Cycling to the Sun (LF Advice on Climbing Training)

Hi All, I was looking to see if anyone has advice on how to best train for a 1-day, 10,000 ft (3000 m) climb! Will be attempting the “Cycle to the Sun” ride (cycling to the summit of Haleakala) in March, 2022.

Would appreciate any suggestions regarding existing or custom Zwift workouts, strength exercises, cross-training, nutrition, gear, etc…

  • 3 months (13 weeks) of training time available from today;
  • Previous experience: 70.3 triathlon, single day max ride distance ~110 km;
  • Goal is to climb from sea level to the summit of Haleakala in one day;
  • Current fitness level is “average”: Zwift couple times a week, sports team, strength train.

I am very jealous! I drove up there a couple of years ago and wished I was on my bike. Though it wouldn’t be very easy, it is a stunning location!

I’m not great re training programmes, I’m more of a just ride regularly type of person. If I was preparing to ride it I would try to choose something similar in Zwift and ride it as much as possible. Although long, I think about 36m from the North coast to the summit, it is not overly steep. I think it averages 5% - 7% increasing slightly right at the end (after the visitor centre). So I think something like the Innsbruck KOM would be a good simulation in terms of gradient, but you would need to go up it about 8 times to get the distance.

Obviously Innsbruck isn’t always available without using the hack or creating a meet-up, so maybe one of the climbs in Watopia would be better for you. Just not sure about gradients on those.

Make sure you build some recovery/rest days in to your schedule, but if it was me I’d be doing it as often as possible with such a short time to train.

I’ve done this kind of training before to prepare for Haute Route events where you do 3000-4500m+ nearly every day for 7 days, excluding the TT day (usually 1200-1400m over 12-14km).

What you want to do is rides on Zwift with maximum elevation and very little flat riding.

Start from Ride to the Sky near the windmill, U-turn immediately and go up reverse Epic KOM and keep doing loops of that using the cliff-side shortcut at the other end. First just ride and ride. Then use low cadence and bigger gears that will help.

When you ride outside for real at normal cadence it will seem easier.

You could also use training peaks to sync some manual workouts like 3x20 with low cadence at 85-88% FTP.