High power uphill | 80/20 Endurance

High power uphill

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    Hi, just getting started with my 80/20 Ironman program and also my first power meter. When I cycle uphill I have noticed my power zone jumps right up into zone 4 or 5, even in my lowest gear. Is this ok for the odd hill during a zone 1 or zone 2 workout? I don’t have the luxury of a flat route so there will always be a hill but no matter what I do, I can’t keep the zone down.

    Thanks in advance 🙂


    Hi Jay,
    This may be a combination of your weight and bike gearing.

    I’m 6’4″ – 240lbs, and any hill above an 8-9% grade and I’m entering Z3 and up. It’s just the power and a minimum cadence required to move my mass against gravity. This was more of a problem when I first started, but as I get fitter, lighter and my ftp increased, I was able to spend more time in Zone 2 on those hills or carry my speed better into those hills.

    One thing to look into is your rear cassette. Check to see what ratio you have. I started with an 11/28 but was able to put an 11/32 cassette which helped alot. Pending your derailer size, it can be a $60 DIY fix. Also, if your new to cycling, standing up and pedalling the hills allows you to work at a lower cadence but maintain a lower power, but it’s a good strength workout and a skill that takes practice.

    As for the effort and effects on the plan, the coaches will have more say, but I would say that a couple 1-2 minute efforts into Z4 or Z5 aren’t detrimental (not ideal) to the workout, just make sure you have time to recover after those efforts to allow your HR to get back down before continuing on. I have 10% road leading back to my house, and I have to hit it every workout, no matter the intensity prescribed.


    Hi cheers for the reply. I’m 165cm and 77kg. I really like hills so dont struggle up them at all. For a compact chainset and 34 tooth on the back so good gears. Like I say, it’s no real perceived effort getting up the hill, it just sends mu power high.
    I’ll try the standing, see if that makes a difference

    David Warden


    Big is right, gearing will help, but there are some grades where you are just going to run out of options.

    If you don’t have flat courses available to you, then it’s academic, you’ll have to cycle in hills.

    I propose we quantify this and see how bad of an issue it is for you. TP will let you track your time in each zone. So, go to the dashboard and pick the day you started with 80/20 training as the start date, and today as the end date on the chart “Time in Power Zones: Bike.” Note that TP will use a generic Zone 1-7 on this particular chart, so TP Zone 1 = 80/20 Zone 1, TP Zone 3 = 80/20 Zone X, etc.

    You’ll want at least a week of rides, and 3 weeks is better.


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