keep your bike on the trainer and set everything up the night before. That way, all you have to worry about is training.
5. Keep Working Because Progress Isn’t Linear.
It’s normal to experience some ups and downs with your training. Will Stinger went from dead last in his first road race to the podium at the 2020 LoToJa. But along the way to a 64 watt FTP increase, Will faced a massive setback.
During the week of the 2018 LoToJa race, Will experienced a horrific crash on a cattle guard. Will’s recovery took quite a while because of the amount of blood loss, but the setback served as motivation for training. Keep working to your goal and stay consistent. The progress will come.
More Tips From Successful Athletes
- Improve Your Technical Skills with Sparky Moir Sears
- How Structured Training Can Improve Your Power to Weight Ratio
- Tips for Your First Mountain Bike Stage Race
Tell us your story. Success isn’t always a race win. It can be life-changing health improvements, reaching a personal goal, or more.
For more cycling training knowledge, listen to Ask a Cycling Coach — the only podcast dedicated to making you a faster cyclist. New episodes are released weekly.