Mountain training on flat terrain - is it possible?


Is it possible to do mountain training with a racing bike on flat terrain? The most important tips.

There are various ways to prepare for long ascents, even on flat or hilly terrain. Of central importance are long, somewhat strength-enhancing tempo intervals in the upper basic endurance range (GA2) bordering on the development range. Long means: 20 minutes to a good two hours each time, whereby the duration of the load should be gradually increased. The duration of the load can also consist of many repetitions on a short slope – if need be, just cycle up and down 30 times – or a long tempo ride on flat terrain. Advantage of cycling up mountains: It trains the typical sitting posture and the mountain sets a clear goal.

In order to make intervals in flat terrain a bit more mountain-specific, cycle in a slightly higher gear than normal with a correspondingly lower cadence, about 80 revolutions per minute in the high gear. The aim is a consistently high, constant power output below the aerobic/anaerobic threshold. How does this feel? You have enough air to breathe, but the muscular effort increases over time, making it difficult to maintain this level to the end. Without a watt/power measurement, this is not easy to implement in flat terrain, because without a mountain there is no compulsion to set the power correspondingly high, however, your heart rate can provide guidance.

The second element is tougher intervals in the development range – deep breathing is still in equilibrium or slightly above, so breathing becomes difficult over time. Either train on the mountain again (easier) or on flat terrain. We recommend 3 to 5 intervals of 10 minutes each. With one tempo training unit and one training unit in the development range each week for three months (except in regeneration weeks), the mountain will not get any lower, but will certainly be fun to conquer.