Reply To: Hills or miles


I’m a roadie but here’s my two cents:

Hills and/or intervals.  Hills of a constant grade are great for training because you have to maintain a consistent power output in order maintain a constant speed, and provide motivation.  Really helpful if you only have a computer/stopwatch and not a power meter. Hill efforts also help smooth out the pedal stroke because you can really feel when you’re pedaling in circles vs squares – that is, a large deadspot on your pedal stroke will make itself very obvious on a steep hill.  Rest and enjoy the downhill.

My favorite pre-season interval workout is:
10 min at threshold
5×30 second intervals at peak power and high/moderate rpm, with 15 sec rest periods – this keeps your heart rate from dropping too much during your rest period and actually makes the start of the next interval easier (but makes the workout, overall, harder and more productive).
10 min at rest pace
another set of 5×30/15 intervals
5 min rest at cool down
drink at least 1 bottle during intervals


Bench Press, Squat, and lat-pulldown


Overhead press, deadlift, double hand row

Warm up with a bare bar (45lb), adding weight each set until you’re at your 70% 1 rep max (or “working weight”)
Once at your working weight, do 4 sets of 7 reps with 1-2 min rest periods between sets.  Its a good balance between developing explosiveness and building muscle.  You can get your “high rep, low weight” in during your warm-up sets.  This gives you a lot of volume which both contributes to your cardiovascular fitness and actually helps build muscle faster.

Drink at least one bottle during lifting.
Try to get some good 1 on 1 coaching with these lifts.  Most people should be able to do these lifts properly and safely, and building muscle and connective tissue can really help with performance but its probably more important to prevent injury and maintain bone density.
Its very difficult to lift during the cycling season (if you are riding a lot of miles or racing) because its hard to eat and sleep enough to maintain (let alone build) body mass.

Thanks for all that Sean, I’m in PT now with a really good trainer and plan on having him work me into a better strength system.