Cycling is a great sport, because it can be practiced by the whole spectrum of the population, from young to old, men or women. It is also an activity that can be done once a month, to ride to the beach and have a cold beer but it can also be taken really seriously by having strict training plans with tough efforts every single day. For the serious athlete, it is imperative to have a structured plan with efforts at given power for set times. By doing precise intervals, he can track his progress over time, and he won’t just ride on “his feelings”.

“There are many ways to fall in love with cycling. My personal one, when I got my first mountain bike at the age of 13, was freedom. The doors it opened were immense, I could ride to the next village because maybe the ice cream was sweeter there, I could go to the mountains to slalom around the trees but probably most importantly, I could race my friends after school on the streets. It provided me with an opportunity to break away from my everyday life and have the freedom of discovering something new. Throughout the years, cycling has become my profession because I started racing more and more. I wanted to become better than I was yesterday and to do it I needed to get some structure. To be able to race with other excellent athletes around the world, “riding for fun” was not enough. I needed to find a coach who could guide me through the difficulties of training and give me a well-described training plan. By doing structured workouts I could control my efforts and see my progress over time. I completely changed the way I approach cycling and even though I train really methodologically, I still really enjoy it. I just would not be able to train without structure and metrics anymore.”



Let’s say you think you’ll pedal up the hill 5 times really hard. You can go out and do 3 sets and not be able to do the fourth, because you have given everything you had, since you had to go out and “ride hard”. Now you’ll feel bad for not doing the rest of the training, you will also feel pretty tired, since you have suffered too much. You didn’t know if you pushed stronger or weaker than last time, you just know that you have given everything you had. But did you get better than last month? Did those hours on the trainer or bike paid off? Was it worth ditching that juicy burger last night and opting for rice and chicken? Well, you have no clue, since you haven’t done any structure, haven’t recorded any metrics.

Now, let’s suppose, you’ve been told to go out and do 5 times 5 minutes at X Watts. This sounds pretty mathematical right? Yes, exactly! But this is how you’ll know what you are actually doing. Imagine driving your car in the city or motorway. In the city you go slow, on the motorway you go fast, but are you within the speed limits? Could you go a bit faster to get to your destination quicker? You don’t know until you take a look at your speedometer. We could use the same analogy in cycling. You will be able to control yourself with a power meter. It measures the actual force you exert on the pedals. Reading this value, called Watts, will show how hard you are pushing. You will be able to do exactly what your plan says, 5 times 5 minutes at the set power, you will not push too hard too early, neither will you just ease through by not suffering enough. By having a good plan which knows your capabilities and also your limits, you will do exercises that are just right for you. It is really important to control yourself throughout the training and throughout the duration of the plan in order to get the training load but also to not overload yourself and burn out completely.




Different power meters. There are many different methods, either through pedals, crankset, rear wheel hub or the chainrings.


Unfortunately, many of us, cyclists, live in cities far from the beautiful mountain roads. We also need to work throughout the day, and we might only get home when it’s dark. Fortunately, technology lets us solve these issues, by riding on an indoor bike or a trainer. In this day in age, you can easily download a suitable training plan for yourself and do your workouts when you get home from work on a rainy autumn day when the sun has already set. Even if you have a time crunched schedule, you can fit a 45 minute-high intensity workout into your day. Be advised, there are no traffic lights to stop to take a breath when you are suffering on an indoor trainer… 😊 You can be assured that each and every pedal stroke will be at a difficulty where your plan says it to be. The Zycle smart bikes and smart trainers set the resistance automatically derived from the plan, so your only focus is to push through the pain. Use your computer to control the trainer or just hop on one of the Virtual cycling simulators like BKOOL or Zwift to ride.




Pictures taken from: