I live in a very hilly area. I don’t race, and I primarily train to be able to survive long rides around where I live. I dream about maybe going to Mallorca or Girona someday, but I can’t climb very well.
I can make it up a hill like this or this no problem; I settle in at roughly sweet spot (no power meter, so I’m guessing based on my heart rate) and go. (I usually smoke my husband on those.) I can’t make it up a hill like this or this (going 6-8kph) without stopping several times (while my husband flies up it without breaking a sweat) (ok he probably breaks a sweat). When the gradient gets over about 15%, I can’t get the pedals to turn over and I feel like I’m going to fall off the bike. I stop, breathe for a bit, keep going for a bit, stop, breathe, go, etc.
I’m female, 5’11, and currently sitting at about 63kg with a 148 FTP (2.3 W/kg). My bike is set up with a compact chainset and 11-34 cassette. I’ve been training with TR plans since February 2019, when I got off the couch (SSB, Sustained Power Build, Century). I mostly climb seated; when I’ve tried standing, I get very wobbly and it seems a lot more tiring.
What should I be training to be able to make it up these steeper climbs? Am I just too big for the amount of power I can generate, so I need to keep pushing up my FTP? Should I be trying to increase the length of time I can sit at suprathreshold/VO2max? Is it a bike handling problem, and I just need to work on my balance? Or stand? How does one get from the couch to Mallorca.