Recently some riders have contacted me and expressed their concerns about their preparation. If you’re one of them, this post will get you moving in the right direction. First off, in order to become a comfortable climber you need to do just that. There is a guiding principle in training called SAID, or Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands. This simple yet effective training principle states that if you want to adapt to mountainous terrain, you need to expose yourself to that type of demand. If you don’t have hills around you, gear down (ride in a harder gear) and make the flats more challenging. If you only have access to a short hill, enjoy hill repeats. Regardless of your riding environment, it’s important that you implement some high-intensity work. For last month and this month your training drills include hill repeats and threshold training. The change is adding 1 to 2 sets to the hill repeats and 2 to 3 minutes to the threshold training.
Both of these training tools will help you immensely in conquering this year’s route. When completing the training drills, your legs should maintain the “burn” throughout the entire work period. If you’re using a heart rate (HR) monitor, stay within 5 beats of your anaerobic threshold (ANT). To determine your estimated ANT, take the average HR during a 6- to 8-minute period of all-out work.
These training tools are designed to be done during shorter training rides, but you can also implement them during long rides. Just keep in mind that the total volume of each drill might need to be reduced.
Here is your monthly checklist:
Mileage: 130 to 180 miles per week.
Ride Pace: Hill repeats and threshold training drills 2 to 3 times a week. One to 2 long recovery rides at an easier pace.
Hill repeats: Add 1 to 2 sets from last month – 2 to 5 of 5-minute hard climbs, then 5 minutes recovery pace
Threshold training: 2 to 5; add 2 to 3 minutes from last month, so 4 to 10 minutes working at your threshold, then 5 to 10 minutes recovery pace
Use most of this time for recovery: massage, deep-water float, meditation or simply getting plenty of sleep. Remember that your body gets stronger when you’re resting, not working.
“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.” –W. Clement Stone