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There are several hill climb events in my area towards the end of the year, from august onward. Most of the hills are no longer than 0.8km long and well above an average 6% gradient. The main ones I will be targeting are three climbs ranging from:

0.7km with an average gradient of 7% (and a max of 14%), personal best is: 2:25 0.5km with an average gradient of 10% (and a max of 13.5%), personal best is: 1:51 and finally the local leg breaker a (its hardly Colombia where I live I know): 0.8km climb with and average of 13% (and a max of 15%), personal best is: 4:44

If I am warmed up correctly could I race each of these time trials in my respective 1 minute (434w),2 minute (374w),3 minute (346w),4 minute (340w) and 5 (336w) minute power ranges or would I stick to my ftp (220w) for the duration of the climb?

Sticking to functional threshold power is my current strategy but found it hard going just because of the steepness of the climbs.

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2  
It might be easier to use the formatted text option to put the data you give in paragraph 2 into a table, and the various items in paragraph 3 in a list. I'm also seeing abbreviations such as "pb" and "ftp". Please use the full words to be clear. –  BPugh Mar 28 at 15:49

1 Answer 1

Functional threshold power is defined as the maximum power you can produce for one hour. See for example, this blog.

Since you know that your events are much shorter, you don't have to be so conservative. And since you know your output for the approximate times those courses take, you should plan that level of output for the race.

Even with that approach different people will have different ideas on whether to go at the same power all the way or keep some in reserve for the steep bits.

My thinking is that the slow sections are where you lose time, so keep some power in reserve for the steep parts.

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Constant power output is time-minimizing only when the conditions are constant. If the slope varies (or the wind blows differently on different parts of the course) the time-minimizing strategy is to vary power. The optimization problem is finding a (varying) pacing strategy that gets you to the top of the hill in the shortest time while meeting constraints on energy expenditure. That's a difficult and interesting problem, particularly when the durations are so short and the work rate will be above VO2Max. –  R. Chung Mar 29 at 2:22
    
@R.Chung Yes to all 3 points. And just because the OP has measured his power ranges does not mean that they will stay the same: with training they will improve. –  andy256 Mar 29 at 2:32
    
A second issue is how the OP measured his power: with an on-bike power meter on hills, or indoors. Estimates of what he can sustain for X minutes can differ depending on how it was measured and the grade he tested on, especially when the anaerobic component is large. –  R. Chung Mar 29 at 3:24
    
@R.Chung How about I post a question like "How can I use a power meter to guide my training?" So that you can explain fully? –  andy256 Mar 29 at 6:43
    
Well, first, bicycles.stackexchange prefers questions that can be answered, not just discussed; but, second, I try to know and do as little training as possible. Coaches and racers do ask me for advice and information but not about training. –  R. Chung Mar 29 at 15:15

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