Friday, April 23, 2010

Tips on Mass Start Hill Climb Pacing

This assumes a long (> 15-20 minutes) hill climb where the pre-dominant effort is at or slightly above FTP and anaerobic power will only be used (sparingly) to maintain contact with other riders.

This also assumes a mass start race where drafting is allowed. An uphill TT format would require different pacing.

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2010 2:07 PM
Subject: Re: [Wattage] Hill Climb Pacing

Unless you are best at low RPM go with a 12x25 or 12x27 cassette. That will allow you to keep your cadence in a more comfortable (to most people) range. (On our local Cypress HC, 12km @ 5.7%, my average cadence last year was 76.)

5-6% grade means you want to be drafting. Which means you want to have someone in front of you. Which means try and find someone who is setting a pace that allows you to maintain your best power. 

This usually means finding the best wheel during the first few minutes as the rest of the riders spread out each according to their best 1-2 minute power. Stay with the one that matches your best, don't over reach so that you blow up. But also don't stay with a group that is too slow or you will be too far back to win.

Lots of people will blow up, so be willing to look for a better wheel to follow if the one you picked starts to slow down.

Overall from a pacing perspective. The first 2-3 minutes will be about 110-120% of FTP with some spikes as high as 150% if you need to catch onto a wheel. Then it is just a slog at just above FTP (i.e. your 20minute power) to the top. Possibly with a sprint at the top.

On Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 08:15, wrote:
I have been searching for information on hill climbing races and how
to use power to get the most out of the effort, and so far I have come
up short. I plan on doing the Lookout Mountain Hill climbing here in
CO. Its 4.5 miles at a steady 5-6% grade that should take me about
21-22 minutes. Being that the race is about 20 minutes long, I have a
good idea of what wattage I can maintain for that amount of time. I
would presume that I should pace myself close or just slightly about
my 20 minute wattage for most of the race and then 2-5 minutes out,
try to ramp it up until the end. Is this the proper way race hill
climbs or am I missing something?

Thanks for then feedback,