My endless pursuit to become a better climber.

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by BlueJersey, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. BlueJersey

    BlueJersey New Member

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    All of the out of town (New England) races I have been dropped one way or the other. They are all hilly and racing against some of the better climbers in New England. As a New Yorker, I am not sure how much I can improving in my climbing. Today I did the Tokeneke race. The first 10 miles I felt great and now problem staying the group on a shorter climb. I got dropped on the first long climb because the pace was a bit too much for me. Couple of minutes later, 4 riders caught up to me and we worked together until finish. Out of them I seem to be the stronger climber, relatively speaking, because I literally paced them up on the final climb to the finishing line. I think the grade was 9%, about 2 miles long, and I was going up about 10 mph. I was at my LTHR for sure although I didn't wear my HRM. My heart didn't feel like jumping out like what happened before I got dropped.

    I regularly do hill interval repeats and obviously I didn't go hard enough. It looks like I lacked top end power for more than 5 minutes.
     
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  2. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    It sounds as though the lead group in your races is climbing at ~350w-400w. That's not that unusual. I've done some work on climbing at those exact numbers, so I can tell you my experience. Initially, I couldn't make it more than 2 minutes at 375w and my HR was absolutely maxed out. But, every week I went further and further up my training hill (4 miles) and after about a month I was making it to the top with a HR ~90%. Of course, I am now nursing sore glutes probably as a result of pushing too hard too soon, so I wouldn't go at it too aggressively. I don't think you need a 9% hill to practice on. I think you can use any hill >5%, but your cadence will be somewhat higher. The most valuable thing would be a PM.
     
  3. BlueJersey

    BlueJersey New Member

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    I do use a powertap wheel. I could only generate 300w for 5 minutes with higher cadence, 81 rpm.

     
  4. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    I got dropped once on a long uphill stretch but I have no idea whether they rider who overtook me was fresh or whether he had done the same stretch as me prior to overtaking.
    But I recall increasing my pace and simply falling to bits that day.
    These days I have a novel system for climbing fitness. I find a very tough hill that isn't very steep but still steep enough to require standing. I then get into a bigger gear than would allow me optimum level performance (i.e. eliminating the spin) and blast my way up. This has the effect of pushing my lungs into overload and setting me up for the rest of the ride. This is such a tough routine I do that it's not uncommon to heave and feel somewhat nauseous at the finish.
    If I climb in a slightly bigger gear, I may well go a little slower but my heart rate zooms. Plus, I develop more power.


     
  5. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Well, I think higher cadence is one of the keys to climbing with more power, as LA has proven. I try and keep my cadence >85 as much as possible climbing at high power. My HR really shoots up but I think it's less stress on my muscles and (hopefully) produces less acidosis. My heart can probably pump at full speed forever, but that's not true with acidosis. The problem is that 300+w climbing power just isn't that unusual for serious racers. I was on a recovery ride a couple of weeks ago and was caught shortly before a 1.4 mile climb (~5%-6% avg grade) by a couple of guys that I know to be with a local semi-pro racing team. Because I was on a recovery ride and trying to keep my power <210w, I didn't want to go hard for the entire climb, but I rode with them for the first mile. We were averaging 350w and they were chatting back and forth the entire way. If it had been a race, I'm sure they would have gone up that hill closer to 400w.
     
  6. Lonnie Utah

    Lonnie Utah Banned

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    Was out today for an L.S.D. ride (long slow distance). Hooked up with a Cat 3 and a teammate of his for about 15 miles. While he was trying to keep his HR below 130, I outclimbed him (significantly) on all three climbs we did. I'm sure that if he'd been on a different program today things would have been different. But it sure felt good. He took me in the sprint (and said his HR got to 170...)

    L
     
  7. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    I prefer to climb in bigger gears, sometimes on the big chain ring. Usually I pause at the foot of a major climb and try and get my head in gear for what I know will be a punishing ordeal of endurance. I can usually guage how well I'm likely to perform as I get to various hairpin bends. If my legs start to buckle halfway up, I know I'm in for a hard session.
    I prefer climbing by far to riding on the flat. Soon as I'm into a climb and my lungs start to work hard, I know I'm getting a quality training session in. Rarely do I have a bad ride.
    However, hard rides affect my sleep pattern and last night I didn't sleep too well.



     
  8. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    As do others (e.g., Ullrich). I find it puts more stress on my muscles and would rather work my cardio system harder. Clearly, there are many ways to approach climbing.
     
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