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  1. #1
    mountain troll deadly downtube's Avatar
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    How do I train for a Jan 1st hill climb? please help!

    Reading all these articles and posts about training is very confusing, so I figured I'd pose my own question. I'm a Cat 4 with a meager history of races... if I wanted to race my best in the Mt. San Bruno hill climb on Jan 1st, how should I get prepared? I've only got 8 weeks, and for the past 6 months the only riding I've done has been working as a messenger, which is bad training for anything other than perhaps track sprinting...
    the event is a 3.5 mi hill climb, 7 to 10 percent grade... should I try to periodize? find the best climb in my area and ride it close to popping, over and over? If I did my own thing, I'd probably try to find a similar climb, and ride it to the point of wanting to puke, every other day... but that seems to go against what I've been reading about periodizing. So it makes me wonder, should my weeks gradually get more and more intense, with a week of rest and spinning before the event? So confused, please help! thanks!

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    OK, disclaimer up front that I am NOT a coach or an exercise physiologist, but here's what's worked for me. First, the best training you can do is to train in a way that simulates the strain and terrain of the race you are about to do.

    In terms of intensity the conventional wisdom right now is to train at that point where you are "working, but not straining" (the sweet spot of training or SST). When doing SST you aren't riding cross-eyed but you probably can't hold a conversation. When doing threshold (TH) work, the next level of intensity, you are really focused, hurting, and can't hold a convo (at least not an intelligent convo).

    Knowing that real physiological adaptation takes 8-12 weeks depending on your baseline of fitness, here is what I would do if I were you...

    - (weeks 1-4) do 2 x 20 min hill intervals 2-3 times per week plus a group ride or two
    - (weeks 5-6) do 1 SST day (1 x 35 min) + 1 threshold (TH) day 2 x 15-20 min + a group ride or two
    - (week 7) taper - do 60% of the load of the previous 2 weeks
    - (week 8) simulate your event on Tuesday - rest or do an easy sping on Wed & Thur - do your event on Saturday/Sunday and kick arse

    Hope that helps.

    gene r

  3. #3
    mountain troll deadly downtube's Avatar
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    hey thanks for the advice gene. one question..
    20 min hill interval means, 20 minutes of non stop pedaling up hill, at cross eyed pukey pain?
    thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by deadly downtube View Post
    hey thanks for the advice gene. one question..
    20 min hill interval means, 20 minutes of non stop pedaling up hill, at cross eyed pukey pain?
    thanks
    It does. If you have to stop or slow you are over your threshold. Again when doing SST you definitely should not be "suffering", so there should be no need to stop. BTW what's so great about SST is you get the same physiological adpation as you get when suffering at or just above threshold. See the attached article for further details...

    http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=3232

    Last, what REALLY helps me when doing TH or SST wkts. is strapping on the iPod. I have a 7 mile climb here in S Barbara w very few cars and I find its MUCH easier to get dialed in and focus on my rate of perceived exertion (SST vs TH) when I've got the tunes going.

    good luck!

    gene r

  5. #5
    mountain troll deadly downtube's Avatar
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    dang, I'd love a 7 mile climb... the northern bay area where i'll be at (sebastopol) has a lot of super steep hills... but i'm not sure of any really long climbs... I guess mt. diablo is across the valley...
    thanks

  6. #6
    Senior Member Velodiva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadly downtube View Post
    dang, I'd love a 7 mile climb... the northern bay area where i'll be at (sebastopol) has a lot of super steep hills... but i'm not sure of any really long climbs... I guess mt. diablo is across the valley...
    thanks
    I have my sights on the Jan. 1 San Bruno hill climb as well (my office is in South San Francisco so I have a great view of the Bay and Mt. Bruno). I have been training by doing several of the low key hill climb series that is currently going on in Northern California. Check it out at http://lowkey.djconnel.com/2007/
    I was surprised that San Bruno was not included in the series. So far I did King's Mountain (Woodside area) and Mount Diablo (East Bay). I also plan on doing the Mount Hamilton low key hill climb on Thanksgiving (that is down by San Jose). My husband (Hermes) and I are going to ride it in advance tomorrow to get a feel for the course. It is 19 miles with 4200 feet of climbing - a real test of endurance. On the weeks that I don't do the low key hill climb series, I do one hard climb a week. Last week, I did a ride out to the coast that included Old La Honda and Tunitas Creek. When I first moved here to the Bay area and started cycling again, I was rather intimidated by all the hills, but then decided that I am going to learn to love them. So just climb and keep your weight down (good luck over the holidays) - hope to see you at Mt. Bruno - what a way to start the New Year and welcome to Northern California!
    In bocca al lupo!

  7. #7
    "not enough rage" Old Breadbutt's Avatar
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    Deadly Downtube, if you ever feel like training together let me know (I know this is an old thread)
    I live in the East Bay and have been training on hills recently. I also used to messenger in the city, so maybe we've met. I've been doing tunnel road a lot and like to hit diablo or tam now and then.

    -John

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