Certified Spinning® Instructor & Personal Trainer
Katie has been a certified
Get ready to pick up the pace in your next class. Whether you want to improve your
4 Ways to Pedal Faster
Invest in Spin Shoes
Did you know that you can pedal faster and more efficiently by just picking the right shoes? Since cycling shoes attach directly to the pedals, it allows for greater contact with them and the ability to generate more power. In a recent study, cycling shoes have been proven to generate 10% more power while riding in the saddle. In addition, although a decent pair of cycling shoes can run over $100, they last for a long time since they only need to be replaced every 3,000-5,000 miles. Finally, ensure you select the right cleat that is compatible with the spin bikes at your studio. The vast majority of spin studios have SPD pedals, but it is always important to double-check. If not, you can always change them with ease.
Maintaining a higher pace for a longer time is demanding on the body. Therefore, for longer bouts of higher cadences, increasing your endurance level will help to aid in your success.
How do I increase my spin endurance?
You will want to train in the aerobic zone to increase your spin endurance. This means your body will be breaking down glucose with the assistance of oxygen, allowing your exertion level to be maintained for longer. In contrast, training anaerobically, meaning the body is breaking down glucose without the help of oxygen, this type of training can only be done for very short periods.
Just like with any new training stimulus, it does take time for you to start building your endurance. If you are new to cycling, start riding a few times weekly for 20-30 minutes per session. Your goal is to keep the same resistance and pace throughout the workout without taking a break. If twenty minutes is too long in the beginning, start with whatever works for you and build from there. Ideally, the workouts should be at least thirty minutes. If you have a solid endurance base, try increasing your resistance or exertion level for 5-7 minutes before returning to a lower resistance without taking a break.
Focus on Technique
Since your lower body creates one large kinetic chain, a great pedaling technique helps your body feel its best and perform.
What is the best pedaling technique?
When looking at your pedaling technique, you will want to imagine that your feet are on a clock. The most power is generated between hours 2-4. Your pedal stroke should feel fluid from the front to the back. At the top of the pedal stroke, focus on dropping your heel to have your pedal parallel by the time it hits three, or even a little lower than parallel, as it enables more hamstring activation, which helps to extend the hip. When you reach six on the clock, start lifting your heel to help activate the calves. Your heel should be lifted until you reach 12 o’clock. In order to get your body into the correct pedaling position, your riding form plays a big role in maximizing your power output.
Don’t Sacrifice Resistance for Speed
My students often ask me if they should focus on speed or resistance. My answer is always it is better to pedal harder with more resistance within the cadence range. For example, if I give my students the option to pick a cadence between 80-100, I will always have a select few that automatically ride at 100 with light resistance. Riding with more resistance between 80-90 will tax the body more than riding with light resistance at 100 RPMs. Your overall goal is to eventually be able to ride at a higher cadence WITH more resistance.
Is it better to pedal faster or harder?
It is better to pedal with more resistance than to focus on speed alone. Pedaling harder at the beginning of the pedal stroke when there is higher resistance will allow for greater inertia. This allows for a better cardiovascular workout.
How do cyclists go so fast?
Cyclists can generate speed because the combination of higher resistance and pace allows for greater power. Pro cyclists travel at 20-30 miles per. Great form and technique allow cyclists to go so fast.
The key to pedaling faster in class is continuing to improve your form, technique, and endurance.