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Hill Attacks | Indoor Cycle Training Up The Passo Gardena

– Well, hello. This is the Passo Gardena
Hill Attack session. I’m a little bit nervous,
but let’s give it ago. It’s a beautiful day. Here we go. Well, thanks very much, Matt. This is the Passo Gardena
Hill Attack session, taking place, of course,
on the Passo Gardena and there is the beautiful climb itself, nestled just on the edge of Corvara, in the Alta Badia region of the Dolomites. This is a pretty tough session aiming improve your climbing, but in particular, your climbing, your fast climbing, your attack set. Hill attacks for a reason, replicating an effort out on the road. You’re gonna go very, very deep, indeed. Now, the first little bit of this session, just warming us up for three minutes. Start at a nice, easy effort level of two, taking it up to a perceived
effort level of five. Then we’ll ride for a further
three minutes at tempo. So that would be a perceived effort level of around seven, all at about 90 RPM. Just get yourself bedded in ’cause these particular intervals are
very, very hard indeed. And the intervals are gonna be done at an effort level 10, so basically flat out. There’s nine of those, but we’re gonna mix up
the cadence a little bit. So the first attack that we do, in about four or five minutes time, once we’re nice and warm, is gonna be 100 RPM for 45 seconds, then we drop down to three minutes riding at tempo. So perceived effort level of seven. So, kind of just feeling that bite almost like sweet spot riding. Then back up again to 45 seconds. The second interval will be low cadence, so
there’s some torque work, but still flat out for that 45 seconds then back to sweet spot. Five of those alternating cadence-wise in the efforts and then we have a little
bit of a rest in the middle and then we do it all again. So the session itself, around 41 minutes, but pretty brutal. I do remember this session well. Beautiful climbs, look
at it, it’s a lovely day. Snow at the top of the climb, beautiful road surface. So just lift our effort a little bit. I’m using a CycleOps Hammer and I’ve got the resistance set to around 3%. So as you can see, we’re still on the small ring, replicating as best as it can the kind of road feel on a climb. Just make sure as well that you keep those fluids topped up. So we’re already 20 seconds left of the initial part of the warm-up. You should really start to feel your breathing now, I’m gonna lift it now to tempo. So perceived effort level of around seven for another three minutes and that should get us nice and ready for this first attack just coming in at only three minutes time. There’s not a lot of time to recover between these attacks, so it does replicate
riding out on the road, trying to get the wheel of a rider that’s just gone. This will help really improve your fitness, your power. Functional Threshold Power improves with these sorts
of sessions as well, and your ability to recover after repeated attacks. And even if racing isn’t your thing, let’s face it, not a lot of us do race, this will just generally
help your fitness, no end. And these sorts of sessions, particularly effective if you’re time-crunched, you’re working. They are very concentrated, indeed. I’m getting a bit nervous now actually. (exhales loudly) Two minutes, keep it at seven. Keep that RPM around 90. Here’s the first part of the climb through the town here and it opens out to lovely sweeping switchback corners and opens out near the top. The Giro d’Italia has climbed
this on many occasions. You’re passing in the
wheel tracks, as it were, of some of the all-time greats of cycling. It will get in business in time. So just under a minute and a half now to the first attack. We’re gonna go for high
cadence for the first one. And I want basically to go as flat out as you can for 45 seconds, then knock it back down to this effort level. So keeping on top of it. And as we get through the session, it’ll become increasingly more difficult to recover between these efforts. So that’s what the purpose is. Okay, 45 seconds to the first effort, so get focused. Remember, it’s high
cadence for the first one. Get my ventilation as
you pass to the right. When you’re doing these intervals, wanna think about the way you, think about the way
you’re putting your power through the bike. Stay focused. Try not to keep it ragged. It’s a really good opportunity. Think about your style on a bike when you’re indoors as well. Nothing else, no other
factors to consider, just you and the machine. Okay, here we go, two, and one, come on, let’s see it! High cadence. Come on. Nearly there. Okay. Knock it back down. Don’t back off too much, back to 90, effort level of seven. Okay. This is the kind of feeling you get when you get caught by a group. You’re fighting to get back in the wheel, get into a sort of big effort. Just hold it. Get on top of your style on the bike. Get comfortable. Get control of your breathing, unlike me. (breathes heavily) Let’s settle into this bit of tempo, kind of around kind of sweet spot area, just another word for it, sweet spot tempo. So the kind of speed you could sustain maybe 9 1/2, 10 1/2 maybe. In this part, make sure you’re drinking, and also, it’s a 41-minute session, we’re not exactly going anywhere, so give the other muscles in your body a bit of a rest. No harm for a second changing up. Keep the power down. Keep the effort level the same. Just use your glutes, quads a bit of a stretch. That’s it. No harm at all in doing that. What a climb. Been privileged enough with Si, Dan, and Lasty, spent a lot of time in this area. Never tyre of it. Absolutely stunning. Know a lot of you thinking about going out, maybe just on holiday for a ride, maybe ride the Maratona. This place has gotta be on your bucket list, and this is the sort of session that’s gonna prepare you well for these sorts of climbs. Okay, you might not race over ’em, but very often, well, if you race a lot outside your comfort zone, when it hurts, basically makes riding steady a lot easier, or you can ride faster for the same effort. So this session will really sharpen you up and improve your fitness, but it hurts. Coming up to sprint number two for effort number two, low cadence, this one, okay? Two, and one, here we go! So run up 60. Again, these aren’t exactly the most efficient or the most exactly
efficient way of pedalling. You’re putting a lot of load through your legs. Same power, you’re just distributed differently, putting a lot more force through each pedal stroke. Almost like weight training on a bike. All the pros do this sort of work, but don’t do it if you’ve got an injury. Let’s knock it back. Done. I’m not gonna talk
through the next interval. You learn something about
yourself every day, don’t you? Oh, gosh. Okay, back to 90. Sweating a lot already. In these longer sessions, especially you’ve got an area where you’re riding that isn’t particularly well ventilated, do your best to stay cool because it can affect your performance. Your heart rate will float, slightly distorting the amount of effort or the amount of power you can put out. So make sure you’re hydrated before, not just during, but before. Get a bidon on board. If you’ve got two bottle cages, which I haven’t, I’d advise you to get two bidons on board or have one within easy reach. Okay. 90 RPM, just tempo, just the sort of speed you
could ride this climb at, reasonably comfortably with a bit of a burn. Okay, we’re mixing things up. Fitness is basically a measure of how many efforts you can put in, but most people could put out a lot of power on a bike. But asking to do it twice, three times, four times, over an increasing period of time, that’s where fitness comes in, basically. This went quickly very well, especially for a long sportive. Because you look at the
trailing that you’ve done, and you think, well, there’s no way I’m ever gonna go as deep with this on this steady sportive, but you know you can if you want to. So. Remember to bring my breathing back. So, 90 RPM. This first set is four intervals, then we have a rest, couple of minutes that are really easy. And then, we got five more. Okay, 29 minutes to go. Still a fair bit. But believe you me, couple of turbo sessions a week, regardless of what your
aims are in cycling, whether it’s to generally getting fitter, trying to lose some weight, aiming to ride your first 50 miles, or trying to win your first race, this is a session that everybody can get benefit from. So. Next one coming up, okay? 100 RPM for this one. 25 seconds left. You know the drill now. Here we go! Dig in. Keep smooth. Spin those legs, come on! Nearly there! Done, okay! Don’t stop pedalling. Well done. Three down. Great stuff, guys. Get your breathing back. Each time you do one of these, it’ll be harder to get back in control. Putting you under a lot of stress. That’s one part one often does. Just give stress to your
body just a little bit. You’ll see improvements. But most of all, it just allows you to go out and enjoy your riding. You get far more the fitter you are, within reason, the more control you’ve got over what you can do. You can out with a ride with a group that’s
slightly better than you, well, and you struggle, get a little bit of
form, bit of condition. Using these sessions, you’re getting out on the road as well, you’ll find you soon make those gains. We can ride along in a group quite comfortably. Hey, and every now and again, dictate the pace as well. So many benefits to get
from this sort of training. But hey, there’s no real shortcuts for what you do get after
a session like this, is that lovely, warm afterglow. Kick back, piece of cake, smoothie, cup of tea or the hot beverage
of your choice, of course, and relax and (mumbles). That’s all worth bank. It’s great. But it might not feel like it right now. So keep at 90. Use this part to really think about how you’re pedalling. 90 RPM is kind of widely considered
to be the optimum cadence, but what is optimum? We’re all different. It’s a good place to start. That’s why in this session, we’re playing with cadence a bit. Learn to spin. We do far more controlled acceleration. And also learn to grind the gear too, to help build up that
resistance and that strength and building that additional versatility to the way you ride and the way you use your gears to conserve energy. That’s what the gears are for, to make it easier. It’s more efficient to learn to use them. And some of the best places are indoors on the indoor trainer with a structured session. Often, when you’re out with your mates, you just forget. You’ve been riding for an hour at 70 RPM. It’s like, okay, let’s think about breaking this up. That’s what these sessions are all about as well as trying to get you fitter in the process, of course. Well, that wall has led us on nicely to the next one. Really an option, definitely torque here, but here we go! Okay, lower RPM. That’s it. Flat out, come on! Nearly there! Okay. Two minutes now, just spinning your legs. This is the rest, okay? Active rest. Take a drink. Maybe not chat as much. Can see here it takes a little bit longer each time to get back in control again, to really knock it down. And of course, doing
these sorts of efforts, which we actually did for this session at the Dolomites, went and rode these climbs, we did this session, well I did on this particular climb, had to get higher than 2,000 metres. Yeah, it starts to tell a little bit. And the Gardena, I think he’s 2,230, something like that, give or take? You can put the actual height in the comments
section for me, no doubt. Okay, 45 seconds, I’m gonna pick it up again. Okay. Okay. So, next up on the menu is back to tempo. I’m not gonna suddenly throw
you into the lions again. Let’s just lift things up back to seven. Here we go. Three minutes. You’ve got five intervals now. Once you’ve got the first interval of this second
set out of the way, we’ve broken the back. I’m just gonna use this opportunity just to get out some again. Two or three of these will really help out. Just make sure to keep
the effort level the same. Control your breathing. Yeah, chatting and riding just means that I’m breathing just a little bit ragged. You need to be in a bit more control. Okay. Here we go. Nice tempo. Again, sustainable kind of speed, but there’s still that bite. You know you’re kind
of moving efficiently. Kind of uncomfortable, but sustainable. Certainly not riding at FTP, just kind of below. Just think about the way
you’re pedalling as well. You often neglect to think about pedalling, I mean, on one hand, that’s a good thing ’cause you’re just dialled, but it’s often good to
reflect and think, okay, how am I looking, how to
make any improvements. Ask your mates to have a look at you, have you look on a bike. Not that you should overly worry about it. But when you’ve been really putting the power to the pedal, think about your pedal stroke. Okay. Keep it nice and smooth. Keep drinking. And just marvel at this view. It is awe-inspiring. Especially on a day like that, but we had a few days of bad weather. It’s kind of equally as just kind of awe-inspiring as well. The clouds rolling in, some rain, this epic sense of scale. The savage beauty the Dolomites have, you can really feel it. That’s why I’d urge you to come. It’s amazing. Just getting towards that kind of really tight switchback section. It’s right on cue for the next effort. For 45 seconds, remember. Flat out. (mumbles) Three, two, and one. 100 RPM. Going. Nearly there! Come on! And done. Keep pedalling. Don’t stop. Stay with me. Get that comfortable feeling. As quickly as you can, get it back to 90 RPM, effort level of seven. I know it hurts. This is what this session’s all about, limiting the time you have to recover, replicating this sort of thing out on the road. It could be at the point
at the end of a race, ‘causing havoc, dropping people. You just wanna survive, or just make your riding that much easier. You see my pace on my climb here, just catching this dude up. I was kinda yo-yoing with him for the last few k’s of this climb. I just about nearly
caught him in my effort, and in my tempo, he’s riding away. It’s a good little kind of carrot and stick situation. So keep those legs
spinning, keep drinking. So remind yourself of that. Ideally, get yourself a fan if you can. Pick ’em up really cheap, a couple, spent 10 pounds, 12 euros for a couple cheap fans to stick in your garage or your kitchen, wherever you train. My favourite place to
train back in the day was in my garage with the garage door open. Nice breeze, air circulating. So you really do have to think seriously about hydration and ventilation, and that’s no joke, this
isn’t just a cliche. It’s kinda serious stuff. Don’t wanna get too hot, overheat. That’s not great. And also, you wanna maximise the 40 minutes you put aside to do this session. If it’s too hot, you’re not gonna get the
most out of yourself. Set up or prop a little
track in your board about (mumbles) within reason, ventilation and hydration. Get all that right and you’ll get the best session possible. You got another one coming up. You knew it was coming. Here it is. This is a low cadence one, 60 RPM. Just try and keep your body locked. Think about your form on the bike. Try not to rock and roll too much. And one, here we go. So gear up. Keep it going! Nearly there! Okay. Okay, keep pedalling. Your body naturally wants to kind of stop. Push through that. It’s brutally uncomfortable. Even if you drop to five or six for just a few revs, pick it back up as soon as your breathing will allow up to seven, back to 90. Three more efforts to go, guys. You’re doing brilliantly. Think about all the gain. And also think about the nice piece of cake you might have after this as well. Although one of my little tips when I do these indoor sessions is there’s quite a few, especially on the gloomy, the gloomy months of winter, is make yourself a smoothie. Stick a kiwi in there, an apple, little bit of water, some frozen cherries as far as fruits, banana. I always love a bit of spinach as well, and some ground nuts, seeds. Blend that up and have that ready for when you get off your bike, ’cause these sessions
take a lot out of you. And although it’s a short session, you still wanna make sure you get that fuel back on board within that golden window. And there’s nothing as tasty and wholesome as a smoothie. (mumbles) And actually, I have feeling, back in the day on this channel, Simon and Dan made some smoothies. Might be able to find them somewhere. Different haircuts back then, of course, but the same smoothie principles apply. So just over 12 minutes. Now you’ve broken the
back of the session, guys. Fantastic work. Keep the legs spinning at 90. Think about how you sit on the bike. One of the things that I’ve done pretty late in my career, I’m not racing now, but is kind of worked on my core. And I found although I’m nowhere near competitive, I’m still reasonably fit, it’s just helped to no end on the bike. So a thing that I would try and introduce if you
can into your routine, five or 10 minutes a day of core work. Again, there’s some videos
in the channel about that. That just helps. Won’t increase your power, but it will do is just make, give your body, will make your body into
a far more stable platform to deliver the power. It’s not about putting on bulk, just about tightening this up. Some people are for it,
but some against it, but you’ll find most pro teams now, all the guys are doing that sort of work pretty much throughout the year, Peter Sagan included. So I do a little bit of that. I’ve found it’s helped massively. Okay. Next effort, high cadence, 45 seconds flat out, here we go! 30 seconds. 10! Hashtag no words needed. Okay guys, well done. Effort level seven. Get the legs spinning. And the great thing about these home trainers, the CycleOps Hammer, is that you can adjust it to grade it on the
climb, so as you can see, I’m doing max efforts on the small ring, replicating the kind of feeling you get on a climb. And also, another little tip, I’m not doing it today, but you can utilise, if you get some blocks, raise your front wheel up. Yeah, stick a riser up, elevate your front wheel slightly just to get your body and the bike in the type
of position that you’re more of a ride feel, which can be quite handy. You’ve done all but one of these efforts. Coming up to the next effort, low cadence, torque work, focus, and as ever, make it count, okay? Two, one. Keep it going. Smooth as you can, but as hard as you can. Okay, nearly there! Okay. Cool down now. Fantastic. Just cool it down now. Drop it down to, drop it down to five. Spin those legs. It’s a brilliant effort. Now, we’re at the top of the climb now. We’re nearly, a little plateau over
the top you can just see the amazing view. You can warm down for a little bit longer than this video if you wish. But keep drinking, spin the legs. Importantly, reflect back on the hard work you’ve put in. These sessions don’t come easy, but they really do pay you back. So keep spinning. Hey, I’m actually locking
into the lowest gear. Whew! This is the famous hairpin section. I’m just going over the
top of the climb now for this warm down. Bit of a freebie, so we’ve got the climb and a bit of a descent for ya. Bit of ice melt on the roads there. It was really chilly and fresh. Just look at the kind of air quality. Absolutely beautiful. Found myself taken aback. So, tough climb, done and dusted. Another good session in the bank. Spin those legs. Gradually reduce the effort level as you go through. There we go. Here we go. So, coming into the last minute now. Keep those legs spinning. Just reduce that effort. Get back on top of your breathing. Here we go. Right. Well, thanks very much for
joining us on that one. Hope you enjoyed it. We do have a lot more videos, indoor training videos for you, I’m gonna direct you to in a moment, but if you haven’t subscribed already to GCN, the Global Cycling Network, you can do so by clicking on the globe for free, and that way you won’t miss another one of our videos. Now for a couple more indoor videos, how ’bout clicking just down here with our session up the Falzarego climb, or just click down here for our 20-minute HIIT session. Now that one is a brute. And don’t forget to like and to share too.

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