Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hill Reps

It’s been a long long day, so long it started yesterday and just now is my opportunity to sit down and reflect a bit on what’s happened.

And a lot has happened. I went to this resilience workshop. I’ve never heard of them before, but I’m not the kind of guy that searches over and over for the info. Anyway, off I went for most of my day thinking “yet another training course” and I left quite proud of myself after discovering that much of what I do and being doing over the last years is taking me to where I want to go in life.

Unfortunately, though, the timing took me off my scheduled spin training and I improvised a hills repeats session.
Hill repeats are one cheap way to strengthen your legs on the bike. I’ve been pretty agnostic before, but over the last training blitz I did a weekly session over 6 to 8 weeks, and I can tell the benefits are still here right now. Besides, it’s a great way to practice descending and cornering on a relatively safe environment.

There are many recipes, but the basic one goes like this:
  • Hills: 1, moderately steep (4 to 10% gradient?) and of a duration no shorter than 90 seconds and no longer than 600 seconds.
  • Athletes: 1
  • Bikes: 1.
- Seat the athlete seated on the bike for most of the duration of the ascent keeping a good, proud form (high head, straight back, slightly bent arms) with a cadence of 60 to 75 rpm

 - Keep the athlete seated on the bike for the descent part back to the start line, spin the pedals on a high cadence (95 to 110)

 - Repeat the above procedure for 3 to 10 times.


It will warm you up on the winter days, and it’ll make your knees feel funny at times (pay attention to it, you don't wanna get injured), but there is no gym that will give you what a good hill repeats sessions can achieve.

The secret is to find a nice little hill near home where there’s little traffic. The rest is just going out and doing it.

Date: 18 May
Sport: Cycling
Time: 75 min
Dist: 30km
Comment: cold... then hot

Date: 19 May
Sport: Swim /// Run
Time: 60min /// 92min
Dist: 3.2km /// 18km
Comment: back yard half again


  1. hills for both running and riding are awesome 'builders' Love them!

  2. I've been looking for a hill alternative to Mt Eden. It's just too dark in the morning not to have any street lights.
    Great posts...keep them coming.

  3. orakei road is a good one, bout 4 minutes, but hell of a lot of traffic some times.