Specialty training - surprising results

Just got back from a week in Mallorca and I’m not going to lie, a couple of the days were tough but on the whole, I surprised myself.

I’m not a mountain goat and I’ll openly admit that my ‘engine’ usually starts to fatigue around the three hour mark. This year was completely different. I took solid chunks of time off my previous ‘bests’ on all of the notable climbs and I was often on the front of the group rides for considerable periods of time.

What surprised me the most is the training I’ve focused on to this point. I’m a crit racer through and through. I’m not saying that I’m any good but it’s the racing I love and what I train for. So what I’m so perplexed by is why or how this training has significantly impacted my ability to climb and keep sustained power on the pedals?

Have other TR users noticed benefits in their riding that on the surface of things, they simply haven’t trained for?


Due to inertia, the way a rider apply’s pressure to the pedal on a trainer (depending on the trainer) is slightly different than riding outside. Subtle but there imo. So a lot of trainer time you get used to applying power a touch sooner over the top and keep pressure through the bottom a little longer. More like climbing.

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Also, on a trainer it’s non-stop pedaling for 1:30-2:00 at times. This is nothing like a crit, so you’re building your resistance to muscle fatigue even though you are specializing in short power. It all works together building your fitness along with some magic, which moon phase it is and if you have satisfied the energy gods.

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Awesome! Congratulations!

Even training for crits in TR, you’re training strength endurance and speed endurance more effectively than your friends who are riding outside. Coupled with the strong anaerobic training the short power plans have, there’s no doubt you have a stronger engine as all of it plays together. You probably have a stronger anaerobic contribution to longer efforts than others, but ultimately you’re just a stronger rider overall. Doesn’t matter much how.

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Indeed. This is what I’ve found too.