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  1. #1
    draftn your wheelz waysidekoi's Avatar
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    pumping hills or spinning flats?

    I've only been riding for a month and a half or so with about 200 miles under my belt, but i defintely want to climb harder and ride faster.

    I have a few routes nearby that have varied combinations of hills. One route has an ascent from 360ft to 663ft which I struggle to keep an even cadence with, while the other routes are flatter with gradual inclines. Should I be riding the higher ascent route more often until I can climb it consistently without struggle or should I go for sustaining top speeds on the route that is flatter? These routes range from 15mi - 20mi in distance.

    Which routine would allow me to become stronger and faster? And should I be riding these every day?

  2. #2
    Senior Member TexasKid's Avatar
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    My opinion, FWIW, is: Both

    Assuming you're in pretty good cardiovascular shape:

    1. Ride every other day.
    2. One day, concentrate on climbing - ride as hard and fast up the hill as you can, over and over. As you get stronger over the days and weeks, increase resistance.
    3. Next time you ride, two days later, ride the flat or almost flat route, at your target mph goal, for x amount of minutes.
    4. Get in more miles. Ride long distances - ride 30 miles every non-climbing day. Once a week, try to ride 50 or 60 miles, or for 4 hours. 200 miles in 6 weeks is not enough.
    5. Be patient and have fun. You will see small gains right away.
    6. Buy a large bottle of Ibuprofin.

    If you're not in good cardiovascular shape, I'd ride every day and do more spinning in lower gears than mashing.

    Good luck. Please share your progress with us. We've all been there.
    Last edited by TexasKid; 09-07-08 at 10:33 PM.

  3. #3
    draftn your wheelz waysidekoi's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply Texas, I will definitely train with the combination of the routes then. On climbing days, should I just do hill intervals, repeating one hill over and over? or is it better to ride the entire route which would consist of small hills and the one big climb?

    There is a 62mi group event coming up in two weeks which I will now seriously prepare for. I have been doing 40mi rides every sunday for the past three weeks so I want to make sure that I will be able to handle the 62mi as well. No guts, no glory

  4. #4
    Senior Member TexasKid's Avatar
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    If you have more hills to do, go ahead and ride all of them instead of doing one over and over. Just know that, to get stronger on the steep one's, you gotta do them. They will get easier. I was suggesting every other day riding because, as you know, you have to have some recovery time to build muscle. Otherwise you're just tearing them down. I'm not an exercise physiologist or anything, but I'm sure that climbing hills makes muscles and lungs work a little different than riding a long flat course.

    If you've been riding 40, 62 won't be a big deal. The fact that you're been doing 40 gives you an idea of how you feel at 40, and you know you can do it. You are mentally prepared for the 62, and that is a lot of the challenge. Just look at it like three 20 mile rides. Before I did my first 100 mile ride, I did a 62 so I'd know what to expect. I would not have even attempted it otherwise. As it was, after I hit 80 miles, I crawled the last 20. It was a real MF. Are you riding solo or do you intend to ride with others like a team where you're lined up? If solo, try to get on someone's wheel here and there. If they get away, look for another one. That's another good thing about the large group rides - the atmosphere is fun and exciting, and you will tend to push yourself. You'll be hauling ass the first 10 miles like you're in the Tour de France! Don't get discouraged when you hit a few hills, just keep mashing. Know that there are others out there suffering, too! Have a great time! Take that number you get home and stick on the bathroom mirror so your significant other can see it. You stud!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member MrCrassic's Avatar
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    I think that spinning up the climbs help for endurance (i.e., if the climb is extra long), but hammering them helps for shorter ones. On longer climbs, I concentrate on cadence and on the shorter ones, I concentrate on maximizing power-to-weight ratio.
    Ride more.

    Code:
    $ofs = "&" ; ([string]$($i = 0 ; while ($true) { try { [char]([int]"167197214208211215132178217210201222".substring($i,3) - 100) ; $i =
     $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces

  6. #6
    Zan
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    you need to do more volume. the advice i'd give to you is: doesn't really matter what you ride, just make sure you ride it "properly". don't be hitting those hills with your feet spinning at 50rpm. keep it between 80 - 110rpm. if you have to drop gear for the hills, then do it. you'll slow down... fine! most people slow down on the hills anyways... but first, increase your volume.

    how much is good? depends on where you want to be. to most people here on BF 30km/day would be a "little" amount, but to you it's "big." i personally try to get 30-40km/day taking in maybe 2 rest days a week. then again i'm young and have a great ability to "bounce back."

    might be a bit much for a beginner, no worries. at the beginning of the season (without riding at all during the winter) i started with my 14km loop and worked up from there.

    up to you.
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

  7. #7
    draftn your wheelz waysidekoi's Avatar
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    I'm definitely going to get more miles under my tires.. what do you think is a competitive number to shoot for in terms of miles per month? At this point I have been mostly riding during the weekend and working out during the weeks, but I'm going to incorporate more miles during the week.

    I know that the number of miles someone can do varies from person to person, but I am healthy enough that I know my body can handle it. I've been doing about 70mi/wk.. should I aim for a higher number?

  8. #8
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waysidekoi View Post
    I'm definitely going to get more miles under my tires.. what do you think is a competitive number to shoot for in terms of miles per month? At this point I have been mostly riding during the weekend and working out during the weeks, but I'm going to incorporate more miles during the week.

    I know that the number of miles someone can do varies from person to person, but I am healthy enough that I know my body can handle it. I've been doing about 70mi/wk.. should I aim for a higher number
    ?
    I think time is a more important variable than miles, unless you're training for a ride or race that's a specific distance. If you're riding for pleasure and fitness, determine how much time you have, then ride as hard as you can for that length of time. If you're riding for one hour, you'll go a lot faster (or do more hills) than you will do on a two hour ride.

    If you like riding, you'll ride as much as you can and try not to neglect your job and family/relationship.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  9. #9
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasKid View Post
    If you have more hills to do, go ahead and ride all of them instead of doing one over and over. Just know that, to get stronger on the steep one's, you gotta do them. They will get easier. I was suggesting every other day riding because, as you know, you have to have some recovery time to build muscle. Otherwise you're just tearing them down. I'm not an exercise physiologist or anything, but I'm sure that climbing hills makes muscles and lungs work a little different than riding a long flat course.
    I can see taking it a little easy the day after an especially difficult ride, but I think it's OK to ride every day. For one thing, you're not really building much muscle by cycling--ay least not after the first few weeks.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  10. #10
    Zan
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    Quote Originally Posted by waysidekoi View Post
    I'm definitely going to get more miles under my tires.. what do you think is a competitive number to shoot for in terms of miles per month? At this point I have been mostly riding during the weekend and working out during the weeks, but I'm going to incorporate more miles during the week.

    I know that the number of miles someone can do varies from person to person, but I am healthy enough that I know my body can handle it. I've been doing about 70mi/wk.. should I aim for a higher number?
    I'm not that great of a rider, i'll admit it. I'm definitely stronger and faster than the average person (person, not rider), but i'm not that fast on the bike. don't get me wrong, though - i'm not horrible.

    I've been trying to ride 30-40km/day, 6days/week. ... that works out to be about 800ish km a month... or for you, my american friend, 500 miles. as i said, i'm not that great, either. if you want to be competitive you'll have to ride more.
    -- Zan

    "Every dog needs a squeak toy."

  11. #11
    Senior Member s4one's Avatar
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    Ride everyday.
    Burnt slicks

  12. #12
    Senior Member TexasKid's Avatar
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    I rode everyday for awhile, but felt like I was making more strides with strength and stamina by riding hard and far every other day (not to mention giving my legs and posterior a break). But that's just me. I also had to balance my time with other responsibilities... family, yard work, job, guitar!

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