This is a training session, which is a bit different – A bit of fun or a bit of torture, depending on your point of view.
Pick a hill (less than 5km) and see how many vertical metres you can climb in an hour. It is like a mini Everesting attempt all condensed into one hour. It will make excellent hill climb training, good training for a 25 mile TT and also good training for long Alpine climbs.
The 5km limit is purely arbitrary and based on the fact most accessible climbs in the UK are around 1-2km. Short hills make it harder because you have to do more u-turns and more descending. If you wanted to maximise vertical ascent in an hour, you would start at the foot of the Col du Tourmalet and see how far you can get up in an hour. A really top pro, may be able to manage close to 1,500m – 1,600m in an hour. Which is equal to VAM (velocità ascensionale media) – basically vertical meters climbed per hour. But, in the UK, there are no such climbs.
The optimum hill
The optimum hill would probably have a constant gradient of around 12-13% All your time is climbing, you don’t have to pedal on descent and you can probably do all the climbing in the saddle.
The important thing is to be safe when doing u-turns at the top and bottom of hill. The road needs to be quiet and good views of traffic. It’s only a training session.
Chinnor Hill reps
I chose Chinnor Hill because it is near enough to Oxford to cycle out and gives a reasonable height gain of 119m / 9% average per lap.
- Distance: 0.8 miles / 1.3km
- Height gain: 393ft/ 118m
- Average gradient: 9%
- Max 16%
It also has a convenient roundabout at the bottom of the hill, to make safer u-turns at bottom of hill. Continue Reading →