Haleakala climb training?

I’m aiming to do the Haleakala climb in Maui in the fall and I’m hoping for some suggestions of which plan combos would be suitable. It’s a steep 10,000ft/3048m climb over 36mi/58k and average times are supposedly about 5hrs with breaks.

I’m coming off a 2.5 month break from training because of an injury so am going to restart from base phase. The sustained power plans sound suitable but their long rides are only 2hrs. Should I double the long ride workouts? Alternatively the triathlon workouts have longer rides but are their ride profiles suited to a relentless climb like Haleakala? If so, would half or full distance be better?

I’m new to Trainer Road and any advice will be much appreciated. Thanks!

Most likely plan progression:

  1. Sweet Spot Base 1 & 2
  2. Sustained Power Build
  3. Century Specialty
  • Don’t judge the rides purely on time. Many of those are Sweet Spot efforts and more challenging than you might expect. I suggest trying them as-is for now. You can always adjust if you feel you need more.
  • If you have not followed a structured training plan inside like this, I highly recommend following the Low Volume plan directly for a bit, then see how you adapt to it.
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the workout tips for all plans include notes about substituting a long ride on the weekend. If I were in your shoes, would go with the progression above and substitute a long 3-6 hour outside ride on the weekend. My outside rides usually include a 40-60 minute solo ride to a group ride, and then the same solo ride home. In my opinion, those long rides are critical to building aerobic fitness.


make sure you get lots of tempo, sweet spot, and even some vo2max in. that climb sounds awesome

Eh dont fret I did this climb on about zero training…Which was dumb, but do able.

I did not even own a road bike at the time, and only occasionally (maybe once a week…maybe) rode my mountain bike back then. I decided that I would give the climb a go for the bucket list nature of it. Pre trip I did 4 training rides over two weeks, all about 40-50 miles…That’s it. I then went out and made the climb in a little over 5 hours (with two short stops at the market and ranger station), I ate like crazy, to the point that gels and waffles were disgusting, and drank a bunch, I knew I wasn’t fit but could manage it as long as I didn’t bonk. The last bit at altitude sucked, and I was spent. I remember seeing the top and thinking I am almost there, then it took another 90 minutes of swtich backs which all felt like torture, the rest was not horrible even with no real fitness*. Its a bit chilly at the top, so either have a SAG or pack warmers and vest and get off the top fairly quickly, I froze for a bit on the descent (which is a blast by the way).

From a TR perspective, I would do a bunch of sweet spot, long steady state power, the roads are very consistent in gradient, and you just need to build up your fatigue threshold.

SS base 1 & 2 and the century plan would be good IMO. I also wouldn’t worry about long rides if time is tight. Just crush some good 2 hour trainer rides and a couple long outdoors to sample nutrition and I think you will be just fine.

Enjoy it, its a bucket list ride for sure.


Thanks for this info! With the sweet spot base I see there’s level 1 and 2. Is it suitable to shorten a week or two out of the 2nd level? Counting up the weeks in the 4 plans you listed it’s more time than I have before the trip so looking to shorten where I can. Without compromising training.

Thanks! This helps me prepare for it mentally. After reading a bunch of ride reviews I had it in my head that I’d have to be training harder than when I did an ironman a few years ago. Glad to know it isn’t as bad as I imagined!

I did it in 3:41 on a supposedly bad conditions day. I almost exclusively did sweet spot leading up to it, nothing over two hours.

I would go sweet spot base. Then general or sustained build. Then century plan.

Maui cyclery does a supported ride up it once a week! They give you bottles and food and bring clothes up to the gate. I will use them again if I ever decide to do it again.


Just remove a week out of the build plan. Remove the last week before the taper.

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Ride completed! Thanks again for all the advice. It was a hard one but now off the bucket list. Used the trainer road platform for about 98% of the training and it worked out great.