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Published on Feb 19, 2014
If you're planning on riding a mountainous sportive or gran fondo but don't live near any mountains how can you train for climbing? Follow GCN on YouTube: http://gcn.eu/gcnsubs
Some of the world's best climbers come from one of the world's flattest countries, Holland. But how can you make sure you're training to climb even if you're not near any epic Alpine climbs?
Key is being able to output a sustained amount of power for a long time without going into the red. Keeping yourself at the so-called "sweet spot" of about 10% under your functional threshold power. Gradually building up your riding in that sweet spot until you're able to ride for a longer period of time at the sweet spot will make sure you're able to ride for a long time at a high effort level.
If you can't measure effort through a powermeter or heart rate monitor, then it should feel pretty uncomfortable, but not completely on the limit.
Be specific at want you want to do. In a mountain situation your cadence will be lower and you'll be more upright on the bike, so going for an aero position at 100 rpm isn't going to marry up with the reality of a long climb up a big mountain. Go for around 75 - 90 rpm and sit up on the bike.
Be sure to take advantage of your surroundings by riding into a headwind to simulate climbing, and if there are shorter hills nearby try to hit them at the end of an interval.
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