Elsewhere in the training section I promised you information regarding how to perform strength training on the bike, well here it is. There are two methods that I use. The first involves the use of my fixed wheel bike. The second involves hills, or a hill, and a 52 x 12 gear.
I prefer this method personally because I just love riding my fixed wheel bike. Also I live fairly near Northamptonshire where small hills or reasonable drags are pretty much the order of the day on most rides.
Choosing a lumpy route and a gear ratio of 42 x 17 in the early part of the training period is good for strength training as well as the other benefits of riding fixed wheel. As one gets closer to the season, if I'm still riding fixed, which I often am, a session on a 42 x 16 just puts that extra strain on the hills and gives you that extra gear to go with the extra fitness.
If you've never tried fixed wheel riding I highly recommend it. I don't know what it is about it, feeling at one with the bike, no gears to go wrong, or what but whenever I'm feeling a bit "off-cycling", a session on the fixed wheel just brings the enthusiasm flooding back. It's just a different experience to riding a bike with gears.
Hills and a 52 x 12 gear. Two ways of doing this one:
Whenever you reach a hill, select the highest gear you have, stay seated and pedal your way up the hill. Concentrate on pedalling in circles, you therefore use your hamstrings, calves as well as your quads. Staying seated also makes sure you use you glutes also.
Alternating between seated and standing is allowed as this helps both sets of muscle groups involved in cycling but the true key to this type of training is to stay seated. Once you reach the top of the hill change back to the 42 x 17 you were probably riding and continue until you reach the next hill. This approach means you can incorporate strength training in a normal ride.
The other approach involves a hill, which you ride to as a means of warming up. Ride up the hill making a note of how long it takes to ride up it, add 10% to that time. Then ride back down and up and down etc. until you cannot ride the hill within the time period. You'll then probably want to ride home and I wouldn't blame you if you did.