Whether on a long club ride, racing in the Ontario Cup or part way through a long charity ride, we have all felt our legs give out at some time when we need them most. Continual hard efforts build up in our legs and then when we call on them once more, there just is not anything there. Those who can push through those hard efforts will more often than not see themselves in the podium or perhaps first in line at the beer tent. The club’s hill loop will help you develop the capacity to push harder or just longer because it is not about the hills, it is about the recovery zones between.
- The protocol for this loop is to ride steady up the hills and then maintain a good pace through the recovery zones (suggested paces for the hills below). This means not over reaching when you are climbing the hills and making sure that you are breathing well. In through the nose, out through the mouth. The idea is that by pushing through the recovery zones you are developing your aerobic capacity and all the support systems that make your muscles work.
- The starting point is Beechwood Drive, and the ride is neutral and relaxed all the way to Pottery Rd and the Bayview Extension. Once on the Extension, ride at your selected steady pace right to the top. Resist the urge to go hard too early, and ride focused on the latter part of the workout.
- Once at the top, ride through the parking lot and pick up some speed along Moore Ave. You will feel like slowing down and catching your breath, but that is just your brain giving up. Take a sip of water (this is your only chance really until Beechwood) and push through the Leaside.
- Ride neutral to the hill behind Loblaws, get down and then up. For the beginners, you will skip the Loblaws hill and push hard across the Leaside bridge, maintaining 30km/h. Everyone else is down the hill, then up and back to Leaside where you should form a pace line and push hard across the bridge It is okay to wait for your fellow riders to get up the hill, regroup and then begin the push across the bridge.
- The ride neutralizes at Paper and O’Connor where you take a full recovery down Beechwood and along the path to Pottery Road.
- One note about the hill behind Loblaws. This is a technical descent and then a very steep and short climb. If you are at the beginner level, I suggest skipping it until later in the season.
Beginner Level (4 laps, not including the hill behind Loblaws)
- Climb the Extension at 12 km/h, increasing the pace by 2 km/h each lap
- Pace across the Leaside Bridge should be 30 km/h
Intermediate Level (4 laps, includes the hill behind Loblaws)
- Climb the Extension at 14 km/h, increasing the pace by 2 km/h each lap
- Pace across the Leaside Bridge should be 32 km/h
Master Level (5-6 laps, all hills)
- Climb the Extension at 16 km/h, increasing the pace by 2 km/h each lap
- Pace across the Leaside bridge should be 35 km/h
- Don’t take it over 35 on the Leaside bridge, save it for the hills Top Gun
- Climb the Extension at 18 km/h, increasing the pace by 3 km/h each lap for the first 4 laps and then picking a sustainable but high pace for the remainder.
- Pace across the Leaside Bridge is 35-45 km/h