Short version: Do brief times spent out of the saddle during sustained sweet spot intervals negatively affect training in this zone?
Background: I’m currently on SSB II, High Volume. I’ve found the longer sweet spot intervals (>15 min) with shorter recovery valleys increasingly more challenging, as one would expect. However, to offset the fatigue caused by a higher cadence (say 90-95 RPM), I’ve started to experiment with 2-3 minutes at a time spent pedaling (climbing) out of the saddle… perhaps 2 efforts for 3 minutes of climbing during the last few 20 minute intervals (something like Eclipse +3). This not only seems to help me finish these longer efforts without blowing up and while maintaining my target power on an ERG trainer, but it’s also in line with my intended outdoor riding conditions where sustained climbs are common.
Knowing the ramp test is done completely in the saddle, and that many expert climbers stay seated most of the time, am I cheating myself and the intentions of SS workouts by training out of the saddle for a few minutes, even if Chad’s written workout instructions don’t call for it? Perhaps I could experiment with a lower seated cadence (70-80 rpm) to achieve a more desirable training effect while simulating a grinding climb? I might also be able to implement some sports psych techniques to get through those moments when I feel like I “need” to get out of the saddle. I listened to the gents talk about the physical inefficiency of riding out of the saddle on episode 223 of the TR podcast, but without use of these brief climbing intervals in my recent workouts I’m not sure I could have completed the last few long SS intervals… where the recommended average cadence seems to land at 85-95 RPM.
If it means I’ll be getting a better training effect, I’ll find a way to dig deeper and keep my tush planted. Just need some training input and direction from the collective expertise of the TR community. Thanks in advance!