Help me conquer my nemesis

Outside of where I live, is a hill that I love riding and have done so 500+ times.
Naturally seeing how fast I can make it up, comes into play. As my motivation for the wintertraining indoors, I want to train towards this as a goal.
The hill is just 1,0 km long, an elevation difference of 85m and avg grade of 8%. On Strava it´s called Munkebjerg climb.
My best time ever is 3:22 min and the goal is to make it under 3:00 min. I don´t have a deadline, just, you know, before I get too old (41 yo).

  • I´m on week two of SSB LV2, how should I proceed in regards to the plans?
  • How much is weight a factor? I don´t know if I can make it under 3:00 mins, it´ll be close, so I guess everything counts. The times I´v went all out, have left me with burning legs and lungs.
  • With this short of a run, what zones/intervals should I focus during training? (Examples would be nice)

What power can you do for 3 minutes now?

What is your best power for that climb so far on a calm day?

I’d be interested to see what the gap is, mainly because if it’s within about 20-40 watts, (maybe even more) then dependent on how you’ve been training you could totally add some specificity and achieve your goal.

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We have a hill like that here called Jericho, similar distance and elevation actually. First time I did it, I had to get off twice and walk. The following year I did a 2:52, then the following I did a 2:37, and this year I did 2:19 at an average of 565w. I would focus on lower cadence work to build strength, and some vo2. I did SSB1 and 2 Low VOlume and weigh 175-180

I’d like to know how you attack the hill and where it features in your rides. Do you go in cold or have you got a few miles in the legs?

You might also benefit from pacing your effort differently. No point throwing everything into the first minute and clinging on for dear life towards the end. Building up to solid 3 minute VO2 Max efforts will certainly help.

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According to bikecalculator for a 70kg rider you would have to go from 373w for 3:22 to 426w for 3:00.

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What he said. Sub-three minute max efforts are (mostly) all about VO2 power.

Some TR workout examples:
Shortoff +1
Monadnock +1

Those are all 3min intervals but you might want to train longer 3.5-4min intervals just to be secure in knowing you won’t blow up when you approach your target time.

Not that unreasonable. At 66kg & 300w FTP my MAP (pseudo proxy for 5min power) was around 400+w. A 70kg rider would need a ~320w FTP.

Good luck & have fun! :+1::+1::+1:

Some tools:
(you’ll need to analyse your last ramp test)


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Looking at Strava Thomas you started a little hard and eased off slightly right at the end. Do you climb standing or sitting do you have to ease off for the corners. BTW my best 3minute power for this year is 411 watts and I am 57 so I am sure you have plenty of time! :wink:


Have you put this into best bike splits and have it tell you what you need to be able to do from a power perspective for 3 minutes? That would give you a starting point for your goal: how much do you need to increase your 3 minute power by.

From a workout perspective, you are talking about VO2 max workouts, and for plans, more of the short power build / cyclocross / short track cross country / Criterium. Anything that is going to be focused on short, intense efforts.

Good luck, and let us know how you progress.

Also do not forget about gear. Fast tires and lates tubes will save a few watts for a bit extra speed, ditch the water bottles and saddle bag before the climb, aero helmet, tight jersey. All adds up!

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Basically what you’re asking for is training for a single hill climb effort.

Which was discussed on the podcast in this episode, at 1:16:31.

I would personally go for the kind of intervals @Captain_Doughnutman mentions rather than short power build or criterium. Like they say on the podcast, 3 minutes is still a very aerobic effort.

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If the first two numbers are correct it`s 8,5 so more 9 then 8 avg grade - Sorry can’t help you with your questions but I thought make you faster just with this number… :yum: Still 3:22 but now on a steaper course

Very little (within reason) for an effort this short. It’s going to be all about getting your very specific power up to snuff.

Full disclosure: I highly endorse this thread! :grinning::+1:

Training aside, there is also the mental side of things.

Listening to some TR podcasts recently there has been some discussion on the physiological side of things. Most of the time we rarely turn ourselves inside out on an effort and it’s usually a case of the mind telling the body to quit, when usually the body still has a little bandwidth left.

Instead of thinking “I don’t know if I can make it under 3:00” start thinking “you can do it”. Also, don’t expect to make up your 22s deficit in one attempt, but chip away at it incrementally. Seeing yourself inch closer to your target is a good confidence booster

Thanks for the replys.

Sadly I haven’t had my powermeter for that long, so I cant give you a outdoor number. If I found a day to slide in a 3 min test on the indoor trainer, will this number be somewhat transferable?

The hill is a 20 ride from where I live, so thats my warmup.

Pacing is definitely a point to work at. The hill is steep at the bottom and top, but down to 3-4% on a short stretch midway. This makes it difficult for me to choose a wattnumber to chase

Thank you your input. It´s funny cause I´v been wondering if I should do 1-3-5 mins test, but I haven’t cause I don’t know what to do with the results! So that’s a bit of insight.

TBH it was full gas from the bottom, so yeah, not much left in the tank at the top. Even from riding it so many times, I still need to get the pacing right when I´m going for a best time.
Thank you for the reassurance, I will strive to be as fit as you when I´m your age!

Having just gotten my powermeter, I do not have splittimes, but can definitely see the benefit. This is something to work at once I get back on the road.
Thank you for the recommendations, I´ll look into it once I finish my current plan.

I see what you are saying, but I really want to make this about improving my “fitness” to achieve this, not so much about buying new gear. But yeah, no need to carry my bottles up there :smile:

Thank you!
I do listen to the podcast, SO much info, but haven’t heard this one. I´ll give it a spin.

Don’t know if I’m using it wrong, but the results from my last TR ramp test give my a big overestimate on this, even when I change the settings at the top to match my test protocol.

Yes, although you might find a little extra out on the road.

A good rule of thumb for vo2 intervals is to find your max power for a duration, and then do repeats at that duration for 90% of your max power.

Not just pacing, but gearing is crucial too. Because if you’re in the same gear on the 3% section as you were on the steep part, you’ll lose power.

I’d suggest hitting the hill fast, then getting into the right gear to be seated for the steep section. Then, get out of the saddle BEFORE the gradient eases, and get in a higher gear, and grind for a few pedal strokes. Stay out of the saddle and then accelerate into the easier section just by increasing your cadence.

Then going into the final steep section, don’t drop down too many gears - aim to increase your power into the 12% ramp. Stay seated and push until your cadence starts dropping, then stand up, and give it one last out-of-the-saddle grind to the top.

Regarding the MAP-ftp-calculator.

I find it to be pretty accurate in estimating my FTP at 290W, I got 288W during the last ramp-test. Does it differ a lot for you?

The TR ramp test is a good estimate of my FTP. But when I put those ramp test results into the calculator on that link, it suggests a much higher FTP, which makes me worried the MAP is inaccurate too.

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From that link:

The majority of references found describe that FTP and MAP correlates in such a manner that FTP for most athletes are in the range of 72%-75% of MAP

Adjust accordingly.

The default calculation is also based on the zwift ramp protocol (static) which is different than the TR ramp protocol (varying), but it should give a similar result. You can adjust the parameters using the ‘Show Setup’ button at the top.

It’s just about right if I change the parameters like so and change FTP to be 72% of MAP. That gets my FTP about right, but I’m concerned that this is an artificial correction, and TR’s protocol isn’t a good marker for MAP. I know Steve Neal talked about this on a podcast, saying that 3min steps are better for getting MAP accurate.