Climbing sessions with Will Clarke

During the training camp of the Uplace-BMC Triathlon Team in Lanzarote we followed British athlete Will Clarke for his 20 minute hill sessions he did during a 4 hour ride. He rode about 1.5 hours to get to the base of the 9 km Tabayesco climb where he met his coach Mark Pearce, who followed and recorded him during those three 20-minute sessions there. He averaged around 330 watts during time and likely started at 335 during first one and ended up at 320 during the final one. To add spice Marke Pearce instructed his man to do 10 second efforts increased cadence every 4 minutes. Next for Clarke will be Challenge Dubai and as he gets closer to racing - those hill interval sessions will get longer. Likely 30 minutes each.

One last quick bite before the three hill climbs start in earnest.

Earlier that morning at the Sands Beach Active Resort he made sure that his bike tires had the correct pressure.

A few final instructions from coach Mark Pearce and it is time to go close to threshold for 20 minutes.

Up, up and up we go and surprisingly there was very little vehicular traffic there.

Abot half way during the first session he came upon some very heavy bike traffic.

Among those further up was Lululemon event manager Travis McKenzie and team mate Ronnie Schildknecht, but the Swiss Pro and McKenzie were on a slightly more mellow effort schedule.

Will Clarke rode most of this roughly 7% climb in his aerobars and no one else on the mountain seemed to go his speed.

A very focused Will Clarke approaches the end of one of those 20 minute sessions.

The British Pro recently switched from 172.5mm cranks to 165 ones and he averaged over 300 watts during these sessions.

With one of the climbs in the books a quick chat with the coach and then it is time to head down the mountain for another session.

Will Clarke rides past some inspirational chalk messages during another of his climbs.

It was indeed very rare for Clarke to get out of the saddle.

The climbing here is relentless but Clarke looked very calm and strong as he pushed forward.

During the final session up the mountain the pain of the effort was finally visible.

He started a bit higher up on the climb so he could finish his third session on the very top of the Tabayesco climb.

A quick chat with coach Pearce after the final climb was done.

The recovery food and drink found Will Clarke well. But this was not all he ate.

After that quick snack it was time for Will Clarke to ride another 1:15 hours to finish that 4 hour effort.

All images © Herbert Krabel /