Adapt intervals to area with short hills

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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by Lightweenie

In my area I would need to ride about 1 hour to reach a long stretch of road without intersections/traffic lights that would allow me to do say 20 minute intervals, and especially during the week I usually don't have time for riding that far out and back. However I have several 7-9 minute hills quite close to my place that I can reach very easily. Of course this limits how long the intervals can be. Is there some rule of a thumb/advice on how to replace longer intervals with ones of max 9 minutes long in order to get similar benefits? For ftp testing I guess I could fall back to the 2x8 minute protocol if I want to do it on a weekday...

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by AJS914

Honestly, I think it's easier to do this kind of interval work on a smart trainer.

by Weenie

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by glepore

Agree with the above regarding a smart trainer for sweetspot. However, 20 minute intervals are not the be all/end all. 4-5 minute intervals at say 120% pull ftp up from above. For 9 minute intervals, you could hover around 95% or so, that would be an excellent workout.
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by kytyree

Do you have somewhere you can create a circuit and do laps for your 20 minute interval?

If you have a 7-9 minute climb and you wanted to replace or closely replace the typical 2x20 minute workout I'd start by doing close to 40 minutes of intervals on your 7-9 minute climb. Probably hard to vary your recovery periods much since you have to ride back down but I'd focus on the amount of time you're spending at your threshold and set goals for total time that way.

Also while your traffic or terrain limitations might limit your ability to conduct a good threshold power test, that doesn't necessarily mean they're going to limit your training that much. Riding all in for 20 minutes or an hour or whatever is still riding hard even if you have to stop for a light or wait for a car.

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by Lightweenie

Thanks a lot for the replies. Well I already do most such intervals on my non-smart trainer, but when the weather is nice I would prefer doing them outside.

I already do 3-5 minute VO2Max work on the hill which works greatly. I guess I will try kytyree's idea of just accumulating the time in the desired zone and see how it works out - in the worst case I'll go back to the trainer (and maybe even treat myself with a smart one).

by Weenie

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by mrfish

+1. used to get great results riding our local steady gradient 10 Minute hill in various gears. Much more fun to ride up that steadily hard 4x alone than a 2x20 session on the turbo. Add 2-3 buddies at a similar level and it’s a lot of fun as long as you agree not to overcook it.

Or if you build in a mid hill sprint, over the top acceleration or bottom gear sprint it can be similar to track racing in that nobody gets dropped and you can practice multiple sprints, attacks and so on. Or a slow motion team time trial...

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