training to climb better

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training to climb better

Postby dobby » Sun May 15, 2011 7:00 pm

I haven't been riding for more than about 6 months now, but am doing a 150 or more kms a week, and I am trying to include a 100km ride or more each weekend (work permitting). I have done quite a few longer rides where I average high 20's kmh (last long ride 100 kms avg speed 29.7kmh). I can hold my own in a bunch situation, even over these longer rides. I also recently did a 3 day ride of about 350kms - so generally the fitness is quite ok.

Where I am struggling is with climbing, more particularly very hard pinch climbs - for example where you might climb at 4 or 5% for a km or so (quite ok there) but then hit a very steep section - I have a tendency to cramp and I don't seem to have the strength to turn the pedals over at those pinches. I did an 11km climb recently which had a grade of about 5% or more, and that wasn't a huge problem for me - just when it turns really steep for a section I start to "lock up".

I am a shorter, stocky guy (Im about 5ft 7 and 85kg) but am generally in pretty good fitness - thanks to cycling.

Is there any suggestions as to how to train for these pinch sections that go steep? Is it something I need to do with interval training - or more steep climbing - or keep riding generally and keep losing a few more kg and develop more strength?
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Re: training to climb better

Postby sogood » Sun May 15, 2011 7:23 pm

Spin more on the climb and learn to use gears. But the only training to climb better is to ride the climbs. Increasing your sustainable power (through other flat land training) and reducing your weight will help though.
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Re: training to climb better

Postby you cannot be sirrus » Sun May 15, 2011 8:44 pm

You sound like you have a similar fitness level to me Dobby but I'm 5'7" and 69kgs. I can get up the sharp pinches but it hurts like hell sounds like you need to increase leg strength and lose a few kgs which is what you suggested. Every now and again I ride up a local hill near me 3km upto 9% in the big ring in as high a gear as I can, it seems to be helping with the strength. most times I ride up in a low gear, higher cadence so as not to put too much strain on my muscles, joints etc.
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Re: training to climb better

Postby skull » Sun May 15, 2011 9:06 pm

I work on the theory of buying lighter kit.
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Re: training to climb better

Postby mikesbytes » Sun May 15, 2011 9:11 pm

Hi Dobby, your new to riding and your fitness will continue to improve. My suggestions are;
1. Loose about 10kg. Depending on how muscular you are, you could loose 15kg.
2. Increase you K's and intensity.
3. Enjoy the riding
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Re: training to climb better

Postby dobby » Mon May 16, 2011 6:54 am

It might sound funny but I will only be able to lose about 5 more kg - I am built with broad shoulders and big legs - but at 78 to 80kg I almost look "ill" if that makes sense (having been 80kg only a couple years ago and ballooning to about 105kg - I have already lost a lot of weight).

I will work on more leg strength with my weight machine and more hill climbing repeats - but once I get to about 80kg that is about all I can lose.

PS: the bike I have is equipped with 50/34 and 11-28 so I am "spinning" in most cases up hills and the 5% or so climbs I am pretty comfortable on, just when it turns to "steep" territory I don't have the "legs" - yet.
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Re: training to climb better

Postby sogood » Mon May 16, 2011 8:54 am

dobby wrote:...but once I get to about 80kg that is about all I can lose.

You can always lose more. For your height, 80kg is a lot of bulk.
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Re: training to climb better

Postby moreegolfer » Mon May 16, 2011 9:30 am

I know dobby and he hasn't got much to lose but I subscribe to mikebytes no.2 more kms up hills with intensity. I am the same as you, need to drop some kgs to make it easier to climb but you need strength as well as endurance to climb well. We'll have to get together a hill climbing training day one weekend and plot a couple of Toowoomba's best to learn together.
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Re: training to climb better

Postby ajmit3 » Mon May 16, 2011 10:26 am

Disclaimer: I am not a coach... But I have the same problem. Even though I am 5'9 and 68kg. I've done about 6000km in a year of riding so I am new. I find I have the same problem - namely I lack strength endurance in my legs as well as power. Well this will solve the strength endurance part.


1. Find your threshold power or HR that you can hold for 15-20 mins ... Be mentally prepared for pain

2. Find a consistently steep hill that you can ride up for 15-20 mins

3. Find a big gear that you can hold at 60pm for 15-20 mins

4. recover on the downhill repeat 2-3 times

Don't do these more than 2 times a week.
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Re: training to climb better

Postby sogood » Mon May 16, 2011 10:38 am

ajmit3 wrote:2. Find a consistently steep hill that you can ride up for 15-20 mins

There aren't many of these around major cities of Australia, if any.
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Re: training to climb better

Postby skull » Mon May 16, 2011 11:00 am

sogood wrote:
ajmit3 wrote:2. Find a consistently steep hill that you can ride up for 15-20 mins

There aren't many of these around major cities of Australia, if any.

Mt Wellington?
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Re: training to climb better

Postby grantw » Mon May 16, 2011 11:06 am

Hi Dobby,

I'm about the same dimensions as you though a bit lighter at 80kgs (and could stand to lose a few) and while training on hills is the best way to train for hills, its worth thinking about technique while you doing it.

Try to remain smooth and efficient while climbing, grip the handle bars lightly, don't tense up and just keep making the little circles with your feet and find your rythm. One tip i picked up a few years ago was to alternate the intake of a breath on opposite pedal strokes so on the 3rd, 5th or 7th push. It seems to make a difference, particularly on harder climbs.

You can also build leg strength off the bike with a range of exercises including leg risers, one legged squats. There some good stuff on the ultracycling web site http://www.ultracycling.com/training/strength_exercises_legs1.html.

cheers

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Re: training to climb better

Postby ajmit3 » Mon May 16, 2011 11:28 am

sogood wrote:
ajmit3 wrote:2. Find a consistently steep hill that you can ride up for 15-20 mins

There aren't many of these around major cities of Australia, if any.


Really ? In Melbourne there is the 1-20. Also kew boulie if you are desperate....
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Re: training to climb better

Postby sogood » Mon May 16, 2011 11:38 am

As said, not many "consistently steep hill". That doesn't mean there isn't. And then there's the 15-20min criteria. Of course, "steepness" and time can depend on the particular rider.
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Re: training to climb better

Postby ajmit3 » Mon May 16, 2011 12:03 pm

sogood wrote:As said, not many "consistently steep hill". That doesn't mean there isn't. And then there's the 15-20min criteria. Of course, "steepness" and time can depend on the particular rider.


I thought beach road was steep when I started riding.... :shock:

PS on a serious note- I was thinking this the other day ? Does anyone know any continous 15-20 min hills around/in the melbourne CBD ?
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Re: training to climb better

Postby dobby » Mon May 16, 2011 3:27 pm

as it happens we have a perfect steep hill in Toowoomba, it is called the Toowoomba Range, it is about 7kms long and probably would take about 20 mins to ride (some of the top cyclists here do it in 12 or 13 mins but realistically 20 mins is "approx"). Maybe some range repeats in the early morning to develop some strength, but before I get to that (because it is a main Highway)- I think I have some other good hills.

While I respect what you guys say - I am sure I will never (in my wildest dreams) get under about 78kgs.
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Re: training to climb better

Postby sogood » Mon May 16, 2011 5:20 pm

dobby wrote:While I respect what you guys say - I am sure I will never (in my wildest dreams) get under about 78kgs.

Whether you can get there is one question. Whether your body can get there is another. If you really are lean, then you can start to lose muscle mass. If you want to climb faster and you want to focus on cycling, then you don't need big bulky upper body muscle mass. Fact is, your body can lose more weight.
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Re: training to climb better

Postby juggled_balls » Mon May 16, 2011 10:05 pm

i've only started trying to do some hills climbs...it's about 4km to get to the very top of castle hill in townsville...i'm trying to listen to a bunch of workout music i downloaded from itunes to get me going and maintain a smooth rhythm
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Re: training to climb better

Postby MDL » Mon May 16, 2011 11:07 pm

I told u prince henry drive lol

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Re: training to climb better

Postby ajmit3 » Tue May 24, 2011 9:50 am

I've just got a fixie.... going to do my strength endurance intervals on that. No cheating allowed....

Got a 44 x 17 - but probably need a 44 x 15 = 80 gear inches...
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Re: training to climb better

Postby MichaelB » Tue May 24, 2011 12:58 pm

sogood wrote:
ajmit3 wrote:2. Find a consistently steep hill that you can ride up for 15-20 mins

There aren't many of these around major cities of Australia, if any.


Plenty in Adelaide :D
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Re: training to climb better

Postby hannos » Tue May 24, 2011 1:09 pm

sogood wrote:
ajmit3 wrote:2. Find a consistently steep hill that you can ride up for 15-20 mins

There aren't many of these around major cities of Australia, if any.



If only I had one of these nearby...
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Re: training to climb better

Postby ajmit3 » Wed May 25, 2011 11:56 am

Yeah in melbourne there is probably only the 1-20 or Kinglake.... :?

I've been hold that the steepest 'consistent' hill without traffic lights at just under 2 km long is High Street from Doncaster rd to Manningham road...
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Re: training to climb better

Postby BarryTas » Wed May 25, 2011 2:30 pm

skull wrote:
sogood wrote:
ajmit3 wrote:2. Find a consistently steep hill that you can ride up for 15-20 mins

There aren't many of these around major cities of Australia, if any.

Mt Wellington?


20kms of hill :)
when do we stop for coffee???

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Re: training to climb better

Postby RobRollin » Mon May 30, 2011 8:06 am

The easiest soloution is to move to Hobart, you have no choice but to ride hills. More hills than any other state all within 5 mins of leaving your front door. And with Mt Wellington sitting over you.......it calls you to ride it.
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