This thread is intended as a journal on my journey to the Mount Washington Hill Climb 2022. I hope my posts will spark interesting discussions around training, weight management and equipment. My goal is sub 1 hour, hopefully somewhere around 58 mins. Here some facts:
Gender: male (this is not meant to discriminate and I hope these learnings are applicable across all genders)
Riding more seriously since 2018
Weight at time of first post: 65.2kg
Target weight on race day: 64.0kg, ideally 63.5kg
Current FTP according to AI FTP detection: 314 watts
Target power output on race day (I know this may appear high vs current AI FTP detection, I have never been able to put out the same power inside on the trainer as outside on the climb and yes I have good cooling in place with a window a lask in front and one in back): 325-330 watts
Random fact 1: I became a dad in February 2022, definitely changed my life and time available for cycling.
Random fact 2: I lived in Switzerland until 2019 and loved riding long climbs there. Now I live in Boston and miss those epics rides.
Random fact 3: I have an operated club foot on my left. Never seen it as a reason for excuses and it is not too noticeable. Sometimes I do wonder how much quicker I would be with a regular second foot.
My time commitment is 6 rides per week with Tuesday and Thursday being intense days for 1.30hrs. Wednesday and Friday are easy and I try to ride base for 1.15hrs or 1.30hrs. Saturday and Sunday I follow the 2.00hrs rides. In addition I go to the gym twice a week where I do a full-body workout consisting of: deadlifts, squats, pullups and bench-press. For stability and flexibility I try to get in three 10-15 mins Yoga sessions.
This far my biggest struggle has been weight management. I was about 63.5kg for close to two years. With my wife getting pregnant, a more demanding job and less time to ride I have seen my weight increase to 66.5kg and am working on getting it back down. I am not trying to diet on the bike but rather leaving out or replacing unnecessary snacks, especially dried fruits and nuts, and skipping seconds at dinner. I will be happy to share pics of what we eat (lots of fruit, veggies and protein).
For equipment choice we already had a nice discussion here. I already switched to waxed chains. I will NOT be switching to 1x in front as there are no chainrings smaller than 33 compatible with my sram force 50x34 crank (unless someone wants to sponsor a complete rebuild of the front part of the drive train). I will also not be buying a skinsuit, as the $300 pactimo is charging is too much. If you have cheaper recommendations or a discount code for 50%, feel free to share. $150 is the max I am willing to pay.
Congrats on becoming a dad very recently.
Regarding weight. Lowering weight while maintaining recovery can be a tough process.
One thing that I find very helpful short before these events is a low residue diet. You are still eating the same calories, just with lower fiber. That can make you 1-2 pounds lighter on the day and should be started like 3 to 5 days before the event.
I have not come across a low residue diet. If I want to give this a try prerace i will definitely test it for a harder training ride. How long would you follow this, three days?
Currently, I am visiting family in Switzerland. I just came back from a sweet spot/threshold ride. 2 * 20 @ 290 watts and 2 * 15 @ 290 watts. Effort felt ok, but heart rate was quite high at 160 beats per min. Anyone have experience with higher heart rate due to jet lag? Also haven’t been getting too much sleep as the newborn is adjusting to the new timezone.
I’m doing Mt. Washington as well, my expected finish time will be almost twice what you are expecting, I’m female and will be 54 on race day. I’ll be using plan builder and I was unsure how to classify Mt Washington, TT or climbing road race? It looks like you chose TT and I was wondering if TR has ever given a clear recommendation for a big climb like this.
Nice to meet you. Awesome, that you will also be riding up Mt. Washington. No matter the pace, age, gender, whatever the variable - HAVE FUN!!!
Regarding the training plan. You can also go climbing road race, but that has slightly more time above threshold (to cover attacks). Especially if you plan on riding for approx 2 hours I would either stick with the TT or even go with the century plan which has more sweetspot which is the zone you will be in.
Let’s keep in touch and hopefully we meet in person at the race
Second session since starting this blog. 1.45hrs recovery outside (incredible this is only the fifth outdoor workout) at approx 195 average with my wife. It was her first ride outside since she gave birth end of Feb. I was on the fully she road bike.
Weight at 65.2kg. Eating today was not too good, as i hardly got sleep due to the baby’s Jetlag. My biggest struggle is snacking, especially just grabbing something when in the kitchen. How do you deal with this?
Re: snacking. We (99% of us) just snack because we’re hungry and burn a ton of calories riding. We don’t get paid to train and race so there isn’t that “need” to diet while training so hard. (If you’re at a healthy/sustainable weight (and that means many different things to many different ppl)). You’re doing it purely for the enjoyment and too push yourself so it takes an extra layer of self control to go without.
Also you have a newborn which is super stressful. Kudos to you for training as much as you did. I didn’t ride longer than an hour until my twins were 3 and a half years old. Life was just too insane. Having a newborn means new stress and having a snack when you’re hungry provides a nice little reward for your hard work while dealing with your job and a baby. So to deprive yourself of that is so challenging.
Also, your sleep is going to be interrupted for a while, so just use caution training super hard AND dieting in this scenario. That’s a lot for a person to take on physically and mentally.
@jreinfeld, thanks for your response. The snacking was mostly an issue as my weight did NOT stay stable and increased which is means a calorie surplus. You got your hands full (literally) with twins, so that is probably even more stressful than just one small one Awesome that you still got to ride.
While I am in Switzerland I have been getting some nice rides. Yesterday 2.5 hrs recovery. The day before some nice intervals at Sweetspot (290 watts). Sweetspot was done on a fully (not my bike) and it is incredible how different riding position is and how it impacts my ability to put out power. Next week I will be off the bike as we are travelling to Germany. I will try to get in a run or two to keep the system running.
Weight has gone up to 66.0kg but that is most likely due to retaining water.
Summary of the last two weeks: I was visiting family in Switzerland and Germany. Got in a nice block of training in the first week in Switzerland with Sweetspot and Threshold workouts. The second week in Germany was a rest week with three short runs as I had no bike with me.
Returned to the US on Sunday and got in a 2.15 hrs ride at 210 watts which should be base. With high temps (approx. 90 Fahrenheit) and jetlag the heartrate was out of control at 140 which is usually tempo.
Weight remains at approx 66.0kg. Now being back home I hope to get snacking under control to drop the additional 2.0kg for race day.
Also, I just found this thread. My plan is to take a gel 5 mins before start with caffeine and then a SiS gel 30 mins into the climb.
I’ll be there! Last year I rode a slight modification of my everyday disc road bike. This weekend I’ll be on a really silly bullhorn-bar-end 1x carbon tubular weight weenie hideous looking frankenbike. Will it save me time? We’ll see!
In the UK hill climb rules state you must have two working brakes, so if riding a fixed gear this counts as one so you can remove your rear brake and only leave the front on, is this different in the US?
This is a great thread! Wish we had longer climbs round here!
As far as I understand, UK hill climbs are short races (maybe up to 5, 6 minutes) where you VO2max up a hill. You could legitimately say you don’t need (good) brakes for that.
The Mt. Washington Hill Climb is a much longer race, a hill climb TT. They are quite popular in Japan, too, and from personal experience I can tell you that you will need functioning brakes for many of them.
If I understand correctly, you have a 11-28 cassette on your bike, right? If that is the case, I’d definitely exchange that for an 11-32 cassette. At least when I did hill climbs (or rode the courses of a hill climb), I’d eventually really need all of the gears.
I had to climb one of them in Z2 (it takes 50–60 km just to get to the foot of the climb), and my cadence dropped to 55 rpm in my lowest gear (42:36 = 1.17 < 34:28 = 1.21) at the top where it got super windy. FWIW, my W/kg is a little lower than yours, 4.5–4.6 W/kg, but close enough to be comparable. I’d obviously be much quicker with fresh legs and completely rested, but I am pretty sure you will be glad to be able to click down another gear.