Today was a nice reminder of how difficult the Col de la Madeleine really is. There are a couple of plateaux for a few kilometres but otherwise it's practically the same amount of climbing as Mont Ventoux.
My goal was to remain "aerobic" the whole way - never letting my heart rate go above 136 bpm. That's good discipline for the ego when you have to let others go tearing past you! Fortunately it was quiet so that only happened once! The aim is to build the aerobic system through avoiding activating the anaerobic system too much.
Fortunately I seem to be able to climb those 10% gradients with standard gearing 34T "oval" and 28T rear sprocket while keeping the heart rate down. When running I'm finding that it's almost necessary to stop on anything steep - my heart rate just climbs too high and too easily at the moment. That indicates a poor aerobic base.
While training hard my resting heart rate was only 36 bpm - which I was quite happy about. Now that I've eased off the anaerobic component the heart resting rate is up to 52 bpm. This shows that the reason for the low heart rate wasn't "fitness" - it was a pathogenic suppression of adrenal hormones through the parasympathetic autonomous nervous system. That's every bit as bad as it sounds! Simply put - it was an "over-training" effect.
The problem with "aerobic" training is that it's relatively boring because it takes so long to get anywhere. Having great scenery and music to listen to helps a lot!