8-9 week training plan for hill climbing

Hi folks, hoping for some advice on getting into structured training with TR. Main thing is what kind of plan should I start with?


  • I want to be fit for one-off all out climbs from 1 minute to 15 minutes towards the end August (8-9 week program)
  • I want to improve my ftp


  • can do 2-3 intervals sessions (1-1.5 hours) during the week and 1-2 longish rides (2-3 hours) at the weekend
  • ideally train out side when it’s nice. have power meter on bike, smart trainer, hr monitor


  • new to structured training
  • third year cycling, current base fitness is decent for me (3-7 hours a week for the last few months, with combination of easy with a few short hard efforts/easy long 3/4 hours/fairly hard for 1-2 hours)
  • ftp from zwift ramp test 3.9 w/kg (seated, 75% of last minute, one minute intervals, 20 watt increase each minute)
  • best efforts: 34 minutes max 4 w/kg (zwift race); ten minute max 4.6 w/kg; five minute max 5.4 w/kg; one minute max 9 w/kg; five second max 14.6 w/kg (best efforts mostly out saddle up hill)
  • 67kg, could be less but realistically I’m not going to lose any weight unless it happens naturally with the training

Welcome! Have you met our lord and savior, Plan Builder?



Hello @ellotheth, I had not! Sounds exactly what I need

1 Like

Going through it now, am new to interval training, but I do quite a lot of short hard efforts in my normal riding. Beginner or intermediate?

Also, there doesn’t really seem to be an option for one off hill climb efforts, and it’s starting me on base training :frowning:

SS Base, Short Power Build, Gravity.

Will get you in the right ball park.


Sweet Spot Base II is where I have had the biggest jumps in my FTP, personally. It’s hard work, but really well designed with a good amount of work above FTP. I think plan builder will pretty much always recommend sweet spot base even given your short time frame unless you indicate a very high experience level with training.

With 8-9 weeks I’d probably do the second half of SSB2 and the first half of short power build.

1 Like

If you’ve never done structured training then start as a beginner and that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Structured training is hard. A plan for one-off climbs? I’m not sure what a one off climb is? Start with some Sweet Spot Base, then you can do Short Power Build or Sustained Power Build and finally move into Climbing Road Race specialty. It’s the work and the consistency that will make you faster, don’t worry too much what the plan description says.

When I started TR I skipped Base because I thought that all the riding I had already done was suffice to move me straight to Build. Haha, that was a mistake and this year I finally did Sweet Spot Base Mid Volume 1&2 and wow I was missing out on a lot of really good muscular endurance work. I have a lot of climbs in my area and my normal pace up those is much more consistent and faster. It’s a progression.

Stick with it and be consistent and you will get faster! Start with Base!


What? SSBII has no work above FTP…

Edit: high volume doesn’t, the lower ones do I guess.


I just finished Sustained Power Build and the end of the block has several workouts with 12-15 minute intervals at threshold. Looks like Short Power Build has several with a super-threshold start for ~30 seconds and then high sweetspot / low threshold intervals. I don’t think you’ll go wrong with either plan.

1 Like

Considering the size of the plan builder ad thread you might be the only person!

Oh and don’t worry about doing at least some base, a big engine to start with is good. I’ve was aiming for the UK hill climb season (now most likely off) and SSB and short power was my first block. I’m allmost finished my build so about to hit the SSB again.

1 Like

The organisers I have recently spoken to indicated events will be running.

New riders really need to change this line of thinking when it comes to approaching structured training. It doesn’t matter if your event is 6 weeks out. If you are new, jumping straight in to specialty will just set you up for failure. You need a base foundation to build and specialize upon which is why all plans, all riders, start with base.


That’s awesome! The last discussion I heard was CTT had cancelled everything this year. Better cut down on junk food again.

1 Like

A one off climb would be trying to get a strava kom (or in my case in the top 10) or a hill climb tt which I’m thinking about entering later in the year.

I guess you’re probably right about starting with the base, worried I might lose something on my shorter effort if I’ve only 8 weeks though

Does it not depend a bit on how much base training you have from your normal riding though?

Hill climbing specificity is a lot of long intervals, at sweet spot, and threshold. In order to sustain that you need to prepare the body and mind to endure it.

I like the looks of Sustained Power Build and Century specialty. Basically lots of 2x15, 2x20, 2x30 at tempo, sweet spot, and threshold/ftp. Mixed in will be some over/unders.

You will need base work to lead into this.

1 Like

Hi @firemunki, thanks. So I may try my first hill climbs this year if it’s on, and even if not, my main things trying to beat my strava times up hill.

So for me, do you reckon sweet spot base for the whole time? Or a bit of sweet spot base and then some short power build?

Also, I could stretch the whole plan out to 12 weeks. Better option?

Thanks. The longest hill I’ll do is probably 16 minutes, mostly 1 - 10 minutes. Do you still think sustained power build rather than short?

Point taken on the base :slight_smile:

I’d pop into plan builder, but I’d expect a good chunk will be base.

Your goals sound pretty similar to mine, hill climbs if on and racing myself.

1 Like