Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hill Repeats...my new secret weapon?

Now I know getting older can make you a little loopy at times; ok alot. I know that riding the SS requires a different set of muscles than if you are spinning on the geared bike, so why do those of us who choose the monocog pain machine train as if we are ridin' the ole' clanker? Now, clearly I have no idea what I am talking about, but I feel if you are reading this, maybe, just maybe you think I do. It is no secret that you are grinding and sawing away out of the saddle, so this requires a completely different focal point in your training regimen. Now, you certainly cant neglect other areas of training, especially the endurance aspect and toss in a few threshold tempo rides, but I really think that we get caught up in how others train for sitting and spinning, while we should focus more on standing and mashing.

I have been doing quite a bit of hill repeats this year; actually, I am doing hill repeats for the first time this year. They have been ranging from 1 mile 4% grinders, to shorter 1/4 mile 8-12%, 50 rpm quad killers. I have been doing these twice a week for the last month. What I have found is-no duh, right-is not only has my climbing improved, but I am doing it with more power and more with more economy. On the mountain bike, I feel as if I have this extra kick when I really need it. Not only that, but I am maintaining that power through the climb, not just to the top. My HR has yet to get into the 190's, in fact 186 has been the norm. Here are a few to try if you dare to push yourself beyond the pain cave.

Option (1) On a 1 mile slope of 4% on the road bike in gearing that allows for cadence between 70-80-I use a 53/17. 2(3x2) with 5 minutes in between sets. You want shorter rest times in between reps to give your muscles just enough time NOT to recover fully.

Option (2) On a 1/4 mile slope of 8-12%, again on the road bike, but cadence should be 50-60. Again, I will use a 53/21 or 53/19. 5x1, i minute on 1 minute off. These hurt, but I guarantee that these will make you a stronger, more efficient climber. If it doesnt, you should probably just grab a bag of chips and find a nice comfy spot on the couch and pick lint out of your belly.