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Old 11-10-07, 12:32 AM   #1
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Tips for staying warmed up on long descents?

I've found as my aerobic base has improved over the last year, that I "cool down" very fast now. Pedaling in endurance zones keeps the heart rate in around the 140's. But when I get into longer descents - especially twisty roads where pedaling isn't an option all the time, my heart rate plummets and man does the gunk in the legs build up. Here's a graph from last week where I actually had the heart rate strap on. Climbing to the top of a pretty good size mountain, then descending a really narrow/steep/twisty road. Sucked at the bottom.

This goes for group rides too now where "no drop" is a policy. 3-4 minutes off the bike and my heart rate is in the 70's and it SUCKS getting warmed back up. Anything ya'll do to stay warmed up in cases like this? Pedal backwards? Ride the brakes and pedal through the resistance?
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Old 11-10-07, 01:11 AM   #2
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Weird. That is some tight descent. At no point were you able to get your speed above 32kph? Where is the fun in that?

Is it really a 'mountain'? It seems as though (although you dont include the whole file) its more of a hill (maybe 20min climb?). You also seem to have held tempo most of the climb. You never really 'lit it up'. You could of used the last 5 mins of the climb to sit above FTP at 420w/175bpm in which case you might not feel the descent so much hehe.

Stop whining about being so good. Its not fair on the rest of us.
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Old 11-10-07, 01:21 AM   #3
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You never really 'lit it up'. You could of used the last 5 mins of the climb to sit above FTP at 420w/175bpm in which case you might not feel the descent so much hehe.
Yah, I didn't want to hammer too hard. Plan called for a long Zone1 day, climbing zones 3-4. The spike in power was 19% grade for a bit but the descent side was 14+% on really narrow roads, and it sucked. It was just around 20 minutes to the top, power in the middle of Zone 3 ~300 watts, but I was already "in the hills" when I started the climb over the top.
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Old 11-10-07, 01:37 AM   #4
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Only thing I can think of for the 'no drop' group rides - turn around at the top, ride back to the slowest climbers, and ride up with them. By the time you get back to the top, you are warmed up again, but not too tired, because you are climbing with slower riders.
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Old 11-10-07, 03:42 AM   #5
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Only thing I can think of for the 'no drop' group rides - turn around at the top, ride back to the slowest climbers, and ride up with them. By the time you get back to the top, you are warmed up again, but not too tired, because you are climbing with slower riders.
Ride at the back with the slowest climbers and if anyone is struggling badly, ride along while pushing them gently. they still have to pedal but it might be the difference between deathmarch and a good time for them, and it will keep you from stopping and getting cold all the time.

On the flats, go back and pace the slower riders so you can give them shelter from the wind.
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Old 11-10-07, 07:20 AM   #6
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Nomad, the things you whine about are truly astonishing. This sounds like Superman complaining about getting bugs in his eye while flying @ 800mph.
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Old 11-10-07, 08:04 AM   #7
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one of my friends is a triathlete and at virginia tech for grad school. he hates it because he has to pedal going downhills in order to stick to his training. so, i guess you could always try to sit up and keep pedaling. i imagine that even if you are soft pedaling or just keeping your feet moving with the wheel that this would keep your heart rate high. on twisty descents though, not sure if that is an option.

of course, this only works for training, not really effective for races.
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Old 11-10-07, 11:39 AM   #8
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I use the brakes. It is a little weird, but you can actually get pretty good at pegging the wattage. The other thing when doing REALLY twisty descents, is to accelerate hard out of every switchback. Looks like a crit in the power file, but works well for me. Finally, as the no drop things goes, ride the climb, cut back to the slow guys and do it again.

And PCad, even superman has his problems.
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Old 11-10-07, 11:46 AM   #9
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Ride at the back with the slowest climbers and if anyone is struggling badly, ride along while pushing them gently. they still have to pedal but it might be the difference between deathmarch and a good time for them, and it will keep you from stopping and getting cold all the time.

On the flats, go back and pace the slower riders so you can give them shelter from the wind.
+1. Don't be the ******* constantly to speed up "no drop" rides.
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Old 11-10-07, 12:54 PM   #10
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When you get to WDC, you wont have to worry about such things any longer.
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Old 11-10-07, 03:26 PM   #11
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Group riding and periodization run constantly at odds with each other. I save my really slow days for group rides. When approaching a wait or descending, try shifting down and spinning like mad. It doubles as a cadence drill.

And, if this is a big problem, you are leading a very very gifted life.
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Old 11-10-07, 04:30 PM   #12
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When you get to WDC, you wont have to worry about such things any longer.
*shudder*
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Old 11-10-07, 06:13 PM   #13
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Ride a fixed gear and you won't get cold on the descents.
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Old 11-10-07, 06:28 PM   #14
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It is a no drop ride? So carry a wind breaker or even a rain suit and wear it for the descent.
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Old 11-10-07, 07:09 PM   #15
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I'm much less concerned about the group rides, as they occur so infrequently where I am now that it's not as much of an issue. In normal training, I suppose it was a case of the simplest answer is the right answer. Ride the breaks and keep working.
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Old 11-10-07, 07:43 PM   #16
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http://pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullst...13&status=True
This would help...or you could make one for a fraction of the cost. Or you could go for the tried and true newspaper method.
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Old 11-10-07, 07:53 PM   #17
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I use the brakes. It is a little weird, but you can actually get pretty good at pegging the wattage. The other thing when doing REALLY twisty descents, is to accelerate hard out of every switchback. Looks like a crit in the power file, but works well for me. Finally, as the no drop things goes, ride the climb, cut back to the slow guys and do it again.

And PCad, even superman has his problems.

+1

Here in Boulder prevailing winds are often headwinds for descending most canyons which resolves this issue quite well.
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Old 11-10-07, 09:56 PM   #18
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If I get cooled down and end up with dead legs, I actually just force-feed myself a 100% 1-minute interval. Feels like hell, but I'm in great shape after that.
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Old 11-11-07, 04:50 PM   #19
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*shudder*
Hey, Nomad. When you get to WDC, check out the DC Randonneurs (www.dcrand.org) for base training rides. They aren't racers, but they do 100 miles per day, Saturday & Sunday, frequently visiting the mountains in western Maryland, southern PA, Virginia, and West Virginia--great stuff if you want to maintain or improve your climbing legs.

Regarding staying warm during long descents, you could also do the muscle contraction thing (i.e., contract and relax your lats and core muscles.)

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Old 11-11-07, 06:20 PM   #20
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^^^ I will for sure look up folks like these. I know the area pretty well, so I'll be heading out to Skyline Drv and the Parkway, etc... Looks like we'll live Vienna-ish or just west of there, so I can get "reasonably" quick/easy access west of the beltway.
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