Cycling efficiency

During a triathlon you spend most of the time on the bike. This is also the case when it comes to training for a triathlon. Therefore, it is just logical to try to spend the time on the bike as efficiently as possible in order to have enough energy reserves for the third discipline, the run.
For long distances, this becomes even more relevant as you have to manage your energy reserves for hours. At the latest for half iron distances it is important to have a well trained fatty acid metabolism, so you don’t bonk during the run.

Road bike cyclist

Steady state or fat-max training

It is the steady state or fat-max training which causes your body to become more efficient. Typically, this is done in the winter months, when triathletes sit for hours on the wind trainer. It is important to keep the intensity of the training on the low side, so that most of the required energy can be generated by the fatty-acid metabolism. This intensity is different for every athlete, but mostly in a range of 50% – 65% of your max heart rate or your FTP.
This training gets even more efficient if your glycogen storage is not completely full. You put a limit on the amount of carbs your body can use. Try to avoid high carb intake before and during a steady state training session or reduce the amount of glycogen in your body by doing some high intensity intervals before you start.
After several weeks of training, your body is going to produce more mitochondria, improve the oxygen intake and adapt its cardiovascular system, among other adaptions. As a result, you’ll bike more efficiently within your endurance power zone, but also at higher intensities.

Cycling efficiency

The effect of your body’s adaption is rather subtle, which makes manual analysis of your training data nearly impossible. Comparing the heart rate of two training rides is doomed to fail because any heart rate differences due to adaption are concealed by many other factors influencing your heart rate (hydration, ambient temperature, stress level, …).

With PerfectPace’s cycling efficiency analysis, it is now possible get rid of the confounding factors and visualize your continuous adaptions to your training.

Cycling efficiency chart
  • Discover how much your steady state training of the last weeks and months has influenced your heart rate.
  • Compare your heart rate at the same intensity of the last seasons and find out if you got fitter from season to season.
  • What was the influence of a long injury break on your body?

The cycling efficiency analysis will give you an answer to all of these questions.