Phuket’s TSLC sporting tips: How to become a faster cyclist

PHUKET: In a continuing series of sporting tips provided by Phuket’s Thanyapura Sports & Leisure Club, resident experts Brian Finniss tells you to stand up straight, though first Jürgen Zäck gets you out of your comfort zone.

A lot of cyclists and triathletes do spend quite some time in the saddle and wonder why they do not deliver on race day. From analyzing their training, the reason for this is usually obvious: Too much training in the “comfort zone”! In order to get faster, you have to train faster.

It’s as simple as that! Don’t get me wrong, a solid base of miles is fundamental, but to get faster you need, to stimulate your body to develop strength and speed.

Add one power oriented workout and at least one speed session per week to your training schedule. A strength session should include sections in a harder gear.

This can be done either on an uphill or against a headwind at a low cadence of 60 or less RPM (repetitions per minute).

The tempo rides should include intervals at higher intensity with proper rest: 10 x 3min at 95% effort with 2-3min recovery or 3 x 12min at 80-90% with at least 5 min recovery.

This will improve your anaerobic threshold. You will move the “moment of fatigue” to a higher speed. You will also develop mental strength and focus. Your body will get more efficient at a higher speed by improving your “inter and intra muscular coordination”.

And last but not least: Work on moving your pedals faster once in a while! Include some sections at a very high RPM (105-120) to stimulate some “fast twitch muscle fibers”. Ride smart!

Thanyapura offers four Bike Sessions per week with lots of variety:
•Tuesday, 7am: 40km aerobic, steady
•Thursday, 7am: 60-70km with hills or longer Time Trails
•Saturday, 8am: 60km with short Speed Intervals
•Sunday, 7am: Long Ride at a moderate pace 90-155km

Posture is primary

We all know posture is an important aspect of everyday life but it can be even more important when it comes to sports performance. Posture is so important to an athlete that it should actually be the first thing a strength and conditioning coach teaches or addresses. One should actually feel energized in the standing position because it is an active position but too often we will take the easy way out and slouch because it takes less effort to do this.

Good posture can be described as: The balanced placement of the torso over the legs/feet. It is crucial that the pelvis is centered – not tipped forward, sidewards or backwards. The abdomen is slightly drawn in and the diaphragm is raised. The shoulders are lowered (depressed), dropped naturally resting downward. The head is centered (fixated) and held straight with the eyes looking forward.

So what exactly is considered “Good” posture and what does that look like? Good posture can be identified as an imaginary line which passes through the earlobe, the cervical vertebrae, acromion (triangular projection part of the scapula – shoulder blade that forms the point or tip of the shoulders), the lumbar vertebrae, the center of the hip, just in front of the mid-line of the knee, and slightly anterior to the ankle bone.

Or, if that sounds a little bit too confusing you can always pretend there is an imaginary line from the ear through the shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle joint, and your head is centered! The next time you get a chance, use a mirror and take a look to see what your posture looks like, it might just surprise you how hard it can be to stand there with correct posture!

These fitness tips are provided by Thanyapura’s Operation Manager Brian Finniss. Email: and Triathlon Senior Head Coach Jürgen Zack:

Keep checking our online Phuket Sports pages, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter @PhuketGazette for the latest local, national and international sporting news and action.

— Jurgen Zack & Brian Finniss

Phuket News

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