How do you train for hill when you have none?



basso97

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Sep 21, 2004
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How do you train for hill when you have none?



I did the Horribly Hilly Hundreds a few weeks ago in Blue Mound Wisconsin. My legs felt good but I had to stop and rest, to lower my heart rate, on most of the hills. I live in NW Indiana and we have no hills. How do you train for hills with out hills. I would have to travel about 3 hours to find hills that take longer then 1 min to climb and those hills are not a problem.
 

Aaberg

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Nov 10, 2004
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You could get yourself a roller, elevate the front wheel with some books (every 1cm increases the slope with approximately 1%), and do some intervals.
 

basso97

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Aaberg said:
You could get yourself a roller, elevate the front wheel with some books (every 1cm increases the slope with approximately 1%), and do some intervals.
This I tried it and it does not work. You are not pulling your weight up a hill. You may be working the same muscesles but that was not were my problem was.
 

basso97

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DanP said:
Hard riding into a headwind on a small cog can help a bit...
This is true but I do not often have a study head wind often enouth to train like this.

I did find somthing that may help me. I purchased a cheap baby trailer that does not let the wind out the back so that it acts as a parachute. I just got it it seams to help the simulation but I have not done enough works out to know if it works.
 

friedmikey

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Jan 20, 2005
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Wear a parachute, or a cape. Put downhill MTB tubes and tires on your bike. Run them at 30 psi....

A side note, Jaguar27, I've noticed you've misspelled Cannondale in your signature. Just thought you might like to know. ;)
 

frenchyge

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basso97 said:
This I tried it and it does not work. You are not pulling your weight up a hill. You may be working the same muscesles but that was not were my problem was.
Training the specific muscles is one (smaller) aspect of climbing, and pure sustainable power is the other. The former can be addressed by elevating the front wheel during training (as has been mentioned), and the latter can be trained on the flats by riding long, hard intervals to increase power. Parachutes, capes, trailers full of bricks, etc aren't necessary for this, just pedal real hard for 10-20 minutes at a time, then rest and repeat.

If you had to stop on the hills because you were out of breath, then it sounds like you were trying to ride too hard for your level of conditioning. Slow down and spin easy so your HR stays under control. Was your Indiana bike gearing too high for the hilly ride? That's kinda what it sounds like.
 

basso97

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frenchyge said:
Slow down and spin easy so your HR stays under control. Was your Indiana bike gearing too high for the hilly ride? That's kinda what it sounds like.
I added a tripple for this ride but still my lowest gear was a 32-22.
 

Jaguar27

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[
A side note, Jaguar27, I've noticed you've misspelled Cannondale in your signature. Just thought you might like to know. ;)[/QUOTE]

Dang, Thanks Fred, I didn't even notice!! :eek:
 

RapDaddyo

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May 17, 2005
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I think your basic problem is getting your head around the dramatic impact that climbing has on speed, given power. The power required to go about 20mph on the flat in no wind results in less than 7mph on a 6% grade. You have two choices. Maintain the same power output and go uphill slowly or learn to increase your power significantly for long enough to get to the top of the climbs on your route. This could be anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes or more, depending on the route. To do the latter, you need to follow frenchyge's advice and do some 10-20 minute intervals at, say, 85+% of your max power or HR. It's easier to do these uphill or into the wind, but you can do it anywhere assuming you don't run out of gear.
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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Not being facetious - but are you sure there is absolutely no hills/mountains in your location ?
Even if meant my having to cycle 60 miles to the nearest hill/mountain, I would do it (in fact I do, do it to get training on some very very steep climbs).
 

RapDaddyo

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limerickman said:
Not being facetious - but are you sure there is absolutely no hills/mountains in your location ?
Even if meant my having to cycle 60 miles to the nearest hill/mountain, I would do it (in fact I do, do it to get training on some very very steep climbs).
I don't know about Indiana, but I grew up in West Texas and the closest thing we had to a hill was an interstate overpass, for hundreds of miles in every direction. I sympathize with the OP, because climbing is one of the great pleasures of cycling. I had the good fortune of learning to ride in New England and I now know how lucky I was to have so many hills in every direction.
 

frenchyge

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basso97 said:
I added a tripple for this ride but still my lowest gear was a 32-22.
Hmmm... that's not far off from the 39x27 that I'll be taking to Colorado for the 120mi Triple Bypass next week. I'm expecting very long 6-8% grades though, and your hills were probably much steeper in many cases.

Ideally, you'd like to have enough gear so you can remain seated and spin comfortably in the 80rpm range. If you're forced to stand, then you really need to be careful not to push too hard and blow up. Just stand and pedal slowly and comfortably, like walking slowly up stairs.

Without training on hills to practice finding your rhythm, using intervals to improve your overall sustainable power will serve you well.
 

limerickman

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RapDaddyo said:
I don't know about Indiana, but I grew up in West Texas and the closest thing we had to a hill was an interstate overpass, for hundreds of miles in every direction. I sympathize with the OP, because climbing is one of the great pleasures of cycling. I had the good fortune of learning to ride in New England and I now know how lucky I was to have so many hills in every direction.

I wasn't being facetious - I live in good all round cycling terrain but that doesn't prevent me from cycling 60 miles (to) very steep climbs and then cycling (back)
home.
 

Doctor Morbius

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I live in Indianapolis, which is in the dead center of the state, and it's very flat here. Northern Indiana is the same way. Half of Indiana was under the Great Lakes at one time. Basso would probably have to go to southern Indiana around Brown County and Bloomington (I U's campus.) to find some decent hills. There are some small hills at Eagle Creek Park where I ride, but other than that the only hills are man made highway overpasses.


What?!?! No capes?! :( Man, I must look like a dork.
 

limerickman

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Doctor Morbius said:
I live in Indianapolis, which is in the dead center of the state, and it's very flat here. Northern Indiana is the same way. Half of Indiana was under the Great Lakes at one time. Basso would probably have to go to southern Indiana around Brown County and Bloomington (I U's campus.) to find some decent hills. There are some small hills at Eagle Creek Park where I ride, but other than that the only hills are man made highway overpasses.


What?!?! No capes?! :( Man, I must look like a dork.

OK : I had no idea of the topography.
Pan flat.
This is a quandry.

I think, in the absence of climbs, Basso ought to follow the advice of other posters and look at improving power output through intervals.
 

RapDaddyo

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limerickman said:
I wasn't being facetious - I live in good all round cycling terrain but that doesn't prevent me from cycling 60 miles (to) very steep climbs and then cycling (back)
home.
I likewise ride out to good, long climbs for training. I only have to ride about 30 miles instead of 60. But, according to the OP, he is 3 hours from anything more than a 1 min. climb!
 

basso97

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Sep 21, 2004
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limerickman said:
Not being facetious - but are you sure there is absolutely no hills/mountains in your location ?
Even if meant my having to cycle 60 miles to the nearest hill/mountain, I would do it (in fact I do, do it to get training on some very very steep climbs).
No real hills near me I have to drive about 3 hours to find any.
All the hills in my area can be powered over in just a min there are no 10 min climbs anywere near me, I live in NW Indiana near Chicago.

http://fermi.jhuapl.edu/states/maps1/in.gif
 

frenchyge

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RapDaddyo said:
I sympathize with the OP, because climbing is one of the great pleasures of cycling. I had the good fortune of learning to ride in New England and I now know how lucky I was to have so many hills in every direction.
Agree completely. Even though Kansas City is hilly enough (never-ending rollers) for decent training, I can't wait to go to Colorado next week. I'm so excited about the thought of grinding away for hours on end above the tree-line that I can barely contain myself. 12,000 feet, here I come. :D

RapDaddyo: Las Vegas has got to have some sweet climbs, no? Isn't Henderson, NV right at the base of the Sierras?