FAQ ~ No Hills For Classics Circuits
The much missed Martin Baudains, who rode the
inaugural Haute Route
after preparing on an island with its highest climb at 100 metres!
How should I go about completing the 6 minute hill climb portion
of the classic circuit ride if I do not have a six minute climb in
my area? The longest climb I have, at best, is 2-1/2 minutes.
Ken Smith ~ PA USA
To best simulate a 6 minute climb in a flat area, use gears; big ones!
Break a long straight road (with a headwind for added toughness!) in to three two minute sections, or markers every kilometre or so.
Whatever gears you have, get in the big ring up front, and four gears in from the back. So you could be looking at a 53 x 15 or similar.
Don't "take a run at it"!
From a steady to slow cruising speed of around 20 kph (13 mph), select your gear of choice, then ride in to it and hold a steady cadence.
At two minutes (or your marker) change up to a harder gear, and try to keep the same cadence as before.
At the next change point, knock it up another gear and hold until the end of the run.
Concentrate on form and technique to build strength.
The following week, (if you can) start in a higher gear, to finish nearer the top of the block.
For the third week, use just the top two gears. Changing up at your first marker and holding the top gear until the end of the run, if possible. If you have to, you may have to snick it down before the end.
All you're trying to do is create overload. How you do it is up to you and the environmental resources available to you.
This is more a VO2max interval then a muscular endurance one, so cadence should be relatively high (around 80-90 rpm), although so will suffering.
You'll know when you've got it right. It's a great feeling.