Turn up the Power

Well the time has come to start the power training for real. My guess is that most amateurs don’t do enough, or any of this kind of training. The pros do. We first started true power training with Glen about two years ago. Basically you climb in the saddle in the big chain ring, on climbs up to 30 minutes long or more. It takes some getting used to and you must be careful not to overdo it. We have two kinds of basic workouts we do.

The first is a loop that has seven 4-6 minute climbs (total of 3hr15min of riding). This time of year we start by doing them in the 53×19. By February we’ll be doing them in the 53×17 and hopefully by March we’ll be ready to have a go in the 53×16. We you first try this kind of workout you seem to be ripping your legs to shreds. You’ll finish plenty tired and probably want to have a couple of easy recovery days. As you become stronger and recover faster, you usually can have a good hard ride after only one rest day. The key is to stay in the saddle, use a round pedal stroke and try to stay solid on the bike with good form. The hills we use have grades that start out at 5-6% and go up to 12-13% and at times you might be going only 10k/hr with about a 40 cadence.

Our second loop we did today. For this we go out to a dead-end road called Pine Flat. It’s a seven mile climb that gains about 2,000 feet (total ride 57 miles, about 3:25). The first five to six miles aren’t too bad with only a couple of sections of 8-10% grades, but there is a 1k stretch with about a mile and a half to go that averages about 12%. Today we made it but had to get out of the saddle to keep the bike moving forward. We did the whole climb in 40 minutes with Glen up the road in 36 minutes. By March we should be able to do this in the 53×21 in close to 35 minutes and Glen will be down to about 30 minutes.

Of course weather has been an issue here in California the last week. Today it was dry, but we’ve had over seven inches of rain in the last week and it’s been pretty cool, hi 40’s to low 50’s. There was even a light dusting of snow on Pine Flat at about the 2500 foot level. The dead end of the road at the 11 mile mark is at 3100 feet. Glad we didn’t go all the way up there today!!! The weather plus the fact that there is a 22% section…well, we’ll leave that ride until later in the Spring!