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Training in Louisiana for a Cycling Event

Louisiana provides some of the widest array of road cycling challenges for the avid cyclist. From breathtaking spectacular views, or the quiet country roads in rural communities, there are numerous cycling routes filled with some of the most enjoyable rides found anywhere in America.

Building Cycling Power
One of the key indicators of being prepared for optimal cycling is the amount of power output, produced by the cyclist. With the ability to generate far more power than normal, any cyclist can dramatically increase their speed and improve their performance on the bike. Depending on the type of Louisiana bicycling event, the cyclist can enhance their sprint performance by knocking off a precious few seconds at the end of a triathlon biking event. Additionally, enhancing cycling power output can always provide the opportunity to keep up with others cycling or competing together.

Target Training
Power cyclists often confuse the difference between training for cycling power, and training for speed strength or muscular endurance. However, each one is unique.

  • Power Cycling – To tackle the greatest ups and downs of the hillsides throughout Louisiana, it is imperative that each cyclist prepares for maximum power. This means creating maximum output when pedaling for only a short spurt of time. Overall, the short spurt will only last just a few seconds. Generally,power cycling is exactly what is required to take control of a steep, short hill to overpower it.
  • Muscular Endurance – Creating muscular endurance provides a high level of output in power over a sustained amount of time. In cycling, this type of endurance works well for time trials such as those required in triathlons. However, for back-road events throughout Louisiana, cycling power is much more effective than muscular endurance.
  • Speed Strength – For the cyclist that requires high levels of increased speed over a long period of time, speed strength is everything. This provides the ability to generate long-term endurance at high speeds that may need to last for a quarter of a mile or more.

The Threshold
Many cyclists that participate in Louisiana road cycling contests require power-cycling performance along with muscular endurance and speed strength. However, at some point, every cyclist will maximize their threshold. This point is based on a lactate threshold, where the body simply cannot produce any more output without rest. To prepare fully for a Louisiana triathlon, or back road-cycling event, it is important that the cyclist perform two essential workouts. They include jumps and hill sprint workouts.

  • Jumps – Producing 15 blast revolutions of pedaling that create the most maximum results will help the cyclist enhance his or her explosive reaction. This power can overcome nearly any type of racing situation. This should be performed using a large gear to produce five sets of jumps, 15 pedals at a time.
  • Hill Sprints – Typically, Louisiana courses involve a 10% grade or lower, lasting approximately 30 seconds or less. It is imperative to build up this type of speed so that the cyclist is ready upon every approach. Effective hill sprints will help maximize pedaling force. A powerhouse of hill sprint workouts should include up to 10 repetitions, with at least a five-minute recovery time between every set.

Because of the cool, inviting year-round weather that Louisiana experiences, it is important to stay active and in shape throughout the year, to be ready for every biking event. By incorporating a great workout early on, and maintaining a proper diet between races, it is easy to maximize power output in every Louisiana cycling event, in the short term and long term.

Safety Considerations
While experienced cyclists usually have experience sharing the road with vehicles, newer cyclists can benefit from the safety of bike trails and paths.  For those cyclists who prefer biking on trails won’t find a more enjoyable day than biking along the Tammany Trace which winds throughout beautiful St. Tammany Parish.

The Tammany Trace is a 31 mile scenic trail built on a converted railroad line.  Cyclists can travel the entire length of the trace, which connects Slidell to Covington, and enjoy the many stops in between including several trailhead stops and many small towns.

Click here to browse a list of cycling trails across Louisiana’s coast

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