Here is the link at the Active article that inspired this post. Please let us know if there is anything that was left out or could answer the questions that you have.
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Here are a 3 tips that will allow to you boost your abilities to maintain a faster speed for a greater amount of time:
1. ILTs (isolated leg training)
Its sounds just like what it is. You can take one foot off the pedal and hold it 6 – 12 inches from the bike. This will then force one leg to do the work that both would normally. Doing this will eliminate dead spots. (points in your pedal stroke where there is no force being exerted) You will want to start with 30 second intervals and eventually move to 60 second intervals. Then you can take the drill to the hills when you are used to the flats. If this is that case for you make sure that you have your pedal technique down because you could ruin yourself doing inproper technique up hills.
*this is a norm for riders to do indoor during winter months
2. Eliminate Coasting
There are more times then we recognize that we are coasting. As a test you can choose a route that is flat and has as few stop signs as possible. Try and do the ride with 30 minutes of non-stop peddling. If or when this becomes easy double the time and maintain the constant power to the peddle.
3. Love what you fear: hills
For the cyclists that are not looking to improve, hills can become their worst enemy. For those, like yourself, that are looking to improve they are your greatest tool. Hill repeats are a great technique. Heart rate monitors are the way to measure this exercise. Check out this site if you done have one. Pick a hill that takes 3-5 minutes to climb. Do it the fastest you can while staying in Zone 2 and play with the gears to see what helps. If you dont have a heart rate monitor, focus on 80% effort. Spin for a cool down at the bottom of the hill and then repeat. 3-5 times should do it for you.
Here is a video that can give you some more ideas: