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  1. #1
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Hermes is really the Herminator!!

    Finally got out to do a little riding today.......it's a little chilly in NC but sunny......lower 40's with a little breeze. I have the traditional 20 lbs of clothing on .........I was only able to squeeze in about 4 hours sleep.

    At the outset, my heart rate was doing it's "elevator to the top floor" routine due to the extra busy week, the lack of sleep, the colder temps, the heavy set of wheels plus the lack of saddle time recently.

    Anyway, I had read about Hermes telling us about his coach instructing him to do some climbing in the big ring. Not sure why I started trying it, but after a little warm up every hill I came do I went to a harder gear, stayed in the big ring and just mashed. I wasn't trying to race to the top of a hill-just get to the top without toppling over.

    While we don't have lots of hills, there were a LOT more hills than I remembered. My goodness, my HR was spiking very easily and eventually my legs were like overcooked noodles...........My goodness what a workout, I didn't know you could sweat so much at those temps!!

    Those 50 miles felt more like 100!! What other great ideas did your coach tell you Herminator!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    When life's stresses weigh heavy I try to cope with not less than 2 rides per week. I can usually fit in at least 3 one hour sessions. A trainer is one of my Christmas presents.

    Hermes (and others) are setting a higher standard than I can only dream of (wish for?).

  3. #3
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    How funny - I was thinking about the "big ring" thread today, too, while climbing a fairly large hill today (in the rain) spinning in a low gear as usual. Heart rate was pretty elevated.

    I was thinking, I'm working pretty hard already, what was it that Hermes' coach would say to me?

    Oh yeah, "grab the big ring."

    So then I thought if somebody was to yell at me right now to shift into the big ring I would tell him to #@%^ing well jump on my bike and turn the #@#$%&ing pedals himself.


    I guess I need to HTFU...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    From what I have learned, overgear intervals/climbing forces you to pedal in circles in order to keep moving. It takes the same amount of watts to ride at the same speed regardless of a cadence of 95 or 65. While riding at a cadence of 95 it is possible to mostly use the downstroke to move the bike due to momentum. At a low cadence you need too use all 4 parts of the pedal stroke to keep the bike moving at a constant speed. If the rider is not used to a "round pedal stroke" riding at the lower cadence, with resistance, will fatigue muscles that are not as conditioned as the quads that normally do most of the work. Big gear riding forces the rider to use the hip flexors to 'push over the top", "push down" with the quads, use hamstrings to "scrape mud off the shoe", and "un-weight the leg" on the upstroke.

  5. #5
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    I warned you guys about being old enough to try these. But I knew you would try it.

    A subtle but no so subtle point is that one is supposed to spin not mash. Now granted this drill drives one to mash but the idea is to strengthen the muscles throughout the entire pedal stroke.

    We did the same workout today and I had to go all the way up in the big ring. As I was descending from my second climb, the P/1/2 guys were on their way up for their third repeat. Today, we had about 20 people show up for the workout. It is great to have others suffering with us and yelling encouragement. It was 45 degrees at the start and 55 when we finished.

    We are in the strength / power training phase of this cycle and we will segue-way to base in a couple of weeks to begin to turn the increased strength into usable power.

    Here is the profile...45 miles with 4100 feet of climbing (altimeter).

    Last edited by Hermes; 12-08-08 at 08:02 AM.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  6. #6
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post
    Finally got out to do a little riding today.......it's a little chilly in NC but sunny......lower 40's with a little breeze. I have the traditional 20 lbs of clothing on .........I was only able to squeeze in about 4 hours sleep.

    At the outset, my heart rate was doing it's "elevator to the top floor" routine due to the extra busy week, the lack of sleep, the colder temps, the heavy set of wheels plus the lack of saddle time recently.

    Anyway, I had read about Hermes telling us about his coach instructing him to do some climbing in the big ring. Not sure why I started trying it, but after a little warm up every hill I came do I went to a harder gear, stayed in the big ring and just mashed. I wasn't trying to race to the top of a hill-just get to the top without toppling over.


    While we don't have lots of hills, there were a LOT more hills than I remembered. My goodness, my HR was spiking very easily and eventually my legs were like overcooked noodles...........My goodness what a workout, I didn't know you could sweat so much at those temps!!

    Those 50 miles felt more like 100!! What other great ideas did your coach tell you Herminator!!
    When I shift to big ring for the second repeat, I find my speed to be about the same or less which means the same or lower power output since I am fatigued. My heart rate was a little lower.

    I'll be back.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  7. #7
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    A subtle but no so subtle point is that one is supposed to spin not mash. Now granted this drill drives one to mash but the idea is to strengthen the muscles throughout the entire pedal stroke.
    I will have to admit that I was using a good bit of the pedal stroke while climbing. I found myself really pulling through at the bottom and the upstroke.......out of necessity. And like AJ mentioned, the muscles in my legs that felt the most tired were probably those that don't get the same workout sitting in the saddle and spinning. Interesting.

    But my objective for the ride started out just to enjoy the cooler day and see some sights. Little did I know it was going to turn into such a workout.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Hermes,

    I've never seen a hill profile as steady as the one on your climb. Is it an engineered road or just a rouge mountain with no dips and humps? Most every hill I ride has a spot somewhere that I can take a little break even if it's for 10 seconds.

  9. #9
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    Hermes,

    I've never seen a hill profile as steady as the one on your climb. Is it an engineered road or just a rouge mountain with no dips and humps? Most every hill I ride has a spot somewhere that I can take a little break even if it's for 10 seconds.
    Good observation. There are no flat spots, dips or breaks. No, it is not engineered. It is a curvy curvy narrow old road that meanders through the redwoods up Skyline Ridge which sits on the San Andreus Fault. There is a spot where it narrows to one lane as it passes between two redwood trees. There are switchbacks that spike to 20% grade. There are a few residences on the road but very little traffic. It is typical for climbs up Skyline not to have any flat spots. So, this climb is perfect for training and to take a group to do hill repeats.

    The other interesting thing is that it is the benchmark climb for the area so everyone (who climbs it) knows their OLH time. Some clubs grade their rides based upon OLH times.
    Last edited by Hermes; 12-09-08 at 12:52 PM.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  10. #10
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    It looks to be about 4 miles long-is that about right? What does it average? (too lazy to od the math)

  11. #11
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post
    It looks to be about 4 miles long-is that about right? What does it average? (too lazy to od the math)
    From my Garmin with altimeter and wheel based distance measurement... 3.3 miles long gaining 1328 feet or 7.6% grade
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  12. #12
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    Just looking at that profile makes my legs hurt.

  13. #13
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Thinking about riding that route in the big ring I wonder if this thread wouldn't be more appropriately titled " Hermes is really the Herniator!!
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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