(Virtual) Climbing or Strictly Watts?

Discussion in 'Power Training' started by Watoni, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. Watoni

    Watoni New Member

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    I have a question about using an ergometer (a Cardgirus Pro, in my case) to prepare for an event. I will be riding a DC at the end of April with 20,000 feet of climbing. I have been doing some 2X20 intervals to help get a bigger engine after doing some significant base work. I am wondering to what extent riding the climbs on the course (virtually right now, since it's snowing where I live) is the best preparation. If you want to be able to ride the climbs with the gearing you have without frying, riding the course and trying to go as hard (or a bit harder) than you want to on the day of the ride seems like a good way to go. Often I will average roughly the wattage I use for 2X20 intervals from 30 minutes to 1:15 when hitting the "climbs." Of course, I tend to put out more power when hitting a particularly steep section than on an easy section, but that will be true on the day of the ride as well.

    So, is it best to mimic doing sections of the course or try to maintain a steady power output for as long as a particular climb will take? Constant power output only seems possible indoors, but might be a useful training exercise.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
     
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  2. Michuel

    Michuel New Member

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    Have you seen the thread in CycleTraining "What workouts for a 175km race with 70km of climbs" at http://www.cyclingforums.com/t84794.html
    which seems to roughly be the same as yours.

    That concerns an event with 16 000 feet of climbing. What is yhe number of miles in yours ? What is the name of the event because the Marmotte is reckoned by most to be the hardest?

    I'm uncertain whether you're asking about simulating climbing on a trainer or actually riding the mountains. My own personal preference would be for riding mountains either as complete chunks or parts as repetitions.

    I notice from CyclingNews that Ernesto Colnago relates how Merckx rode 350km on the Wedneday before his first MilanSanRemo victory. But the conventional advice is th taper down from long distances in the month preceding the event.
     
  3. Watoni

    Watoni New Member

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    Thanks for the link. The ride is 206 miles (roughly 330km), so it is not as up and down as La Marmotte.

    See: http://www.bbcnet.com/DevilMountain/devilmountain.asp

    There is one 10 mile climb, and several steep climbs in the 3-6 mile range, but it is in the Bay Area of CA, not the Alps. That being said, it is much more challenging than the Dolomite Marathon due to the sheer length of the ride + total climbing (at least for me). When I lived in CA, I just rode each 1/2 of the course a few times over the course of a few months. Now that it is hard to ride outside prior to spring, it's going to be an even tougher affair. Without sufficient volume, a ride like this is just an exercise in pain. My goal is to make the most efficient use of the time I do have, which is about 10 hrs/week; however, I can really get a decent outdoor ride in on weekends only (hence the trainer question).

    The real issue, I suppose, is what mix of interval training would be best for an endurance ride like this. When you ride 100+ miles and 10,000 feet as a final training ride, you are not going at anywhere near your 2X20 power unless you are (a) pushing to the edge of failure or (b) running out of gears on a steep climb. Hopefully neither happen. On the other hand, getting a bigger engine by doing intervals will help you stay aerobic for as much of the ride as possible. I know I need some coaching, but I might incur some wrath at home if I suggest it.

    Thanks again for your help!
     
  4. Michuel

    Michuel New Member

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    It's a hard ride especially Mt Hamilton and Sierra which seem as steep tho not as long as Alpe d'Huez. I was expecting it to be very hot but that wasn't mentioned in write-up.

    As you say such rides require more than pure physical power and endurance as over such a long time the environment plays a part. You must have other demands on your time at weekends because otherwise you'd be able to ride 10 hours over those 2 days.
    Best wishes on your ride

    Mike
     
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