Ask the Expert: How Much Should We Stand On Long Flat Roads?

On one of the Friday Favorite song suggestions for a flat road at 90 rpm (to the 90 bpm tempo), Moot was unsure how much to stand and how to invite students to take breaks on long songs like that. He asked:

How do I invite students to take a break while on a flat road? Are we talking about standing breaks? If so, they would need more resistance to stand, right?

Great question, Moot, thanks for bringing it up. The answer depends on so many factors. The first question is, are your students used to sitting for longer periods? If not, then you’ll certainly want to give them opportunities to stand up every few minutes as needed. If they are used to longer flats, I would still give them options to stand on their own, but maybe not quite as many. They also may choose to stay seated while others take breaks (especially if they are outdoor cyclists).

You can do that by standing up as a group for 15–20 seconds, or you can invite them to take the saddle break as needed. You are right—in most cases you would add more resistance unless you are pushing hard at threshold and are already in a bigger gear, but for now I’m assuming this is more of an endurance or tempo pace of 10–30 beats below threshold. Here are some ways to cue it:


  1. Thank you for this article. It has really helped clear up a few things. I know that on a flat road resistance must be added to stand for safety, but this will help me coach it in new ways.

  2. Thanks for the info. I’m going to remind my class about “form before fitness.” Flailing legs and bouncing all over is a big no-no in my classes.

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