Best beginner training for KOM attempts?

Hey everyone,

I’m a total beginner. I’ve been commuting on a hybrid for a few months and recently made the plunge and sold it and for myself a used road bike. Since upgrading I’ve been getting a few KOM’s my area and it’s addictive. Most of the segments are usually no more than 10 miles in length. Are there any workouts that can help me improve on these short segments? I’ve just taken the ramp test and have an estimate of 198W. Some of the segments show guys putting to 400-500 watts for effort, do I even stand a chance? Thanks.

As a new user and not having a history of training, I suggest considering using the Plan Builder, and setting it with no specific event or date in mind. It will setup a Sweet Spot Base, Build (appropriate to the emphasis you choose), and a Specialty (appropriate to the emphasis you choose). You can consider if that Specialty makes sense and skip it or change your plan at that time.

Essentially, you will benefit from starting with a proper Base program to increase overall fitness.

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You may have no chance where the local cat 1s or pros put out 400 watts for an extended duration.

On the other hand, KOMs are won and lost based on course conditions meaning that over time most KOMs have been got with a tail wind or during a group ride/race. Or the person had a TT bike and all the aero gear.

And in my area, a lot of the top guys could care less about KOMs. They’ve already nabbed the signature KOMs on the big climbs in the area but they don’t “chase” the smaller, out of the way stuff.

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I just logged into Strava desktop site to check - I’ve got 371 KOMs at present (plus a load of joint 1st that don’t even appear in your records). Based on how it is where I live, you need good 00:30 - 3:00 minute power. That’d be anaerobic and VO2 max workouts if you wanted to use TR to train for KOMs. I’m doing something like this at the moment to attempt to try and raise my aerobic ceiling as my FTP is quite a high % of my best 5 minute effort. It hurts - a lot. If you’re new to this, I wouldn’t do more than 1 a week to start with, but you could work up to 2 a week.

Edit: TR Z5 and Z6 rides will certainly help, and make you able to hit a better repeatable power. However after thinking again, most 2:00 and under KOMs tend to be unsustainably hard efforts, so do some all-out sprints as well. The type of sprint that leaves you ready to collapse at the side of the road is ideal!

I became very anerobically inclined chasing KOMs all the time up until about 9 months ago. My goals have moved on from chasing KOMs (nothing wrong with it IMO) and I’m more interested in becoming a better, more rounded cyclist. To that end @mcneese.chad has laid out the best advice already. By having a better FTP it becomes easier to be faster across the board.

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SSB1 - SSB2 - Short Power Build - SSB2 - Sustained Power build - KOM machine

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