Cadence training on bumpy ground

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Cadence training on bumpy ground

Postby flyingporkpies » Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:57 pm

Hello fit people.
I like to stay fit too but I am having trouble 'adapting' standard training plans to my terrain. Living and riding in Kalamunda, Perth, I can't go anywhere for long without going up or down. The hills are not long, a few hundred metres, usually 1 or 2 k, the longest around here is about 4 k. The gradients are pretty reasonable averaging about 5% wherever I go. My God though, if you want to know pain try Zamia and Lenori's 15%+'s at the end of a 50. I did that last week and it made me cry!
Anyway, I digress. My fitness has gone off a bit lately so I got on the oracle and adapted some different ideas to put together a little training plan.
Here it is:
MONDAY RPM/Aerobic. 90-110rpm 1x60min or 2x30mins (am/pm). HR max 140 (80% of my max).
TUESDAY Just ride the bike.
WEDNESDAY RPM/Aerobic. 90-110rpm 1x60min or 2x30mins (am/pm). HR max 140 (80% of my max).
THURSDAY STRENGTH. 10/20 intervals on every climb in a 50k ride. Go below HR 140 inbetween.
FRIDAY Just ride the bike.
SATURDAY/SUNDAY Wish I was out riding my bike.
Straight away I ran into a problem. How do I ride up a hill keeping a cadence over 90 and a heart rate under 80%? Well the answer is I can't. So I decided to let the cadence take preference. On the bumps I got in the lowest gear and was able to stay at 90+ but quite quickly my heart rate would go up and after a few hundred metres would go into the 160s even. Once crested I had to stay in low gears twiddling around for a minute or 2 before my heart rate was below 140 again and I could then continue at a decent speed and cadence. The exercise feels awkward. Should I focus on the hr or the rpm? I can go up a hill much more slowly and keep the hr down, but not at high cadence. Should I lower my cadence target when going upwards (70?) Is 90-110 too high anyway? At the end of 2 40 minute sessions I did today (am/pm) I averaged a HR of 143 and a cadence of 96. I was puffed. That's on the flattest course i can find.

So cadence training/aerobic training on bumpy ground. Any tips? Cheers, flyingporkpies
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by BNA » Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:13 pm

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Re: Cadence training on bumpy ground

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:13 pm

Yep...forgot about cadence!.Ride up the hill in what ever gear feels best.
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Re: Cadence training on bumpy ground

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:33 pm

1. forget about trying to keep HR down on hills.
2. focus on effort level and select a gear that feels good.
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Re: Cadence training on bumpy ground

Postby flyingporkpies » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:15 am

Thanks. I already know I go fastest on the climbs with a cadence of 75-80 so if I drop to that target and use the easy gear I might keep the heart rate down. The thing is I do want some thing on my computer to focus on. I have done a lot of ROPE (rating of perceived exhaustion) training before and I have amateurishly worked out which ROPE coincides a particular heart rate range. See below. However I lack the discipline to just ride at a particular ROPE without the computer to hold me back/keep me going forward. I have become a lazy rider by riding at slow cadence, concentrating on comfort. I have not got any slower up hills necessarily, I've always managed to pull something out of the bag, even as I age. However I went down to Champion Lakes the other day and did a flat windy TT and I was bloody useless. Worst competitive performance of my life. I didn't ride with cadence monitor on. So, let me rephrase, how would I train for a flat TT when I live on bumpy ground? Also what else could I do to prepare myself for a 1hr hilly TT? I have a 33.6k course up here that I've been hacking away at in an attempt to break the hour. An hour and 2 is the best I have managed so far. Cheers, flyingporkpies

Effort: (MAX HR 175 REST 34)
R9 158-175 90-100% (Z5) TT's and Hill climb TT's.
R8 140-175 80-100% PB attempts.
R7 140-158 80-90% (Z4) This is the zone I tend to do most of my rides in.
R6 122-158 70-90%
R5 122-140 70-80% (Z3) Is this where I should be in training? Or is ROPE 6 ok?
R4 105-122 60-70% (Z2)
R3 <105 (Z1)
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Re: Cadence training on bumpy ground

Postby flyingporkpies » Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:22 am

While I've got my 4 minutes I'll add this:
I find I really struggle to keep a high speed on flat ground. There's no more than a kilometre of flat road at a time round here and even a little head wind makes it a real effort to keep the bike moving above 30kph. Windy and flat, my weakest area. Hell, I average a higher kph on a hilly course!
How do I train to get this flat riding up to 40 and keep it there without going into the red every time? Even 35 would be nice.
Cheers,
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Re: Cadence training on bumpy ground

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:16 pm

IMO RPE works better than HR.HR is good for me on longer efforts...10 minutes plus,shorter efforts forget it.Look at HR but go off RPE.
Watts are watts...flat or hilly.Learning to pedal hard on the dowhill sections (if safe) and holding back on the up hills might be the key.
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Re: Cadence training on bumpy ground

Postby puffdaddy » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:24 pm

flyingporkpies wrote:While I've got my 4 minutes I'll add this:
I find I really struggle to keep a high speed on flat ground. There's no more than a kilometre of flat road at a time round here and even a little head wind makes it a real effort to keep the bike moving above 30kph. Windy and flat, my weakest area. Hell, I average a higher kph on a hilly course!
How do I train to get this flat riding up to 40 and keep it there without going into the red every time? Even 35 would be nice.
Cheers,
flyingporkpies

Interesing Where I live in NZ there are literally hills in every direction from home,Last year in The 160km Taupo ride I done well on the first 90 km which is all undulating/hilly but the most difficult was the 30 km flat ride to the finish,This year I have my speed up on the flats 35-42 km solid but my hill climbing has suffered :x A balance is needed,Now 3 weeks out I am doing hill work and lots of it,In the Waitakere ranges over here,I have left it all a little late,I am not going down the cadence verses h/rate verses percieved effort ,I just experiment and go with what works best for me,,Good luck :wink:
Mike ,,NZ :o
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Re: Cadence training on bumpy ground

Postby flyingporkpies » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:07 pm

Taking everyone's advice I've been experimenting. In order to keep my heart rate below 80% up the bumps the optimum cadence in lowest gear is just 55!
I also had a look at the average cadence for all my Garmin course pbs and came up with 89, but that average obviously includes lower uphill cadences.
Looking at my pbs on hill climb TTs that I have done (a lot) my optimum cadence fell between 75 and 80.
Then I rode around a bit on flat/downhills and found 93 'felt' best, not 89, not 100, not even the mythical 96.
Then finally I rode for an hour on one of my flattest courses. Aerobically for 45mins HR 122-140, cadence in the 50s on the steep bits and 93 on the rest. If I dropped below 85 or went over 100 I changed gear. In the last 15 mins I allowed my heart rate to go up to 158 and kept the same cadence of 93 and 70-80 on the two hilly bits in that last quarter. I went over 158 once and backed off.
The result was the fastest last quarter I had achieved on that course and more importantly it felt good.
I believe it was Cinelli who said this was a good way to pace a longer ride. 75% perspiration, last 25% power up.
So here is my revised week:
Mon R5 HR 122-140 RPM 55 up and 93 elsewhere.
Tue Mtb 20kph for as long as I have time (I'm in training for a solo 12hr)
Wed STRENGTH 10/20s/rest on hilly 1hr course
Thur PB attempt@rpm93 75% at R6 HR 122-158. 25% at R8 HR 140+
Fri Mtb 20kph for as long as I have time
(Optimum ROPE rpm 93. >100 upshift. <85 downshift. Optimum HCTT rpm 70-80. R5 aerobic optimum rpm 55.)
Sounds a little complicated, but I'll do that next week and report back. Cheers,
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Re: Cadence training on bumpy ground

Postby nimm » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:11 pm

It's hilly where i live (Bedfordale) and with a PM i can keep a constant power level on the flat and uphill, the problem it's usually not safe for me to ride downhill at full speed (even just rolling, let alone at full power) due to corners, stops, and all that stuff. So.... I don't train up here on the road. I use the trainer or go down to the flat.

If I could find a safe loop where I could keep the power on then that'd be an option but over winter I found on the downhills I'd get too cold so I gave up. Should do a few exploration rides now it's warmer and see how I go.
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Re: Cadence training on bumpy ground

Postby toolonglegs » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:57 pm

Why try to keep your HR under 80%?.
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Re: Cadence training on bumpy ground

Postby flyingporkpies » Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:51 pm

I thought less than 80% was aerobic training.
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Re: Cadence training on bumpy ground

Postby Ant. » Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:06 pm

If you're cycling for over 1min, then it's aerobic.
If I were you, do the weekly time trials! For most (all?), there is no better way to spend your training time than redlining for an hour and beyond! Seriously.


As a sidenote, my max heart rate is probably 200, I've hit 198 in the lab once without doing a max session (but was hurting, don't get me wrong). One of the few times I wore a heart rate monitor was on a 40km TT, and sat on 186bpm the whole time, that's what... 90%?
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Re: Cadence training on bumpy ground

Postby flyingporkpies » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:50 am

Doing the one hour redline TT courses I've set out for myself round here which are all hilly I average about 158 which sounds low, but is 90% of my max. I have a weirdly low heart max. To get it to 170 I have to kill myself on a hill. I can average high 160s on a 10 minute hill. When I put the effort into finding my max at 175 I promptly fell off the bike. When I used to do XC Mtb races I'd average about 163 for an hour.
My problem has always been pacing. The idea was to teach myself to hold back for a bit and ride more efficiently by picking a comfortable range of rpm and beat. One example would be a 4 lap course I do. Best lap is always the first, then I suffer for 2 and come back stronger in the 4th. In the terrible 4 lap flat TT I did last week I did 8:30 for lap one then 9:10, 9:40, 9:50 or something like that. I blew it.
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Re: Cadence training on bumpy ground

Postby Parrott » Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:16 pm

Ant. wrote:As a sidenote, my max heart rate is probably 200, I've hit 198 in the lab once without doing a max session (but was hurting, don't get me wrong). One of the few times I wore a heart rate monitor was on a 40km TT, and sat on 186bpm the whole time, that's what... 90%?


I have a similar max, have seen 203 on the hrm. I use the HR monitor as an adjunct to the burning in my legs and percieved effort in tt's. If it drops into the 170's I dig harder, I usually average in the mid 180's. Didn't have to do that in the last tt though. Had our club pharlap in front of me in a 24k tt, average HR190, stopped looking at it after a while, had nothing left anyway.
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Re: Cadence training on bumpy ground

Postby flyingporkpies » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:20 pm

Well, I experimented with using both comfortable heart rate zones and cadence zones on different terrain. I kept to my week training plan.
The result was positive.
I beat a pb on a short course without going too deep by keeping my heart rate down to a 90% limit and pushing the biggest gear I could at the same time at a cadence of 70-80 on the climby bits and 90-95 on the flat bits and downy bits. The first 2/3 (15 minutes) I was only 5 seconds down and felt great. The final 1/3 I went harder and came in 10 seconds up. I think I could have taken more time if I'd only gone redline in the last minute, rather than blasting up a short rise 5 minutes from the end and suffering for it.
At the end of the working week training plan I got to thinking that pacing and tempo was good for me, and pushing big gears at low cadences was not, but I didn't want to be strapped up to heart rate monitors and cadence counters all the time, so I worked out a simple count I could do which would put me in the right cadence zone, and would then use comfort as a guide to which gear to be in.
This worked really well on a 200k superhilly Audax ride I did yesterday. All I did was count 1234 quickly with each foot being 1,3 and 2,4. I'd worked out from my cadence meter on Friday that this count equated to roughly 80-95 (fairly big range but not too low or high). Once my tempo felt good I'd stop the count and ride along quite comfortably until the terrain changed again. On the hills I used another count, sounds a bit daft but distracts from the pain: 1 for sorrow 2 for joy etc, the magpie song. All this did was stop me from accelerating or dropping off by keeping the pace regular. Even on the 15% final climb I felt good. In fact that was the easiest 200 I've done and it had 4000m+ of climbing! I attribute this to comfortable pacing and thank the posters who encourged me to listen to my body.
Finally, I would also like to say a little bit of science did me no harm. It helped me work out what works best for my physiology. Without it I'd be trying to emulate Contador's mad cadence or worse trying to big chainring every hill. I would also continue to falsely believe that what works best for me is to go out full gas, accept the inevitable fade and come 'good' at the finale. That's crap and now I know it.
Cheers

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