Sprinter Vs Climber

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Uawadall, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    Is it natural for most people to be suited to either sprinting or climbing? I feel like I can climb pretty good and spin pretty fast. On the other hand, when I push myself on flats, I don't feel like the speed I've gained is that big of a difference.
     
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  2. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I'm not really good in climbing. Most of the time, when the uphill is steep, I would go down and walk along. My doctor said that it's not good for me to put too much pressure on my legs. But anyway, for sprinting and climbing, I guess sprinting is more comfortable for me. But I'm not really fast with my bike because I maintain my being an enthusiast and not a pro. But I believe that there are people who are sprinters and there are climbers. In the pro cycling, organizers would tip who would win the flat roads and who are the favorites in the mountain laps.
     
  3. ABNPFDR

    ABNPFDR Member

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    You have two types of muscle fibers, Fast-twitch and Slow twitch. As you can guess, fast-twitch lend itself to quick bursts while slow-twitch is suited to long haul efforts. Eveorbody has both but each individual will always have a preference and will build one over the other. You can work to Chang the balance, but it will always be easier to sway towards your genetic preference.

    In the army it was Grunt vs Gazelle. Ironically it always rewarded the gazelles, even though it really needed Grunts. Guys would ace the PT test running the two mile run in sub 12 minutes, but would fail miserably when you put 80 pounds on their back and ask them to walk through the bush for hours on end.

    BTW, just because you're a climber does not mean you're actually good at climbing.
     
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you weigh 130 pounds you're more likely to develop climbing prowess and drop the powerful locomotive type on the steep stuff. Striation and muscle type can be honed and tweaked somewhat.

    If your a 175 pound powerhouse that is at or near your lower weight limit it is doubtful you'll ever make a pure climber, but can be the type that suffers his way to the top of climbs as an all-rounder. The climbing formulas can be stretched, but they can not be forced into fantasy land. Gravity and mass still rule the results column.

    Body type and the genetic markers determine what is 'natural' to an extent. Talent and training can then force the limits.

    When's the last time you saw Nairo Quintana win a full blown field sprint? When's the last time we saw Cavendish win on top Ventoux? At least in the upper levels of sport the rules of physics and biology seem to hold true. In the amateur ranks there are plenty of exceptions.
     
  5. metalmancpa

    metalmancpa New Member

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    I balance both fairly equally and am probably not exceedingly above par in either discipline. I'll probably never know becuase I do not have a bike built for speed. I have a commuter bike for fitness.
     
  6. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    I'm mainly a climber - 181cm / 72kgs (about that but can get down to 68 with a lot of work) but sometimes I can surprise myself and sprint pretty well too.

    Often at the end of a race its not necessarily about who is the best sprinter but whose got the most ENERGY left to last as the fastest for longer.
     
  7. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    I'm currently 193cm/74kgs and have always been more endurance based with running. I'm thinking as I progress into cycling, I need to see where I am in terms of strength and weaknesses.
     
  8. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    Is that the reason why I am having difficulty in uphill roads? I used to weight 100 pounds and my slender body was apt for biking. But when I ballooned to 160 pounds, the uphill climb became an ordeal. Well, that's gravity and mass for me, okay. I am quite better in sprint although I get a bit scared when I am going too fast. That's why in the downhill, my hands are steady on the brakes.
     
  9. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    No, most people are suited for something in between.

    On the flats, the marginal gain in speed for marginal additional power is very low, especially compare to climbing. That is just physics and affects everybody.
     
  10. ABNPFDR

    ABNPFDR Member

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    Sorry maydog, you are incorrect. It's physiology, not physics. Sprinter vs Climber is about the bodys natural tendency not the body's actual physical ability. Most of us have never really trained and had their body reach anywhere near it's full potential, hence why, as you say, most people are suited for something in beween.

    We all have a genetic disposition to build one type of muscle tissue over the other. It's just like hair color, eye color and so many other of our physical traits. However, as Campy stated, UNLIKE a lot of traits, we can actually change the actual fiber composition in the body through proper training. Easier said than done.
     
  11. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    I agree that the changing fiber composition through training makes sense. I've been into running for many years and typical would run at a steady pace for 4-5 miles 4-5 or so days a week. I would notice that the more my endurance and distances increased, my sprinting would actually decline. 4-5 isn't that big of a distance, but I bet if I did 10-15, my sprinting would get even slower.
     
  12. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    I do not understand this statement.

    It is all about ability. If you can go uphill freakishly fast you can call yourself a climber. Can you crack the whip and win every sprint, they call yourself a sprinter.

    I have a tendency to be fat and slow, but I train around that.

    Nothing was wrong with the physics. The OP claimed that pushing hard on the flat yields little additional speed, that is due to the well established physics of aerodynamic drag, which does affect everybody.
     
  13. ZXD22

    ZXD22 Member

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    Comparing sprinter to climber is the same thing as comparing a sprinter to a long distance runner. Fast twitching and slow twitching muscles are what plays in the match. You have to train them in order to get them to perform to your optimal performance.
     
  14. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Member

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    You need a lot of training to actually be able to perform well at it, whether it be sprinter or climber, I don't think it actually matters much. It's just preference.
     
  15. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Active Member

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    While I don't particularly enjoy climbing, I'm actually quite suited to it. That's partly due to the fact that I live in an area that has plenty of uphill roads and became accustomed to them over the years. I used to do a lot of sprinting back when I was younger but avoid it nowadays. The reason is that there are more motorcars on the roads these days and the risk of getting hit is higher. Therefore I prefer to ride my bike at a more reasonable speed so I can respond effectively to any road anomalies that may occur.
     
  16. maanderx

    maanderx New Member

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    We're talking about people who race (sprinter/climber), right?
     
  17. metalmancpa

    metalmancpa New Member

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    Based on my training rides for my upcoming sprint tri I'd say I'm both. Today's ride was 10.6 at a 19.6 mph average. As I stated in my previous post, for my age (55) and equipment (Specialized Sirrus) I think that's a decent run. As I ride more I am getting adept at the timing of downshifting into a hill and when to hill climb or not. On the flats I am getting better power and better flat speeds.

    I'm just not sure that I'd be any better at one discipline or another down the road. I would say though that in any sport I've ever been in I've never been considered fast. So although I think I'm doing decent speeds, even if I got a road bike I don't believe I'd ever be considered a sprinter. And to be a great climber, the asthma hurts, plus, the amount of power needed for consistent climbs up steep hills is tough.

    I guess I re-iterate my earlier statement - I'm balanced, and wouldn't be considered one or the other because I'm probably not good enough at either.
     
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