How do you best train for climbs in a flat area? I am aiming to tackle some UK climbs in N. Yorks and the Lakes come autumn but I only have access to the flat local countryside at the moment. I don’t have any specialist equipment to quantify power output (e.g. power meter) or proxy measures of exercise intensity (e.g. pulse meter). The image below describes the most hilly circuit I can access nearby.
I have read around the topic from the following sources:
http://roadcyclinguk.com/how-to/cycling-fitness-tips-climbing-drills.html http://road.cc/content/forum/27585-training-hills-when-you-live-flat http://www.kingstonwheelers.co.uk/coaching4.shtml http://www.bicycling.com/training-nutrition/training-fitness/no-climb-climbing-bike-workout [this offers a suggested workout]
And the key pieces of information seem to be as follows:
- Lose weight to improve power to weight ratio.
- Optimize the bike for climbing by selecting appropriate gears etc.
- Use a turbo trainer (not possible for me)
- Train abroad (not possible for me)
- Practice sprints into a headwind in a big gear – aiming for development of quads and core
- TT training – you spend a similar amount of time at a similar power output as used in longer in alpine climbs.
- Train on any climb available with a bike loaded shopping.
- Practice good pedal technique – on a hill every pedal stroke will count due to the heavier load.
- Interval training at lactate threshold (difficult to characterise without specialist equipment)
With all this said I am still unsure how to make the best of the short climbs I have locally. Is it best to practice in low or high gears? Is it worth trying to tack on a short sprint at the summit of these climsb?