Climbing the mountains on Long Island, NY


As those of you who know Long Island, it is quite a vertically challenged land mass. There are not that many places where you can get some proper hill climbing training other than going round and around the same hill climb in Port Jefferson or other places. So, I have turned to an indoor bike and the Carmichael Training System (CTS). I purchased the three climbing DVDs: Climbing Strength, Climbing Power and Climbing Speed.

I started off training with Climbing Strength. It consists of a ten minute warm up and then four sets of intervals. The intervals themselves are made up with three one minute spins with a gradually increasing cadence for all three and then a 30 second stand up spin in a lower gear. This three and a half minutes is repeated before a six minute recovery takes you to the next interval. An eight minute warm down flushes the lactic acid from your legs before you eventually climb off the bike.

I have been doing this for a couple of months now and have felt the benefits when I did the brevets this year. As the season gets older, I have felt stronger and stronger. I am putting this down to the CTS training.

Last week, I took it up a notch. I switched to Climbing Power. This is a tougher training session. It consists of a ten minute warm up, and then six intervals of two minutes each with a two minute recovery separating each interval. After the sixth interval, we get a six minute recovery and then it is four sprinting intervals. The sprinting interval is made up of a two minute spin followed by a 30 second all out sprint. Two minute recoveries separate these intervals.

Doing a two minute interval instead of the ever changing cadence after one minute really pushes you. By the time I got to the second minute of the third and fourth sprinting intervals, I had to drop two gears to keep the cadence level up. I was struggling. Yesterday, I repeated the session. However, I was better prepared, as I knew what was coming, and I did not need to change gear by the time I reached the last two intervals. It had gone much better than I had expected. So much so, I decided that I would repeat it again this morning. They suggest that experienced cyclists can do two sessions in a row before taking a break whereas novice cyclists should do one session then take a day off for recovery. I have classified myself as a novice and have not done two sessions in a row. But now because today’s went much better than yesterday’s, I think I may have been taking things too easy and should have been doing two days in a row all along.

Soooo, this is my hill climbing training. I am sure that this will stand me in good stead come the PBP which is almost three weeks away. I highly recommend this form of training if you cannot see a good mountain outside your front yard or even when the weather is bad outside. I will be doing this mainly throughout the winter when I cannot get outside.

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