Saturday, November 22, 2008

Workout: Climbing Intervals

my bike

Saturday 11/22 Climbing Intervals on the Trainer, 60 minutes

I've been working on creating some more climbing simulation workouts. I enjoy climbing, first of all, and I need to work on overall strength (core + legs) to get the most out of bigger gears on the flats anyway.

Today's workout I enjoyed quite a lot, by which I mean it was a proper suffer-fest. Before I began, I set my wheel block up to the climb/incline position. As for the drill, it's listed below.

For this workout, I am going to give the gearing to be more specific. My bike has a Shimano 105 9 Speed 12-27 cassette. Kind of like this one, but with only nine cogs. In non bike geek speak "9 speed 12-27" refers to the number of cogs (9) and the number of teeth per cog (e.g. 12 is the smallest) mounted on the rear wheel hub. I have the following choices on the rear hub: 12,13,14,15,17,19,21,24,27.

The front chain rings (where the cranks are) on my bike are 50 and 34. I stay in the 50 for all the trainer workouts; the bigger gear is tougher on the front. It's the opposite in the back. The lower the gear, the harder it is. So the hardest combination on my bike is 50 on the front, 12 on the back. here's how the climbing workout goes:

Warmup 6min Fast Spin Low Resistance (50/24)

6 x Climb Interval 5min (50/12), RI 3 min (50/19).

For intervals 1, 2, & 5 climb out of saddle for 3min, seated 2min
For intervals 3, 4, & 6 out of saddle for 5min

Cooldown 6 min Fast Spin (50/24)

That's thirty minutes of climbing in the hardest gear over the course of a 60 minute workout. My least favorite part, by far, is sitting and pushing that big gear during intervals 1, 2, & 5. But it really helps to build leg and core strength. I work really hard to keep my upper body still to avoid straining my back (you can tell if this is working by how much your upper body rocks side to side; if you rock too much, it's too much resistance and you are probably tweaking your back).

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