Improved climbing skill and Century time reduction desired.

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by AAbye, May 25, 2003.

  1. AAbye

    AAbye New Member

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    HELP??? Did my first Century 5/18 and the best I can say is that I finished. I have been riding for a year and had trained for the ride in Santa Fe. My fitness level would be a 3-4 on a 5 scale and I workout regularly at the gym, Aerobic training daily and strength training 3-4 times a week. I am female and over 50...hahaha a little over 50. The hills ate me up. I hate to admit it but I had to get off and push....shame shame shame. The big question....How to improve my performance on those dang hills. I live in the foothills of the Guadalupe Mtns. in SE New Mexico and had done lots of hill riding and was confident in my ability. Alas I was humbled by the experience. Any training tips would be greatly appreciated. I have 11 months and three weeks to improve before I go back and get it RIGHT!!!:D

    AAbye
     
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  2. J-MAT

    J-MAT New Member

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    AAbye:

    You have only been riding a year. Give yourself more time. Finishing a hilly century in New Mexico is not too bad your first year as a rider.

    You trained in Sante Fe, which is around 7,000 feet in elevation. What about where you live, and the century itself??? Altitude robs your body of oxygen and the amount of power you can generate.

    Hills hurt everyone, just look at the expressions on the faces of riders in the Tour De France. they are in agony. The difference is they can climb 13-15 mph up the big mountains after racing 120 miles on the flats at 24-28 mph. It takes a very long time to get to that level. Most riders will never come close.

    You need a lot more endurance in your legs for whatever distance you will be competing in. For 100 hilly miles, you should be comfortable with riding at least 140 miles on the flats, probably more like 150 miles. Ideally, you should do one of these long rides once a week. This is probably too much distance for you at your current stage of development, but try to build up to it slowly over the next year. If possible, form/find a small group of 3-5 riders to do these long rides with. It will be safer and more fun with a group.

    Climbing will suck the strength right out of your legs. If your legs are weak, you don't stand a chance. To climb well , you must climb, climb, and climb. Start your climbs at a very slow pace, establishing your pace and breathing rythm. The last 25%, go at a faster pace. Do this on your climbs, and gradually you will get fitter to pick up the pace the last 50% of the climb. Try to get it to where you can ride the whole climb "fast."

    Stop doing leg work in the gym and replace it with lots of climbing. Stop doing "aerobics" and train on your bike instead. Everything you do needs to be "specific." Weights and aerobics don't "transfer" very well to the bike.

    Good luck!!!
     
  3. g19glock1

    g19glock1 New Member

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    I tend to agree, tho I am not the definitive answer, nor a pro. I ride for my pleasure alone.

    The best advise is to put time in on the bike itself. Find a nice hill and ride and re-ride it to condition your legs, heart, and body to hill climbing.

    I remember hearing about Lance A., in last years TDFl, riding up a 21k, durring a training session, getting to the top, turning around, went back down and re-rode the climb again. Not something that I could not learn something from.

    Still, time in the saddle is the best experience. Practice is what will get you there. Over time you will notice that you are able to better keep up or surpass those you ride with. This will indicate improvement.

    Keep cycling.
     
  4. Gryphon

    Gryphon New Member

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    Congradulations!! Sante Fe was my first century and about 80 miles into it I was looking for any way to end it. I stuck it out because I had no choice. Now I'm glad I did and 6hr 52min is not a bad time. I also trained hard for it and the thing that helped me the most was to join a cycling club. I ride with NMTS at least twice a week. The first benefit is that if a ride is planned, I really need an excuse not to ride ("have to defrost the 'fridge...??") and second, there are some really fast, strong riders in the club and trying to keep up with them is the real key to training. At first I could only hang for a minute then it was five minutes, then ten...twenty...an hour. Ride with someone that is better, stronger, faster than you are and you will get better, stronger and faster. Next year, wave at me as you pass me on Heartbreak Hill!!
     
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