BLUF: hill running, 70-80% weight training the core and lower body, biking the hills that are 20% longer than the race hill.
I started hillclimbing a route that took me 58 minutes to complete at the beginning of the summer. I weighed 128 lbs, and I rode a 29er with a 32/18 gear set. I started running every other day (mostly hills) and lifting weights. Right before I left CO in mid June I was at 140 lbs and switched the rear to a 17. I was doing the same climb in under 49 minutes.
I have no doubt that the added strength to my legs and core is where I made my money. Biking is similar to XC skiing in that you can have a bigger body and still perform at a competetive level.
My buddy is 5’9" and 175 lbs… he rides a 32/16 (insane!) and nearly keeps up with me on the long hill workouts. On the flats and smaller climbs he destroys me. I can run way faster than he can, but on a bike his added strength clearly helps him out. He does very well on XC skis too.
Neither one of us are able to sit during the climbs… it’s all out of the saddle.
Anybody else use SS?