Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

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Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby Chooka » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:32 pm

Hi guys, I'm just after some tips or tactical advice for flatter road races. In my opinion I'm more suited to climbing, I'm the same height and weight as Simon Gerrans. My problem is unless the road is going up, I have to work very hard to keep up with the main bunch, any sudden surges and I'm off the back peddling my butt off trying to get back on, which leaves me bugger all energy for a flurry at the end. Is it mainly a positioning thing, where I need to stay towards the front more? any advice appreciated.
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by BNA » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:46 pm

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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby thearthurdog » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:46 pm

What training do you do in order to overcome this?
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby Chooka » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:51 pm

No specific training, what would you suggest?
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby thearthurdog » Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:26 pm

You might need to some short, hard efforts in training, on the flat. I'm no coaching expert but 1-5 min efforts that have you pretty tired by the end might help.

Racing LOTS of criteriums and focusing on accelerating hard would be good as well.
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby Derny Driver » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:17 pm

Chooka wrote:Hi guys, I'm just after some tips or tactical advice for flatter road races. In my opinion I'm more suited to climbing, I'm the same height and weight as Simon Gerrans. My problem is unless the road is going up, I have to work very hard to keep up with the main bunch, any sudden surges and I'm off the back peddling my butt off trying to get back on, which leaves me bugger all energy for a flurry at the end. Is it mainly a positioning thing, where I need to stay towards the front more? any advice appreciated.

Sounds to me like you simply are not fit. You need to train more and race more.
Doesnt matter what your body type is, you wont go up hills well if you aren't fit either.

Simon Gerrans is 170cm (5'7") and 64kg .. that hardly classifies him as a Columbian climber ...I would call him a great all round cyclist who can sprint (eg Milan San-Remo) and climb and swap turns in a breakaway group and time trial as well. So your first step to improving is to not pigeonhole yourself as a particular body type ...even a so-called TT specialist like Cancellara can sprint and climb better than everyone apart from a few true specialists.

Glad you are looking to improve your perceived weaknesses. Yes always ride the front of the group, and practise some little efforts when you are training. When a person around you moves forward jump on their wheel and go forward too. When the surges go, stick to the wheel in front like glue so you dont drift back. And just work on your general bike fitness.
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby filip » Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:39 pm

I’m also struggling to find the right race for me – i’m 1.89 and 77kg (although yesterday on brand new scales i clocked in at 80kg – disaster), and have spagetti legs. Power crits (like hot dog circuits) are not really my thing as i don’t have the punch at the end, it doesn't stop me from racing them. Climbing maybe, but longer climbs, not the 500m kind which you can muscle over.
Anyway, besides getting fitter and doing the 1-5 min intervals, you can do 30sec on/30 sec off sessions as well which will give you the ability to stay on and keep up with the surges.
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby Nikolai » Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:39 pm

Too many excuses.
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby RonK » Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:23 pm

Nikolai wrote:Too many excuses.

Hehe - yep, I never did find an "easy" race. Thought I might when I qualified for masters, but it just got harder. :)
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby Nikolai » Thu Nov 14, 2013 5:45 pm

RonK wrote:
Nikolai wrote:Too many excuses.

Hehe - yep, I never did find an "easy" race. Thought I might when I qualified for masters, but it just got harder. :)


I hear you :) The hills are always either too short or too long, the races too long or not long enough, too fast or too slow, the roads are too wide or too narrow, too smooth or too rough and the peloton is full of unskilled riders. In other words, give me my perfect race and then I'll show you how good I am.
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby Ross » Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:17 pm

Nikolai wrote:
RonK wrote:
Nikolai wrote:Too many excuses.

Hehe - yep, I never did find an "easy" race. Thought I might when I qualified for masters, but it just got harder. :)


I hear you :) The hills are always either too short or too long, the races too long or not long enough, too fast or too slow, the roads are too wide or too narrow, too smooth or too rough and the peloton is full of unskilled riders. In other words, give me my perfect race and then I'll show you how good I am.


+infinity :twisted:
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby thearthurdog » Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:55 am

Nikolai wrote:Too many excuses.

I like 'em all. If it's got two wheels and bitumen I'm interested. If one of those wheels can be a disc then I'm extra interested.
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby Xplora » Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:07 am

Everyone has already said what needs to be said, but just questions for reflection.

What are your rides like now?
What is your training like? ( they are different)
Do you have a plan to improve? What have you done to address your perceived weaknesses?
What is the current strategy for the flats?
Are you REALLY a climber, or just a crap TT rider? Your riding mates might not be as strong as you think.
Have you considered a power meter to help with training and pacing?

I thought I was a climber til I ride with A grade riders. I thought I was a TT guy until I rode with the strongest local untrained TTer around. I knew I wasn't a sprinter because I am 10 kgs too light. Yet I am doing ok. You will need to really work out where your strength is and figure out a strategy for that.
My personal strategy has been breakaways in my very short career. If you aren't sure how fast you are, committing to out suffer your opposition is a good one, because mental beats physical every time.
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby gospeedracergo » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:23 pm

What about when training, focus on higher RPMs (100+) ala Lance Armstrong. When you feel the burn, then shift into a higher gear. And hold on. For hours. :D
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby Sith1 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:25 am

Hey mate ,
Interval training will help with your other training which is ..... ride more....
In your "off season" hit the weights .... and ride more ....
Learn that Pain is life
Have your mate take off one min before you and sit on say 30 km per hour .... then catch him and repeat .... and then ride more.
Learn to brake hard and corner
learn to move up the pack and feel uncomfortable
Excuses are like A$$holes ... everyone seems to have one and they all stink ... so ride more
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby Mezzo90-cyclist » Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:15 am

I'm exactly the same.

I'm just on 5"5 and around 56kg and I find it very hard keeping up on the flats - I've changed my training in the summer to build speed and cadence with a fast bunch; I found that the biggest issue was not keeping fueled up while riding. I was bonking hard within two hours.

Now I'm slowly building the strength to peddle at a constant cadence and keep up with the peleton. It does not get easier!
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby DavidI » Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:54 am

When I started racing years ago I figured I had the build to be a climber, which was why I was no good in flat events. Turns out I just needed to HTFU and train properly.
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:12 am

Dude, let the fat blokes have a race and a win once in a while. I'm sick to death of you little blokes attacking on hills, splitting the bunch, and dropping the clydesdales. Give us a go!
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby Xplora » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:48 am

bigfriendlyvegan wrote: Give us a go!

No. :twisted: This is the only sport I have an advantage by being unnaturally sticklike :mrgreen:

DaveI is 100% on the money... being at threshold the whole race is hard, going anaerobic past that multiple times is even harder, but it can be done and you can improve. It's a mindblowing realisation to think that your max HR is 185 or so, and you can sit on 165-170 the whole time if you have to. :shock:
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:40 pm

Xplora wrote:
bigfriendlyvegan wrote: Give us a go!

No. :twisted: This is the only sport I have an advantage by being unnaturally sticklike :mrgreen:


I bet you suck wheel until the last climb as well, don't you?
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby Xplora » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:35 pm

"I bet you could suck a golf ball through a garden hose!"

I take as much of a turn as I need to avoid unsavoury suspicion about my future intentions :lol:
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby g-boaf » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:56 pm

bigfriendlyvegan wrote:
Xplora wrote:
bigfriendlyvegan wrote: Give us a go!

No. :twisted: This is the only sport I have an advantage by being unnaturally sticklike :mrgreen:


I bet you suck wheel until the last climb as well, don't you?


With a comment like that, let's see you have a go then.

The hills are the one place us tiny people can have a chance before those monsters hit the flats. :D

That's about the limit of my involvement here as a half committed non racer.
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby Xplora » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:50 pm

g-boaf wrote:With a comment like that, let's see you have a go then.

Don't poke the bear :shock: I hate finding out the hard way that people are much faster than me, and clydesdales are guaranteed to prove it while unleashing hell on the final straight :cry:
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby ni78ck » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:58 pm

I enjoyed reading all your post and I can relate to some of them. especially "too many excuses" that was me :lol: give it a go, and you will be surprised at what you can achieve and how high your heartrate goes!!! :shock: I maintained 170 for 1 hour! :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby rheicel » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:06 pm

Can you not pretend flat is a climb? Like use high gear on flat so it's like climbing?
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Re: Tips for 'Climber' in flat races

Postby ft_critical » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:15 pm

rheicel wrote:Can you not pretend flat is a climb? Like use high gear on flat so it's like climbing?


"When the wind blows,
The peloton will rock,
When the elastic breaks,
The climbers will fail"
:(

So best they stay off the front on the flats.
Last edited by ft_critical on Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:42 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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