Sprints for a climber

Hi everyone,

I’m in week 11 of my 18-wks Sweet Spot TP… then I’ll hit Granfondo, Phil KOM and Climbing IntervalsTP to prepare for my Granfondo summer season. So far so good.

My “A” Race, next June, is a harsh (6-7 hours, 180 km) alpine granfondo with a LOT of climbing (at least 3.5 hrs of climbing in 4 climbs). That’s my favourite terrain, so I should be fine but…

Before hitting the first climb the pace is just CRAZY, we usually do the first hour at 50 kph, and we have to handle 20 roundabouts - and after each roundabout you have to SPRINT like hell just to keep in touch. If you get dropped: game over.

I usually keep in touch with the head of the bunch, but I suffer like a dog… and after all those sprints, when I hit the first climb -> CRAMPS!!!

Every year the same story, this year the pace was particularly high with many more sprints and cramps came everywhere, also in my ears…

In your opinion, what’s the best way to prepare for that first crazy hour, and be able to handle the rest of the race?



When you come across your tempo or sweet spot burst workouts sprint full gas just like this. Use these workouts as simulation workouts. Might even want to try some burst efforts during your threshold efforts as you get closer to the event.

Make sure in this first hour before the climbs you are eating and especially drinking an electrolyte drink! I know it’s hard when your nose is to the stem but that is when all of us forget the details that get us through the rest of the race. If you get caught behind you won’t catch up during such long event.

So again during training practice drinking, maybe eating during some sweet spot intervals when you are uncomfortable.


That’s a very good answer. Makes sense: it’s so easy to forget the specificity principle… especially when you like more one thing (climbing) than another (sprinting).

About nutrition, it makes sense too: after 1 hour of sprinting my glycogen is far gone, and this could lead to cramps… maybe!

Thank you!