Agility, a basic quality of cycling
All races require a combination of these cycling ingredients (also referred to as skill sets or abilities) to increase performance. As these are all very different abilities they should be trained separately for maximum overall gains.
Train all components
- Speed; turning over the pedals as quickly as possible
- Strength; pushing the pedals against a very high resistance inhibiting lactic acid build up
- Power; the combination of speed + strength - the ability to apply the greatest amount of maximal force in the shortest time
With the above skill sets we develop Speed and Muscle Endurance. This is the ability to sustain a high cadence (speed) for an extended amount of time with increased power, using the least amount of energy. This, for any cyclist is the ultimate goal of becoming a stronger, faster cyclist achieving the goals we set ourselves but in a surprisingly shorter space of time.
So instead of thinking that agility is only for professional athletes to be quick on their feet, cyclists need to think of agility or speed training as a very important skill set which requires specific focus and structure to benefit from this kind of training which can bring you closer to you goal in a shorter period of time.
8 benefits of agility training
- Build fatigue resistance and endurance, so you can push-on, even when you’re tired
- Increases your capacity to build speed, strength, power and muscle endurance
- Improved mind-body connection using less energy to push out the same amount of power
- Assist injury prevention by making the ligaments and tendons supple
- Improved balance and co-ordination = efficient energy consumption
- Improved recovery time due to the efficient metabolic (cardio) intervals
- Increased results in minimal time – training effective workouts
- Build strength in the musculoskeletal system which shortens recovery time
If you really want to maximise your training and reach your goal of getting faster, then including high intensity speed work into your training is a must.