Ask a coach: 'How do I increase my max power in cycling?'

From clinching sprints to shutting down gaps, a higher peak power provides a raft of benefits

Male cyclist sprinting as hard as he can outside to produce his max power in cycling
(Image credit: Future)

As cyclists, we spend a lot of our training time targeting gains in endurance cycling performance. Long base rides, threshold intervals, and even shorter intervals are designed to target sustainable power. However, what about our peak power; the power that we can sustain for <5s? Afterall, our peak power really maters when sprinting for the line - shouldn’t we also be training that? Cycling coach James Spragg explains what determines the maximum power you can put out, and how to go about improving yours...

Image shows James Spragg.
James Spragg

Sports scientist and coach James Spragg is one of the experts who will be answering your questions in Cycling Weekly's ASK A CYCLING COACH series which comes out every week. Working both in research and applied settings, he currently runs Intercept Performance Consultancy

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James Spragg

James Spragg is a sports scientist and coach, working both in research and applied settings. When not working with athletes James can be found skiing, climbing, cycling or drinking coffee!

Alongside Dan Lorang and Peter Leo, James runs Intercept Performance Consultancy. Over the last 8 years in various roles, as coaches, performance consultants, performance managers, and sports scientists, Dan, James and Peter have played a role in helping athletes achieve more than 10 World Championship titles, several Olympics medals (including a Gold and Silver Medal in Tokyo 2020) and several Top 5 results in some of the biggest sporting events on the planet (Tour de France, Olympics, World and European Championships). Our single focus is on improving performance in all settings.