Seated sprints are explosive efforts focusing on muscular strength. In fact, it's a misnomer to call these "sprints," time trialists and triathletes can also benefit from these when done in the aero position.
WHY SEATED SPRINTS:
When we’re measuring power in cycling we’re basically measuring two components: the amount of force being applied to the crank arm, and how fast that force is being applied. Seated sprints address the force part of the equation. The seated sprint's purpose is to promote the strength part of the power equations.
HOW TO DO SEATED SPRINTS:
You wanna stay seated. Make sure the upper body is still and you have a strong hold on the handle bars. As you drive down on the pedals, you are aiming to transfer all the power through your body, through your legs to the cranks arms and then to the rear wheel. The point is to drive the rear wheel.
You should also focus on applying the force through the entire 360 degrees of the pedal stroke.
Stomp hard on the pedals, and focus on a smooth transition between the top and bottom of the pedal stroke.
Seated Sprints are best performed on an otherwise easy/recovery ride.
Do 5-10 sprints throughout a 60-70 minute ride, along the regular route.
- Begin from a very slow roll in a large gear (40-50rpm)
- Stop down on the pedals for a 10-15 second effort to accelerate the gear in the seated position, with a rigid grip on the bars.
Remember: Focus on muscular strength, not absolute power!