GLOSSARY OF CYCLING TERMS

 

Use this handy guide to be in-the-know. Happy riding!


 

 

Intervals

Set periods of time in a workout that are at a percentage under, at, or above Threshold Power. Intervals can be separated by periods of recovery and rest, so that the body is better prepared for the next, or multiple, intense efforts. Intervals that are strung together make a Set. Multiple sets of intervals comprise a training session.

 

Wattage

A measurement of energy output over time. If you increase the amount of energy you use over the same amount of time, wattage (or power) goes up. The more wattage you generate, the stronger a cyclist you become.

 

Kilojoule

A measurement of energy used by cyclists which is more consistent and accurate than a Calorie. Kilojoules measure physical energy expenditure, while Kilocalories (what we call “Calories” with a capital “C”) measure thermal energy. When looking at wattage, the more power you generate, the more energy you use. A KiloJoule is expended when power is generated, and the more energy you pour in to an effort over the same amount of time, the more wattage is generated.

 

Progression

A phrase used in long-term training programs to describe a growing level of intensity and volume over time. For the Cycling Center of Dallas, we will focus on progressing your average power output in specific energy systems (Tempo, Threshold, Vo2max Power) over time, at a rate of 2-3% per week. Progression is usually followed by a decline in intensity, labeled Periodization.

 

Periodization

The phrase used when a cycle of progression ends. This is also when a mandatory taper occurs, to let the body recover, stay fresh, and prepare for another phase of Progression. Periodization at the JCC occurs once every 4 weeks, and coincides with a Threshold Test to determine changes in Threshold Power.

 

MacroCycle, MesoCycle, MicroCycle

Terms used by coaches that covers different periods of time, from 12 weeks to a few workouts (2-4). A MacroCycle will be comprised of MesoCycles, which are themselves comprised of MicroCycles. In a Quarter of Coaching at CCD, we usually cover 2-3 MesoCycles of Specific Styles of workouts, hitting specific energy systems. The MicroCycles are blocks of workout sessions themselves, revealed in 2-4 sessions of specific time and intensity intervals.

 

Tempo Power

The maximal average power a cyclist can sustain for periods of 90 minutes to 3 hours. This power average is below threshold, but it is still assertive enough to merit work. Tempo Power is fast becoming known as the “Sweet Spot” of training, because it yields a high level of return in fitness for every minute spent in that zone.

 

Threshold Power

The maximal average power you can sustain for 60 minutes. In our program, this number is estimated at 95% of the maximal power average you generate for 20 minutes. This kind of power is useful for increasing stamina on the bike.

 

Vo2 Max Power

The average power you can sustain for about 5 minutes. It stands for “Maximal Volume of Oxygen Consumed”. Vo2 Max is also called “MAP”, or “Maximal Aerobic Power”. This kind of power is necessary for hilly terrain.

 

Anaerobic Conditioning Power

Maximal average power output over time ranges from 5 to 60 seconds. Usually considered about 120% above Threshold Power. This type of training will help your body recover from repeat hard accelerations and attacks, and respond in kind.

 

Watts per Kilogram

A method of measuring power, relative to body weight. Usually this term is accompanied by a standard measurement of time. For patrons of the Cycling Center of Dallas, the standard measurement of improved performance is found in Watts per Kilogram per 20 minutes. This closely relates to Threshold Power. Gains of 10-15% in W/Kg/20m are routine for cyclists who train consistently in the quarterly program Coach Wharton sets up.

 

Attack

A sudden acceleration to move ahead of another rider or group of riders.

 

 
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