My New Challenge!

Hills, mountains, climbs, whatever you call them they resonate with cyclists all over the world. You either love them or you hate them. I am not their biggest fan! I like the idea of climbing and would love to take them on. Alpe d’Huez, Sa Calobra, Monte Zoncolan… there is just one problem. I am not a climber! I would take a TT or local crit any day of the week but ask me to go up my local climb? Yuk! Biologically speaking I should be able to climb reasonably well, small and light weight (ish) specialising in sustained efforts…

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So, I have set myself a challenge. Turn into a climbing machine! Culminating in the local hill climb at the end of the season.

I have no doubts it will be a tough challenge, but let’s see how I do!?

What’s the plan?

Hill reps. A lot of them. There are a couple of local climbs that I can bounce up and down to really hurt the legs. Some are long, others, short and steep. I plan to do this twice a week around my races and time trials making sure I don’t go into them tired. Protein is going to be essential. I will be using SiS Cookies and Cream Overnight recovery drink to aid my muscle growth. All non-essential fats and sugars (processed foods) will be cut. Not that I eat that much, but a drop in these empty carbs should reduce fat. The extra muscle will also burn more calories so while I don’t especially think my weight will change, I do expect to see an improvement in my power to weight ratio.

Protein is going to be essential. I will be using SiS Overnight Protein to aid my muscle growth. All non-essential fats and sugars (processed foods) will be cut. Not that I eat that much, but a drop in these empty carbs should reduce fat. The extra muscle will also burn more calories so while I don’t especially think my weight will change, I do expect to see an improvement in my power to weight ratio.

Positive thinking is going to be key, I will build a climbing specific screen on my bike computer so I can focus on the numbers and the time. Logging everything each step of the way. Unfortunately, I don’t have a power metre so will be tracking progress with the amount of time it takes, aiming to see a significant increase in my speed (fingers crossed).

I am pretty good at setting myself goals but absolutely useless at sticking to them. That is where you guys come in. You have always been so supportive so I will need you all to help me stay on track. Hopefully, by making a very public commitment, I will be more likely to push myself.

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Have you done something similar? Are you a bit of a mountain goat? Does the idea of climbing make you feel like having a lie-down? Let me know, I love to hear what you get up to!

Follow me on Strava so you can check up on me 🙂

Wish me luck!

•gulp

8 thoughts

  1. To tell the honest to God truth, I’m too fat to be a mountain goat. I’m a better sprinter but I LOVE to climb. Absolutely dig it. And I’ll tell you how I keep a great attitude about it…

    You wrote: “Positive thinking is going to be key, I will build a climbing specific screen on my bike computer…” etc.

    The coolest thing about climbing is that I am so badass a cyclist, I actually look for hills to climb. On the way up, it’s “I’m so badass I did this on purpose”…

    Eventually I simply found out I love to climb.

    Good luck!

    Like

  2. I have the same plan.

    I am doing the Whistler GranFondo in September – a 122 km ride from Vancouver to Whistler with the last 50 km uphill. It’s a grunt. So, I am doing the same – hill repeats 1-2 a week. The problem I have is that I am in southern Ontario for 2 months where there are few hills, at least where I am. The closest is just a km in length. I’ll search out other longer ones west of here.

    I’m not a natural climber. Too heavy. My goal is to lose 10 pounds in the next 3 months by reducing my caloric intake by eating less – a lot of salads, no beer, and since I am vegetarian, extra tofu, lentils, and peanut butter …

    Good luck. I will be following your progress with interest.

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    • 50km climb! That sound tough! Good plan, you will just have to try riding into some pretty big head winds 🙂 I am also vegetarian and love my peanut butter! All the best! I hope it all goes well, you will have to let me know 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sadly, it’s hard to see beyond: improving power to weight ratio, riding hills and positive mental attitude as the three key aspects to improving climbing!
    With no discernible talent they got me through the ‘triple Ventoux’ challenge in 2015 and may (or may not) get me through an everesting attempt in July.
    If you find the silver bullet that makes it easy with no real effort, please let me know.

    Like

  4. Re: diet, the ultra-endurance rider Juliana Buhring goes into some detail on her blog about how she adopted the high-protein/no-carb ketogenic diet as part of her training, which is obviously focused around endurance more than climbing hills, but it’s still relevant and worth checking out:

    http://julianabuhring.com/keto-baby/

    Re: hills, they really are all in the mind. Think of the hill as the price you pay in advance for the speedy descent afterwards.

    And yes, peanut butter rules, especially the crunchy kind. In total agreement there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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