How to train for 20-40 min hill climbs?

My last race is in 3 weeks from now and I’ve got three weeks left of speciality for a climbing road race plan. I’d like to take advantage of my form and tackle a bunch of climbs in the 20-45 min range. Post race what do you guys think I should do to maximise fitness for said climbs?

Thanks in advance.

You know what you need to do…

  1. Find a long hill
  2. Climb it.
  3. Do it again.

Not sure your climbing fitness or length of climbs you are used to but for someone starting fresh I would begin with one climb of 15-20 min. Add 5 minutes a week until you hit 45 min.

Then either add a second rep at the same speed or do it faster. For example:

After the initial build up…
Week 1 - 2 x 20 min climb.
Week 2 - 30 min climb at faster pace.
Week 3 - 3 x 25 min climb.
Week 4 - 35 min climb at faster pace.


Max efforts at 1-20 minutes and block training. Plenty of rest between efforts and blocks.

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Take your theoretical max power for the duration of the climb and create intervals with that intensity progressively adding time.

If you don’t have access to hills of that length, do Epic KOM on Zwift…descend the other side, u-turn and do it again. Lather rinse repeat.


I do. They’re my local climbs. I alternate half a dozen of them weekly.

I do the climbs weekly. Just not max effort.

I believe also it is this simple. Train for specificity. It is a case of just accepting it will last and you will get used to it, promise.

I would do 3x20m, then 2x 30, working up to 60m intervals (I have a climb that is just long enough for this). This would be all at 95%-100% FTP.

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tbh this should have started a few months ago. 3 weeks means you have about 2 weeks to train. Not a huge amount of specific adaptations coming in that time. Not to poo poo on this, but just the truth.

I’d do some climbs in that duration one day, and some vo2max work the other day, endurance the remaining time.

If it’s an actual road race, some hard start 5m efforts are great, as well as a touch longer in 8-10m range >105-110% (don’t know your skill level but go hard for that duration)

quick 3-5 day taper and have fun!


At a guess I’d say you’re talking about Phil’s Cookie Fondo?

My understanding the OP was talking about training AFTER the race but if it is to prep for a race three weeks out you are correct… not much to do at this point but maintain and make sure you are rested.

Santa Barbara. Post that I’ll try and nab some local PR’s. Phil’s fondo covers pretty much all the climbs I do weekly and Gibraltar’s a ton of fun. I do a group ride on Sunday’s which Phil does. Nice guy.

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