1-2m Hill Repeats?

Hi everyone,

After soaking up all the wisdom from the FastTalk podcast, I’m attempting the self coaching route and building a plan for the Austin Rattler, a 60-mile mountain bike race with lots of short, punchy climbs. (I’ve raced it twice before.)

The foundation of training plan is 4x8m intervals surrounded by lots of Z2. (I’m doing 1-2 interval workouts per week. Planning for two, but listening to my body and making sure I get enough Z2 to be roughly 80/20.)

Two questions.

  1. The race is a marathon, no doubt, but given that it requires repeating a lot of punchy climbs, should I replace one of the weekly 4x8s with 1-2m hill repeats? There are several short, steep climbs near my house, but they are no longer than a minute and a half in duration.

  2. Should I progress the remaining 4x8 interval to 4x10, 4x12, 4x15 leading up to race day, or am I overcomplicating it and changing the intent of the intervals? (I’m tempted to keep things simply and just keep nailing those 4x8s, but if the goal is increasing the time in zone, I guess I could also move to 5x8s, 6x8, etc.)

The race is in November, so I’ve only 8-9 weeks, at this point.

Thanks in advance for any insight you might pass along.

It’ll certainly give you a different stimulus.

You could treat the 1-2 minute as VO2 max work and the 8 minute work as closer to threshold.

A bit of variety combined with motivation and consistency can take you a long way.

Plus it’d avoid a bit of training monotony for you.