Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Working on Force: Steep Hill Repeats

"Force" in cycling terms is the ability to overcome resistance. And I'm pretty sure this is one of my weaknesses, or "limiters"...

Today The Book called for "Steep Hills" e.g. doing repeats on a grade greater than 8% that take less than 2 minutes to climb - which isn't too hard to do around here in Seattle, even without going too far from Capitol Hill.

When seeking out really steep stuff I've always been a fan of those pitches off of Lake Washington Blvd, which has grades that are easily over 20%. Like Fullerton Ave's incline, which is about 16% for the first half, probably the whole thing (pretty short but sweet at about 2 mins to climb). [fullerton climb map]

Here's the elevation profile of this little climb (.1 miles total):

I did two sets with five climbs each (the descent counted as rest between each rep) - and each one averaged somewhere between 300 watts and 330 watts. (4.6 w/kg to 5.06 w/kg or 105% of FTP, for those keeping track). Or in human terms heart rate was was 175 bpm or more.

Each climb took somewhere between 1min 50sec and 2 mins flat. On some of them I saw the avg power for the climb at 299w near the end, and had to stand and sprint the last few meters to come in at 300 watts even. On some I finished closer to 330 watts. Not that it makes a huge difference, but 300+ was the goal for this workout. (My FTP is currently set to 285w, so this would be a 105+% workout)

Two people commented on my training during this session - comments like "that's some good training!" etc - but I can't really respond with both hands gripping the bars and at or above 175 beats per minute..

On the way back I did the 22% grade that is East Roy St on the east side of Capitol Hill. Ugh. A tad harder than Madison, if you can believe it. But at least the 22% part is only a block long.

More Importantly

Today was 50F with sun, and I was able to get by with only shorts! First time this year. Sure I was chilly at first, but once I warmed up it felt great.

Oh and the cherry blossoms on our street are starting to sprout those little pink flowers.. not that it will make the PNW any warmer, but it sure will look nicer!


Michael said...

So, since it wasn't you, who passed me last night (~7pm) on Lake Park Dr S doing *their* intervals?

Steve said...


Sounds like the training is coming along well. But don't go all racy-guy on us and complete give up Randonneuring, k?

I've been doing some similar hill repeats over in my hood. I ride up 70th from the BG trail. It's about 260' in .4 miles. My program is less scientific than yours. I just ride up and down until I get tunnel vision or barf. Then do one more. :)


Robert H said...

You guys sicken me. I'm going to go eat a hamburger.