This session was originally posted online with Triathlon Magazine Canada September 16, 2014 at http://triathlonmagazine.ca/racing/profiles/sixty-minute-bike-workout-mels-max-hill-reps/
With the XTERRAWorld Championships coming up for some of us, this week’s 60 minute training session focuses on working your maximum climbing power. You can do it on the trainer or use a short hill that allows you to climb for a minimum of four minutes at maximum effort. Your heart rate should reach over 90 per cent of your maximum by the end so don’t be afraid to really go for it.
Warmup (10 minutes):
Start with a 10 minute warmup slowly increasing cadence as you ride. In the last five minutes increase cadence by five rpm per minute up to the maximum cadence you can hold (aim for 130 rpm or more) in a relatively easy gear or low wattage: something like 39 x 17 or 100 watts on the Powerbeam.
Final warm up preparation (10 minutes):
You can do these accelerations uphill or use the trainer to increase watts. For a continuous 10 minutes, complete 15 second accelerations uphill or at high watts on the trainer, recovering for 1:45 after each. Repeat five times.
Main Set (28 minutes):
The workout is a simple 4 x 4 minutes set with 3 minutes of recovery after every interval. Push the hardest gear you can maintain at 80-90 rpm.
Don’t let your cadence drop below 80 rpm and try to keep at least the same gear or harder for each successive effort. If you’re on the trainer, hold your best average watts and be sure the last set is not lower than the first. You may want to start a bit conservative then blow the doors off the last one. If you’re using a powermeter, these are meant to be above threshold efforts.
Finish (12 minutes):
Warm down is 12 minutes. Ride the first five minutes at 120 rpm in a very easy gear to spin the legs out then easy warm down as you choose.
Visualize crushing the steep, stair-step climbs on the Maui course if you are preparing for Xterra. The steep sections of the climbs on that course are between two and four minutes long before it flattens out slightly, so finding your max four minute efforts will be useful for that race.