Train The Hills To Ride The Mountains

July 10, 2017 |

(photo credit: ©TDWsport.com)

Hill Repeats are a workout designed to help you be more powerful when riding uphill.

Traditionally Hill Repeats are four 5-minute efforts performed with 3-4 minutes of rest in between. Now you may be asking yourself – “but I am trying to climb mountains, how are are 5 minute intervals going to help me climb for hours or the Stelvio?”  – And that’s what makes Hill Repeats so unique and effective.

First, let’s understand why climbing at a particular wattage is different than riding on a flat at the same wattage. Because of the constant counter force of gravity, the inertia and torque requirements when climbing are unique . For example, when riding on a flat road at the same power requirement, it’s very challenging to have the same intersect of force and cadence.

Hill Repeats therefore train our body how to effectively put out a specific power at a specific cadence.

Now, while most of us don’t have the luxury of climbs like Mt Ventoux or Boulder’s Sunshine Canyon out our backdoor, most of us do have a 5-minute climb. And it only takes working this 5-minute climb at different intensities to simulate climbing in a much more effective manor. Plus, if you don’t have hills to climb in your local terrain, riding directly into a headwind can mimic the nuances of trying to climb.



  • Warmu Up
  • 5′ sustained effort
  • 3-4′ Rest
  • 5′ sustained effort
  • 3-4′ Rest
  • 5′ sustained effort
  • 3-4′ Rest
  • 5′ sustained effort
  • Cool Down

The goal of these intervals is to have a constant power from the beginning to the end of each 5-minute piece, and also to have consistent power on each of the four intervals.

Ultegra 6800

Using power is especially helpful when pacing an effort of this intensity. Many of us will find we go out too hard, and by the end of the interval our watts drop dramatically. Practice makes perfect.


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