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  1. #1
    Senior Member donrhummy's Avatar
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    Looking to train for multiple mountain stages w/out mountains...

    I'm looking to do a riding trip that has 7 hard mountain rides in a span of 10 days. I have a few problems in training for it:

    1. I have no mountains or even long/tall hills near me
    2. 50% of my time before this trip will be in winter (likely most with snow on the ground), so I'll have to ride inside

    When the weather gets better (i.e. no snow/ice) I can probably drive a long distance to a mountain every week or so.

    So what's the best way to train for this? I know intervals are important but at what levels/durations? How should I progress them? What should my weekly breakdown look like? Would one-leg pedaling help or is it mostly useful for improving form?

  2. #2
    Idiot felt1's Avatar
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    I don't think you can. Because of the O2 drop. Try training while sucking through a straw. J/K I don't know.

  3. #3
    Senior Member donrhummy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by felt1
    I don't think you can. Because of the O2 drop. Try training while sucking through a straw. J/K I don't know.
    LOL. Maybe training while wearing a gas/vapor mask?

  4. #4
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    you can mimic climbing by riding into a stiff headwind. sit up and fight against the wind.

    do you have highway overpasses you can ride on? doing repeats on those can help. are there any hills at all? even just little ones can be repeated.

  5. #5
    Not obese just overweight ratebeer's Avatar
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    There's been good research on this. You're in luck!
    Find a gym. A step trainer (Stairmaster) mimics mountain training very well.

    As for the changes that come with thin air... you'll have to search around. They make tents that go over your bed for this. Viagra has been shown to work (no lie). There's been research on breath holding helping this but I can't seem to get a handle on it.
    Joe

    Veho difficilis, ago facilis

  6. #6
    Senior Member donrhummy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ratebeer
    There's been good research on this. You're in luck!
    Find a gym. A step trainer (Stairmaster) mimics mountain training very well.
    That's a really good suggestion! Thanks, I think I'll try that out when I get a gym membership.

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmhaan
    you can mimic climbing by riding into a stiff headwind. sit up and fight against the wind.

    do you have highway overpasses you can ride on? doing repeats on those can help. are there any hills at all? even just little ones can be repeated.
    +1

    That's how I trained for the Rocky Mountain 1200 and PBP when I lived in Manitoba.

    I would specifically chose routes where I knew I'd be riding into heavy winds. That kind of riding is very similar to riding up long gradual hills. And I would do lots and lots of repeats on overpasses. I'd attack them, standing all the way, moving as fast as I could. I discovered that sort of training helped during steeper bits or as I was getting close to the tops of the hills/mountains.

    I also drove the 150 kms to the nearest hill (a ravine) and did hill repeats there now and then too.


    Oh, and from my experience, the thin air thing isn't nearly as much of a factor as some people think it is. If you were coming from sea level, and going to a place that's well above sea level, and staying in that area to exercise (like athletes did for the Olympics that were held in Mexico City), then I could see there being an effect. But if you're coming from the prairies which is actually quite a bit above sea level (even Winnipeg is 750 ft above), and going to the mountains where you'll be riding up and DOWN mountains, you won't ever be at anything really high for any length of time.

    http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/a...e/a/042004.htm
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  8. #8
    Climbing Fool terrymorse's Avatar
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    Do you have a trainer (the kind you mount your bike on, not the kind you hire)?

    Hill climbing trainer workouts are good. Set the tension high, raise the front wheel, and ride.

    I used trainer sessions earlier this year when the weather was bad and I couldn't ride during the day. It made a big difference in the hills. I did a hill time trial last week and was just shy of my personal best.
    Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours

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    Senior Member donrhummy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrymorse
    Do you have a trainer (the kind you mount your bike on, not the kind you hire)?

    Hill climbing trainer workouts are good. Set the tension high, raise the front wheel, and ride.

    I used trainer sessions earlier this year when the weather was bad and I couldn't ride during the day. It made a big difference in the hills. I did a hill time trial last week and was just shy of my personal best.
    Thanks! Yep, I have a (cheap) mag trainer and a cycle-ops stand for the front wheel. I'll set the tension high, but what gear should I be in? The same as I'd use on an actual hill or should I also change the gear to increase tension?

    Also, did you use intervals or just ride the same time as it would take you on the hill/route?

  10. #10
    Climbing Fool terrymorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donrhummy
    I'll set the tension high, but what gear should I be in? The same as I'd use on an actual hill or should I also change the gear to increase tension?
    Just pick a combination of gearing and tension to get the workout you're looking for. My trainer (Cycleops Fluid) has no tension adjustment, so I use only the gears to set the resistance.

    Quote Originally Posted by donrhummy
    Also, did you use intervals or just ride the same time as it would take you on the hill/route?
    I mix it up. i'll do seated high tension intervals of up to 6 minutes in length, followed by a spin, followed by a standing interval of up to 6 minutes. I use 6 minutes because that's the longest song I have at the right tempo.
    Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours

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    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Get a heavy old MTB, put studded tires on it and plow through the snow...as deep as you can handle it, into the wind as much as possible.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  12. #12
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    I rode with a guy from Dallas on the Bicycle Tour of Colorado a few years ago. We rode about 450 miles in a week, with 32,000 feet of climbing, including two times over the Continental Divide, and one trip to the top of Mt. Evans (14,000+ feet, and the highest paved road in the US).

    Bottom line...with good training, and a "don't give up" attitude, even you flatlanders can climb the big mountains.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member donrhummy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrymorse
    Just pick a combination of gearing and tension to get the workout you're looking for. My trainer (Cycleops Fluid) has no tension adjustment, so I use only the gears to set the resistance.



    I mix it up. i'll do seated high tension intervals of up to 6 minutes in length, followed by a spin, followed by a standing interval of up to 6 minutes. I use 6 minutes because that's the longest song I have at the right tempo.
    Cool, thanks! So training to make it up a 1-2 hour mountain climb can be done with 6-min intervals? I've seen both sides of this represented where some people say shorter intervals will get you prepared fine but others say you need 20-30 min intervals. Any idea of the science behind either?

  14. #14
    NorCal Climbing Freak
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    Quote Originally Posted by donrhummy
    Cool, thanks! So training to make it up a 1-2 hour mountain climb can be done with 6-min intervals? I've seen both sides of this represented where some people say shorter intervals will get you prepared fine but others say you need 20-30 min intervals. Any idea of the science behind either?
    Different interval lengths for different energy systems, and thus different adaptations.

    Someone posted this link in another thread, which seems like a useful summary: http://www.fascatcoaching.com/intervaltypes.html

  15. #15
    Climbing Fool terrymorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donrhummy
    Cool, thanks! So training to make it up a 1-2 hour mountain climb can be done with 6-min intervals? I've seen both sides of this represented where some people say shorter intervals will get you prepared fine but others say you need 20-30 min intervals. Any idea of the science behind either?
    Your aerobic system responds to the stress it's put under. Most of beneficial aerobic adaptations you're looking for develop best under intense exercise, like the kind you get from 6-minute intervals. 20-minute intervals are best for increasing lactate threshold. It's best to do them both.

    What you won't get from intervals is getting used to the position on the bike. Long climbing rides can accumulate several hours of uphill riding. Rasing the front wheel will help some, but nothing's better for long climbs than doing long climbs.
    Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours

  16. #16
    Senior Member donrhummy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrymorse
    Your aerobic system responds to the stress it's put under. Most of beneficial aerobic adaptations you're looking for develop best under intense exercise, like the kind you get from 6-minute intervals. 20-minute intervals are best for increasing lactate threshold. It's best to do them both.

    What you won't get from intervals is getting used to the position on the bike. Long climbing rides can accumulate several hours of uphill riding. Rasing the front wheel will help some, but nothing's better for long climbs than doing long climbs.
    Thanks. Any idea if the benefit increases or is the same if I'm doing Zone 4-5 intervals instead of 3-4 or 2-3? (Assuming I'm getting the proper recovery for each) In other words, is there a point after which the aerobic system won't adapt any further regardless of putting out more intense effort?

  17. #17
    Outgunned and outclassed
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    besides getting used to the position and pedaling for hours on end and all similar factors you can get your training done with intervals in zone 4 and above. Any physiological adaptations found during LSD riding will be found during tempo riding, so feel free to do just L4 and up. much luck
    Patience - Consistency - Motivation

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  18. #18
    old and slow
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    nothing to add I'm just a nut

    Hi all,

    I guess I have my work cut out for me. I just registered for the Triple By Pass and have never even been on a mountain. I started riding when I moved to Holland two years ago. That gives me 5 months on the trainer, in the wind, and on the weights to get ready. I'm going to Arizona on July 1 and can probably get to the Rockies 4 days before the event to try and acclimate to the elevation. Most people think I'm nuts. I live and ride below sea level in a country that is flat as a pancake and will try to go 120 miles with 10,000 ft of elevation gain between 8,000-11,000 ft high. I'm trying to decide if I should take the compact that weighs 15 lbs. with a 13-29 in the back or take the 19 lb. (heavy) triple chainring. Only 1 bike will be on the plane. Is there anything else anyone would suggest I do that hasn't been listed earlier?
    Look 585 Campy Record, Ksyrium ES

  19. #19
    Senior Member donrhummy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donrhummy
    LOL. Maybe training while wearing a gas/vapor mask?
    Funny, but they actually have a device to help you work on this in the UK (and sold online for the US):
    http://www.powerbreathe.com/work.html

    It uses the basic principles of resistance training, with adjustable load which caters for all capabilities and permits progressive training

    'Dumb-bells for your diaphragm' - Just as you might use weights to strengthen your arm muscles, breathing in through POWERbreathe for a few minutes twice daily, makes your inspiratory muscles work harder - thereby increasing their strength and endurance.

    It is an easy-to-use, drug-free, hand-held device with a comfortable mouthpiece. Within a few days your inspiratory muscles will feel stronger and within four weeks your lung function, and ultimately performance, will improve.
    US Online seller:
    http://www.chponline.com/chpstore.as...Product&WCE=48

    No idea if it actually works; if it actually will get your body prepared for high-altitude (i.e. low oxygen) but it actually seems like it has promise. (Likely overkill though)

  20. #20
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    To slick in Holland, I would suggest bringing the compact. I am assuming you have 50-34 in front, and the 29 in back will be plenty good. The steepest climb is around 6%, so you shouldn't have to worry about a low cadence. You may spin out on the downhill sections, but with 3500 of your closest friends in the ride, I would plan on being cautious going downhill.

    I am also riding in the TBP this year. It will be my first time as well. Good luck, and maybe we will run into each other.

  21. #21
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    There was a similar thread a while back:
    Making inroads into long-hill climbing ability

    This guy had a small hill to train on, so it was a little different. Useful reading, anyway.

    I do one-legged pedaling, and find it very important for climbing. It's probably the single most useful thing I do all season. Here's my workout:
    Improving pedaling with a CompuTrainer

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