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Cycling For Fitness – Speed Training Drills

Training to ride your bike fast will not only increase your cycling pleasure and improve your overall skills; it will also increase your general fitness level. Cycling for fitness should include speed training in your training plans. Don’t start speed training until you have built a good fitness level. Look at your fitness like a pyramid. The broader the base the greater peaks you will reach.

Here are a few drills to increase your speed training.


Incorporate sprints into your training rides. While you are out riding pick a spot, a lamp post or tree or parked car as your sprint target. Begin accelerating towards it and change up the gears, build some speed up, get off your seat and cycle as hard as you can, give everything you have and get the bike going as fast as you can.

When you reach the spot you have chosen ease off, go down the gears and slow down. Resume your normal cycling speed and allow yourself to recover, if you need to go slower then do so. It’s important you recover. Once you have recovered repeat the exercise. Do this a number of times during your cycle training.


Jumps are similar to sprint training but are shorter. The shortness of the jump sprints are compensated for by more frequency. To perform this exercise just change up to higher gears and sprint for a number of peddle rotations, for example, do it for twenty rotations, during this time get out of your seat and cycle hard. Once you reach your allotted rotations slow down and recover for two or three minutes, continue your normal riding speed, and then repeat the exercise.

Do this five or six times throughout your ride. Increasing the number of times as you get fitter.

Spinning/Cadence Training

This is all about peddling fast at low gears. The idea is to peddle fast at 100 rotations a minute. If you are new to cycling it’s difficult to get used to this at first, but this is good training to keep your legs flexible.

The secret to increasing your cycle fitness levels is to vary your rides. You should always begin with by improving your base fitness levels then increase your fitness by varying the tempo of your rides. Cycle speed training is an essential part of improving your fitness levels.

Paul is a lifelong cyclists and the author of the blog Defensive Cycling where he discusses all things cycling related from commuting to endurance training. Go to Defensive Cycling now and get your free book “Cycling for life”.

About Mark Carrington

Keen cyclist and cycle tourist. Ridden by bicycle across Australia 7 times and crewed Race Across America. Experienced randonneur participated in Paris Brest Paris in 2007

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