In this video, I talk about the #1 mistake that cyclists make when doing speed training.


Hey, it’s David Heatley here from Cycling-Inform. Today.

I’m going to be talking about how speed training is not something that you really want to spend a huge amount of time focusing your training on.

So here’s one of the things that cyclists get super wrong with their training and in how they approach speed training.

Now there’s a huge amount of scientific evidence out there that promote speed training as being the ultimate thing to boosting performance. But unfortunately, it’s not quite the case. Now I’m not making any of the scientific research wrong. It is all valid. Now the problem with speed work is that a lot of the scientific evidence is based around blocks of training around four weeks, six weeks and eight weeks, maybe even 12 weeks.

And what they do is they do a split test. So you put them on a series of exercises. They do some low intensity base training and then they do high intensity interval training. And they find that after four weeks, six weeks, eight weeks, or maybe even 12 weeks, the athletes that are on the high intensity interval training get far superior results than the athletes that are doing base training. So they make the conclusion that interval training helps you improve your performance.

Now, this is correct to a certain point. The problem is that a lot of these studies don’t take into account, well, what happens if we continue to keep the athlete on a high intensity interval training type regime?

[Well], we tried it.

We put our athletes on high intensity training thinking that it was going to solve all their problems. And what we found was that for the first six, eight, maybe even 12 weeks, we got good performance improvements of our athletes. But after that, we found that they either started going backwards or they plateaued.

Speed training is developed quickly, but it’s also lost quickly and there’s a ceiling to how much speed training you can do before you start plateauing and then going backwards.

So if you’re finding that you’re plateauing and going backwards, well, that might be the issue.

Speed training’s like adding nitro to a car. So when you add nitro to a car, the car goes faster. But the problem is when you take the nitro away, you’re still left with the same car. So if you’re driving around a Toyota Echo and you add nitro to it, of course, it’s going to go faster. But look, you’re still driving around in a Toyota Echo, so isn’t it much better to be driving around in a Porsche.

Now, what we found is that when you work on base training and strength training, those two pieces of training develop a bigger engine. Now, don’t get me wrong, speed training is still a very important part of the training that we do with our athletes. But it’s also important to back it up with a very good, solid foundation of aerobic base training and strength training. Because it’s the foundation on which you build your speed training on top of.

All right, so it’s been David Heatley here from Cycling-Inform. I hope you’re enjoying the videos. If you like what we’re doing here, give us a thumbs up and make sure you follow our channel. All right. Take care, keep riding safe and keep it awesome on the bike.