Ok, so a lot of action in the mountains over the pst two days. Nibali is just on another level to the rest. It would have been great to see him against Froome and Contador. They are all quite similar riders who like to intersperse steady long climbing efforts with hard short bursts to break up the group or get away.
Specific Climbing Training
As a coach or rider, it is often good to look ahead to the big races and analyze the types of efforts that are likely to occur in the event. One example of this was for the NZ elite nationals where we found a similar hill to that of main climb on the course (around 5mins). We then trained to a couple of different scenarios of what might happen in the race. This involved different mixes of shorter, anaerobic efforts and sustained efforts.
So after doing 2hrs endurance riding 5 repeats of the hill were completed at L3 intensity (about 20w below lactate threshold for this rider) with three 20s max efforts at the start and then evenly spaced on the climb (not at the end). This put them in a position of trying to recover from these max efforts (which produce a lot of lactate) and process this lactate whilst still operating just below threshold.
The second scenario was also done after 2hrs of L1-2 (endurance riding) and then to ride the hill five times at L4 (lactate threshold) and push above for the final minute (L7 or anaerobic, maximal effort). This was another way to simulate what was likely to occur during the race.
An interesting article in the Guardian includes Sky coach Kerrison’s workouts for Froome, similar to the first example above. Peter Kennaugh explains “Our training is much more than just doing intervals at a constant pace for a set amount of time; [some of it] is about being able to handle changes of pace – to go from, say, 350 watts to 650 watts for a few seconds to attack and get a gap on a rider who is trying to follow, then come back down to 350 watts.” (see the complete article here at The Guardian)
Video highlights and live coverage links