Winter Tips 4 - Power
James Jenkins (Richardsons-Trek)

For most club members, James Jenkins needs no introduction. It was his outstanding performances at local, national and international level that attracted the attentions of Richardsons-Trek.

This year, James has swapped club ten-mile time trials at Steeple for the pro circuit with Richardsons’ formidable Under-23 squad.
Renowned for his TT prowess, he has kindly shared his winter training tips to give you guidance and motivation ahead of the new season.
‘For me, especially last year and the year before, training for each time trial was imperative – rather than just rock up and hope for the best. I always had a clear way of training through the winter, so as to make sure I hit the new season flying.

I tend to use a power meter for measuring my block efforts, but it can just as easily be achieved by using your heart rate instead. Doing a Functional Threshold Power (FTP), in which you go as hard as possible for 20 minutes, will give you an indication of what your ability to sustain the highest possible power output over 45 to 60 minutes is.

Regular FTP tests will then give you an indication of whether your training is actually improving your performance. Plus, they create a platform from which to create more informed training plans on a week-by-week basis.

After the 20 minutes, note average heart rate. If you have a power meter also, then note your heartrate and power averages. Your FTP score is calculated by using 95% of your average power across the 20 minutes.

I found five minute efforts (rather than long efforts to simulate riding a ten mile TT) above time trial pace were the best for improving my actual ten mile race times. The fact they’re above TT threshold means that when I actually got around to the day of the event itself, starting the race was considerably easier than before and I could ride at a more constant pace.

Something similar can be said about 25 mile TTs in that 12 minutes at 110% FTP (or around just over 10 mile pace) helped improve my times considerably. Doing this enabled me to knock nearly 15 minutes off my original time in only three seasons.’

You need to make your power work for you - note the flat-back aero position
With affordable power meters and apps a plenty, power training is no longer restricted to the sponsored riders
A good push can give you 2 seconds on a 10 mile course, that is more than shaving your legs
The cold weather of the Christmas Time Trial is part of the challenge

If you'd like to share your number one tips on riding in the cold and wet, what essential kit you swear by for particular conditions, how to burn off the winter 'padding', dietary advice, etc, then please email them, along with a photo or video to


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