"King of the hill" training/game
First of all, I have to say that I'm not really a sports person, in the sense that I don't go to competitions and I don't have a competition-level bicycle. I want to stress this, because I suppose some of the more sporting patrons of this subforum may be offended by my account. Please try not to be and consider that the world is a nicer and more interesting place thanks to variety.
I ride a 10.5 Km commute from home to work (and vice-versa) on a singlespeed I built myself. I ride on 26" Schwalbe Big Apples and my gear ratio is 36/16 - that gives about 58 gear inches. some 3 or 4 weeks ago I decided that I am fairly fast going uphill, compared to other riders, and decided that I'll try to always overtake and never let myself overtaken when I go uphill. I thought this could be a healthy exercise and fun little game while commuting. And indeed, I did have fun, although at times it was really hard and I felt like my heart is going to explode - but it didn't, and afterwards I felt exhilarated.
These "uphill battles" don't happen every time I have a commute, but during a week I average 8-10 of them. I'd like to note that, so far, I managed never to be beaten. Even when my opponent was a more committed and competitive road cyclist in full spandex riding a CF road bike with a gruppo more expensive than my bike and my laptop together. Of course, these roadies would usually drop me after the hill, but I would arrive to the top first, always.
Is this kind of game going to train me in any direction? Is it good for anything, or it is just fun (nothing wrong with that)? And is there any advice you would like to give me to further improve my performance, be it nutrition-wise or anything else? I am a small guy (5'7"), rather light at 60 Kg (132 pounds) and 42 years old. They say I look rather younger than that.
Doing hill intervals is probably good for training, depending on what you're training for.
You can't judge a rider's talent by their bike and clothing. There's plenty of riders on expensive bikes who aren't very fast. Even when someone is a fast racer, you don't know what sort of ride they've done. So always beating the people you're "racing" (who may not be racing back) doesn't mean much.
If you want to see how good you are, enter a race.
The pro roadies are always always "racing back. I have a huge respect for their valiant efforts. At times it felt like my heart will explode, but I didn't give up. But of course, you are right that this "race" doesn't give a precise metric. And I am not even looking for one. I am curious what will it get me, in terms of training.
Originally Posted by ericm979
I seriously doubt that any of those riders "racing back" are pros, or even local amateurs. But whatever.
The training benefits depend on how long the intervals are and how hard you're going. Research "hill repeat".