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  1. #1
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    Hill Climbing Training

    I have two centuries coming up that have a tremendous amount of hill climbing involved. One is 8,000 feet, the other is 12,000 feet.

    Wanted to get ideas for a training program to help prepare for this. I currently am riding around 120 miles a week on average, we live in an area that has a lot of hills. I also cross train with some weight training, treadmill work and pilates.

    I have never done this difficult of a Century, I have only done Tucson (which was relatively flat) and Solvang (which had 2 relatively mild - moderate hills).

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Laura (Redlands, CA)

  2. #2
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    Continue doing hill work. Plan to do at least one ride a week or so in advance of the Century which covers 75-80% of both the distance and climbing that you'll being doing on the day of your Century.
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  3. #3
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    I have done long centuries with lots of climbing before and you need to prepare yourself for the climbing involved.. One of the betters places to ride which is just an hour west of you is a road called Glendora Mtn Ridge road.. It is a well traveled climb that has about 18 miles of steady climbing.. This road traverses from Glendora and ends at Mt. Baldy road.. The entire ride is about 40 miles round trip.. This is one of the best long steady climbs in So Cal and not too many cars.. I would say the grade is between 6-8%, only 2 short downhills..

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    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lnomura
    I have two centuries coming up that have a tremendous amount of hill climbing involved. One is 8,000 feet, the other is 12,000 feet.

    Wanted to get ideas for a training program to help prepare for this. I currently am riding around 120 miles a week on average, we live in an area that has a lot of hills. I also cross train with some weight training, treadmill work and pilates.

    I have never done this difficult of a Century, I have only done Tucson (which was relatively flat) and Solvang (which had 2 relatively mild - moderate hills).

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Laura (Redlands, CA)
    Which rides are you doing ??? Ride Around the Bear ? Santiago Cycling's Breathless agony ?

    as far as hills go... just find the longest nastiest hills you can, and just keep working at them... Try going up to Big Bear, and riding at Altitude up there... Hills suck... especially at altitude... but the more you train on hills, the better you will be at them

    jeff
    Jeff

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    Quote Originally Posted by SipperPhoto
    Which rides are you doing ??? Ride Around the Bear ? Santiago Cycling's Breathless agony ?

    as far as hills go... just find the longest nastiest hills you can, and just keep working at them... Try going up to Big Bear, and riding at Altitude up there... Hills suck... especially at altitude... but the more you train on hills, the better you will be at them

    jeff
    Jeff - Yes those are the two. Are you familiar with them? I will be doing both for the first time. Last weekend we did the 75 Tour of the Canyons and climbed Oak Glen. From what people are telling me we need to climb multiple hills in one day to train.

  6. #6
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    In addition to the good training advice you've been give above, be very careful to take in sufficient fluids and food during the century rides. It's especially important that you take in enough salt to replace what you'll sweat out, and enough food that you don't bonk. Even if the ride organizers are providing rest stops, I highly recommend bringing 2 or 3 gels. I normally throw down a PowerGel just before the start of a big climb - the combination of quick carbs and caffeine gives me a physical and psychological boost that helps get me up the hill.

    Also, use your heart rate monitor, and don't start out too fast. It's very tempting to latch on to a 24 mph paceline early in the ride, but if there's a bunch of climbing ahead, you might very well regret it.

    Good luck!
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    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lnomura
    Jeff - Yes those are the two. Are you familiar with them? I will be doing both for the first time. Last weekend we did the 75 Tour of the Canyons and climbed Oak Glen. From what people are telling me we need to climb multiple hills in one day to train.
    I am familiar with them.. although I have never done them... need to get the legs in better shape for some killer climbs like that... I here they are fun, but a lot of work

    Santiago cycling is about 3 miles from my house... I know they run clinics out out there on hill climbing, mostly jsut to prepare for the ride

    jeff
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  8. #8
    Senior Member vixen2yall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalrider
    I have done long centuries with lots of climbing before and you need to prepare yourself for the climbing involved.. One of the betters places to ride which is just an hour west of you is a road called Glendora Mtn Ridge road.. It is a well traveled climb that has about 18 miles of steady climbing.. This road traverses from Glendora and ends at Mt. Baldy road.. The entire ride is about 40 miles round trip.. This is one of the best long steady climbs in So Cal and not too many cars.. I would say the grade is between 6-8%, only 2 short downhills..
    be careful on that road on the weekends. the local kids love taking their cars down it as fast as they can and they aren't the safest drivers. i've known a few people who took their car off the side and didn't make it home alive. i'd say best day/times for that road is monday/thursday during school hours, when all the local kiddies are in class. it's been a few years sense i was there but i'm sure the highschool drivers haven't improved. it's a beautiful road though. just be carefull out there.

    best of luck
    kat

  9. #9
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Put panniers on your bike. Load them up with heavy books/rocks. Start climbing! Put in lotsa miles like that.
    Day of the rides (minus panniers) you will climb better than ever!
    P.S. Have done 22,000 ft of climbing in 3 days on the Answer to the Challenge in central/northern Arizona, on our tandem.
    Go girl, you can do it!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    Put panniers on your bike. Load them up with heavy books/rocks. Start climbing! Put in lotsa miles like that.
    Day of the rides (minus panniers) you will climb better than ever!
    P.S. Have done 22,000 ft of climbing in 3 days on the Answer to the Challenge in central/northern Arizona, on our tandem.
    Go girl, you can do it!
    No offense, but the idea of improving your climbing by training with weight added on your bike is an old one...and, one that is generally discredited.

    Climbing effectively is about training your cardiovascular system to handle the stress, and learning how to manage your energy reserves so you don't blow up before the summit. Adding weight to your bike does nothing but make your training rides slower. It won't help you work on finding your optimum cadence, nor will it help you to get a feel for which gear you should be using for the grade you are climbing.

    Also, rides with lots of climbing usually have a lot of descending...this requires training too, and training for downhills with a loaded bike is not a good idea either.

    If the "added weight" training technique was effective in improving climbing, you would expect that pro riders would do this. But, they don't, because it doesn't work.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member nhorscro's Avatar
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    Yes those are the two. Are you familiar with them? I will be doing both for the first time. Last weekend we did the 75 Tour of the Canyons and climbed Oak Glen. From what people are telling me we need to climb multiple hills in one day to train.
    I've never done the Ride Around the Bear but my club is the organizer and I'll be working at rest-stop 5. From what I have heard most of the climbing is in the first 40 miles or so. Since you are in Redlands I would suggest you try to ride those first 40 miles a few times. I don't know your fitness level so you may want to start out going for less than 40 and then just turning around and rolling back to Redlands.

    Here's the profile for the ride, showing that it is basically one very big hill!!

    http://www.caltriplecrown.com/Centuries/Bear.htm

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