I did a ride yesterday totaling 70 miles, during which consisted of a 8 miles stretch of short undulations and rough roads. At the end of the 8 miles there was a 700 feet climb with similar undulations.
Now I can normally do a 70 miles ride with the same amount of total climbing (5k), but gradual ones, without much pain. However that 8 miles yesterday killed my legs. I was feeling the legs were over worked and slight knee pain.
These undulations were very short, it felt like a series of 80 reps of 5-20 seconds on and 2 seconds off interval training. I normally ride in 80 to 90 rpm, but that cadence proofed to be useless against these sharp rises and short pauses, but it was the only way i can get up there.
- how to ride these short undulations? Higher gears?
- if I switch tactics and use higher gears, how do i train for "leg muscle endurance"? Besides riding this route over and over again.
You're "banging your legs." Don't do that. Keep the power on and steady. You start climbing the next rise when you reach the top of the preceding one. Keep the power on and go up through the gears as you go down, then keep the power steady while you go back down through the gears on the way up, with your cadence in your normal range and your butt in the saddle. You might want to get up as you go over the top, as a change-up and to avoid a shift or two, but don't hammer out of the saddle. This method uses more energy overall, because you are wasting energy fighting increasing wind resistance on the way down, but you come out on it overall since the energy is created more efficiently.
You got tired because you were doing anaerobic intervals on each roller. They come so fast that your HR and breathing don't speed up because they are taking the average of your output. But the effort is still anaerobic, so it uses glycogen faster, hurts your muscles more if they're not used to it, and creates lactate. You can train to do these faster by doing 30 to 45 second hill sprints, all out, out of the saddle, in sets of 4-5, with 5 minutes of easy spinning between reps.