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Old 06-07-07, 05:01 PM   #1
GuitarWizard
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I think I'm climbing slightly better this year...

Just did my first session of hill repeats this year - nothing like waiting (literally) until the last minute to do so . Unfortunately, it's amazing at how fast a date can sneak up on you. Anyway....

The Hill:

I have a local hill that's 1 mile in length and gains around 275-300 vertical feet or so. Average gradient is 6-7%, and kicks up to 10-11% towards the top, so you don't really get to ease up at all at the end. The pavement sucks, and the road is narrow. Fortunately there isn't a TON of traffic, but I did get passed by several cars, which is the norm.

The Ride:

While I'm not going to write an in-depth ride report on a climbing repeat workout, last year I was able to do about 3 ascents to the top and was pretty tired. Then, I'd do 3 half ascents after those, and call it a day. Last year my lowest gear was a 34x27. This year, 36x26 on the race bike (which was what I was using).

Today on my first day out, I did 5 ascents.....would've done more, but I wanted to keep the ride to around an hour session and not kill myself, as I'm planning on doing some climbing repeats on Sunday. I can't believe the difference from last year to this year. Now....I can still get the heartrate up there, but the legs seem to give out quicker lately than the lungs. Need to work on that.

The Verdict:

Once I get another year or two in the legs (only at 1 yr. 10 months right now) and drop say, another 8-10 pounds or so.....man, I can't wait.

I'm still going to get slaughtered by the climbers at Housatonic, but at least I should be in MUCH better shape this year than if I tried to do it last year.
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Old 06-07-07, 05:03 PM   #2
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Good for you, GW. Keep it up.
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Old 06-07-07, 05:08 PM   #3
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Thanks. I'm at around 147 pounds or so (5'7").....I'm thinking 140 pounds would probably be a decent weight for me right now. Still have a little chub around the gut and stuff that could be gone. For reference, I was around 165 last summer around this time.

Housatonic Hills road race was my "goal" event for this year - I'd be happy finishing in the top half of the peloton.
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Old 06-07-07, 06:49 PM   #4
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Way to go GW. To me 147 pounds at 5'7" seems reasonable but your the one climbing the hills. I am doing a recon of the Monson course on Sunday. I KNOW that race is going to kick my a**. Good luck at Housatonic. I know you will do better than you think you are going to.
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Old 06-08-07, 05:18 AM   #5
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Hopefully. I never dropped below 9 mph, even on the 11% sections, so I guess that's decent. Was trying to keep a steady effort, and pushing a little bit bigger gear than I normally would on the "flatter" parts of the climb. I timed my 5th ascent, and I did it in 4 min 20 sec.

Odd part was, afterwards and throughout the evening I didn't really feel like I got *that* much of a workout in....but today when I woke up my legs felt it a little.
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Old 06-08-07, 06:26 AM   #6
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I don't know your age GW but I find that after I do Muscular Endurance intervals which are slow cadence larger gear climbs that I feel it mainly in the knees. I have to find that balance between keeping tension on the leg muscles and not blowing out my knees...very tough at 46. I will say though that they do make a difference in my climbing.
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Old 06-08-07, 06:34 AM   #7
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I'm 32
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Old 06-08-07, 06:37 AM   #8
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that sounds like a great hill, and you've pwned it.

I'd recommend trying negative splits on it sometime. It helped me build my internal "power meter" so I can reliably pace myself for just about any effort these days. Take the first one kind of easy, then try to knock 1-3 seconds off each successive climb. When you get to the last one, open up completely -- then be surprised you still only get your 3 seconds or so.
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Old 06-08-07, 06:50 AM   #9
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I sorta did that yesterday, although wasn't consciously thinking about it. On the last ascent, on the steepest part towards the top, I shifted into in my 36x21 and hammered it, quickly putting myself in a world of hurt....essentially pretending I was at the top of an uphill finish at a race. I buried myself, and by the very top at the turnaround point, I was in my 36x26 barely pushing that along. That was the only ascent where I really killed it and was totally spent at the top. Good stuff.

Last year, I would go realllllly hard on all the ascents, and had VERY limited recovery time in between ascents - basically, as long as it took me to descend. Then, I'd turn right around and go up. By the third ascent, I'd be in oxygen debt and my legs would say F U.

I'm kind of taking a bit different approach this year.
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Old 06-08-07, 07:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
I'm 32

You still have years to abuse your knees.

I thought for sure you were going to say 42, that is the correct answer to everything.
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Old 06-08-07, 07:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
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You still have years to abuse your knees.

I thought for sure you were going to say 42, that is the correct answer to everything.
Correct. Minus my IQ
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Old 06-08-07, 03:10 PM   #12
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Two things I have been working on lately and I feel there have been significant improvements overall. 1. Hill work 2 x per week. 2. Sprint intervals 1 X per week to work on my sprint.
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Old 06-08-07, 03:12 PM   #13
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That's kind of the weird thing though....I haven't reallllllllly been doing any focused/specific training (such as hill repeats) for climbing up until now. Sure, I've done plenty of hilly rides, and on the group rides we tend to hit them pretty hard....but nothing really structured.

I need to start doing some sprint training at some point as well.
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Old 06-08-07, 04:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
That's kind of the weird thing though....I haven't reallllllllly been doing any focused/specific training (such as hill repeats) for climbing up until now. Sure, I've done plenty of hilly rides, and on the group rides we tend to hit them pretty hard....but nothing really structured.

I need to start doing some sprint training at some point as well.
Congrats on trying some new things and seeing results. Everyone says that if you want to do well on hills, then do more hills. I have and the results are there. Following that principle, I wanted to improve my sprint so....

The thing is, I was both poor at hills and sprints and this is where races are usualy decided. Focusing on this has been good.
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Old 06-08-07, 04:30 PM   #15
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My problem is, for sprints I can't really get focused on them unless I have someone to sprint against....I just seem to give that little extra when there's someone I'm trying to beat, versus me by myself just trying to go fast.

I guess the same goes for hills too...but those I have an easier time with. On the group rides, I will routinely start at the bottom of the hill towards the back of the pack, and can generally power my way through most of the group in short order, and latch on to the fast guys at the front by the top. It's a fun game of cat and mouse I like to play....gives me something to shoot for.

My biggest problem is sustainable power/time trial ability....unfortunately those are the things that take a lot of time to develop.
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Old 06-08-07, 08:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarWizard

I guess the same goes for hills too...but those I have an easier time with. On the group rides, I will routinely start at the bottom of the hill towards the back of the pack, and can generally power my way through most of the group in short order, and latch on to the fast guys at the front by the top. It's a fun game of cat and mouse I like to play....gives me something to shoot for.
Maybe good for training, but bad habit for racing. Your expending a lot of energy just moving upfield. If you started that jump at the front of the pack, you could hang with the fast climbers easier and possibly even drop them.
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Old 06-08-07, 08:30 PM   #17
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I learned that the hard way in my first road race.
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Old 06-08-07, 10:18 PM   #18
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Maybe good for training, but bad habit for racing. Your expending a lot of energy just moving upfield. If you started that jump at the front of the pack, you could hang with the fast climbers easier and possibly even drop them.
Well, going harder on a climb is more efficient (linear resistant force with speed) than against the wind (quadratic resistant force with speed).

Also, I do a lot better coming from behind. My finishing kick is strong, and being the predator I am, having a little flock of rabbits out there helps my motivation a lot. I'll often let someone around, give them 5 or 10 meters, and hold it. Then mow them over at the end of the rise.

I agree though, that it's not always the best tactic for a race. You're likely to arrive at the top only to find that everyone has been holding back. They open up right as you're fading, and that's the end of that.
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Old 06-08-07, 10:26 PM   #19
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Heh...I hear ya on the rabbit thing. That's pretty much what I do....although not always intentionally. I don't really know most of the roads very well yet that the group tends to ride on, so they catch me a bit off guard.

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Old 06-08-07, 10:27 PM   #20
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Well, going harder on a climb is more efficient (linear resistant force with speed) than against the wind (quadratic resistant force with speed).
In a time trial, yes, but not if you're in a pack. If you're in a pack, unless you're trying to break away, use the least energy possible to maintain your position.
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Old 06-08-07, 11:00 PM   #21
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In a time trial, yes, but not if you're in a pack. If you're in a pack, unless you're trying to break away, use the least energy possible to maintain your position.
I guess I'm talking about a different kind of climb, like one that breaks up the pack and forces several selections. In the mass-start portion King of Jester last year, I let a guy go out to 20m in front of me, and I stayed at the front of the pack. I just let him go on purpose, knowing I could mow him down at the pace he was going. He clearly thought he had it won, and everyone else thought I was doing what I could. He put in a good kick 2/3 of the way up, so I launched and passed him, and dropped the last 4 guys on my wheel.

It was similar to when the sprinters' teams let a break hang out there to control any other attacks.

This all happened in 1/2 a mile, and there is no draft benefit on Jester.
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