How do you train for hill when you have none?



mises

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May 27, 2005
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basso97 said:
I went out this last weekend and did the power type drills, and then I road my recumbent tandem on the 4th, I have the power at duration.

From ridding the 2 bike over the same hills I think my problem is gearing. On my road bike I did not have low enough gearing. My lowest gear was a 36-23. I think if I get a 27 on the back I can spin up the hills.

Thank everyone for the help.
Racermate used to make a set of fans that clamped on the seat tube that would provide the extra resistance to slow you down.

I used to live near Lafayette IN and the only hills around were in river valleys. I tried every method available to simulate climbing (this was pre computrainer) and when I moved to Hawaii I found they were all totally ineffective. It's not really the low cadence or high resistance that is the issue, it's the lack of momentum. All the big gear simulations are still at a higher speed where momentum lets you get away with not doing much at the dead spots or pulling up. Climbing on long steep grades takes all that away and you have to work the whole way around to keep things rolling. It's almost like learning to ride again for a flatlander.

A computrainer (or similar computerized load generator) is probably the best ways to work on climbing now. Or you could try Powercranks since they don't let you cheat on pedaling either.
 

pod

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Jul 21, 2003
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I find that shorter intervals of 4 to 10 minutes work best for hill climbing as you need to work on your VO2 max and the percentage you can sustain for the duration of the hill. 20 min intervals (at perhaps 85% of MHR) help boost your Lactic Threshold which helps boost your sustainable power for an hour or 2 or 3 and unless we are talking about very long hills, it's only going to have limited benefit for shorter steep ones of say 1 to 5 km.

You need to boost the power you can sustain for say 5 to 20 minutes on most hills and I would recommend doing multiple shorter intervals of about half those times at the highest intensity you can sustain (90 to 95% of MHR for me). 4 or 5 repeats of 5 minute long high internity intervals with 5 minute recovery between each will do wonders for your sustainable (aerobic) power output on 2 to 3 km long hills. Stretch the intervals out a bit for longer hills.

You can do these on the flats so long as the road is clear and smooth enough to sustain the speeds you will get to. If you can find a 3 to 6 km circuit then just alternate hard and easy laps.
 

RapDaddyo

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May 17, 2005
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mises said:
Racermate used to make a set of fans that clamped on the seat tube that would provide the extra resistance to slow you down.

I used to live near Lafayette IN and the only hills around were in river valleys. I tried every method available to simulate climbing (this was pre computrainer) and when I moved to Hawaii I found they were all totally ineffective. It's not really the low cadence or high resistance that is the issue, it's the lack of momentum. All the big gear simulations are still at a higher speed where momentum lets you get away with not doing much at the dead spots or pulling up. Climbing on long steep grades takes all that away and you have to work the whole way around to keep things rolling. It's almost like learning to ride again for a flatlander.

A computrainer (or similar computerized load generator) is probably the best ways to work on climbing now. Or you could try Powercranks since they don't let you cheat on pedaling either.
I agree with your point about momentum and the dead spot. And I think there's one more reason climbing long hills is tough if one has been riding on the flat. After I started riding with a power meter, I realized how often I was putting out little or no power on the flats. On a steep climb, there's just no relief. If you don't put out the power, your bike comes to a halt in about 2 feet. Most of us don't realize how much we are actually resting when we're riding on the flat.
 

pod

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Jul 21, 2003
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RapDaddyo said:
I agree with your point about momentum and the dead spot. And I think there's one more reason climbing long hills is tough if one has been riding on the flat. After I started riding with a power meter, I realized how often I was putting out little or no power on the flats. On a steep climb, there's just no relief. If you don't put out the power, your bike comes to a halt in about 2 feet. Most of us don't realize how much we are actually resting when we're riding on the flat.
I agree with that when riding around town. It's very hard to maintain an intensive effort because of traffic, intersections, etc but when I got a power metre, I was supprised at how hard I worked on the flats particularly on a park circuit and some of the out of town rides I do.

I'd always assumed I was working harder up hills but in fact I tended to maintain a higher average power output for longer periods on the flats when racing the clock or other riders. To me it just feels easier on the flats because my gearing is more suitable and I can maintain a faster (easier) cadence plus the cooling effect of the wind helps. The hills I ride are between 5 and 20 minute efforts and then the power drops to zero as I wind down the other side. It would be nice to have some lower gears for the hills.
 

lyotard

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May 3, 2005
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any multi level parking garages about your villiage?



basso97 said:
How do you train for hill when you have none?



I did the Horribly 1 min to climb and those hills are not a problem.
 

critellimm

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Apr 8, 2004
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lyotard said:
any multi level parking garages about your villiage?


Parking garages are great workouts. I live in downtown Chicago and while we have an outstanding 16 mile lakefront path it's pancake flat.
The solution is to find a 10-12 story parking garage of which Chicago has plenty. The Bloomingdale's building has almost 1/2 mile of climbing in it's 12 level garage! I do 3-4 climbs per workout, 3 days a week.
BTW, does anyone know the average grade of a parking garage?

Hope this helps,
Bruce
 

RapDaddyo

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critellimm said:
Parking garages are great workouts. I live in downtown Chicago and while we have an outstanding 16 mile lakefront path it's pancake flat.
The solution is to find a 10-12 story parking garage of which Chicago has plenty. The Bloomingdale's building has almost 1/2 mile of climbing in it's 12 level garage! I do 3-4 climbs per workout, 3 days a week.
BTW, does anyone know the average grade of a parking garage?

Hope this helps,
Bruce
I love it. This is the most creative cycling workout I've ever heard of. The grade has to be close to 10%. You've got, what, 12' of rise over something close to 120' of run? It's got to be pretty steep. Have you climbed the garage made famous in the Steve McQueen movie where the guy drives off into the river?
 

basso97

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Sep 21, 2004
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lyotard said:
any multi level parking garages about your villiage?
I never thought of that. There are none where I live, but it is only a 30 mile ride to Down Town Chicago. Thank you for the help.

I could even take the Pace bus into the city if I did not want to spend all day.
 

critellimm

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Apr 8, 2004
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basso97 said:
I never thought of that. There are none where I live, but it is only a 30 mile ride to Down Town Chicago. Thank you for the help.

I could even take the Pace bus into the city if I did not want to spend all day.



You have to do the garages EARLY in the morning. They get busy after 7:00am. In the summer I hit them by 5:30am and then go to the lakefront path for the rest of my workout.

RAPDADDYO - I have done the Marina Towers garage but it's a very tight circle and not very open if you need to take evasive action.
 

serpent950

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Dec 27, 2004
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I use a fluid trainer......go into 53X11 standing/sitting and try to maintain a 70rpm cadence.....do 2 x 5 minute intervals...alternate sitting and standing
 

Future-pro

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Nov 7, 2004
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i think the easiest thing to do is before riding lick your finger stick it in the air and wait to see which side is the coldest and then point your bike and ride in that direction basically ride into a headwind it will stimulate riding up a hill not sure how but ive read plenty of articles which recommend this
 

Eden

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Feb 28, 2005
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critellimm said:
Parking garages are great workouts. I live in downtown Chicago and while we have an outstanding 16 mile lakefront path it's pancake flat.
The solution is to find a 10-12 story parking garage of which Chicago has plenty. The Bloomingdale's building has almost 1/2 mile of climbing in it's 12 level garage! I do 3-4 climbs per workout, 3 days a week.
BTW, does anyone know the average grade of a parking garage?

Hope this helps,
Bruce
Interesting question!
This is what I found on an engineering chat board

Many land planning ordinances, recommended practices, and engineering experiences tell the designer to get the water off quickly so set the slopes high. Many designers want 2-3% slopes to accomplish this. Some will allow the "door slamming slopes" (greater than 5 or 6% as "door slamming" slopes - meaning your car door will slam shut when you get out.), though if they think about it their liability goes up when they do this (slip and fall, etc.).

The ADA sets the max at 2%. Slopes of 0.5% to 1% are common (Southeast US, coastal plains).