By getting comfortable with being out of the saddle, you can better control heart rate spikes from standing during a race.
When Endurance Corner (Endurancecorner.com) founder Gordo Byrn was training under Ironman legend Dave Scott, he did a lot of workouts out of his comfort zone. Once, Scott asked Byrn his favorite cadence. He replied, “78.” Naturally Scott gave him many workouts with a 92rpm focus. “I hated 92,” Byrn says. “But it definitely worked.”
Scott advocated building a range of abilities for long-course racing, especially Ironman. “You want a toolbox with as many tools in it as possible,” Byrn says. “Position, cadence, all different things. When you get into a situation in a race, you have all of these tools you can pull out.” One bike workout Scott assigned for this purpose was 15 minutes standing on the flats. By getting comfortable with being out of the saddle in training, you can better control heart rate spikes from standing during a race.
Byrn now incorporates standing flats into some of his athletes’ workouts. He’ll have them stand and do an Olympic-distance effort to load the legs, then recover in time trial position at a steady or moderately-hard effort while working the heart rate down. “One of the things you need for time trialing is the ability to crank it up and recover, like when you’re riding over rollers,” Byrn says.
3×15 minutes steady, with the middle 5 minutes standing at threshold effort
4×9 minutes moderately-hard, with the middle 3 minutes standing at threshold effort, with 1 min easy recovery between each segment
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