Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

Training for Col du Tourmalet advice?

RoadSmartRoadSmart Posts: 4
This summer we pick up the Tour de France as it enters the Pyrenees. I want to ride up the Tourmalet the day after when the race goes to Paris. Can I have some advice on training for this. I want to do myself and the Col credit by being fit enough to climb it. I will not be riding more than 25mi on a single ride.
With 8 weeks to go and not very strong in the legs. At 49yrs, 11st 5lb and own a domane 6 series I have no excuses.
What should I concentrate a training plan on????

Posts

  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 11,366
    Long efforts. Assuming you're going up through la Mongie, you're riding for a long time, then it gets steep.
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,644
    Depends what you mean by doing it credit.
    For me, big climbs are about a steady, constant, hard effort, so that's what you ought to train for. Otherwise, just make sure you have an appropriate gear

    I'm a similar age and weight to you, I did Alpe d'huez in 2016 as my first big climb and I wasn't in the best shape as I'd been sick beforehand, but I just found a rhythm and stuck at it.
    Last year we did col des aravis and colombierre and I was in much better shape so enjoyed it more, but it was a similar approach - find an effort level that you can sustain for a long period and allow your speed to adjust with the change in gradient.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 12,660
    I would say that your current plan is insufficient. You need to do much more miles. Unless you have a 12.5 mile climb on your doorstep. And gears. You will want easy gearing if you are not properly prepared.
    That said, I have seen what looks like unfit people cycle up it. Slowly. In an easy gear.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Yep - get low gears. Whatever you have to climb now - you'll need lower.

    It's either 10 or 11 miles of climbing and it will take you well over an hour.

    Where do you live ? Can you find some big climbs to ride ? Why such short rides ? Endurance would be handy for this climb.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    RoadSmart wrote:
    I will not be riding more than 25mi on a single ride.

    If I've understood you correctly and you will not be doing rides of more than 25miles in the run up to riding the Tourmalet, then just focus on riding those 25 milers as hard as you possibly can for the duration of the ride. As others have said though, some longer rides would also be useful..
  • It depends on what training you are doing at present and what your general fitness is like. Generally as others have pointed out you are going to be riding for 2+ hours at a pretty high intensity (probably something just below your threshold). Some longer efforts that replicate this as part of your training (20-40min steady sub-threshold intervals) should be a good place to start.

    I have always found that shorter efforts also help me. There will be points on most climbs where you need to go into the red for a few minutes and being able to ride above threshold for 3-5mins helps. Concentrate on the longer efforts as has been said but you might want to throw in some 3-5min intervals as part of your training as well.
  • RoadSmartRoadSmart Posts: 4
    Thank you for your responses so far the reason I don't go above 25 miles on any one ride is that if the doctors had their way I would not be on a road bike at all let alone climbing mountains due to an injury to my neck.
    Once I get to about 20 miles the pain is intense only when I stop does it ease off what I may have to do is stop for 20 minutes and carry on in order to get the miles in I guess.
    I have recently moved from the flat of the Fenlands to County Durham where there are plenty of hills.

    I am so out of touch with Hills where are used to be a lot stronger in the legs.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 11,366
    You might want to consider that in time, rather than distance.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,232
    Any local, low traffic inclines that are ~7%? If so, build up your number and intensity of hill reps.

    They are only ~180 feet climbs, but I'm lucky that I have such climbs very close to home, if I cannot or don't want to head to the South Downs cat 3/4 hills. Today, the weather is a bit damp and I hope to do a nice long ride tomorrow in the dry, so I did ~2200 feet of hill reps a little earlier https://www.strava.com/activities/1593025651 to get some MAMIL exercise. Unlike more experienced and younger riders, I ran out of talent to keep that early pace going, "boiling in the bag" while gasping for a drink I didn't have and quads that were running out of energy. ;)
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Blimey - I think you might be needing to stop on the way up then if your neck hurts after 20 miles or so. And then you've still got the descent to do.

    Good luck with it !
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 11,366
    I'm out.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 12,660
    The doctor might be on to something.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • RoadSmartRoadSmart Posts: 4
    Any local, low traffic inclines that are ~7%? If so, build up your number and intensity of hill reps.

    They are only ~180 feet climbs, but I'm lucky that I have such climbs very close to home, if I cannot or don't want to head to the South Downs cat 3/4 hills. Today, the weather is a bit damp and I hope to do a nice long ride tomorrow in the dry, so I did ~2200 feet of hill reps a little earlier https://www.strava.com/activities/1593025651 to get some MAMIL exercise. Unlike more experienced and younger riders, I ran out of talent to keep that early pace going, "boiling in the bag" while gasping for a drink I didn't have and quads that were running out of energy. ;)
    I shall take this and run (no ride) with it. Thank you
  • molteni_manmolteni_man Posts: 234
    Hi Roadsmart,
    It’s a great Col to climb. Keep training, get some ‘easy’ gearing fitted as others have suggested. Do also use a Heart Rate Monitor to monitor yourself on the ascent and ensure with your current level of fitness that you don’t go above 75% of your maximum rate at any point of the climb. Should you start to go above this on the ascent ,back off.
    A further thought would be to do two or three rides to halfway before tackling the full thing
    Pack a lightweight gilet / windproof for the descent - it can get cold up there as I’ve found out a few times !
  • molteni_manmolteni_man Posts: 234
    And good luck and let us know how you get on!
Sign In or Register to comment.