Help with using Xert to train for Multiple Long Climbs

I’m looking for some advice on the best way to use Xert and indoor training for Long Climbs such as in the French Alps?

I’m off with my son to Mallorca in April and then France in June for a weeks climbing in the Alps. I realise that I’ll need to substantially increase my TL from the current 50 up to possibly 100 before the trip.

Would it make sense to use my LTP number and do something like two sessions a week of say 2x 20 min, 2x 30 min etc, etc in order to train for multiple long climbs every day for 7 days.

Or would it be better to use say 85% or 90% of TP instead?

Or something else?

I’m worried about the multiple long 1 hour + climbs each day and want to train to best target them.

My LTP currently sits at 80% of my TP.

Many thanks

Last summer I visited the alps for a 5 day cycling trip averaging approx 80 miles/day with ~3000m climbing per day. Your general idea of increasing endurance is the right idea - alpine climbs are 1-2hrs so it will always be below threshold on average. If there is one piece of advice I wish I had taken it would have been to train more specifically with the cadence you will use - I was riding on 34-28 lowest gear but still routinely found myself “grinding”, most of my indoor prep was targeting the right power but at 20rpm more than I was able to use. I had it in mind that alpine climbs were not so steep (7-8% average), but on something like Grand Columbiere there were long-long sections of 10% (with intermittent increases to 12-14%)

Actually if I went back I might well put a 32 cassette on… Oh - and if anyone suggests tapping out the climb to Plateau de Glieres “because it was in the Tour”, be aware its brutal…


Fantastic advice thanks.

What sort of % of TP or LTP would you advise I use for my indoor intervals and would you advise say 2x 20 min, or 2x 30min etc or otherwise?

I have a 50x34 on the front and an 11-32 on the rear.

When I got to building, say Jan-March, I was doing a mix of maybe one 2x20 session (~ 90% TP) and one under-over threshold (maybe 3x16 @ 95/105) sessions a week, really wanted to be able to sit at as high power as possible, then adding more volume at lower intensity where I could. Also throwing in the odd VO2 max session.

When I got to spring and stopped riding indoors so much, I tended to do a hard hill-reps session each week (4-5 hills, maybe 8-10 mins each, pushing above threshold, not an ideal replication of alps but working on climbing power using the terrain I have locally), then mainly unstructured riding but trying to get lots of volume in - the weekly club ride would usually count as a hard ride - 3hrs with plenty of elevation. I kind of had a goal that riding 100 miles of lumpy terrain should feel relatively easy as that would barely count as a single day of the alps trip.

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Hi, I’ve done the Marmotte twice now in France which to be fair is a brutal day out on the bike so its a bit more extreme than tackling theses climbs one at a time. However my learnings from this may give you some ideas. I have in no way cracked the training code for this but this is what I am trying at the moment.

  1. Lift your front wheel up to simulate an 8/9% gradient. You use different muscles including core muscles to hold yourself on the bike that you don’t use on the flat. Don’t under estimate this. Do some core work like planks and superman.

  2. As said above your gearing will be crucial. Look at your preferred cadence and try and work out your likely achievable cadence on a 10% climb. No one ever said there gears were too easy at the top of the Galibier. I had 34x34 gearing and I’ve just put a 42 MTB cassette on the back as I could only manage 50 rpm on some sections when I was super tired. Not tried it yet but looking forward to the 34x42 this year.

  3. Train for low cadence. My normal cadence is 82 but there is no way I can pedal at that up the climbs so I’m currently doing a lot of my sessions at 60rpm. You’ll be spending hours at 50-60 rpm with a 32 on the back which is okay if that’s your natural cadence. If you like to spin I would try and get a 34 on the back, especially if you are going to be doing multiple climbs.

So in summary I would throw some 2/3 hour sessions into the mix with the front wheel elevated and done at zone 2 at 60rpm. Maybe throw in some 15 min intervals at 90% ftp to simulate the steep ramps.


That’s great advice and really appreciated thank you :pray:

Hi @oldcyclist65 ! First pick “climber” as athlete type profile in the goal section. Xert will then do the rest in recommending you climber specific exercises. What I found to be best climber trainings are " Sweet-Spot @90% - Classic 3x20" and “SMART - Repeated Attacks” in 3.5 or tougher 4.0 versions.
Few notes:

  • if you plan for long climb for pleasure, then you just need to set the right gears for you to climb at LSD tempo (get a 34x32)
  • if you plan to race, your training will always be tougher and in race event you just go 85-90% of your FTP (that is why sweet spot training is good to prepare you mentaly and better to be done indoor as you will be able to stay same power for 20min)
  • climbing technique is better to be trained outside (sitting - standing - cadence).