This post has been adapted from an article By Selene Yeager published on June 13, 2019 which can be found HERE.

The following is excerpted from Climb! by Selene Yeager–your guide to train for, conquer, and ultimately fall in love with hills. I (Joey) have read Climb! and I recommend the book, again both for indoor and out.

How does one train for a mountain bike stage race, a hard race where you have hour-long climbs, short grinders, and rollers all thrown into the mix, for 4 to 6 hours a day, day after day. The answer is simple, hill repeats and lots of them.

If you are not already doing hill repeats in your indoor classes, you should consider them. They are hard, they allow you to dial in your time at intensity, and they will build a stronger student. Not all repeats have to be the same, some can be level, such as 3 x 8-minute or 6 x 5-minute hill repeats where you have 24 to 30 minutes at threshold. Others can be crafted to mimic real-world conditions, where you’re hanging onto attacking riders or trying to stay away or make a break, like 8 x 3 minutes or 12 x 2 minutes, so the same time at even higher intensity.

These not only train your body to produce more power aerobically, better manage lactate, and produce more power at your threshold, but also bolster your mental reserves, because it’s just as challenging for your mind to blaze up the same lung-busting climb as it is for your muscles.

The following hill repeats are taken from an outdoor preparation plan that is designed to build climbing power. Generally, a workout like this is only done once or twice a week and on fresh legs. Also, though hill repeats are designed to be somewhat torturous, they’re not intended to bury you. These should be done at an 7-8 on a scale of 1-10, not a 9 or 10. Your speed, intensity, and/or power should be within the goal range on every repeat.

Uphill Sprint 20s:
Being able to surge and recover helps you hang with the group up climbs and gives you the reserves to power through undulating climbs that kick up into double-digit grades.

Do It: Design a ride that has a steady climb in the 10 to 15 minute range for duration. Begin the climb in HeartZone 4, climbing at your lactate threshold (LT) RPE of 7 to 8. After 2 minutes, stand up and attack at just below all-out sprint intensity, HeartZone 5, (RPE 9) for 20 pedal strokes. Sit and go right back to climbing at your LT. Repeat every 1 to 2 minutes (depending on your fitness) all the way up the hill. Perform the drill one or two more times.

Rock The Rollers:
To keep going strong through rolling terrain, practice 2-minute attacks.

Do It: Design a ride with short climbs that take about 2 minutes to crest. Wind up before you hit the climb, so you’re at LT (RPE 7 to 8) as soon as the hill starts. Climb at LT for 90 seconds, then go as fast as you can (RPE 9 to 10) for the final 30 seconds all the way to the top. Repeat four to six times.

Short Rest Repeats:
These classic climbing intervals simulate real-world climbing conditions where you often don’t have the luxury of fully recovering before you’re hit with the next incline.

Do It: Design a climb that takes about 10 minutes to climb. Roll into the climb and crank your intensity to your LT heart rate and/or power (RPE 8). Hold it there for 6 minutes. Recover for 3 minutes. Repeat for a total of four climb intervals.

Rocket Drills
As the name implies, these short intervals go from 0 to 60, like a rocket, to develop the explosive strength and power you need to punch up steep climbs without losing speed and momentum.

Do It: Design a short incline that takes about 2 minutes to crest. Begin from a standing or slow-rolling start (much as you would a race), on a count of three, explode up the hill as hard as you can (RPE 8 to 9) for 2 minutes. Recover for 3 minutes. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

I hope that this helps you in your next class design. I always try to bring a little of the outside in every time I ride......Joey

Originally posted 2019-06-17 18:55:52.

Joey Stabile

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