A vision for my life - Because what we focus on expands

Thursday, June 7, 2007

06/07/07: Isolated Leg Training

Since a couple of you asked about it, here's a bit about isolated leg training (ILT):

ILT is one of the absolute best drills for smoothing out your pedaling stroke and getting rid of any dead spots. The ideal cycling stroke is circular, not up and down. It is best done on an indoor trainer, although can be done outdoors as well.

Picture a clock. Because of our physiology, there is a tendancy to have a dead spot in our cycling stroke between 11 and 1 and betwee 5 and 7. ILT drills will help remove the dead spots = more efficient cycling.

Here's a quick blurb on ILT from opentri.com (http://opentri.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=42)

"Isolated Leg Training (usually abbreviated to "ILT") is done while biking on a stationary trainer. While using a relatively small gear (in your small front chain ring, such as 42 x 19) click out one foot from your pedal and rest it on the axle of your turbo trainer or a chair you have set up next to your bike. With one leg still engaged in the pedal, work on a smooth, circular pedal revolution. Try to be sensitive to - and try to correct -- jerky or dead spots in your cadence. After pedaling with one leg for the required amount of time (usually 20 seconds), you can then spend about 10 seconds in transition - switching from one isolated leg to the other. The drill continues with the newly "isolated" leg providing the power for the required amount of time; continue to switch as the drill requires.

Anything that detracts from a smooth pedal stroke will also detract from your overall speed and will waste energy. As your cadence becomes smoother, you should notice it taking less energy to go at a given speed. This will leave more energy to bike faster and leave more energy for your run!"

I typically do a cycling form workout once per week, and ALWAYS do several minutes of ILT drills. Although my legs definitely get fatigued pretty quickly from doing ILT drills and I don't always want to do them, I can definitely feel a difference and constant improvement in my cycling from it.


todd said...

That's pretty darn interesting. Thanks.

Tea said...

Todd-You put your leg up on the aero bars.

JUST kidding....

I love doing those too. They really wear me out.