FAQ ~ Climbing Surges
Mark Hall ~ climbing legend
first flamme rouger home Trois Ballons
I was curious if you had any recommended workouts to improving climbing, specifically
being able to react to, and/or create, accelerations during longer climbs.
Eric Diamond ~ USA
Climbing is a strange beast, as it depends on the climb gradient, length and/or the cadence it's at which it's being ridden.
Long, shallow climbs are mainly ridden seated with a high cadence, which places a greater demand on the cardio system. Short, steep (British or Belgian climbs) are more muscular driven, often out of the saddle.
Long climbs have a more lactate tolerance and FTP emphasis, while short climbs are generally VO2max and neuromuscular driven.
For your long climbs, you're looking to improve your leg speed and FTP. So, (for instance) on a Tuesday, you can try an FTP Development session (page 29 of your Self Coach Manual) and on a Thursday you do the Drop Intervals (page 47 ).
At the weekends, during your endurance ride, find a longish (ten minute?) climb and ascend it slightly over-geared for a couple of minutes, then drop down two gears to spin for a couple of minutes. It will feel horrible!
Then go back to over geared for a couple of minutes before dropping down again. One or two climbs a weekend should be suffice!
Over a couple of weeks the cumulative adaptations will begin to take place and you'll find yourself able to adapt to the changes in pace (more) easily.
You need to blend cardio and muscular work to make the most of these attributes. The process itself isn't pleasant, but you will enjoy the results when they come.