Training Tip: Pedal Slow To Ride Fast, Part Three

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Lifesport coach Lance Watson provides new thoughts on how to increase strength and power output on the bike.

The Mixer: Standing, Sitting and Race Cadence

After you have mastered seated and standing resistance riding, it is time to put it all together. The most important thing is to create a meaningful progression of strength-oriented resistance riding with gradually escalating heart rates as you get closer to race season. If you find riding either seated or standing harder, then emphasize your weakness.

Here are four great mixers:

1)    Two to three sets of: three minutes seated at 60 rpm, three minutes standing at 60 rpm, two minutes seated at 50 rpm, two minutes standing at 70 rpm, one minute seated at 40 rpm and one minute standing at 80 rpm. Shift gears up and down to adjust cadence to maintain a relatively static heart rate of eight to 12 beats below LT. Take three minutes recovery at 90 rpm between sets.
2)    Two to three sets of: 10 minutes seated at 55 rpm and five minutes standing at 70 rpm. Stay on the same gear and let the HR increase for the standing portion to six to 10 beats below LT. Take three minutes of recovery at 90 rpm between sets.
3)    Mixing standing resistance and race cadence: 10 to 15 minutes with one minute standing at 70 rpm and one minute seated at 90 rpm. This continuous set can be intense, and you can let HR climb all the way up to LT.
4)    Mixing seated resistance and race cadence: two to three sets of five minutes seated at 60 rpm, five minutes seated at 70 rpm and five minutes seated at 90 rpm. Let HR build through the set from six to 10 beats below LT all the way up to LT.

Spending many hours at specific race cadence and race heart rates in training is critical for racing success. Just as important is building some early-season strength to put some power into the pedals. So spend some time pedaling slower this spring to ride faster this summer!

To See Part One Click Here

To see Part Two Click Here

Check back in the next few days for part four on specific trainer workouts designed to increase strength and power output on the bike.

Over the past 20 years, LifeSport Coach Lance Watson has coached new triathletes as well as number of Ironman and Olympic champions. He is the official coach of Ironman. Visit for more information.

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