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Thread: Hill repeats

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    Senior Member Dan333SP's Avatar
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    Hill repeats

    I know most of you guys at some point mix some hill repeats into your workouts. What sort of length/grade do you do your workouts on?

    Obviously everyone has their own preferences or goals. I ask because I did some this morning, 5 times on a little 4-5% grade climb that takes about 3 minutes to get to the top, starting by keeping my HR below about 75% of my max on my first effort and then trying to lop 10-15 seconds off each repeat. I blew up on the last one halfway up, so I guess I did something right.

    What types of climbing efforts are you guys mixing in as interval training?

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    fuggitivo solitario
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    hill repeat is just a means to an end, that end being a particular intensity for a particular duration. want to train VO2max? Duration should be 3-7 min. Threshold? at least 10 min plus, etc.

    then again i haven't done any of those in more than three years.

    Only time i go to a hill is for FTP testing as it allows for uninterrupted riding

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    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    I think hill repeats are mostly a handy way to get in a consistent and/or maximal effort at a given duration without needing to use up lots of road or worrying as much about traffic signals and so on. They're also easier to pace for most people. I think they were historically important as a relatively reliable way to track progress. Power meters make that less important, but it's cool to get further and further up a hill during a 2 minute or 5 minute interval as a season progresses.

    I do use hill intervals for 5 minute and shorter intervals. There's a climb near my house that's popular for hill training, it's an access road to a weather observatory and museum in a state park. Grade is around 10% for 0.7 miles, steep at the bottom, flattens out a bit around a quarter of the way in, kicks up again for the second half. For a strong rider it's a 5-minute climb or less. My best effort so far is 5:17. So it's great for 2-minute and 5-minute intervals. The "problem" I foresee is getting fast enough to complete the climb in under 5 minutes.
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    VeloSIRraptor
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    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    Only time i go to a hill is for FTP testing as it allows for uninterrupted riding
    you got a long hill then?
    curious- as I've never thought of doing it that way, but until recently I didn't live near any climbs that were more than 6' long.
    Now that I've got mountains in my back yard, this is interesting.
    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    If it comes down to a field sprint, you probably won't win, so don't let it.

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    VeloSIRraptor
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    The "problem" I foresee is getting fast enough to complete the climb in under 5 minutes.
    I've bumped into this before - and I resorted to using less optimal gearing and other silly tricks to make the climb take longer.
    Mostly because it was late in the season and I didn't want to find a new hill -
    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    If it comes down to a field sprint, you probably won't win, so don't let it.

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    \_(ツ)_/ Ygduf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hida Yanra View Post
    you got a long hill then?
    curious- as I've never thought of doing it that way, but until recently I didn't live near any climbs that were more than 6' long.
    Now that I've got mountains in my back yard, this is interesting.
    it's fine, just know you can get an inflated FTP number doing this vs. what you might expect on flat ground. I am my empirical n=1 dataset.

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    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    hill repeat is just a means to an end, that end being a particular intensity for a particular duration. want to train VO2max? Duration should be 3-7 min. Threshold? at least 10 min plus, etc.

    then again i haven't done any of those in more than three years.

    Only time i go to a hill is for FTP testing as it allows for uninterrupted riding

    this is what I do as well, if I have a workout that is of a certain duration and have a hill repeat option to match, I'll just do the workout on a hill. I have lots of 1' to 2' hills around, so use those when necessary. I like to do these because of specificity for races like Miller School and Page Valley, additionally, even if a watt is a watt, how that watt is produced differs (see quadrant analysis). e.g. doing 350 watts for 2 minutes in a 39x23 at 75 rpm has a different feel than doing 350 watts for 2 minutes in a 53x15 at 95 rpm.

    I also sometimes do "hill charges" where I go part way up in at a hard intensity then sprint up the 2nd half of the hill and over the top. This helps because my climbing style is fat guy protocol ... I drift climb a lot and need to catch back onto the group over the top of the climb, so these hill charges help with that simulation.

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    VeloSIRraptor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
    it's fine, just know you can get an inflated FTP number doing this vs. what you might expect on flat ground. I am my empirical n=1 dataset.
    agreed - consistency|repeatability
    I've got mt bachelor as a normal route I ride - it'd be easy to do 20' tests on it, no traffic issues or interruptions, just hadn't ever thought of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    If it comes down to a field sprint, you probably won't win, so don't let it.

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    VeloSIRraptor
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    I also sometimes do "hill charges" where I go part way up in at a hard intensity then sprint up the 2nd half of the hill and over the top. This helps because my climbing style is fat guy protocol ... I drift climb a lot and need to catch back onto the group over the top of the climb, so these hill charges help with that simulation.
    funny, I use the same protocol - but the skinny guy version (or you you're a pro, the @echappist/Gilbert Protocol).
    - tempo the climb, then attack 2nd half, go over the top and try to stay away of the stampeding dudes behind
    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    If it comes down to a field sprint, you probably won't win, so don't let it.

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    fuggitivo solitario
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hida Yanra View Post
    you got a long hill then?
    curious- as I've never thought of doing it that way, but until recently I didn't live near any climbs that were more than 6' long.
    Now that I've got mountains in my back yard, this is interesting.
    not really; i trade in all the carbon credit accrued back when i lived in NYC and drive over to a park (Shenandoah National) an hour from where i live to do these. Occasionally i also use Bear Mountain state park in NY when i'm visiting family and friends

    Quote Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
    it's fine, just know you can get an inflated FTP number doing this vs. what you might expect on flat ground. I am my empirical n=1 dataset.
    i actually hit my climbing numbers on flat ground, though i have a tougher time when pushing into the wind (different issue). I find that i generate the same power at comparable RPE climbing as when i'm in my drops, but then again, i do a lot of interval in my drops. Power somehow drops a bit on flat ground when i'm doing the sphynx. Then there's my whole issue with the TT bike, where i'm about 5-10% weaker depending on the day
    Quote Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
    this is what I do as well, if I have a workout that is of a certain duration and have a hill repeat option to match, I'll just do the workout on a hill. I have lots of 1' to 2' hills around, so use those when necessary. I like to do these because of specificity for races like Miller School and Page Valley, additionally, even if a watt is a watt, how that watt is produced differs (see quadrant analysis). e.g. doing 350 watts for 2 minutes in a 39x23 at 75 rpm has a different feel than doing 350 watts for 2 minutes in a 53x15 at 95 rpm.

    I also sometimes do "hill charges" where I go part way up in at a hard intensity then sprint up the 2nd half of the hill and over the top. This helps because my climbing style is fat guy protocol ... I drift climb a lot and need to catch back onto the group over the top of the climb, so these hill charges help with that simulation.
    You know, there are these things called compact crankset and 11/28t cassette
    Quote Originally Posted by Hida Yanra View Post
    funny, I use the same protocol - but the skinny guy version (or you you're a pro, the @echappist/Gilbert Protocol).
    - tempo the climb, then attack 2nd half, go over the top and try to stay away of the stampeding dudes behind
    ha, you are too kind. This may work for @Ygduf, @gsteinb, @Racer Ex, and @thekillerpenguin

    i'm just a fatty trying to hang on for dear life.

  11. #11
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    @echappist, I didn't know you still come up here from time to time. Let me know the next time you're around, I'm 15mi north of the base of Bear Mtn.

    RE: climbing intervals, I think intervals on a steady grade have their value and I do those often as they seem good for raising the power ceiling over time. I also try to do them on varying terrain because it forces you to get used to generating that power with different amounts of torque, pushing over the top of kickers and down the other side, etc. I also find that I sometimes have trouble producing the same amount of power on rolling terrain versus a steady uphill, which is why it's important to me to do intervals under those circumstances. I am fortunate that I have about every type of terrain one could possibly need for training within riding distance, if I didn't I'd work with what I had.
    Is trick from science!

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    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
    @echappist, I didn't know you still come up here from time to time. Let me know the next time you're around, I'm 15mi north of the base of Bear Mtn.
    I see what you're up to. Stay classy.

    Quote Originally Posted by echappist View Post
    i'm just a fatty trying to hang on for dear life.

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    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    Mwahahaha
    Is trick from science!

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    Ninny globecanvas's Avatar
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    I do hill repeats all winter. I get about 100x per year on my local 12 minute hill. It's much easier to keep the effort steady, and safer. In season I prefer to do intervals on flat or rolling roads, because it's fun and useful race training to go really fast.

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    Senior Member Wylde06's Avatar
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    "hills"

    lol

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    \_(ツ)_/ Ygduf's Avatar
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    I got strong on years of riding up hills. I had to unlearn some of that to progress as a racer, too.

    Anyway, like others have said, around here if you want 20+ minutes of hard, uninterrupted-by-traffic-controls riding, you have to go uphill anyway.

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    fuggitivo solitario
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    I see what you're up to. Stay classy.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheKillerPenguin View Post
    Mwahahaha
    i'm not sure what's going on here?

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    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    He's just sayin I want to ride with you so I can say sorry but I have to drop you on bear mtn. Set power output to 400w (roughly 19mph), etc.

    Really though, if you're around give me a shout.
    Is trick from science!

  19. #19
    Ninny globecanvas's Avatar
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    I thought he was saying how come you never want to play with me.

  20. #20
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
    I thought he was saying how come you never want to play with me.
    the answer to that is pretty much the same. he wants to ride with the self-proclaimed fat guy.

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    gmt Grumpy McTrumpy's Avatar
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Dan333SP's Avatar
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    I go zone 5 every time I read that R600DA post, and sadly this is probably my 30th time reading it. Such drama... will he beat the guy that looks like Lance up the climb? Will his power dial actually remain at 400 watts? I can't ever get enough.

    EXCITING EDIT: I just realized we are a little over a month away from the 10 year anniversary of that post. Something should be done to commemorate the occasion.

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