Quick Profile: Four Long Segmented Climbs

This ride is a structured climb consisting of four 10-minute hills. To keep it manageable, each hill is broken into four segments. To make it interesting, the timing and terrain of segments vary, either getting longer or shorter, steeper or flatter. To keep it achievable, the hills are all aerobic. To make it challenging, half of each segment is in high Zone 3 and the other half is in Zone 4. This profile employs a mental technique used in endurance training by breaking an effort of long duration or distance into bite-sized chunks. The thought of four hills consisting of 10 minutes of straight climbing each may be overwhelming to the average gym attendee, but they can more easily approach them one segment at a time. As the coach, take advantage of this technique by calling out each segment and how long it is. 

6 Responses to “Quick Profile: Four Long Segmented Climbs”

  1. BETHANTELL says:

    definitely looking forward to trying this ride. i love relatively simple yet challenging profiles. i’m a bit confused about something from your description :

    can you explain the second sentence (each segment begins..) based on the first sentence? THANK YOU!

    The hill can either start with a slight gradient and get steeper by adding resistance and decreasing cadence, or start with a significant gradient and become less steep by lowering resistance and increasing cadence. Each segment begins seated in high Zone 3; halfway through the segment, resistance is added to bring the power to Zone 4.

    • Bill Pierce says:

      I can explain further here. The details are presented in the body of the profile.

      “The hill can either start with a slight gradient and get steeper by adding resistance and decreasing cadence, or start with a significant gradient and become less steep by lowering resistance and increasing cadence.”
      In this profile, each 10-minute hill varies. In the first 10-minute hill gets steeper as the segments get longer. Resistance is increased from the 4-minute segment to the 3-minute segment, from the 3-minute segment to the 2-minute segment, and from the 2-minute segment to the 1-minute segment. The segments are each shorter than the preceding one – 4,3,2,1. The second 10-minute hill starts steep and the segments get progressively less steep, lowering resistance as you move from one to the next. The segments get longer – 1,2,3,4. The third 10-minute hill also starts steep and gets progressively less steep, lowering resistance as you transition to the next segment. The timing for each segment gets shorter – 4,3,2,1. Finally, the fourth hill gets steeper from segment, increasing resistance. The segments get longer as you progress through them -1,2,3,4 – so the final segment is both the longest and steepest of that 10-minute hill.
      To make it more challenging, each segment -4,3,2,1 or 1,2,3,4 – in broken into two halves. The first half is seated in high Zone 3. The second half is optionally standing in Zone 4. So all 4-minute segments start with 2 minutes sitting in Zone 3 and finish with 2 minutes standing in Zone 4. All 3-minute segments start with 1 1/2 minutes sitting in Zone 3 and finish with 1 1/2 minutes standing in Zone 4,….

      I hope this helps. As you read through the profile itself, it may become more obvious.

  2. Lisa Piquette says:

    Great Profile! Used it this week and I loved the way that it broke down their effort for them. I also like that this is a very adaptable format – I will definitely use it over and over. Thanks Bill!

    • Bill Pierce says:

      Lisa – You’re welcome. I’m glad that you enjoyed it. The process of segmenting longer efforts is common in endurance training. It’s formidable to think about having to ride 100 miles in a century or 26.2 miles in a marathon. But it’s manageable if you break the efforts into segments like from one rest stop to the next in the century or the first 10 miles, second 10 miles, and final 10K in a marathon.

  3. SarahJeffs says:

    Love this profile, tweaked it to 3 hills instead & changed the music somewhat. Very received today.

    • Bill Pierce says:

      Sarah – Good to hear. 3 hills is perfect for a shorter class. Changing up the music is one of the benefits of this format. It’s fine as long as you kept the Pitbull song in because Jennifer Sage is a HUGE Pitbull fan.

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