Saturday, August 7

Energy Mountain

It's been a while, so here's another of my favourite rides, inspired by Lou Atkinson and Mel Chambers at Hemsby Fitness Fiesta last year.

This is a 35-minute climb that's designed to start comfortably but with gradually increasing intensity and energy, passing through different training zones or, as I coach them, "phases".  These phases are not meant to be sudden but gradual - I outline them at the beginning and it's up to each individual rider to determine when they're in that zone and to think about whether it's too early, e.g., to be going above threshold, and should they hold back or increase the intensity.

To those unfamiliar with training zones or without HRMs: Phase 1 is basically a warm-up on a climb, trying to wake up your muscles gradually; Phase 2 is using those muscles effectively at a good steady pace but with breathing starting to get a little faster; Phase 3 is a more determined effort, really using one's strength, i.e., riding at tempo pace; Phase 4 is just under lactate threshold, only doing so because we're near the summit, otherwise we'd stay in Phase 3 for longer; Phase 5 is when you see the summit, get a second wind, and say "what the hell, let's go for it!"

The exact timings for each Phase are up to you and your audience.  However, in my mixed version, I save Phase 5 for the final 3 minutes, using a speeded-up Saltwater as inspiration for digging deeper, reaching higher and going that one step further.


Phase 1 - finding your climbing legs (65-70% of MHR)
Phase 2 - getting into the climb (70-75%)
Phase 3 - pushing the pace up the climb (75-80%)
Phase 4 - looking to the top, in a rush to get there (80-85%, sub-threshold)
Phase 5 - racing to the top (85+%, above threshold)

You can download the 35-minute mix here

The warm-up and cool-down are yours to choose - the first 45 seconds are to be included as part of a warm-up, the climb then goes on until 35:37, i.e., 35 minutes of constant climbing.

One final point - I've not only mixed it but also done it so that it starts at 60rpm and ends at 75rpm; the change is so gradual, spread out over the entire 35 minutes, so you will not notice how it speeds up.  I've done this both for the benefit of those who ride to the beat and to give it a sense of how you would start up a climb at a steady speed, gradually getting more confident and picking up speed, finishing at race speed.


Drifting away - Faithless
Look inside your head - Sander Van Doom
Sanctuary (The Traveller) - Origene
Ten seconds before sunrise - Tiesto
Dark and long (Dark train) - Underworld
More and more - white label vinyl, artist unknown
Coolio - again, a white label, any ideas?
Saltwater - Chicane feat Maire Brennan

Enjoy your climb to the summit of the Energy Mountain!