Hill work

Unless you are a track racer, eventually you are going to have to race up a hill quickly to succeed in a race. Even trackies benefit from hill training.
With this in mind I have 3 sessions per week dedicated to riding up nearby Mt Stromlo.
This week for a change we did the Climbing Repeats on the tandem. I wondered how the times would work out and was quite fascinated to see that our “together” time was just about the average of our solo times. It was a bit slower but the tandem is also a slower bike than our road bikes (mudguards, rack, lights, fat puncture resistant tyres, etc.). Fascinating. We both agreed that it was harder to be as aggressive, easier to fall off the pace and easier to get back on it (you can feel what your partner is doing through the pedals).
The next one is a dirt ascent. The only notables about this week’s were that: A-I broke a pedal and had to be careful not to pull my foot after that (Crank Brothers pedals, a wing snapped off on the climb), and B-I set my fastest time (even stopping to examine the pedal).
Yesterday was my first foray back into Climbing Intervals in some years. Man those things are painful. In the past I have been doing them at my athlete’s pace rather than my own. Doing these sub-maximal ascents I didn’t have to warm up fully. So yesterday I didn’t warm up fully. Mistake! I set a PB in distance (got to the water tower pullout for anyone who knows Stromlo) but then “failed” on the second go because going that hard on cold legs extracts a penalty.

Lessons for the week:
  • pedals don’t last forever
  • tandem drills are fun and effective
  • hill work hurts
  • racing and training builds speed in places you didn’t expect
  • warming up is important to maximising returns from drills.