the hills are killing me

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by andydennis, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. andydennis

    andydennis New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,

    got back on the bike this year and so far have completed a couple of 50 mile charity rides
    I am pushing 40 slightly overweight and can do the downhill and flat sections without a problem but loose all energy when a hill arrives (or head wind for that matter :) )

    what can you suggest to get me to a point where I can hit the hills with more ease?

    any hints tips etc etc really appreciated
     
    Tags:


  2. Kazoo

    Kazoo New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    switch to a lower gear
    I know i hate having to go slower up hills but you gotta do what you gotta do, or usually if you gun it before a hill you'll get a good momentum to get up the hill before you need to switch gears, but thats just how i do it, prob not the best way
     
  3. Eden

    Eden New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am about to be a bit of a party pooper but,

    lose weight -you especially - the bike if it is a very very heavy one
    ride more hills, especially with someone faster than you
    ride ride ride ride ride and work on your spin

    I used to pop on the hills pretty good, but I've done all of these things and in the last three months I've gone from my husband having to wait for me up hills to climbing all but the steepest at about 17 -20mph with the guys.
    As with all of the performance questions asked here there is no magic bullet. Having some lower gears to fall back on will help save your knees for sure, but I've found that the best way to not have the hills kill you is to keep up your momentum up them in the first place. For me it feels easier to keep up a higher pace and higher cadence, if I can keep it going, than the same climb more slowly even in a lower gear feels. If I have to stop or slow down half way up a hill it can be torture to get going again and I'll never get back the speed.
     
  4. andydennis

    andydennis New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some good advice here and I know your right not a party pooper - its the power to weight ratio thing

    OK so the next question will be what is the best way to drop those pounds
    :)
     
  5. HoWheels

    HoWheels New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is a circular question.
    To get better at hills, get off the computer and go crush some hills.
    To lose more weight, get off the computer and go crush some hills.
    This has helped me lose ~12 lb in the last month, YMMV. :cool:

    -a
     
  6. Eden

    Eden New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    0
    Plan your next vacation as a cycling tour. I lost 10lbs on our last one!! 2 weeks with 9 days of riding in southern Spain. Even with not eating the most healthy kinds of foods- they eat a lot of fried seafoods and ham in that area - we were burning more calories than we could eat in a day.

    But seriously, I've kept it off and dropped more by riding 5-6 days/week and watching how much I eat. I need willpower to do it, but I generally stop eating before I feel full.
     
  7. andydennis

    andydennis New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, again some good advice
     
  8. MichaelB

    MichaelB New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    1

    When I was in uni I went away to live in my Grandma's old empty house in the countryside. I nearly died of malnutrition. I went to revise as there was no distraction in the empty house (not even a tele) and home was a long way away. Well because I was feeding myself as opposed to living at home/buying some junk food I had a diet of wheetabix and apples. Also because there was nothing to do and lots of great hills in Lancashire I spent hours a day on my bike.

    By the time I got home I looked an ethiopian and that was jst 1 week!
     
  9. GrooveSlave

    GrooveSlave New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not wanting to start a religious war here...But, as a new rider, I have gained some speed on hills by following all of the previous advice and also hitting the gym a bit. I focus on 10-15 reps for 3 sets of leg presses and hamstring curls. In 2 weeks I have seen a big jump in all areas of my riding.

    I know this is because I'm riding a lot and because of the weight work. I'm sure that as you get to be a higher level rider this may not apply as much but, at my level it helps.

    FWIW.
     
  10. HoWheels

    HoWheels New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0

    I believe the religious war you are refering to is just a few posts up (stickied).
    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t126133-gyming-to-improve-power.html

    Basically the consensus is that weight training does not benefit cycling performance.

    However, for the average guy (like me), I believe weight training is great in addition to cycling. It allows me to retain muscle, while shredding even more fat than I would on the cycle alone. It also helps raise your basal metabolic rate, so you will burn more carbs while resting.

    -a
     
  11. zaskar

    zaskar New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Messages:
    869
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow 3 lbs a week! check your diet and drinking habits, i dought that's all fat you lost.
     
  12. HoWheels

    HoWheels New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've been closely monitoring my diet. I'm actually consuming more food now than I ever have in my life. I'm just exercizing ~15 hours / week on average. Also I've cut out soda/soft drinks, and garbage food completely. Eating mostly whole grains, fruits, veggies, chicken, tuna, whole grain pasta, and dariy. Drinking LOTS of water!
    And given that I'm constantly improving while pushing weights, I don't think it's muscle that I'm losing. :)

    -a
     
  13. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,856
    Likes Received:
    0
    "I've gone from my husband having to wait for me up hills to climbing all but the steepest at about 17 -20mph with the guys." :eek:

    This is certainly possible but let me confess there is no way I could climb hills in my area at 17 mph. I'll be tackling a big climb today that starts off very steep for a short stint and then flattens considerably to an inclined slope. But no way will I be ascending at 17 mph.

    As for my chances of climbing these same hills at 20 mph I would guess my chances range from zero to zilch.

    These days I tend to do the slopes seated in a big gear and power my way up. If it's steep I'll get out of the seat. The fastest I can go up a very steep hill is only 7 mph.

    Usually I pass other cyclists uphill but I'm far lower than 17 - 20 mph. So, if you guys over there are zooming up at that speed it doesn't say a lot for the level I'm presently at, or the the guys I seem to be overtaking. :)

    Don't get me wrong here. I'm not saying climbing at 17 mph isn't within range of a well-trained athlete but I'm not at that level myself. I climb powerfully, evenly and steadily and grind my way up. Not even the steepest monster gradients beat me but at a weight of 196 pounds I have my limitations. Maybe for a woman who weighs far far less than I do it is a great deal easier to climb with speed?








     
  14. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,856
    Likes Received:
    0
    Upper body mass, muscular or otherwise, is useless for specialist cyclists. Lower back strength is useful as you draw from the lumbar region when you climb.


     
  15. Eden

    Eden New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    0
    Certainly I'm not talking about monster walls here, but more gradual climbs and rollers. There is a definite cutoff point for me in steepness where I slow considerably, but grades that used to slow me quite a lot no longer feel hard. The worst hill I've climbed recently that slowed me to about 5-7mph that I know the grade of averages about 9% and is 11% at its worst and that is pretty steep. I must admit I sometimes hardly believe it myself, but it happens I look down at the computer and its like holy sh*t I really am going that fast up this hill. Yes I am considerably lighter than you at 106 lbs and I have been riding with a very very good climber and have learned quite a bit from him. I am also mostly not talking about solo climbing here - this is climbing in a paceline or at least drafting one person and it still makes a difference.
     
  16. HoWheels

    HoWheels New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not disagreeing. However I don't consider myself a specialist cyclist. I consider myself an athlete who likes to cycle, amongst a lot of other things. :)

    And I never stated that I'm only working out my upper body in the gym ;)

    -a
     
  17. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,856
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well it's great to hear you're making so much progress and keeping up with these guys you train with (maybe putting them through their paces as well :) )
    The good news for you ladies is you have lighter bone structures than we guys and this tends to be a plus. At 106 pounds, you're basically half my weight so I suspect you and your team would really push me on climbs.
    I once did some serious climbing with a very fit, well-trained female cyclist and it was interesting. What happened is I found this huge hill with a monstrous gradient and descended right to the bottom. When I got all the way down with the intention of cycling back up (to see if I could make it) there was a female cyclist poised to begin her climb. So, I asked if it was O.K. if I could follow her up.
    This was the weird part. This lady was half my weight and we were both standing going up this monster grade. I was the one who was really gasping on the steep parts and we were both out of the seat. She seemed to be the dominant rider all the way up the very steep sections but I seemed stronger when we got to the shallower gradient.
    We were both totally different riders, one using fitness and small gears and the other pushing a big cog and gasping.



     
  18. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,856
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, that's what I mean. I have specialised on the bike in the past but now I'm mixing it in with other sports. But if I wanted to, say, ride my maximum time up Alpe De Huez, I would have to lose as much upper body mass as possible.
    As it is, I'm trying to generalise not specialise so I throw weights in too, same as you.

     
  19. Lonnie Utah

    Lonnie Utah Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    1
    Doesn't suprise me at all. Both using you're physiology to your advantage. Again, it's the power to weight ratio thing. On the flats overall power matters most, but P/W matter most when going up hill....

    L
     
  20. Eden

    Eden New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    0
    I will get to find out how I'm doing. In September there is a hill climb coming up in this area - 24 miles and 4,300 feet of elelvation gain. Last year I did it in 2hrs 44min, not exactly a record time, but not last up the hill either. This year I am 10lbs lighter, my bike is 5lbs lighter (and new) and I am way more fit. My original goal was to make it up in 2:30 this year, but I'm feeling that maybe I should challenge myself a little further.
     
Loading...
Loading...