Neuromuscular power is arguably the area of cycling most overlooked by triathletes and cyclists alike. How often have you heard, ‘I’m not doing sprints in my races, so why do them while I train?’ The reality is that every cyclist and triathlete should incorporate neuromuscular training to allow for improvements in more race-specific areas of their power profile.
Bike power is a function of leg speed (via cadence) and torque. Working these two areas separately can combine to produce improvements in your neuromuscular power hence where the name 2-Prong Power is derived from.
By improving the power you can generate for short durations (for example, 1-second to 30-second intervals), you have allowed for and provided space for secondary improvements in other aspects of your power profile (for example, 20-minute and 60-minute best power). An athlete who never trains their top-end (sprints, max cadence builds, etc.) lowers his/her ceiling for improvements elsewhere.
2-Prong Power incorporates standing starts to target max torque, and max cadence builds to target max leg speed. Since these intervals put plenty of stress on the actual bike itself, 2-Prong Power is recommended as an outdoor workout, however, it can be done on a trainer if need-be.
Warm-Up 5 minutes easy spin (<55% of Functional Threshold Power, <3 Rate of Perceived Exertion)
Cadence Pyramid Warm-Up (All at 60-70% of FTP, 5 RPE) 1 minute @ 60rpm 1 minute @ 70rpm 1 minute @ 80rpm 1 minute @ 90rpm 1 minute @ 100rpm 1 minute @ 110rpm 1 minute @ 120rpm 1 minute @ 110rpm 1 minute @ 100rpm 1 minute @ 90rpm 1 minute @ 80rpm 1 minute @ 70rpm 1 minute @ 60rpm 1 minute easy spin (<55% of FTP, <3 RPE)
5 seconds sprint “opener” (90% of All Out)
5 minutes easy spin (<55% of FTP, <3 RPE)
Main Set 30 seconds Standing Start* 8 minutes easy spin (<55% of FTP, <3 RPE) 30 seconds Max Cadence Build** 5 minutes easy spin (<55% of FTP, <3 RPE) 30 seconds Standing Start* 8 minutes easy spin (<55% of FTP, <3 RPE) 30 seconds Max Cadence Build** 5 minutes easy spin (<55% of FTP, <3 RPE)
Cool-down 4 minutes easy spin cool down (<55% of FTP, <3 RPE)
* Standing Start – On a flat and safe stretch of road, shift down into a big gear (on standard gearing, this could be a 53/15), and roll to a near stop. You may have your hands in the drops, on the hoods, or on the bullhorns of a TT bike. Proceed into an all-out sprint attempting to get your cadence as high as possible. Stop after 30 seconds.
** Max Cadence Build – On a flat and safe stretch of road, shift into an easy gear (on standard gearing, this could be a 39/25). Begin a 30 second progressive cadence build, from 90rpm up, finishing at your absolute highest cadence at the 30 second mark. Stay seated for these efforts.
Let me know how you get on