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  1. #1
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Public Announcement - My 2012 "Impossible Goal"

    I recently attended a prentation on hill-climbing (my biggest weakness) and one of the main points was to publicly announce a goal that is far beyond your comfort zone. So here it is:

    Im presently hovering around 290lbs and hills just kill me. So, I perused the more challenging,local rides, and have decided to tackle this one. I will need to be at least 60lbs lighter and much, much, much stronger on hills.

    116 Miles and 12000ft of climbing - Timed runs - Sept 2012. I figure I will need the time to drop the weight.

    Route:
    http://www.bikemap.net/route/848045

    Details:
    http://shop.cascade.org/content/even...pass-challenge

    Thoughts? Tips? Insanity for a Clyde?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Not impossilre at all, go for it!. I topped out at about 260. Decided to do hills. Watched my weight ate no junk food etc for a year and dropped down to 220. I did a 10,000ft climbing century and ranked at #123 out of 400 serious climbers (timed event). I was easily within all the timed cutoffs.

    It wasn't the weight alone but also the effort of climbing that helped. I know because the next year I was up to about 230 and still cruised in 10 minutes behind my best time but without pushing myself as much as the previous year. But you must climb and not depend on weight loss numbers alone. Even if you only drop down to 240-250, with hill training, you will do fine. It's the effort that gets you there! I did 7:40 at my best. Next year I did 7:50 without trying too hard.

    If you make an honest effort at climbing, no reaon at all you can't complete the ride. I did well for about 4yeas then I did an even tougher ride 114 mile with 12,000 ft of climbing. My time not as good but I only did 3 long rides before the event and still completed it. It was from the accumlation of effort in the hills. Just to show you that the effort is the main factor.

    You can do it............if you want it!

  3. #3
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Not impossilre at all, go for it!.

    You can do it............if you want it!
    Thanks Mr Beanz - I may rely on you for information in the upcoming months, if you dont mind. A couple of weeks ago I completed the "Chilly Hilly" - a local 33 mile ride with 3000ft of climbing. I will admit the climbing really "cleaned my clock"

    I am signed up for the STP ride again this year (202 miles of flat) but need something that right now is "impossible" - as the STP was for me last year when only able to ride 8 miles bwefore collapsing.

    I want to commit to riding this ride or al least giving it my best.

  4. #4
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    A couple of weeks ago I completed the "Chilly Hilly" - a local 33 mile ride with 3000ft of climbing. I will admit the climbing really "cleaned my clock"
    Start climbing now, even if it's low #'s. I start with an 8 milke climb, 2200 ft. First few times really uncomfy if I haven't climbed in a while. 3 or 4 weeks in a row, the try 3,000 then4,000 over a period of several weeks. It wil come to the point tha you will want to turn around and do it again.

    I work my way upt to 5,000 ft (20 miles) seems tough at that moment. Then the next time, I mar descend then climb half way up again.

    Start now, start ez, then build up over the weeks little by little., Baby steps. Start at 1,000 ft gain at first. Seriously, you'll look back at 33 miles with 3000 ft as "why did I think that ws tough?".

    The main reson riders think it's tough is caus they don't do it, they don't work up to it. As much s I've climbed, if I skip 6 months, then climb a mtn, it's once again tough. Ask any of my ride partners that have dragged me up a mtn after a long period of riding flats. But the more we do it, the better we get. I's almost like losing weight, it takes a change of habits (flats to hills vs veges to pizza, it's hard I know.)) but well worth it in the long run.

    As and example. Gina hated climbing and really sucked at climbing. She'd almost died the first mile of our local climb (GMR, featured many times). We did the ride once a week over an 8 week period. About 4 weeks in, she was doing ok. 5 weeks in, she knew she wouldn't fail on the 8 mile 2200ft climb. Couple weeks later doing 13 mile climb with 3,200 ft.

    Few weeks later, nearly 5000 in 21 miles.

    When you get to thsi point, do it once aweek adn you will get faster and faster. Some days you will not feel as well or yo may even think you suck. But that effort , of fighting through on your bad days is what builds the strength and mindset that lets you know you can't fail. If you can take the bad days as a positive thing, thinking that was a good training day, you got it made.

    I've had several days where I thought, Gawd my time was slower today, my legs hurt, my back hurts but at the end of the ride, I thought "I MADE IT". If I can do it on my worst day, I can do it on my best day.

    The reason other clydes fail IMO is that they climb and when it hurts, they turn and go back home never to retrun. They should take it as, ok, it hurts, I'm slowing, making it through, use the day as a stretch, then fight back harder another day. I've been sent home with my tail beetween my legs plenty of times. Those are the days you have to be smart. I didn't eat enough, I didn't drink enough, I shouldn't have jumped rope the night before etc. Even if you can't figure it out, you will do better the next time because you have the desire!.

    You showed that on your chilly willy ride. Now go at it a little smarter, use some effort, work up gradually then the ride will be a cake walk, seriously.

    If you wait to start your climbing 3 months before the ride, you've lost!

  5. #5
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I must add, the more you climb, the better you get, the more you will WANT and ENJOY the eating right part of training.

    Also agood rule of thumb:

    Don't do a hard climb more than once a week or your knees will argue back.
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 03-10-11 at 01:09 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    It looks like the scenery should be gorgeous. Since you're giving yourself plenty of time to ramp up, I think you'll have more trouble from wanting to stop for pictures, than from the climb itself.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  7. #7
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Thanks all - Especially Mr Beanz.

    I truly "want" to be a good hill-climber. My area is locked in with various hills and close to some stunning mountain rides (within 50 miles). I need to come up with a plan to progress by attempting different gradients of hills of differnet lengths.
    A recent mixed-belssing is that I contract for a Redmond based "leading software company" and so from next weekend, I am forced to take a 3 month "break of service" until I can return to work for another year. Financially, it sucks but what a great opportunity to get out and start training for this goal. The beauty of cycling is that once you have your bike and kit its relatively cheap to keep rolling.

    Thanks again - I really appreciate all the information.

  8. #8
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I don't use a garmin but many partners do so after a few rides, I know the elevation gains/stats etc.

    Otherwise I use mapmyride.com. Plot a route then hit elevation and it produces a graph. If you didn't know already.

    That's where I get these types of graphs.

    Also allows different views, map/satellite/ hybrid (looks like actual pic but shows street names too, my favorite)

    Like this!


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    I recently attended a prentation on hill-climbing (my biggest weakness) and one of the main points was to publicly announce a goal that is far beyond your comfort zone. So here it is:

    Im presently hovering around 290lbs and hills just kill me. So, I perused the more challenging,local rides, and have decided to tackle this one. I will need to be at least 60lbs lighter and much, much, much stronger on hills.

    116 Miles and 12000ft of climbing - Timed runs - Sept 2012. I figure I will need the time to drop the weight.

    Route:
    http://www.bikemap.net/route/848045

    Details:
    http://shop.cascade.org/content/even...pass-challenge

    Thoughts? Tips? Insanity for a Clyde?

    Thanks!
    Get low enough gears that you don't run into fatigue problems. That might mean a mountain triple on a road ISIS bottom bracket (to get the chain line right).

    Some form of higher intensity training. Perhaps a lot of sweet spot riding. Perhaps a bunch of 10 minute intervals as hard as you can go with 5 minutes of rest between them. Get enough rest days each week, ride easy one out of four weeks, and take an easy month out of every four (specifics will vary, but periodization principles will still apply). You want to increase your one hour threshold power, which will in turn increase the power you can sustain for longer durations (with 60% being about an all-day pace),

    An hour sweet spot ride at 90% which will increase your power puts about as much stress on your body as 2:15 at a 60% endurance pace which won't.
    Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 03-10-11 at 06:02 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Good point Drew - great info!!!


    In the same vein of thought, Mr Beanz - what kind of cassette do you have on your bike (or Gina's) and do you use a doulbe or a triple? I remember on the Chilly Hilly as people streamed passsed me thinking "Wonder what their gearing specs are - am Iat a disadvantage on my stock Roubaix".

    On my Roubaix comp Im running - SRAM OG-1070 cassette, 10-speed 11-28t

    Thanks!

  11. #11
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    Good point Drew - great info!!!


    In the same vein of thought, Mr Beanz - what kind of cassette do you have on your bike (or Gina's) and do you use a doulbe or a triple? I remember on the Chilly Hilly as people streamed passsed me thinking "Wonder what their gearing specs are - am Iat a disadvantage on my stock Roubaix".

    Thanks!

    Hehehe! Gina's bike is a triple with a 12/26 cassette, no modifiations to her Ultegra set up. The set up I us on my Lemond is also an ultegra Triple with a 26 cassette.

    But the bike I use on organized events is a standard 53/39 double crank (no compact) and a 12/25 cassette.

    I train on the Lemond without using the 3 lowest cogs in back that keeps the gear inch combo equal to that of my event bike. So I am used to the standard double.

    I don't have a problem pushing the standard double on 10,000-12,000 foot events but for a new climbing event rider, I'd suggest a compact or a triple.

    My event bike..much stiffer frame/standard double crank and 12/25 cassette


    training/beater bike triple with 12/26 cassette


    121009A by gulpxtreme, on Flickr

    After 9000 ft of climbing on Ride Around the Bear 2 years ago. On the standard crank
    [IMG][/IMG]


    Video while tooling around in the mountains on my standard crank. 3000 ft of climbing in about 13 miles that day. This is on the road/graph I posted above.

    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 03-10-11 at 04:13 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    I can't remember; are you a blue badge, or a red badge?
    Don't believe everything you think.

  13. #13
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    On my Roubaix comp Im running - SRAM OG-1070 cassette, 10-speed 11-28t
    Compact? If you train, lose weight, then no, no disadvantage. Riding the hills is all training.

    You can look into the smallest ring avavilable for the compact front though. I have no idea what it would be, never been interested in a compact.

    If you don't train and prepare well/long enough, then yes, you are at a disadvantage. That is when you have doubts, worry and need to depend on your gears to carry you up the hill.

    All I can say is don't worry about the gearing. Get out there and ride your butt off. After 50 lbs and a huge gain in fitness, you'll figure it out then. Save some money.
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 03-10-11 at 05:03 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    If you want to lose that much weight, then serious interval training combined with a healthy diet is the way to go. Just make sure your heart is in shape - which you should do anyway for a hill climbing program.

  15. #15
    Slacker ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
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    If you want, you can provide some motivation by getting some accountability and putting some money on the line to back it up:

    http://www.stickk.com/

    Read about it here if you like.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    I remember on the Chilly Hilly as people streamed passsed me thinking "Wonder what their gearing specs are - am Iat a disadvantage on my stock Roubaix".
    On a steep enough hill at the same power a 200 pounder will approach 40% faster than you and a 140 pound climber will double your speed. You can only fix that by making more power and/or loosing weight.

    If your gearing is so high that you fatigue (professional racers with half your weight and twice your power use smaller gears in the steep Giro climbs) and you can't maintain the same power output you're going to be even slower and want lower gears.

    This is where you want to be able to do some analysis of the situation. If you ride long intervals at the same heart rate on flats at a self selected cadence, can't do the same intervals on a hill where you're bogging down, and low RPM intervals don't fix it you need lower gears. The specifics _really_ depend on your power output, how your physiology reacts to low RPMs, your weight, the grade in question, whether you need to be fresh for the next day, etc. Training will help on power and low cadence tolerance but there are limits based on how many months you have available and how much time you'll be spending on the bike.

    You can probably go to a 32 or 34 in back which will give you 14 or 21% more RPMs at the same speed. You can't fit a chain ring smaller than 33 teeth on a conventional 110mm BCD compact but you can change that.

    If you still need more you might consider a 50.4mm BCD randonneuring double crankset which will accept inner rings down to a 26, with Velo Orange's Grand Cru shipping with 46/30 with the 30 ring giving you another 13%. You may also be able to use the inner two positions on a triple crank where the 74mm inner BCD allows for rings down to 24T. I haven't a clue how much difference you can run between the two rings before shifting becomes a problem but would definitely want a chain catcher.

    Triples are nice and I want the option if I'm going to be riding in mountains even when light and in shape because it lets me run a tighter cassette for the same over-all range and not want to swap depending on the day's ride. I spent a lot of time in the Colorado Rockies with 50-40-30x13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21, which is the same low gear as 39x27 or 34x24 but with essentially a straight block for fast flat rides.

    Today at 180 pounds (still an extra 30 pounds of fat) and 235W critical power (only six hard months after years of neglect) I'd put a triple crank on with a 13-26 in back if I planned to spend hours on a grade steeper than 6% or an hour past 10%.

    Of course that's not an option for SRAM shifters.
    Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 03-10-11 at 06:04 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Wow - such great information. Thank you all so much. Here's what I have come up with so far:

    With my work schedule, I have been riding 6 mile loops for "keeping my legs" - 3x a week with a long ride (approx 40 miles) at weekend. To BEGIN with I have a route mapped out that will replace the 3x a week ride with a 8 mile, 600ft ride. I know its not much but as Mr Beanz states, I need to start slowly and dont want to shock myself too early. I have been riding 90% flats. Then at weekends I will ride at least 30 miles with at least 2000ft of climbing - no time limit.
    This schedule will be a MINIMUM and the fun starts tomorrow.

    While I am on my 3 month "break" from work (assuming I dont find employment within the 3 months) I intend to perform at least one 50 mile ride duriing the week with elevation TBD.

    Seattle Forrest - I am a "orange" badge - contractor.

    Mr Beanz and Drew - Thank you so much for the time you take to offer me all this information. VERY much appreciate and Mr Beanz, I love the Lemond "beater"

  18. #18
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    I love the Lemond "beater"
    Mee too Haha! I originally paid $1050 for the Lemond. All aluminum, frame snapped on a climb. Trek replaced my 05 Tourmalet frame and fork with an 07 Chambery 3/5 carbon frame ($2100 bike).

    Value of the beater doubled over night!

    Orignal bike and snap!




    Original frame


  19. #19
    Senior Member timmythology's Avatar
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    This was a good read.

    What is the best method of finding roads with elevation gains on them? I have used my garmin to trace routes, and have found two routes that are able to provide about 100' of elevation gain per mile. One is 13 miles with 1200 odd gain, the other is a 30 mile with 2700' of gain.

    Is there an easier way, than just spinning around in circles?

  20. #20
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    Wow - such great information. Thank you all so much. Here's what I have come up with so far:

    With my work schedule, I have been riding 6 mile loops for "keeping my legs" - 3x a week with a long ride (approx 40 miles) at weekend. To BEGIN with I have a route mapped out that will replace the 3x a week ride with a 8 mile, 600ft ride. I know its not much but as Mr Beanz states, I need to start slowly and dont want to shock myself too early. I have been riding 90% flats. Then at weekends I will ride at least 30 miles with at least 2000ft of climbing - no time limit.
    This schedule will be a MINIMUM and the fun starts tomorrow.
    That's not a bad training plan for building endurance metabolism, but it won't work well for losing weight and it doesn't use periodization optimally.

    I'd consider putting some weeks of interval training in. E.g. I'd train by doing a 60s all-out hill sprint and then recover for 120s and repeat ten times. You could train by doing two or three of these a week every other week in month 1, then two weeks solid of these in month 2, and one session per week in month 3. You can also play with the sprint and rest phase durations.

    Intervals work much better than steady state for losing weight - probably because they cause the body to produce more testosterone and HGH (Human Growth Hormone) and they'll raise your power output at the threshold level between aerobic and anaerobic metabolism.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmythology View Post
    This was a good read.

    What is the best method of finding roads with elevation gains on them? I have used my garmin to trace routes, and have found two routes that are able to provide about 100' of elevation gain per mile. One is 13 miles with 1200 odd gain, the other is a 30 mile with 2700' of gain.

    Is there an easier way, than just spinning around in circles?
    How are you doing it with the Garmin?

    There are sites like map my ride, and some lists of good climbing routes, if you ask Google.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Lesper4's Avatar
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    Good information Beanz whether you are a clyde or not. I just have to try and convince my freind and his son to start riding GMR again. And figure out how to explain to my wife that pain and heavy breathing is sucess and accomplishment.

    Somhow, i went from 215lbs at the end of last season to 225lbs now and i beleive i am a better clmber, go figure? I want to hit 199 so bad.

  23. #23
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
    I'd train by doing a 60s all-out hill sprint and then recover for 120s and repeat ten times. You could train by doing two or three of these a week every other week in month 1, then two weeks solid of these in month 2, and one session per week in month 3. You can also play with the sprint and rest phase durations.
    More great information. However, at the moment, I feel I am doing an "all-out" sprint on hills. I have a long road to ride - literally. Thanks for the info, Im excited to get home from work and do my first run

  24. #24
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    I don't do hill repeats. I just pick a route with lots of hills and ride them all as hard as I can without blowing up (as you can probably tell from watching my videos). That seems to work, as I'm getting stronger and stronger. The last strength gain was a pretty big one too.

    Years ago I used to ride one of the local 1/4 mile hills 2 or 3 times. It definitely made me stronger, but it hurt so much that now I climb it at an intensity that keeps the pain below the agonizing level

  25. #25
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lesper4 View Post
    And figure out how to explain to my wife that pain and heavy breathing is sucess and accomplishment.
    If you figure that out, let me know. When I tell non-cyclists that I love to climb they can't understand how anyone could enjoy climbing a hill on a bicycle. Since they don't know what an endorphin high feels like, I have a hard time explaining to them why it is actually fun to climb hills

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