This is a climb that is scheduled on the National Race calendar every year and the top elite riders post sub 10 minute times, which is a motoring pace. Any time under 12 minutes is a good one. The climb goes from 50m to 250m above sea-level in 4.2kms, with a max grade of approx 8%. It is a sustained grade that stays about the same all the way to the top. It is a wide open road with numerous bends and sharp turns as you race your way up to the top. It is a popular training spot here in Taipei with various riders testing themselves with the hill climbing. The descent back down is nice and fast. I would consider this hill to be a safer and more appropriate one to use as a hill climb time-trial over the Liuzhangli Climb I posted about several weeks ago.
A google map can be found here to get directions on how to get there: Shooters Hill Time-Trial
I had been suffering from serious hay fever attacks over the past three days and was not feeling great at all today. I needed to get out on the bike after taking a couple of days off. I needed to get some speed into the legs since I have a race this weekend. I actually felt quite sluggish when I did the first climb as a warm-up before doing the actual Shooters Hill Time-Trial, so I was not expecting to do a quick time.
I started out well, maintaining an average wattage of between 380 and 400 watts - got over the first steep spot and kept a good steady pace on the gradient that followed, however since it was my first attempt, my early pace was not sustainable when the gradient got steeper after 1km or so. I practically blew-up at the seven minute mark and had no power left to drive it home for a respectable time. Up till the point before I blew, I was averaging close to 390 watts with an average heart rate of 175 bpm (20.3km/h avg and cadence 77rpm). The last six minutes or so only produced an average power of 293watts with an average heart rate of 177bpm (speed dropped significantly to 15.3km/h avg and cadence was 69). In short, I was suffering just to make it to the top for a time of sub 13 minutes. Ideally, if you have paced well and punched through the right sections, your power average should remain constant throughout.
To view the power file, click here Training Peaks File
Bikedan's Tips for achieving your personal best
- Have adequate recovery in the days leading up to the hill-climb time trial day - don't do any tough rides two days out from your scheduled date.
- Ensure you warm-up well - I rode through the city and did another nearby hill (Jian-nan Road) as my warm-up. Normally this would work well for me, but due to the hay-fever and feeling all-round sluggish, I probably did too much on the Jian-nan climb. A good warm-up would be to do 20mins easy riding followed by 5x1min threshold intervals with 1min rest in-between and then recover 5-10mins before you launch into the time-trial.
- Pace yourself up the climb - at the begining do an out-of-saddle effort to get over first steep section and then settle into a pace that you can maintain.
- Attack the steep turns through the tightest line.
- Use land-marks to gauge your progress (once you have a few climbs under your belt, you'll know the landmarks and know when to ease off or put on the gas).
- Keep your cadence as high as you can maintain (any thing over 70rpm average is good, but 80rpm is more ideal).
- Save enough so that you can really punch it in the last 1km - I believe this is where alot of time is gained or lost. If you can aim for negative splits - i.e the last 2kms done faster than your first 2kms, then you have done a good job of pacing. But don't go out too easy!
- If you train with power, then aim to ride at just below your threshold power for the first half and then the last half give it all you have. Heart rate can be a guide, but as you saw in my case, the heart rate had a higher average for the second half for almost 100 watts less power!
- Stay smooth and focused!
The Jian Nan Road climb is a great one to do and once at the top you are rewarded with a stunning view of Taipei City and the 101 Tower as you ride back into the city.