Nine weeks to Mt. Washington

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by bobqzzi, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. bobqzzi

    bobqzzi New Member

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    I signed up for the Mt. Washington Hillclimb as a challenge to myself. This is my only "race" of the year

    7.4 miles @12% with few changes in grade- certainly nothing less than 9% on any part

    I'm looking for some training advice.

    I have a powertap- FTP ~250

    Could lose 20 lbs (currently 195), so that will pay the best dividends and I will be doing my best on that front.(although the more I ride, the harder this seems)

    Lots of base miles done this year so far (3400).

    Prospective finishing time 1.5-2 hours depending on how much weight I lose and how much power I may gain.

    What's my best bet for training? Concentrate on FTP training only? Any VO2 max efforts warranted?

    I have lots of time on the weekends to train, and about 2.5-3 hours per day during the week (divided into 2 equal sessions)

    I'm 52.


    Any advice would be appreciated.
     
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  2. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    As to your questions:
    Yes on the weight loss!!!
    No on VO2MAX efforts, as this is basically a 1.5-2hr constant power ride
    Lots of SST/L4 work with a focus on long efforts
    Be sure to gear your bike for riding your preferred cadence at 12% at 225-250W
    Do as many long climbs as possible, and get off the saddle for short stints to rest your back
    Ride to the top of the highest elevation within reason about once a week, for altitude acclimitization
    I hear it's a great ride. If I was still on the East Coast, I'd be joining you. We have Mt. Charleston here, challenging but not quite Mt. Washington -- I don't think we have ever recorded 100+mph winds on Mt. Charleston
    Oh, and yes on the weight loss!!!
    Good luck.
     
  3. JibberJim

    JibberJim Member

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    Unlike RapDaddyo I'd say yes to Vo2max training, I find my 1.5-2 hour power correlates well with my 5 minute power, and my 5 minute power only improves if I do Vo2max training.

    But yes, get the gearing as a priority
     
  4. joroshiba

    joroshiba New Member

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    Gearing and equipment can certainly help a lot. http://www.ccbracing.com/content/mt-washington-hillclimb-case-study is an interesting look at some of the training and thought that went into a very succesful Mt.Washington ride. This isn't the only way to do it, or necessarily the most effective, but it is a nice look at a method

    There is a lot of somewhat odd perhaps gimmicky equipment stuff you can do as well without necessarily breaking the bank. Discussed in the above article as well (not mentioned, but I would remove your big chainring, set the FD up as a chainguide. you will need chainring spacers for this, which are basically just washers)
     
  5. bobqzzi

    bobqzzi New Member

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    Thanks for the link; I've read Mr. Cogburn's blog before.

    I've gone to what are probably ridiculous lengths to build a hillclimb bike:

    New carbon frame
    straight bar
    single thumbie shifting only the top four cogs of an XTR cassette
    Custom 21T chainring/spider for the front- no derailer

    700c rear wheel, but carbon 26" front wheel
    No front brake

    All pretty stupid considering I'm 20lbs overweight, but I'm a parts geek, so I enjoyed piecing it together.

    I even bought one of those new Kickr trainers since I have a heck of time trying to do FTP work on the road

    Really hoping not to embarrass myself.
     
  6. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    Kudos for your determination and motivation!

    I can't imagine tackling that ride - would like to, but the work to prepare... Oye. LBS owner close to me has been an overall top 10 finisher 2x and 16th the year T. Danielson set the record in 2002. Scott was pretty consistent at 1:03 - 1:04 on each of his attempts, which is just about 7mph average.

    Plan to stop by in the next day or two -- will ask him about his training and pass along any "secrets".
     
  7. fluro2au

    fluro2au New Member

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    Hi Bob,

    Wow....Impressive race to have a crack.

    Work on raising your power and definitely work on losing weight....Power to weight ratio will be the key.

    Get your power UP as high as possible with 30sec to 90sec intervals and do a lots of them, why? because you need to raise you power before you focus on sustaining your power.

    So do lots and lots of short hill repeats, but make those repeats are steep (>10%) this will give you no choice but to work hard. Do that for 4-6 weeks 3-4 times per week. Pick a variety of course. target an elevation gain each week, e.g 500m week 1, 600m week 2, etc, right up to the elevation gain of your race, or close to it.

    Then move to sustaining that power. So extend your climbs out to 5min, 10min, up to 20min.....V02 max sits around 20min, so nail this one, as it will give you lots of good adaptations to climb well for over an hour.

    Even though you are going to be out there for 1.5-2hrs, focus on that CP20min efforts, they hurt, but they will teach you what it takes to climb well and long.

    Paul
     
  8. smaryka

    smaryka Member

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    Paul may have missed that you only have 9 weeks to go, but 9 weeks isn't enough to take 60-90 sec intervals and stretch them out as you've posted. 4-6 weeks just to get to that power, then it's another at least 8 weeks to work up to 20-30 min intervals as you described.

    Anyway OP I think a mix of SST/FTP work and some Vo2max work should be the meat of your intervals. 90-120 min rides at tempo will round out the endurance side of it, and work to make sure that your final 30 min of those longer rides is ridden at target power/effort. No sense riding an hour hard then fading for the next half hour.

    But losing weight is probably the biggest thing, with all that time to train I have to think doing lots of long calorie-burning but fairly easy rides might be the best way to drop some pounds without affecting your quality sessions or your overall power? More time on the bike = less time at home digging in the fridge. That's what I find anyway.

    Silly question but will you (can you?) have the chance to ride the climb before race day?
     
  9. bobqzzi

    bobqzzi New Member

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    There is a practice ride in July, the actual race in August. Though to be clear it's not much of a race for me as I'll be going so slowly- just a challenge.

    Still, I want to do the best I can and like to be as scientific about my training.

    I do at least one long ride on the weekends (a century as often as not).

    As for SST/threshold work- any thoughts how many sessions I should do in a week?

    Right now my week goes something like this:

    Sunday: snappy long ride usually ending in a 30-40 minute "sprint" to the end
    Monday: Recovery- about 1.5-2 hours slow
    Tuesday: 1.5 hours threshold work embedded in 2-2.5 hour riding time
    Wednesday: Repeat
    Thursday: 1.5 hours endurance pace
    Friday: 1.5 hours Tempo, 1.5LT
    Saturday- varies- going to pour this week so I'll probably run on the treadmill
     
  10. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    As you say it is only a "race." And you realize 1.5-2 hours is not competitive.

    3400 miles is not a lot of base miles - 7 miles a day average.

    No amount of training you are willing to do is going to make a measurable difference in your results.

    ---

    Trainning you will not do which might help:

    Go to Mt. Washington and ride it. Get your gear usage down. Get a lot of time on the route. 1.5-2 hours a day should be enough training. Most every day until the event.
     
  11. joroshiba

    joroshiba New Member

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    Mt Washington Auto Road is closed to bikes all but 2 days of the year as I understand it
     
  12. bobqzzi

    bobqzzi New Member

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    Of course I realize 1.5 to 2 hours is not competitive.

    Your math skills are very poor. 3400/150=22.6 miles a day. Only off by a factor of 3.

    "No amount of training you are willing to do will make a measurable difference in your results" = rude and ridiculous, and, on the face of it untrue.

    Otherwise, thanks for the advice
     
  13. smaryka

    smaryka Member

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    [​IMG]

    Just a reminder how to block people who troll this forum. Very useful feature!
     
  14. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Duration/Distance has nothing to do with the competitiveness of an event. Marty Nothstein, Nelson Vails, and even Eddy Merckx who held the hour record would concur. An event is competitive or not. A race or time trial of any distance is by nature a competitive event.

    Good luck on the hill climb. Pure pain cave stuff.
     
  15. steve

    steve Administrator
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    Thats a shame, it's lame when perfectly good roads are closed to cyclists.
     
  16. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that's a point that AOG apparently missed. The road is open to bicycles for the hill climb and Newton's Revenge, and at least on the day of Newton's Revenge, it's only open to bikes until 1:00PM.
     
  17. bobqzzi

    bobqzzi New Member

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    While I agree with the sentiment, it really isn't suitable for mixed traffic (and I ride pretty much everywhere). It is definitely not safe riding down on a rim braked bike.
     
  18. velomanct

    velomanct New Member

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    What are they charging for entry now? Probably something like $500 I bet. 11 years ago they got $300 out of me for it.

    If you know the right people, you can ride it anytime you want, a little bird told me. And go down it too.
     
  19. jeffstein112

    jeffstein112 New Member

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    Bob,

    I rode this race 3 years ago and then the Newton Revenge 2 years ago. My training was 100% on indoor rollers and I don't think I rode more than an hour a day and no where near 3400 miles that year. I'm three years older than you (now 55), so I rode it the first time when I was your age. My time was 1:13 the first year and 1:15 the second year, so turned out the training was at least ok, and when I thought about it, riding indoors is perfect because it is 100% pressure on your pedals for the entirety of the ride, which is what Mt. Washington is all about. It's a power ride, so train for power. Maybe find a gym where you can really work on sled pushing or some other explosive quad power. Really helped me.

    Here's what I would recommend:

    Get in your head the idea of a road that never flattens out, regardless of what you think it will look like at the next turn. In other words, visualize a road that is very steep and will be steeper around the corner. You will be mentally challenged otherwise.

    Just keep pedaling. Don't think you can save your gearing. You'll be in your lowest gear from the very beginning. After the initial "downhill" (a drop of about 10 feet in the first 500 feet of the race), everything and I mean everything is between 5% and 21% grade. Mostly in the 12% to 17% range I think. Definitely get the right setup though--talk to your bike shop about that one.

    Don't worry about your time. The end will come. Just keep pedaling. And you can probably ride harder than you think you can, so if you want to improve on that goal time, just ride a little harder. You'll be riding hard anyway so just add a little urgency and it will work.

    I drank Ironman Endurance. Hard to get a gu open, never mind down, when you are pedaling uphill the whole time.

    dress for it. The first time I rode it was hot all the way up. The second time it was warm at the bottom and then in the 40s with 40+ mile wind gusts at the top.

    You can do it. There are people riding tandems and others riding unicyles. I don't know how they do that, but it means you can do it.

    My own view is don't ride the practice ride. I didn't because I thought that was like jumping out of an airplane to practice getting ready to jump out of an airplane. Just enjoy the race. Also, riding the practice ride will create expectations that you feel like you'll have to match during the race and for lots of reasons (weather, primarily) the days may not be the same. Just ride with no expectation and the knowledge that you're supposed to hurt but it will end soon and will be awesome, and the worse the weather the more epic the story.

    Put a camera in your car and a LOT of layers for the top. It is an awesome experience It can be really cold up there and you'll be there for a while until they open the road for the way down (when everyone finishes)/

    Have a great time!
     
  20. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    This is the internet. Doing accurate math is not necessary. 7 miles or 22 miles. Not enough to consider a lot of base miles. 60 miles a day is a reasonable base. 100 miles is better.

    Not intended to be rude. Intended to be true. With the "base" you have, I don't see a training schedule for you to move up to the front of the pack.

    ---

    Of course, the road is closed to bicycles. Spend a bunch of money buy a computerized trainer. Program the ride into it. Almost as good.

    Lots of roads that are suitable proxies for Mt. Washington if you want to go outside.
     
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