Today we completed hill repeats on a hill with a fairly tame elevation gain and a nice little recovery flat during before the final kicker. This is definitely not the most challenging climb, but it does serve a specific purpose. If I chose a hill that was longer and steeper, all of us would have hit “survival mode” as we trudged along to make it to the top of the hill. Although this has benefits in and of itself, this is not what I was after today.
Today I wanted all of us to work on our ability to transition from hill to flat and then hill again. Being able to do so will help you to deal with momentum changes during Oceanside or The Rage. Sure you will need to climb continuously for awhile, but most of the course requires constant momentum changes and I want all of you to be prepared for that. One of the key instructions I gave today was to “build up your rpm’s as quick as possible when you reach the flat section….Use this transition to build up speed before the final climb”. This is the easiest part of the repeat to become complacent and precious speed could be lost here. Practicing this skill within a hill repeat is crucial because this is where we typically recover and allow ourselves to bounce back on a regular training ride. Today hopefully most of you learned that you could still recover on the flat section while maintaing a nice rate of speed.
Another reason I chose this hill is because the incline gradient and length of the hill allowed all of us to ride at a high intensity. Repeating this over and over will help you deal with spikes in your race. Without these sort of repeats, a few spikes in the race could possibly send you into the red zone for awhile and slow down your speed.
We will be out here again next week for a little more abuse.