Any Hill Beats me, Please Help.

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by XC Racer, Jun 22, 2003.

  1. XC Racer

    XC Racer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi
    I've been riding and racing XC for a while now and I think I am going well.
    Every Hill that I come to, I always get well behind the pack.
    I have got advice from all my team members and they all say spinning it is the best way, and I found it is.
    I am getting clipless pedals + shoes shorly.
    What is my problem and how do I fix it?
    I don't have a Heart Rate Moniter either.
    Thanks for any suggestions/solutions.
     
    Tags:


  2. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2002
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is it your technique or fitness that you feel is lacking?
     
  3. Shibumi

    Shibumi New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    0
    XCR
    Some thoughts:

    Clipless pedals are a must, especially on hills. When you get them, you should see a big improvent, as you will be able to pull up on each pedal stroke as well as down.

    Prior to the start of a major hill, aim to get yourself at the front of the bunch.

    Weight is key on hills. Any excess will pull you down.

    Get someone to look at your pedalling action on a hill (in training!). An elite rider did this for me, and it helped enormously. He got me to move further back on my saddle (just for the hill) to recruit my muscles better, and to ankle, to also bring the calf muscles into it a bit.

    Spinning in a low gear is definitely the way to go.

    Try moving your hands to the centre of the bars so that you can pull on them better.

    And, of course, train on hills!
     
  4. Drew

    Drew New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    As a reformed road racer - got hit by a car some years back, and just getting back into it - some words of wisdom from my coach come to mind...

    He used to advise that when you find yourself running out of legs, instead of changing down one gear, you change down 2 or 3, and then once you get back to a good spinning rate, you shift up again perhaps one gear...

    This used to work for me when I was in my younger days, but I had my first serious road distance on Saturday for a while, with hills, rather than all flats, and the hills had me buggered... I can proudly say though, that I stayed in the saddle for all but two inclines, and although it was tempting to get off on one of them, I stayed on the bike for the duration!
     
  5. Brizza

    Brizza New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    0
    Are you strugling in XC or road?
    On road I concentrate on my pedaling action, I imagine that I am scaping mud off the bottom of my foot.

    In the bush there is skill in choosing your line, balance and getting your tire traction correct.

    Clipless pedals will help you immensly.
     
  6. XC Racer

    XC Racer New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for the advice guys, it has helped a little, but I still can't wait to get clipless.

    Also, this has only started recently, my Lower Back really starts to hurt after a few hills, to the point where I am in severe pain.

    What are some stretches to strengthen lower back muscles, or do I just need to do more hills?

    Thanks.
     
  7. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2002
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    0
    Back pain is normaly an indicator of a poor position, how is yours?

    There are a few strength exercises that you can do to improve this area, back raises, squats, etc. Also have you thought about doing core stability work?
     
  8. Shibumi

    Shibumi New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    0
    XCR
    Lower back pain is usually symptomatic of the need to perform some 'core strengthening' exercises. The best one, in my opinion, is sits ups / crunches on an exercise ball, as it calls in some of the lower back muscles as well as the abs. I know riders who have banished their back pain through regular exercise of this type.
     
  9. infinitive one

    infinitive one New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    the best way to get up the hill are
    1 spin downstroke and upstoke
    2 if in a group sit on the back of someones wheel not literally mind you this will minimise drag making it easier to get up the hills
     
  10. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2002
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    0
    When climbing speed normaly drops so the aerodynamic benefits of following someones wheel drops, following someones wheel or riding next to someone is good for motivation though.

    Its usualy best to ride at your own pace though (when you can) as that minimises the fatigue that will be experianced.
     
  11. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2003
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're probably well beyond this -- but I found my climbing got a whole lot better when I didn't let my technique get sloppy. Instead of trying to push harder I focused on a smooth, round stroke. It made me a lot more consistent and, I'll bet, anybody riding near me appreciated it too :) People do tend to come unglued on hills...
     
  12. BIGGERSTUFF

    BIGGERSTUFF New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2003
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    what do u guys mean by spinning?
     
  13. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2002
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pedaling quickly (high cadence) and smoothly.
     
  14. Charlie Parker

    Charlie Parker New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2003
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    My personal technique for hills, (not necessarily correct or healthy, but fast), make yourself some space in the pack, faking loss of balance/total incompetence can help here, then pick your line up the hill, pick a mid range gear then get your ass out of the saddle, stare at the ground two feet in front of your front wheel and hammer up the hill, use the corresponding descent to recover. Yeah, I know it's bad for your knees before a million people post replys telling you that, but the way I see it the cartilage you grind away is weight saved! As for lower back pain, check your saddle height, take a couple of ibuprofen before you race and beware of pedals with too little float, your feet connect to your legs which connect to your back, think about it.
     
  15. zakeen

    zakeen New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2003
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    0
    What to be good at hills! Train on them! Dont push yourself. Pick a nice long hill sit down and spin a gear up, dont race it! Riding up hill while sitting down will create a perfect technic for you!

    GET CLIPINS!!!! as someone said also, you will improve heaps! I read somewhere a 40% power increase! - But I find this when needed, meaning while you are riding up a hill you can only push down, when you have clipins you can push down and up! while having a good round technic of pushing and pulling you also save muscel strengh!

    But the only way to improve is hills hills hills hills!
     
  16. retrogeek

    retrogeek New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with 2LAP, back pain is uually a sign of poor position. Have someone knowledgeable check you out before you injure yourself. It is wise to have a coach or a "fitting technician" check your riding position early into getting involved in the sport. That way you won't suffer injuries that could have other wise been avoided, not fun!

    Also, perhaps it is your position that is the problem. Poor position makes for poor power transfer.

    Buy the clipless pedals ASAP.

    Get a heart rate monitor.

    Read.
     
  17. Lasalles

    Lasalles New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2003
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just a thought on your back pain,do you regularly stretch your hamstrings???
     
  18. DurangoKid

    DurangoKid New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    I’m still exploring technique on hills. It seems that technique and fitness go hand in hand. You can’t really get the most out of one without the other. I believe this is why it’s best to train for gradual improvement so that a new technique won’t quickly exhaust you. Standing and sitting utilize different muscles and/or the same muscles differently. I’m working on a hill climbing exercise where I shift up two gears on the freewheel and stand up for a few minutes. Then I return to the saddle and shift back down two gears for another few minutes. While I’m in the saddle, I try to maintain a 90+ rpm cadence. While I’m out of the saddle, I try to maintain the same speed as when I’m in the saddle. As a result, I climb faster and smoother and recover quickly at the summit. With practice, I can also extend the time out of the saddle without bonking.

    A variation on this exercise is to find a hill a few miles long with a grade that varies from 5% to 10% or more. Stand through the switchbacks and other steep parts and then sit through the easier grades to recover. I used this on a hill I used to dread and set a personal best time of 29 minutes to climb 1300’ over 3.25 miles. I’m thinking I can shave a few more minutes off this time over the next couple of rides.

    Ride a variety of hills. A hill you’ve never climbed before will test your ability to pace yourself and manage your resources. Riding the same hill from time to time will help you track your progress.
     
Loading...
Loading...