UK hill climbs in plan builder

Am hoping to do a half-decent season of hill climbs here in the UK: my main aim is to qualify for nationals and then beat a pal of mine that trains with the Sufferfest.

In 2018 I mostly freestyled a plan, with a block of criterium racing in August, which i picked the short power and crit plans for, followed by lots of VO2max work in September. However that was before planbuilder.

With plan builder, am I best referring to this event as a TT, or something else? Some have suggested something out of the off-road section?


I train for the BUMPs series in the states (Bike Up the Mountain Point Series) – it’s a bunch of 3-9 mile hill and mountain climb time trials. I’ve found the sweet spot base > sustained power build > time trial progression is suitable. It’s all about holding high power, and of course getting skinny.

I have entered my A events as time trials. Good luck!

Hey there!

For shorter Time Trials, we give the following recommendations:

Short Duration

For prologues or short hill climb time trials that are ten minutes or less in duration, your training focus will be wholly set on improving your power at VO2 Max.

Base: Sweet Spot Base I&II

Build: Short Power Build

Specialty: : Gravity

Medium Duration

For time trials that are between 10-15 minutes, your focus will be split between sustainable power and raising your power at VO2 Max.

Base: Sweet Spot Base I&II

Build: Sustained Power Build

Specialty: : Climbing Road Race

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Hi Bryce

That seems to contradict an answer to almost exactly the same question I asked on the plan builder announcement…?

Great, thanks!

Hi Josh,

I am doing the same this year, with nats being roughly a 3 min effort this year I have dug out some specific sessions that target this length of effort and have manually adjusted my speciality plan and integrated the below sessions where applicable

Let me know if you want any additional info

Name IF
Carrigain 0.78
Davis 0.79
Karakoram 0.83
Julius Caesar 0.85
Huffaker 0.87
Spencer 0.89
Charybdis 0.90
Broken finger 0.91
Dorr 0.91
Hurd 0.91
Shortoff 0.91
Kaiser 0.92
Mist 0.92
Toulumne 0.94
Morgan 0.95
Abbot 0.96


I’ll aiming for an age group medal at this years nationals, but will they be on?

Nothing stopping you training like they will be though, best of luck!


For disciplines not explicitly supported by Plan Builder, modifications can be made to the plan to better suit the demands of your specific discipline.

While the standard Time Trial progression will make you faster and will prepare you for a UK style TT, if you are looking to truly optimize your performance for these types of events, we recommend tweaking your training progression to focus on higher intensity efforts that you will see on race day. The training progressions I’ve shared above are based on these recommendations.

In the future, we intend to add these specialized disciplines into Plan Builder to streamline this process, but for now, we recommend adding the TT plan to your Calendar and then manually swapping out the Build/Specialty phases for each block. To do this:

  1. Add the Plan Builder Plan to your calendar
  2. Click each “Build” or “Specialty” annotation
  3. Click the drop-down icon next to the Plan name
  4. Select the plan that you want to substitute

I hope this clears up any confusion :+1:.


That’s great thanks for clarifying!

How’s everyone getting on? Nationals are currently still on! Have ended up doing the gravity plan myself - lots of heavy 2-4 minute VO2 work as well as sprints, and have set some PRs on local hills.

As I’m on the low end plan, the three weeks I have my B races my training volume and TSS in the plan take a big hit, would it be worthwhile spinning out the legs after the event and then doing a session outdoors? Or just taking a spin at tempo pace for a bit?

Not following a plan, raced Longstone Edge a few months back, 5 minute power PB (405w) and a decent result (16th, 1st vet) but forgot to sign out :man_facepalming:.

Did some solid hours since but last few weeks have been a bit uneven due to an illness in the family taking a major downturn. Had to DNS a race yesterday which I hate doing.

Hoping to start railing some consistent VO2 intervals (3-5 minutes) over the next 3-4 weeks then fine tune and see where I’m at. Hoping to be at the nationals but that will depend on a factors which I possibly can’t control.


Hope, you can help me with choosing a training plan for a race like this?

The race is probably the shortest and toughest hill climb of all time, only 900 meters long and there is an average of 15% to a maximum of 32% gradient over 120 meters of altitude

I usually do moderate training in duathlon, but not for any races, the city hill climb is in beginning of september 2022!

Would it be better just to do more cycling training and stop running, i have no idea what TR Plan would be the best?

I tried to start a Plan with Plan Builder for Gravity, you think that could work?

Ed Laverack former UK Hill Climb Champion has this programme that might fit the bill


thx a lot, you used this plan?

@KelvinNewman Thanks for sharing this. I’m hoping to try some Hill Climbs this year - very popular where I live in North Wales! Im doing sustained power build for the first half of the year to build my FTP, before moving into short power build later in the year. Ed’s program looks like a good Specialty plan to bolt on at the end of the build phase.

Awesome :sunglasses:

2022 Nationals are on The Old Shoe near Llangollen BTW :slight_smile:


Awesome, not too far from me (Bangor) so I will have to head there to watch…. Quite certain I’ll not be competing :joy:

You’re in Bangor? I’m in Eithinog!

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Either of you able to confirm the date of the Old Horse Shoe nationals day?

I grew up in North Wales (a long time ago now) and would love to pop up and spectate.

We could have an informal TrainerRoad spectators corner :joy:

Incidentally @DewiJ and @joshowenmorris if you are into hill climbs, have either of you had a stab at Ffordd Pen Llech in Harlech?

As a kid I walked up that hill many times (went to school there) and so I went back to have a go at the climb in 2019.

Was super hard (and I weighed 95kg at the time :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:) and only managed a 1:32 for the official segment (silver lining was I just beat the time set by Ollie from GCN :joy:).