I’ve had a few people ask questions in Coffee Bean recently about my Taiwan KOM experience and the best ways to train for it.
First up, I’d like to congratulate all those that have signed up for what truly is a unique bucket list ride. For my full report from last years event see: here.
On the training front, here’s what I’d suggest as a means of getting ready for a 105km mountain climb in pancake flat Singapore.
- Forget Faber. Whilst it’s definitely possible to replicate the Taiwan vertical ascent via endless Faber Loops (or even go further and Everest it!) – it’s probably not the best option due to the difference in profile. Taiwan is a steady solid grind with long sections sitting at 10%+ whereas Faber is more of a varied gradient. The best option in Singapore is Bukit Gombak which at 1km has a similar consistent gradient. Lorong Sesuai is also good – albeit much shorter – and a good candidate when the army boys randomly close the Gombak gates.
- Leg Strength. My coach focused a lot of my effort on leg strength using low cadence, big gear rides as this was a good way to mimic the mountain. I did a lot of 1 hour sessions in very high gear pushing a 70 cadence. Good strength builder but be careful on not hurting the knees.
- Lower Back. This is one I learned the hard way in the race. Leg Strength is all well and good but 5 hours of climbing will put a lot of pressure on the lower back. I was in agony by 90km in the race and I’d really recommend doing some core and gym work to strengthen this. You’ll need it for both seated and standing climbs so well worth doing something.
My 2 final recommendations are also lessons from last year. Get a compact crank and bring arm warmers. The weather might look great at sea level at 7am but is likely to be very different at 3,200m when you finish 5 hours later.