Are hill repeats good for improving FTP?

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

Moderator: Moderator Team

Post Reply
Shrike
Posts: 1071
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:08 pm

by Shrike

Sounds like a stupid question, I guess generally it's about working around your threshold but does the resistance of working on a hill make it less effective as it wrecks your body more and you can train less, anything like that? Maybe it's harder to control your power on a hill?

Found a nice hill near me, half a mile, average 4%. Maxes out at 9.7%. So not crazy but would be nice for repeats. Quiet area too. Really want to work on FTP at the moment so was wondering about this.

Marin
Posts: 2579
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:48 am
Location: Vienna Austria

by Marin

Any effort close to "I can't sustain this any longer" level can improve your endurance if you recover well. If you do these efforts in short succession they are often called intervals.

Whether you do these on a hill, in the flats, downhill or stationary doesn't matter, only the power and duration.

Some people seem to find them easier on hills though. Personally, I can't stand riding the same route twice - not even out-and-back - so I will ride Fartlek-style with intense efforts and slower phases mixed on a loop, ideally over rolling terrain.

by Weenie


kulivontot
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:28 pm

by kulivontot

How long is the hill?

vlastrada
Posts: 289
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:12 am
Location: uphill

by vlastrada

if i understand correctly the climb is only 800m long at 4%, which might take you as little as 1'20''-2' to complete.
So that's a really short effort. Maybe even too short for v02 max (4'-6'), let alone ftp.

To improve your ftp you need to do much longer efforts, say 10'-20' long. So if you have a long climb (4-6km or longer at 5-8% gradient, ideally steady), you could do SFR-type efforts (salite di forza resistenza) at FTP intensity, or just under ftp, and low (45-55) rpm cadence. You can also alternate a few mins at low rpm and a few mins at high rpm while climbing, maintaining the same wattage. Or you can also climb just below FTP and do several long hills (again 4+km) at that slightly lower intensity. And you can just experiment and find what works for you.

Not many are lucky to have such long climbs nearby, in which case you can do the same type of efforts on a trainer or rollers with resistance (what I use) or even on the flat (again low 45-55 cadence, drop watts by say 5-15w, as harder to generate sustained power on the flat vs. uphill).

When i can, at w/e's i drive a couple of hours so i can do proper climbs. Much more fun than the rollers/trainer.
Last edited by vlastrada on Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kurets
Posts: 132
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:55 pm

by Kurets

Hill repeats are likely to be performed at an intensity above FTP. This can help increase your vO2max contributing to a higher FTP test value. But it won't really train you for long duration suffering that working at FTP for large amounts of time does.
I guess that not everyone agrees with this, but IMO FTP is useful mainly as a metric for training close to or below FTP. So, inflating your test score by improving anaerobic reserves will not neccessarily correlate to TT power.

Shrike
Posts: 1071
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:08 pm

by Shrike

Okay so no point spamming this hill as it won't really improve anything (apart from my ability to go up similar sized hills faster) as it's too short for any sort of adaptation in any other aspect? :cry:

Should really just take most fit people between 2 to 3 mins. Really fit sub 2 I guess.

Kurets
Posts: 132
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:55 pm

by Kurets

It does help, but you shouldn't think of it in terms of FTP if you choose to define FTP as the maximum quasi steady state power you can sustain. You'll probably improve your 20 minute max and shorter stuff too as you increase VO2max, but it doesn't give the same physiological adaptations as long durations at threshold will.

Delorre
Posts: 870
Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 12:09 pm

by Delorre

As the hill is rather short, you can use it to do repeats, but you should raise the power to something like 125% of your ftp and do something like 10 repeats. If doing so, the last one's are gonna hurt!! I have a slighly longer one here (1,2 km, 5% avg) that I use to do repeats. Takes me 3' or a little less, depending on wind conditions. 6 or so repeats at 120% is somewhat the max I do, but I do a loop of 30km with some similar climbs at the same % FT before the repeat. Otherwise, it's a little to short training for my liking. Have fun on your hill, lol

kulivontot
Posts: 1170
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:28 pm

by kulivontot

Getting sidetracked, what does doing near-FTP efforts at 45rpm vs 80rpm have to do with FTP training? Presumably you would never do a hill climb or TT at 45rpm?

11.4
Posts: 1099
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 4:33 am

by 11.4

This seems to be a case of trying to make the workout fit the hill. The point of an FTP workout is to raise your FTP level and extend your endurance at high output. You don't get to do the first one well and the second one at all if you don't get enough time at constant exertion on that hill. Even when doing short interval repeats, it's hard to do on a hill because you usually take longer to get to the bottom and turn around than you want to have as a recovery interval.

by Weenie


fromtrektocolnago
Posts: 981
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:15 pm

by fromtrektocolnago

from my point of view hill repeats are for when you can't find a longer climb. you're breaking up the effort every time you have to stop and descend back to the bottom. for this reason i always prefer the longer sustained climb if i can find it.
Colnago C-59 (Dura Ace)
Firefly(Ultegra)
Trek 5200(ultegra)

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post