Question: As my mileage increased this spring, I noticed I felt stronger when out of the saddle but was not improving while seated. Are there specific things I should work on to improve power in the saddle? — Jan P.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: There are two classic ways to improve seated power:
First, do intervals up short hills while seated.
Find a hill that’s moderately steep and takes about 30 seconds to climb. Use a fairly large gear and hit it hard at the bottom. Don’t let your cadence slow too markedly by the top. Your gear should enable you to maintain at least 90 rpm for the whole climb.
Second, do longer (10- to 15-minute) time trial-like intervals seated at a heart rate of about 85 percent of your maximum, again at a cadence of about 90 rpm.
You could also undertake a winter weight training program that focuses on squats and leg presses, but that’s a long-range solution suitable for serious competitors.
There’s a complete program in my RBR eBook, Basic Training for Roadies.