Hello, as some of you guys have heard, the climb of Letras in Colombia is one of the longest in the world. It is 80km at 4% average, you go from 500 meters above sea level to 3700m. The climb has some flat/downhill sections (that’s why is 4% gradient instead of 6-7%). Here is the Strava segment: https://www.strava.com/segments/5608251
I have two conflicting ideas about the fastest way to go up the climb.
- Try to maintain an average power from bottom to top. Let’s say that I can maintain 260w average for 4 hours, then it would just be to maintain that power the whole climb (assuming there were no downhill sections to make it easier…)
- Go higher power at the bottom and decrease it steadily as you go up… Because the bottom of the climb is at 500m, there is a lot more oxygen than at 3000m, and we know that the power you can maintain drops substantially the higher you go (even if the person is acclimatized). I live and train at around 1800m, just in case you need that assumption. I was thinking of starting at 90% of my FTP (at 1800m) and decreasing it steadily to about 80% on the final kilometers.
Is there any research on this, or is this just down to “physics logic”? Which is it?
The guys touched this topic on podcast #124, but did not have the answer to the question. They just wondered about which would be the best and talked about their experiences going up Mouna Kea.