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Old 03-21-07, 08:41 AM   #1
rockrates
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Hill Climb TT this weekend...any tips?

Hi everyone,
I'm a lowly C collegiate racer, and this weekend we're hosting an uphill TT. It's just shy of 12 miles, with just shy of 3000 ft of climbing. I'm not much of a climber (more of a sprinter, flats rider); does anybody have any bits of advice that have helped get them through a hillclimb?

Here's the link to the race flyer:
http://www.usacycling.org/accc/forms/JMU_2007.pdf

Cheers!
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Old 03-21-07, 08:48 AM   #2
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Just an aside, but it's really counter productive at this stage in your racing development to categorize your skills too much. There are too many people who, in their first or second year of racing, say they are a climber, or a sprinter, or a whatever. I really think more time is needed to develop skills before it is absolutely clear what type of racer you are.

That said, like any time trial, don't go out too hard. Hopefully you have either a HRM or PM to steady your effort. Not much to say, other than get comfortable and pedal hard. If they are sending you guys off every 30 seconds, use the rider in front of you as a rabbit to chase. Once you start passing riders, you know you are doing well.

I wouldn't sweat it too much, though. HCTT's really seem to be a matter of power / weight. Either you have it or you don't.
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Old 03-21-07, 08:57 AM   #3
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Negative splits/positive effort

Learn to pace yourself so you're going faster and faster throughout. More than going hard at the end, that means a lot of conservation at the bottom, but it will be faster if you don't ever hit the wall.
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Old 03-21-07, 09:40 AM   #4
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What does "negative splits" mean?
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Old 03-21-07, 09:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by bdcheung
What does "negative splits" mean?
It's a term from running, where each successive mile's split times would be less than the previous. Many endurance world records have been set and are currently held with negative splits (hour record, the last few marathon records).

You have to modify it for terrain, especially in road cycling. So positive power output would be a good measure, or positive HR. Split the event up into thirds and check your data there, and update your goals.
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Old 03-21-07, 10:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by grebletie
Just an aside, but it's really counter productive at this stage in your racing development to categorize your skills too much.
Oh yeah I understand that...a bit of poor phrasing on my part. What I meant to say was that I'm built less like a climber and more like a sprinter--6'3" ~170lbs. I wouldn't say I'm particularly good at either...

Waterrockets - thanks for the idea about the negative splits and increasing effort as they pass. Unfortunately I have neither a HRM nor a PT, but I've gotten pretty good at gauging effort (years of mountain biking) and hopefully that'll serve me well.

bdcheung - Are you GW boys going to come down for it?
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Old 03-21-07, 11:01 AM   #7
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1. Warm up. Warm up real well. This goes for TT's but even more so for hill climbs.

2. Try not to go too hard too early. Your heart rate may be all over the place before your start, so you'll need to get it back up and steady with out violence to your body.

3. Really focus on your breathing.
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Old 03-21-07, 11:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockrates
bdcheung - Are you GW boys going to come down for it?
Jeez, I was really deliberating, but I'm starting to swing towards the "yes" side. I'm not a good TT'er, but I'm built for climbing (5'10, 145#), so I may just approach this as a fun training exercise, especially since I want to do well in Jeff Cup on sunday.
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Old 03-21-07, 11:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rockrates
Oh yeah I understand that...a bit of poor phrasing on my part. What I meant to say was that I'm built less like a climber and more like a sprinter--6'3" ~170lbs. I wouldn't say I'm particularly good at either...
robbie mcewen is 5'7" and 148 lbs. i guess he's not much of a sprinter.
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Old 03-21-07, 11:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by stea1thviper
robbie mcewen is 5'7" and 148 lbs. i guess he's not much of a sprinter.
don't take things so literally
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Old 03-21-07, 12:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stea1thviper
robbie mcewen is 5'7" and 148 lbs. i guess he's not much of a sprinter.

I think that Allen Davis is similarly small but sprints well...
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Old 03-21-07, 12:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdcheung
Jeez, I was really deliberating, but I'm starting to swing towards the "yes" side. I'm not a good TT'er, but I'm built for climbing (5'10, 145#), so I may just approach this as a fun training exercise, especially since I want to do well in Jeff Cup on sunday.
Ill be racing for UNCC both days out there, for the saturday race my coach didnt give me any advice besides, ride the night before hard, warm up hard, watch your hear rate, and dont blow up 6 miles in.

what category are you racing sunday? Ill be in the C's, I blieve depending on how the ITT goes, I'm a cat 5 I'm just not sure if I should race with the D's or not, itll be my first collegiate race.
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Old 03-21-07, 12:33 PM   #13
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I'm a C, just started cycling in October.
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Old 03-21-07, 12:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snicklefritz
I think that Allen Davis is similarly small but sprints well...
not exactly: 5'8" 143lbs
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Old 03-21-07, 12:47 PM   #15
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Paolo Bettini isn't exactly breaking the scales, either...
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Old 03-21-07, 01:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdcheung
Jeez, I was really deliberating, but I'm starting to swing towards the "yes" side. I'm not a good TT'er, but I'm built for climbing (5'10, 145#), so I may just approach this as a fun training exercise, especially since I want to do well in Jeff Cup on sunday.
dooooooooooo it. If for no other reason than the view from the top is great, with the Valley to your east and WV to the west. I'll be in C's for the TT, but as yet I have to work Sunday and it looks like I'll be missing out on the Jeff Cup.
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Old 03-21-07, 01:08 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by botto
not exactly: 5'8" 143lbs

ooo a porker. But compared with Hushovd, Allan Davis looks small.
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Old 03-21-07, 01:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stea1thviper
robbie mcewen is 5'7" and 148 lbs. i guess he's not much of a sprinter.
ok ok, you got me there...there've been a few really great pocket rocket sprinters. But how many big man climbers are there? (besides Indurain, he's too obvious methinks)
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Old 03-21-07, 02:20 PM   #19
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ooo a porker. But compared with Hushovd, Allan Davis looks small.
incorrect.
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Old 03-21-07, 06:38 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by rockrates
Waterrockets - thanks for the idea about the negative splits and increasing effort as they pass. Unfortunately I have neither a HRM nor a PT, but I've gotten pretty good at gauging effort (years of mountain biking) and hopefully that'll serve me well.
Yeah, that will work fine. I do better (and faster) if I just go by feel instead of trying to use my HRM. The HRM is good data, but I don't use it to guide the splits. More just for confirmation.
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Old 03-21-07, 10:09 PM   #21
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Being smooth out of the saddle will help. If you do allot of training out of the saddle then those muscles will become efficient. During the race when you alternate in and out of the saddle, you will be drawing on more efficient muscles for both positions. My theory. I am not a good climber yet due to my lack of training on hills so take my theory as you like.
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Old 03-22-07, 12:00 AM   #22
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I find the HC TT to be the most painful discipline on the road. Managing your effort and staying positive and focussed is critical. In order to do this -- as mentioned by others -- the really *important* thing is to not go out too hard. If you do, you will blow, and the rest of the race is really going to suck (literally and figuratively). That's why I think a PM or HRM is really great to have on the TT efforts, because it gives you a piece of data that you can put against the adrenaline surge you'll be feeling. If you don't have a PM or HRM, and if it is your first HC TT, I would strongly urge you to try to start out really easy. This is almost impossible to do! I read somewhere that a good TT is paced somewhat like a carpet getting rolled out: a gradual increase in speed.
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Old 03-22-07, 07:05 AM   #23
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I read somewhere that a good TT is paced somewhat like a carpet getting rolled out: a gradual increase in speed.
Nice. I like that.

Here's Boardman's "superman" Hour Record. Clearly attempting to ride negative splits or flat:
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Old 03-22-07, 07:33 AM   #24
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The hardest part about starting slow in this case is that the course is relatively flat until about halfway through, then it pitches up. So I'm sure I'll be tempted to try and fly on the flat sections...I'll just have to be disciplined.

I like the carpet metaphor
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Old 03-22-07, 08:37 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockrates
The hardest part about starting slow in this case is that the course is relatively flat until about halfway through, then it pitches up. So I'm sure I'll be tempted to try and fly on the flat sections...I'll just have to be disciplined.

I like the carpet metaphor
Yeah, "slow" is relative to terrain, so you should go faster on the flats, but not harder. Note also that your energy will be better spent climbing against gravity at linear resistance than fighting wind on the flats at a speed squared resistance. Don't arrive at the climb tired.
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