During the majority of my career as a pro cyclist, my coaches gave me interval workouts that focused on steady efforts. I’d shoot for an average power number on a climb or for a time trial course, and if I could keep raising that number, well then, I was making progress.
Unfortunately, the 200 or so pro riders that showed up to any given race in Europe didn’t care at all how my power numbers were improving. They went right to the front and smashed it. There were plenty of times when I could handle this type of violent race pace, but it was always the worst early in the season. I guess I just needed more “race miles” in my legs, right? Wrong. My training was fundamentally flawed for one key reason: Cycling is not a steady sport.
I’m sure you’ve experienced that kind of out-of-control surging that makes the peloton feel like a Class V river rapid. Up until now, you might have thought you’d always just be along for the ride, but when you reach this point of the FORM Method’s North Star of Execution, you’ll be able to start utilizing Transitional Control to take control and thrive in the unpredictable, very unsteady sport of cycling.
Transitional Control ties together all of the other points on the North Star to give your legs an array of tools like a Swiss Army Knife. By changing your PTZ, varying your cadence, adjusting your Body Position, and harnessing Separation, you’ll have Transitional Control at your fingertips, and it will empower you to do three critical things that will lead to success in any cycling event.
First and foremost, Transitional Control is your key to cycling’s most valuable currency, momentum. You’ll gain it when you need it and keep it when you have it. Executing the four other points on the star will lead to more momentum at a lower energy cost, allowing you to ride faster with less power expended and calories spent.
Second, with Transitional Control, you have the ability to control race scenarios. When you see who is with you in a breakaway or a small selection at the end of a hard race, you’ll reach a point where you can evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, compare them to the cards you’re holding, and hit them with a move that will put you in the best possible position to win.
Third, when you’re not completely in control of the race scenario, or perhaps you’re riding with a group or category that is a bit faster than you’re used to, you can turn to Transitional Control to respond to race dynamics. You’ll be able to follow surges and accelerations efficiently, without going beyond your capacity. You’ll also be able to find the right combination of power, cadence, and body position for the terrain, even if it isn’t right in your wheelhouse.
What is Transitional Control?
Transitional Control is being able to change PowerTrain Zone, Cadence Control, and Body Position on demand interchangeably during any type of select effort. These changes are usually driving by using these three concepts in harmony to build and maintain momentum. Terrain, other riders, and may trigger you to react with these changes.
Transitional Control Key Performance Uses
The number one use of Transitional Control is being able to change the 3 components of Power Control, Cadence Control, and Body Position to efficiently build and maintain momentum. All three components are used together, but in different ways to adapt, adjust, and effective executed in all scenarios to translate your effort directly to usable speed.
2. Dropping Your Competition:
Turn your legs into a Swiss army knife with the three components of Transitional Control to create race or ride scenarios to drop your competition. Having the ability to control and adjust all three interchangeably will allow you find their weaknesses and then strike in the area that will make the difference.
3. Reacting to Your Competition:
With Transitional Control you will have all the pieces you will need to be able to react efficiently to other rider’s surges. Using the combination of Power Control, Cadence Control, and Body Position will give you many options to determine the best course of action when matching the efforts of others.