ergo

By Jessica Douglas

The Otway 300 consists of a lot of non technical, saddle time, long steady climbing.

Many roadies are more attuned to this position and the physiological and psychological requirements, however no matter your current fitness or cycling history, 2 days of lots of saddle time and in a climbing position will take their toll.

I can safely assume you love riding your bike and doing 100km is not an impossible task for you even if it takes a long time, you are all good with that.  This is a great baseline.
100km - Shagged at finish but survived!

Lets now discuss how you get your hill legs sorted, well at least improved upon.
Strength is required, this is the maximum force you can exert with resistance and you are going to need Endurance. The ability to repeat the action of pedaling for an extended time without losing much performance.
Mix the two together and you the physical requirements for long hill climbs.
POWER/FORCE - With Load - For an extended period of time.

Here is a 3 week progression to improve what you already have in your legs.
You can do these outdoors but you will need to find some climbs to help you out.
Visualisation helps too, try not to look at the time and get psyched out by it, instead focus on your form, your breathing, your pedal strokes and imagine yourself climbing in the Otways instead and that reward of a downhill once you get to the top!

Week 1 

SE Session (Strength Endurance) - 45mins.

6 Min Warm up on an easy load. 60% of your max. Cadence around 90-95 rpm.
4 x 6 min SE sets with 3 min recovery(easy spinning, still pedaling though).
SE Load - Add load so that you RPM sits around 70-75 and its slow and hard but not so your knees feel like they are about to explode.

6 min cool down recovery spin.
On your recovery - just spin with no load.

Do this 3 times in the week and add at least 1 long ride on the weekend.

Week 2

SE Session (Strength Endurance) - 45 mins.

6 Min Warm up on an easy load. 60% of your max. Cadence around 90-95 rpm.
3 x 8 min SE sets with 4 min recovery. SE Load - Add load so that you RPM sits around 70-75 and its slow and hard but not so your knees feel like they are about to explode.

7 min cool down recovery spin. 
On your recovery - just spin with no load.

Now your time under load has not actually increased in time, but your reps are longer.
Do this 3 times in the week and add at least 1 long ride on the weekend.

 Week 3

SE Session (Strength Endurance) - 45mins.

8 Min Warm up on an easy load. 60% of your max.
Cadence around 90-95 rpm.

2 x 12 min SE sets with 5 min recovery. SE Load - Add load so that you RPM sits around 70-75 and its slow and hard but not so your knees feel like they are about to explode.  

8 min cool down recovery spin.

On your recovery - just spin with no load.

And by week 3 - you will do only 2 reps but 12 mins long.
Do this 3 times in the week and add at least 1 long ride on the weekend. 

Doing something is always better than doing nothing!

 Doing these 3 x 45 mins sessions in the week, you can leave the weekend free to ride long!

 Head out to the hills & you WILL feel the difference IF you do these sessions.

 3 weeks to fitness!