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Old 06-12-07, 01:47 PM   #1
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Tips for uphill TT?

I have a 17 mile TT in September that progresses slightly in steepness 4-7% gradient. I would appreciate some strategy pointers on gearing.

For example, should I ride a 39x21 at the start and than gear down to a 39x23/25 as it gets steeper, or should I start out in my lowest gear from the beginning and just spin my to keep my legs fresh and build momentum for when the road does turn upward?
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Old 06-12-07, 02:52 PM   #2
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select the gear that works best for you, if you like to spin you are going to choose a different gear than someone who likes mash it out on the hills. Pick the common sense gear.
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Old 06-12-07, 03:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sincitycycler
I have a 17 mile TT in September that progresses slightly in steepness 4-7% gradient. I would appreciate some strategy pointers on gearing.

For example, should I ride a 39x21 at the start and than gear down to a 39x23/25 as it gets steeper, or should I start out in my lowest gear from the beginning and just spin my to keep my legs fresh and build momentum for when the road does turn upward?
Huh? You should be pushing things a bit at the start to accelerate, and then settle in to a reasonable cadence. 39x21 sounds too low to me.
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Old 06-12-07, 03:45 PM   #4
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I think you should maintain a comfortable cadence throughout, but work for negative splits. Increase power as the race goes on, and finish at your strongest, completely spent.
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Old 06-12-07, 04:03 PM   #5
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carry little weight as possible
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Old 06-12-07, 10:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by waterrockets
I think you should maintain a comfortable cadence throughout, but work for negative splits. Increase power as the race goes on, and finish at your strongest, completely spent.
What does negative split mean?
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Old 06-12-07, 11:41 PM   #7
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ride the 2nd half of the course faster than the first.

Like my old track coach used to say: "I need you to start fast...then speed up."

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Old 06-13-07, 06:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sincitycycler
What does negative split mean?
+1 to what ed073 says. Each segment of some length takes less time than the previous. So, last half faster than the first is one way to break it up. You can really only use time for this on a track. On the road, it's probably better termed as "positive efforts," but that's not common terminology.

So just try to put out more and more power as you go up. Note that the trick to this isn't riding yourself into an out of body experience near the top. You obviously can't produce additional fitness that doesn't exist. The trick is to ride easier at the bottom -- but to still keep it dialed up just enough...

If you look at modern hour record charts, you can see positive efforts -- even though more effort still results in a loss of speed due to fatigue (and going too hard earlier).
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Old 06-13-07, 10:23 AM   #9
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I think it would be very difficult to negative split an uphill TT with an increasing slope, if you could even find a halfway split at all.

I'll be doing a 15 mile TT next month with a 7.5 mile climb, then a u-turn and 7.5 miles downhill back to the start. I can just about guarantee that everyone will have negative splits.

Anyway, here's my advice.

Pre-race - know the course, especially the last 1K. There is not always a 1K to go mark and I've done a couple uphill TT's where I thought that I still had a a long way to go and came around the corner and there's the finish, too late to do anything about it.

If you can train on the climb, that would be ideal. You can try different gear combinations to find out what works best for you.

Also, find out how long you can last in a final out of the saddle push to the line. 15 seconds? 30 seconds? 1 minute? and determine that point on the course.

At the race:
1) Get in a very good warm-up
2) Stay controlled for the first 5 minutes after the start and gradually build your effort.
I'd start in a lighter gear and spin to keep your legs from building too much lactic acid early.
3) When you get to your sprint point launch it all out to the finish.

Good luck!
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Old 06-13-07, 03:34 PM   #10
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best advice I have ever heard on longer climbs is to set goals for yourself, IE get to that stump, or get to that tree or that rock things that are ~100m up hill, that way you wont lose faith or want to give up.

but as everyone has said go faster as you go.
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Old 06-13-07, 03:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizza Man
I'll be doing a 15 mile TT next month with a 7.5 mile climb, then a u-turn and 7.5 miles downhill back to the start. I can just about guarantee that everyone will have negative splits.
Yowzers. I wonder what kind of insurance/legal guidance the promoter has that they're comfortable setting up a TT with 7.5 miles of downhill. Sounds like fun - but I can see the wrecks now...
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Old 06-13-07, 03:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizza Man

I'll be doing a 15 mile TT next month with a 7.5 mile climb, then a u-turn and 7.5 miles downhill back to the start. I can just about guarantee that everyone will have negative splits.
I can't believe you typed that! Quick - knock on CF before you jinx yourself into a flat on the downhill!
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Old 06-13-07, 04:00 PM   #13
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A way to think of the negative spilts idea is break it into thirds. First third, ride slightly below the effort you think you cna hold for the entire effort. Second third if your feeling ok, take it up to the effort you want to hold for the duration. Last third gradually ramp the effort until you're going as hard as you can possibly hold at the end.
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Old 06-13-07, 10:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
A way to think of the negative spilts idea is break it into thirds. First third, ride slightly below the effort you think you cna hold for the entire effort. Second third if your feeling ok, take it up to the effort you want to hold for the duration. Last third gradually ramp the effort until you're going as hard as you can possibly hold at the end.
+1 in my coaching, this (breaking into thirds) is probably my most praised piece of advice for individual 2-minute hills. Beginners immediately see how attacking a hill like this makes them faster and less fatigued. Scale up as needed for a TT...

It's not literally negative splits, but positive efforts. As you gain experience, you can narrow the zone so that your differences are less than 5% per third, yet you feel awesome (well, it always hurts, but you avoid hitting the wall).
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Old 06-14-07, 10:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
A way to think of the negative spilts idea is break it into thirds. First third, ride slightly below the effort you think you cna hold for the entire effort. Second third if your feeling ok, take it up to the effort you want to hold for the duration. Last third gradually ramp the effort until you're going as hard as you can possibly hold at the end.
This seems to make sense to me. Thanks!
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Old 06-14-07, 11:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizza Man
I think it would be very difficult to negative split an uphill TT with an increasing slope, if you could even find a halfway split at all.

I'll be doing a 15 mile TT next month with a 7.5 mile climb, then a u-turn and 7.5 miles downhill back to the start. I can just about guarantee that everyone will have negative splits.

Anyway, here's my advice.

Pre-race - know the course, especially the last 1K. There is not always a 1K to go mark and I've done a couple uphill TT's where I thought that I still had a a long way to go and came around the corner and there's the finish, too late to do anything about it.

If you can train on the climb, that would be ideal. You can try different gear combinations to find out what works best for you.

Also, find out how long you can last in a final out of the saddle push to the line. 15 seconds? 30 seconds? 1 minute? and determine that point on the course.

At the race:
1) Get in a very good warm-up
2) Stay controlled for the first 5 minutes after the start and gradually build your effort.
I'd start in a lighter gear and spin to keep your legs from building too much lactic acid early.
3) When you get to your sprint point launch it all out to the finish.

Good luck!
+1 Which TT are you taling about for next month?
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