How to train for the Tour de France – King of the Mountains

TDF Stage 2 Climbing

TDF Stage 2 – The main Field Chasing down Thomas Voeckler

Besides the yellow jersey (le maillot jaune) which identifies the overall race winner, there are three other contests that play out during The Tour de France.

Each Jersey recognizes the best racer in their respective discipline.

By incorporating interval training into your rides you can develop your tour winning fitness.

Each day we will cover a different Jersey – In honor of today’s stage we will focus on climbing.

The Polka-dot-Jersey is given to Best Climber. Known as the King of the Mountains This rider Posses an excellent Aerobic Capacity and Strength to weight ratio.

To help develop these attributes – here are three intervals that you can add to your workouts.

Climbing repeats – will help to increase your climbing lactate threshold which determines your endurance performance.
How to do it: Find a long (1 mile or more) steady climb and perform 2 intervals of 12 minutes each at 78-83 % of your max HR recover for 10 minutes between each interval.

Hill Sprints – will increase your power for uphill accelerations.
How to do it: Find a flat road leading into a steep uphill ride into the hill at about 15-20 MPH as you reach the hill, jump out of the saddle and give it all you have for 8-12 seconds allow a full recovery of about 10-20 minutes between intervals. When performing interval focus on your form and gearing to ensure that all your power is transmitted to the pedal and your are not wasting energy with superfluous movements.

Hill Accelerations – Build power and acceleration at lactate threshold.
How to do it: Begin slowly on a long moderate climb as you reach the last 500 yards of the climb gradually
increase your speed Try to time it so that at the end of the interval you are near your max hr.
perform 2 hill accelerations with full recovery between efforts.

Training Notes:
Do not perform any Interval without first establishing a good foundation of base miles.

If you live in northern NJ a favorite place for climbing intervals is the Alpine boat basin to the top of 9W

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