Just did my first session of hill repeats this year - nothing like waiting (literally) until the last minute to do so . Unfortunately, it's amazing at how fast a date can sneak up on you. Anyway....
I have a local hill that's 1 mile in length and gains around 275-300 vertical feet or so. Average gradient is 6-7%, and kicks up to 10-11% towards the top, so you don't really get to ease up at all at the end. The pavement sucks, and the road is narrow. Fortunately there isn't a TON of traffic, but I did get passed by several cars, which is the norm.
While I'm not going to write an in-depth ride report on a climbing repeat workout, last year I was able to do about 3 ascents to the top and was pretty tired. Then, I'd do 3 half ascents after those, and call it a day. Last year my lowest gear was a 34x27. This year, 36x26 on the race bike (which was what I was using).
Today on my first day out, I did 5 ascents.....would've done more, but I wanted to keep the ride to around an hour session and not kill myself, as I'm planning on doing some climbing repeats on Sunday. I can't believe the difference from last year to this year. Now....I can still get the heartrate up there, but the legs seem to give out quicker lately than the lungs. Need to work on that.
Once I get another year or two in the legs (only at 1 yr. 10 months right now) and drop say, another 8-10 pounds or so.....man, I can't wait.
I'm still going to get slaughtered by the climbers at Housatonic, but at least I should be in MUCH better shape this year than if I tried to do it last year.