Explosive power and speed are elements we mostly appreciate in a race. They can also help us show off with our favourite segments on the Strava app. So how should we approach our training for such important cycling elements?

Although it might seem that explosiveness and speed are mainly for sprinters and are not so important for ordinary cyclists, this idea is mistaken. We actually need speed every time we accelerate when leaving a corner, when we need to react to a change of speed in a group, or when getting over an obstacle. Acquiring such riding abilities is a long-term process and one of the biggest training challenges.


The main parameter when training for speed is working on short-term explosive strength. This kind of training should be done systematically throughout the training year. It is anaerobic training with the highest intensity, high energy expenditure, and oxygen debt. There are some rules:

  • Maximum effort
  • High energy distribution
  • Short intense interval
  • Maximum speed
  • Maximum cadence
  • Maximum heart rate

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy here as they are the fuel for every intense ride and interval. Our body needs to be properly recovered and fed.

In speed training, we should choose flat terrain with minimum traffic so we can fully focus on maximum speed and intensity without being disturbed. We always ride with a tailwind. The best time to train speed is at the start of the training, right after getting warmed up. The intervals should be short, around 15 to 20 seconds, and in them we focus on going all out to reach the highest speed.

It is a good idea to train with a friend as we can motivate each other to push our limits.

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