Accountability Thread. Training to Mt.Diablo PR and a weight PR

Not sure if a personal training thread is of interest to anyone but I wanna keep this online for some sort of accountability and document this for myself :slight_smile:

Sub 1 hr is not a crazy goal. It should be achievable yet not super easy.
Not sure how much lower than 1hr I can get with my watt and weight goal but it comes to 3.78w/kg.
I have hit 4w/kg before in my ramp tests but I’m the kind of rider who does better in shorter higher power efforts more so than long sustained efforts. There’s a much bigger drop off for me than 5% between max 20 min and max 1 hr effort. In fact, I believe my Ramp Test would’ve been around 260 watts when I got my PR on Diablo last year, which was 236 watts.

But 1 hr is a good goal. Nate English once said that’s a good indicator that you’re a fit individual. Ofcourse, he did it in something like 43 minutes, but I’ll take his word for it.

EDIT: Pushed the PR attempt date 2 weeks as I just found out it’s the “Diablo Challenge” event on Oct 3rd! I think that will give me an extra push to be in shape for the event and maybe perform a little better than I would otherwise. Being closed to traffic on the day helps out a lot too!

Segment: Mt Diablo (S): Athenian School to summit lot (wrong way @ top) | Strava Ride Segment in Danville, CA

Personal Record
Date: May 3rd 2020
Segment Time: 1:02:44
Leaderboard Placement: 1392 / 15132
Personal + Bike Weight : (142lbs + 6.8kg)
Avg. Watts: 236W
Temperature: 79F (Max) 71F (Avg)

Date: Oct 3 2021
Segment time: Sub 1:00:00
Personal + Bike Weight : (140lbs + 4.99kg)
Goal Watts: 240W

June 10th 2021: 147.8lbs
June 14th 2021: 149.3lbs
August 14th 2021: 148.1lbs

Ramp Tests
April 26th 2021: 245W 3.62w/kg
June 14th 2021: 248W 3.66w/kg
July 27th 2021: 253W 3.75w/kg

Training Plan

  • Have been following a Low Volume plan since April and not riding much extra on top of that. No goal event.
  • Got in Adaptive Training Beta as of yesterday.
  • Started a fresh TT Low Volume plan (since this is a pure hill TT effort) and plugged Sept 19th as an A race with openers.
  • Do the minimum 3.5-4 hours per week the plan prescribes.
  • Try to add 1 long (3.5-4 hour) ride on the weekend.
  • Very easy 1-1.5 hour rides in between optional depending on mood.

Nutrition & Weight Loss

  • In 2015 I was 208lbs at 5’7" with 0 activity.
  • In 2016 I was down to 154lbs via cycling with not much attention to nutrition.
  • I went vegan in 2016 and I’d do the usual -/+ 7 to 8lbs on / off season until 2020. Mainly lowest of 154lbs though.
  • Beginning of 2020 I ate 90% whole foods. ~1600 calories per day and no junk foods especially after dinner while watching Netflix. Dropped to my lowest of 142lbs in a couple months.
  • Late 2020 until now, stress / boredom and lack of goals led me to eating unhealthy / junk often. Not horrible all things considered. I’d like to lose 7.8 lbs to be at my best weight for PR. I’ll do my best to follow my early 2020 strategy for weight loss.

I’ll update as I go!

UPDATE 1 / June 14th 2021: First Ramp Test:

  • As usual my ramp test started from “yeah this is not my day. I might have to adjust my ftp later. Maybe I’ll test again on the weekend” to upping my watts by 3 when all said and done. If anything, this tells me I should work on my mental ability and positive self encouragement :smile:
  • While as mentioned in OP, I went into this training plan with some training already in my pocket, I’m really surprised how much low volume training can maintain fitness / strength / ability. Since April I’ve averaged only 4.5 hrs per week on the bike. Last 4 weeks 3 hrs/week. But it has been 95% on the trainer.
  • Somehow I gained couple lbs on the weekend but I know better to not pay attention to that right now. Record it and move on!
  • On the AT side, everything is smooth and expected. I did my ramp test and many of my future workouts got adapted into easier levels. So far it has responded to my surveys and test just as I expect and workouts have been just hard enough. We’ll see how the next one feels!

UPDATE 2 / August 14th 2021: Second Ramp Test, progress and 1st block reports:

  • I had a great block for training. Not so much for weight loss. I’m more or less same weight but my ramp test result is up 7 Watts which is great.
  • I have missed a couple rides here and there due to travel. However my travels were backpacking trips up on elevation or involved a good amount of hiking so it while I missed on training, I feel like I haven’t sacrificed a lot of fitness.
  • I’m into my second block where the 3 TR rides I do in a week are VO2 max, Sweet Spot and Threshold. I have also started adding a little more volume by riding an hour easy on the non-TR workout days and I try to get a 2-3 hour ride on the weekends. My goal is to have consistent 7-8 hour weeks until the event.
  • I assess myself once in a while on a 14-15:30 minute (depending on fitness) 3 mile, 4.7% average climb. The other day I was feeling great and did an effort. I was only 1 Watt short of my best power on that climb. However the result was 80 seconds slower. I’m stoked about the watts, however, it’s a good reminder that I need to REALLY focus on my weight now. I’m sure the wind played a part too but while it’s not looking likely I’ll hit my goal weight by Oct 3rd, I wanna at least be within close range.



The challenge is on Oct 3rd (not the 9th), with the registration starting on June 15. I’ve done it 7 times, so I’m trying to decide if I want to do it again. Need to research which training plan to use, so I’ll take a look at that TT plan. Hopefully, I can ride the mountain as much as possible - nothing better than doing the route itself.

Good luck.

Good luck! I did the Mt Diablo challenge approximately 30 years ago when I was racing. My time was similar to your PR - just a smidge over 1hr. Man, that has bugged me forever. :slight_smile:

At the time I was racing but I was a sprinter, not a climber. I was still annoyed not to get the t-shirt.

Is it possible to model the watts per kg needed to make it there in 1 hour? I ask out of curiosity because we didn’t have power back then and I wonder what my ballpark FTP might have been when I was racing. If I take your 3.65watt/kg, that means I had around a 310 watt FTP back then.

Good luck! 4 w/kg is a good goal to shoot for. I played around with best bike split back when I did the challenge in 2018 and if I recall correctly, that was about where I needed to be to go sub 1 hour. You can get there. Also, my official time was +40 seconds more than my time on the Strava segment, so keep in mind that to get the t-shirt it’s the official time that matters.

Whoooops. Must’ve had a brainfart while typing. I actually did plug it in for 3rd on my training plan

I’m sure other plans might work too but TT made sense to me as it’s a pretty linear full on effort.

I’ll definitely ride it a few times before the event as a weekend ride just to refresh my memory. It’s been more than a year I haven’t climbed Diablo!

I used
That site gives me pretty accurate calculation when I plugin my weight, bike weight, power average, length and average grade. I plugged those in for my PR effort and it estimated the correct time for the effort. So going from there, when I increase my effort to 240 watts it says i should be able to do it under 1 hr. We’ll see. I hope to give it a little more on the day of if I have it in me.

Thanks for that tip! Honestly I was shooting for sub 1 hr on strava and had no idea you get a tshirt or any recognition for doing it sub 1 hr on the challenge. But it would be nice to hit it officially and not just strava :slight_smile:

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One other thing: drafting is legal and smart. It was windy when I did it and sitting on someone’s wheel during the headwind sections made a difference.

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Wow we’re very similar in our weight and ftp. I can vouch also about drafting. I’ve done the Diablo challenge a few years ago and I remember facing a brutal headwind. Also, South gate does flatten out a bit. Good luck with the Diablo challenge. Who knows, you might see me there lol.

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Added updates! Training going well. It’ll be tough to hit the targets but steps in positive direction always feels great!