Training yourself to ride hills

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foo on patrol
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Re: Training yourself to ride hills

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:06 am

You don't attack the bottom of a hill but as you go up, you increase the work load and hammer it over the last 10-15% of it and keep pedaling past the apex. :idea: Most riders will back off at the apex. :roll:

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Krank
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Re: Training yourself to ride hills

Postby Krank » Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:57 am

Xplora wrote:For me - I drop to the lowest gear FIRST, and THEN apply more power by spinning faster. 100rpm a hill is much easier to manage your effort with that 60rpm grinding. I don't blow up in the bigger gear first, then start chasing lower gears once I've already died....


Keen to know who else follows this strategy and it's level of effectiveness ?

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JdM
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Re: Training yourself to ride hills

Postby JdM » Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:14 am

^ I approach hills in this manner, works for me.
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Derny Driver
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Re: Training yourself to ride hills

Postby Derny Driver » Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:49 pm

nezumi wrote:
trailgumby wrote:
Derny Driver wrote:Cadence is an individual thing. You ride up in the gear which is comfortable. Not so easy that you are spinning the legs with little force on the pedals, and not so hard that you are over exerting yourself.
As with most things on the forum, people are over-thinking everything.

When starting out, as nezumi seems to be in this aspect of his cycling, you are likely right. And I don't have your experience in coaching people, so I'm not going to hold myself out as an expert.


Starting out in terms of taking a considered approach to training more than anything - I have been riding daily for about 2 years now and commute 25kms each way, but I don't have any form of cadence/HRM/etc.

I have been happy with my performance, but want to take it to the next level - when riding in a bunch or when I happen to sync up with others on my commute, I can generally keep up on the hills, but I do feel like I am pushing myself that bit more - what I need to develop is the ability to know how to push myself to the right level when solo, and how to pedal to go up smoothly and with enough left in the tank that I don't make it to the top and want to stop. :)

DD - your advice makes the most sense to me out of what I've seen so far. A lot of it has just been the general "ride more hills", but that's not going to help massively if my method of riding said hills is poor.

This is the main one I am gauging myself on at present. https://www.strava.com/activities/43535 ... 0469267015 especially the short part https://www.strava.com/activities/43535 ... 0469267009

I tend to find that as I make the sharp turn onto the short part I am in my lowest gear, pedalling squares and struggling for breath - but by midway up it I feel great and can stand up, drop down 3 to 4 gears and kick hard all the way to the top.

Hi mate
I cant make anything out of the strava segment except to see that I think the hill you speak of is short (1.3km) ? I have been thinking more of long hills, such as my local one here, Macquarie Pass which is 7.7km at 7% . A long steady 30 minute climb. Short hills can be attacked in many different ways. Its okay to put your heart through the roof on a short hill and you can mash a slightly bigger gear than on a climb where you have to manage your heart rate the whole way. Again, there are many different scenarios and many equally good ways to approach short climbs. And without seeing you on the bike, there is no way of knowing if you are doing a good job at it or not. But I suspect from what you have said, that you are doing a good job on this hill, your limiter is probably just your general fitness. A 25k commute may seem like a fair bit of riding but its probably not really the "ideal" training if you were wanting to really take your cycling to the next level.
Reminds me of a funny story - I met a guy from my club commuting his usual 25 km home from the steelworks one arvo, we were chatting and he told me he did 800km a week training. So I said, "So 250 of that is commuting, what do you do the rest of the time?" He looked at me in horror and said "Commuting? I dont count THAT!"

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trailgumby
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Re: Training yourself to ride hills

Postby trailgumby » Sun Nov 22, 2015 2:12 pm

@DD, Where is this hill? Sounds like a great place to train.

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Re: Training yourself to ride hills

Postby Krank » Sun Nov 22, 2015 2:18 pm

Thanks Guys.

Most times when I am approach hills, I have healthy momentum and I am wary that this energy will be reduced/lost if I switch down to the easier gears to at this point heading up the hill.

I guess I have always approached the hills the other way (transfer down gears during the incline to sustain similar cadence)...

But, I am keen to try new methodology if it improves my hill execution.

Your thoughts on above??


Krank

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Derny Driver
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Re: Training yourself to ride hills

Postby Derny Driver » Sun Nov 22, 2015 3:11 pm

Krank wrote:Thanks Guys.

Most times when I am approach hills, I have healthy momentum and I am wary that this energy will be reduced/lost if I switch down to the easier gears to at this point heading up the hill.

I guess I have always approached the hills the other way (transfer down gears during the incline to sustain similar cadence)...

But, I am keen to try new methodology if it improves my hill execution.

Your thoughts on above??


Krank

Sure you want to keep the momentum going a bit as you enter the hill. But its important to drop down into that ideal gear as soon as you can, otherwise as has been said, you will blow yourself up and end up in the granny gear trying to recover.

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Derny Driver
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Re: Training yourself to ride hills

Postby Derny Driver » Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:06 pm

trailgumby wrote:@DD, Where is this hill? Sounds like a great place to train.

Macquarie Pass south of Wollongong. 10km from bottom to top but the top 3km is flattish so the strava hunters use the first 7km.
https://www.strava.com/segments/1243935
Mt Keira is also a great hill to train on, right in the heart of Wollongong. Shorter but a nice constant 6%. Good for reps. CNSW "Mt Keira challenge" was on today actually.

I will post a link to this video for you, my son will kill me, but its him doing the last kilometre of Macquarie Pass. Like foo advised he started the climb rather conservatively and then as he got near the top he realised he might be up for a good time so he put a bit more effort in. Things to note apart from the scenery in the context of this discussion, he is pedalling smoothly and at that comfortable cadence. You cant push a decent sized gear at a ridiculous cadence, here he is pedalling at 80 or slightly more which is what you would be doing in a TT. It looks like he is making hardly any effort apart from the sprint to the finish line. Thats the key to it, relaxed and a nice comfortable gear and cadence. As big a gear as you can push while maintaining cadence and keeping heart rate under control. He did a 24:06 I think which is up there with the NRS hitters on the leaderboard.

http://vid898.photobucket.com/albums/ac ... shykyh.mp4

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Re: Training yourself to ride hills

Postby nezumi » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:37 pm

trailgumby wrote:Gold standard is Garmin GPS, but there are lower cost alternatives. While nice to have, you don't *need* GPS.


Right now GPS is the only thing I *do* have - strava on my phone :D
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Re: Training yourself to ride hills

Postby Xplora » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:07 pm

^^^ great video, and that's textbook good climbing. He isn't struggling for his pace.

That's made the biggest difference for my climbing, you really have to have enough in the tank at all times to give another 25%. If you are pumping 300w, be ready for 370w... if you are doing 200w, be ready for 250w... as your hill naturally ebbs and flows, you can't blow up because it kicked for 10 seconds, and you can't drop 15rpm below your preferred cadence either. Knowing your enemy is helpful here, when to sit and stand and when to "relax" to get your average power down so you have something for your sprint at the top for KOM glory.

Get out there, and climb. Climb often, climb hard. And try to climb some lame hills as well really easy, just to get a sense of what you could do if life was easier. 10% hills have this problem where they are very hard and don't really allow you to experiment much.

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Re: Training yourself to ride hills

Postby Hildalgo » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:27 pm

I have a training technique I use for seated/standing exercises. Do repeats of a short steep backstreet. Try to do one lap seated, and then the next standing. Find this gives me a good balance to climb either seated or standing comfortably over lengthy periods of time.

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