A lot of triathletes when they talk about strength training is done in the gym or not done at all. Some of the best triathletes in the world that are crazy fast and crazy strong don’t go to the gym and lift weights yet they are incredibly strong.
Strength training on the bike is an easy thing to include to your training program. The two main strength sessions you can do on the bike are hills and low cadence rides.
Ideally you need to do a minimum of one strength session per week on the bike and two is better if you do more than three rides in a week.
One of my favoret “GO TO” sessions is
3 hour ride that includes
- 1 hour of hill repeat (find a hill that is 500m-1km), ride low cadence of 45-50RPM hard and easy recovery spin back down.
- After your last hill repeat, go directly into a 1 hour time trial with race cadence
Don’t geek-out at your cadence number, Look at it from time to time but do 98% of this session on feel.
If you don’t have any hills where you live and train, simply doing low cadence sets for long periods of time should help greatly. 10-20min sets with cadence of 45-50 RPM all hard with a 3-5min easy high cadence spin.
Also go in search for headwinds. The stronger the better.
Indoor trainers are gold when it comes to strength workouts on the bike. Increase resistance and smash out a 60-90 minute session with 4x 10min low cadence set with 2min easy spin between each one.
Gym session followed by a ride
I am not fully against this if you are a strong and experienced rider who is self aware of what your body does as doing this does increase the risk of injury however the rewards can be great. A one hour gym session followed by a 2-4 hour ride twice a week over a four week training block should see some great gains :IF” the gym session you are doing is what you need, your cycle technique stays good throughout the ride and most importantly, it doesn’t cause any problems to the rest of your training week. If this is something you choose, best to do the ride with a friend who understands cycling and understands you.