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"Tune up" training for mountains

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"Tune up" training for mountains

Old 04-22-23, 08:13 AM
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terrymorse I raced up Sierra Road twice. Both times were charity events but my racing team was one of the sponsors so it incorporated a "race" opportunity as a timed event. The event started as a promenade or neutral zone through San Jose as we approached Sierra Road all hell broke out. I saw the road that looked like a wall. I was thinking what have I gotten myself into. I was near the front and tried to hold pace - not possible for me. I held it for awhile and then just settled into a rhythm.

The other time we had a time chip on the bike and we that started recording when we crossed the start line. That time we stayed at the top and the Tour of California rode past us a couple of hours later. And Lance Armstrong was quoted as saying the Sierra Road was the hardest climb he ever did. And the year that Horner won the ToC, he stood the entire climb.

Sierra road is a lot harder than it looks as depicted in the elevation chart since the sections of 13.6% are an average and much like OLH, there was switchback style turns that are steeper. The Sierra Road climb is definitely a leg breaker.
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Old 04-25-23, 04:15 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Sierra Road, there's a climb I haven't done in ages! All I can remember is that it's a pretty long grind, with a couple stair steps. One thing's for certain--I never rode any part of it at 500 watts!



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BTW, if you want to take the Strava KOM on Sierra Rd, you'll need a bit above 5 W/kg for 20 minutes. That's out of my league.
That looks brutal! Too steep to ride comfortably under threshold with standard gearing and too long to go full gas. My worst nightmare!
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Old 05-08-23, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
Have a trip to the mountains coming up in 1.5 months. Doing a few 5-6k+ climbs over the course of a few days/<br /><br />Did cycles of FTP/V02 intervals over the winter. Took it easy for a few weeks after. Been doing 2x +/- per week rides with random intensity, along with Z2 rides, for the past month.<br /><br />I want to do a 2 week tune up session for the climbs. Most of the climbs are long and steady 6-8% - some have sections of 15+% mixed in.<br /><br />--The steeper sections will take me above threshold, this is my concern--<br /><br />One climb will be 3+/- hours and I will be at 80-90% of threshold for the duration. With sections that will be above threshold, some close to V02 max or more.<br /><br />FTP intervals, V02, HIIT during the tune up? A bit of all three?
<br /><br />Go SS and hold it as long as you can.<br /><br />Practice out of saddle riding so that you can grind up the steep sections without having to go into zone 5. <br /><br />How steep are these steep sections really? If necessary just get 34 cassette.

Edit: Just read some more of your replies - definitely practice out of saddle climbing. Especially at low cadences. If you already are 34-34 and do weigh 86kg I guess that is your best bet. It makes a big difference if you practice it, I have even gotten to the stage where going out of the saddle does not make my HR shoot up like it used to.

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Old 05-08-23, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermes
terrymorse I raced up Sierra Road twice. Both times were charity events but my racing team was one of the sponsors so it incorporated a "race" opportunity as a timed event. The event started as a promenade or neutral zone through San Jose as we approached Sierra Road all hell broke out. I saw the road that looked like a wall. I was thinking what have I gotten myself into. I was near the front and tried to hold pace - not possible for me. I held it for awhile and then just settled into a rhythm.

The other time we had a time chip on the bike and we that started recording when we crossed the start line. That time we stayed at the top and the Tour of California rode past us a couple of hours later. And Lance Armstrong was quoted as saying the Sierra Road was the hardest climb he ever did. And the year that Horner won the ToC, he stood the entire climb.

Sierra road is a lot harder than it looks as depicted in the elevation chart since the sections of 13.6% are an average and much like OLH, there was switchback style turns that are steeper. The Sierra Road climb is definitely a leg breaker.
I thought that was Mortirolo.
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Old 05-08-23, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo
Go SS and hold it as long as you can.

Practice out of saddle riding so that you can grind up the steep sections without having to go into zone 5.

How steep are these steep sections really? If necessary just get 34 cassette.

So the rides are next week - fitness is what it is at this point!!

34 cassette is installed. Weight is down to 190#/86 KG for the first time in my adult life...

Some 1/2 mile sections at 11%, some ramps at 15-17% - I will be above threshold for the latter.

I should be OK - just mimicked the ride on flat ground this weekend. 3 hours just below threshold, with efforts/sprints and some short climbs above Z5 mixed in.
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Old 05-08-23, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
So the rides are next week - fitness is what it is at this point!!

34 cassette is installed. Weight is down to 190#/86 KG for the first time in my adult life...

Some 1/2 mile sections at 11%, some ramps at 15-17% - I will be above threshold for the latter.

I should be OK - just mimicked the ride on flat ground this weekend. 3 hours just below threshold, with efforts/sprints and some short climbs above Z5 mixed in.
Oh right, I did not check the date, well in that case, good luck!

Try to not to go into z5 as much as you can. I think that will hurt you more than it will hurt your knees grinding at 40rpm.
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Old 05-08-23, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
So the rides are next week - fitness is what it is at this point!!

34 cassette is installed. Weight is down to 190#/86 KG for the first time in my adult life...

Some 1/2 mile sections at 11%, some ramps at 15-17% - I will be above threshold for the latter.

I should be OK - just mimicked the ride on flat ground this weekend. 3 hours just below threshold, with efforts/sprints and some short climbs above Z5 mixed in.
Good luck! Sounds like you will be fine as long as you are able to recover from those steeper ramps. I find those type of climbs are more of a mental challenge than physical. I find they can be really tough as I hit the first steep ramp and my breathing goes to the max. But once I push through the first ramp and my breathing stabilises, the next ramp is usually less of a shock and becomes a bit less daunting.
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