Bike hill repeats are not for the faint of heart, but the benefits of these sessions are enormous! Working at higher intensities on hills will help you become a stronger and faster rider and will provide extra gas in the tank come race day.

This Workout Wednesday powered by BioAstin is a demanding session that combines high intensity hill repeats with threshold efforts on the flats.

HIIT sessions on the bike teach the body to tolerate higher levels of muscle acidity. This is important practice for racing… both physically and mentally. Going into the “pain cave” and being able to manage your mental state when you’re getting tired is as important as generating the watts and speed.

Relaxing under stress is key. When my athletes become tired or lose focus during a session like this, I recommend that they concentrate on their core stability and pedal stroke.  Try that and see if it helps you to tolerate the intensity and stress of this workout.

I use a combination of sitting and standing within these intervals because it requires you to have good core control and a smooth, even pedal stroke. This will also help improve your race efficiency. Standing on the bike also allows you to stretch your hip flexors and fully engage your gluteals with greater force than when seated.

This is a fun session that is fantastic preparation for almost any type of race course.

Try this workout once per week for 5 to 9 weeks leading up to your A race.

Hills + Flats Bike Session

Warm Up

5 min

Set  1:

4x 45 sec pickups, Rest Interval (RI) 1 min

Start the pickups in a Lower Gear (LG) about 95–110 rpm and then shift 3 times during the interval to a bigger gear. Shift approximately every 15 sec.

Main Set:  

Find a hill with a gradient of 5 to 9% that will take at least 40 sec to climb. You can also use a trainer if your hills are limited. Keep in mind, these intervals are short and fast… Go hard! By the third set, your mind and body should be challenged. Practice concentrating on your form.

Uphill interval block – Repeat 3x:

  • 35 sec uphill standing, RI 75 sec
  • 35 sec uphill seated in LG (about 95-110 rpm), RI 75 sec
  • 35 sec combine seated and standing as desired, RI 75 sec

Following these uphill intervals, transition immediately into 8 min at your threshold or FTP pace (or best pace you can hold on the bike for an hour) on the flats.

RI 6 min easy, and then return to the hill.

Repeat the 9 hill repeats as described above, then transition immediately to 6 min at your threshold pace. RI 6 min and return to the hill.

Do one more round of the hill repeats and ride 4 min on the flats at your threshold pace.

Cool Down:

10-15 min

Total Workout Time: 2 hours

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