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  1. #1
    Dancing on the Pedals Corsaire's Avatar
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    Last week I went for a club ride of 72 miles (hilly), I'm a runner who has uptaken biking to ease up on my knees, so aerobic capacity is not my problem. Although is my first long ride of this nature, I never had any struggle on the short uphills (1 or 2 blocks long), but on this ride my climbs slowed down to a snail pace on a 4.5 mile uphill (45-50 RPM), I wasn't prepared for an uphill that long! fact is: I finished it w/o stopping but had no choice but to resort to my "granny" gear and let everyone pass me, being 160 lbs this wasn't funny, to see all these bigger guys even with pot bellies go up the long hill faster and more efficiently than me, mind you they had no "granny" gears, just the usual two. There were at least three of this on the route, although I feel proud after finish it, not so with the way I felt afterwards: very tigh Rectus Fermoris muscles (flexors) and sluggish legs/kind of crampy for few days, plus a hurt ego.

    It's evident that I need POWER in my legs, how do I accomplish this?

    Should I need to do squads./ weight training....?

    Any suggestions ?

    Corsaire

  2. #2
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    In my experience, distance running saps your low end power. If you do squats, your endurance on hills that long could fall to pieces. Try doing alot of climbing, that is probably your best bet.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corsaire
    Last week I went for a club ride of 72 miles (hilly), I'm a runner who has uptaken biking to ease up on my knees, so aerobic capacity is not my problem. Although is my first long ride of this nature, I never had any struggle on the short uphills (1 or 2 blocks long), but on this ride my climbs slowed down to a snail pace on a 4.5 mile uphill (45-50 RPM), I wasn't prepared for an uphill that long! fact is: I finished it w/o stopping but had no choice but to resort to my "granny" gear and let everyone pass me, being 160 lbs this wasn't funny, to see all these bigger guys even with pot bellies go up the long hill faster and more efficiently than me, mind you they had no "granny" gears, just the usual two. There were at least three of this on the route, although I feel proud after finish it, not so with the way I felt afterwards: very tigh Rectus Fermoris muscles (flexors) and sluggish legs/kind of crampy for few days, plus a hurt ego.

    It's evident that I need POWER in my legs, how do I accomplish this?

    Should I need to do squads./ weight training....?

    Any suggestions ?

    Corsaire
    You need to not automatically assume that proficiency at running means proficiency in cycling. Muscles in one sport are used differently than the other. I college I could bike for hours at a time (my heart at a steadyn 140 bpm), but when I took rugby, I would get winded running down the field for short periods.

    Climb more hills, practice at keeping your cadence up (yes in your granny gear) and work up to using higher gears when you go up. It will not come overnight.
    I . . can . . . doooo . . . it

  4. #4
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    Ride alot of hills consistently. Work on the hills with different gear ratios, standing up pedaling, spinning fast, spinning slow, finding a comfortable pace, and all that jazz.

  5. #5
    Senior Member CycleFreakLS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corsaire
    evident that I need POWER in my legs, how do I accomplish this?
    Climb more hills. There is no substitute for the real thing.

    There's a small hill down here in Orange County that's fairly common to riders. A fellow roadie, the first time she climbed it, could only muster 6-7 mph. It is a 2 mi climb with sections no more than 9%. 2 years later, she can climb it at 11 (9% section) up to 14+. And it is all spinning power. As the gradient eases up, we will try to run the cadence into the high 80s, sometimes low 90s.

    Always mix it up: [a] sitting or standing and [b] hoods, drops, or top flats (of the handlebar). Sometimes (while seated), slide forward in the saddle just a smidge and concentrate on snapping your legs from 10 to 2 (pulling) while the other leg pushes. Do NOT ever MASH your way up a hill.

    I always try to change positions frequently as it does cause different muscles to get used.
    Keep climbing; you'll improve.
    Best.

  6. #6
    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    Cyclefreak,

    Which hill? Is it Newport Coast? That's one of the tougher OC climbs... not gonna kill ya... but defintiely a workout

    jeff
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  7. #7
    Senior Member CycleFreakLS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SipperPhoto
    Is it Newport Coast? That's one of the tougher OC climbs...
    Yes, the one I was talking about is Newport Coast, but I don't think it is that difficult. The other South County routes that I consider more difficult, like the people outside southern CA really care ... , are:

    Spyglass Hill, El Capitan, Vista Ridge, Ridgepark, Pacific Island Drive

    And for good measure, the ones in Palos Verdes (south "knob" of LA county, where Marineland used to be) are:

    Via Del Monte, Granvia Altamira, Highridge, Whitley Collins
    Via Coronel, Via Zumaya, Via Fernandez
    Palos Verdes Drive S, Crest Rd
    Palos Verdes Drive W, Silver Spur, Montemalaga, (back to) Granvia Altamira

    and of course ... Sunnyridge (a lungbuster where I do need to bail to a 39-25 ... or I'm dead).

    Best.

  8. #8
    bikin'barbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by duracann
    If you do squats, your endurance on hills that long could fall to pieces. .
    Could you explain to me why you say this? I have been doing a lot of squats in the gym and now I am wondering if this could hurt me in the long run.

  9. #9
    Dancing on the Pedals Corsaire's Avatar
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    I've discovered that it was really my lower back holding me up, I have a bacd back and that 4.5 mile climb left my lower back very sore, no strong (injured) lower back=
    no climbing power, I guess.

    Corsaire

  10. #10
    What's this bit do, then?
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    Corsaire, I have a bad lower back and the same trouble with hills ... you have my sympathy. What I've been doing is for the last ten weeks I've been going out every Sunday morning and doing hills. Big hills, long hills, lots of hills. Takin' my time, not worrying about cadence, speed, heart rate, whatever, just spinning easy up hills. Gradually my back is getting stronger (I can do a sit-up now for the first time in twenty years), the hills are getting easier (not easy, just easier), and I'm nothing like as sore when I'm done. Oh, and stretch before and after. Seriously.

    Keep pedaling and g'luck,

    Jen

  11. #11
    mouse miles305's Avatar
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    i'm also a distance runner that bikes. running doesn't use you're quads as much. i've ridden with one of my crosscountry teammates who kills me running up hill. he runs a 4:13 mile but has puny quads and i can drop him on any climb. it just takes a while to build up cycling specific muscles.
    The bicycle truly is man's noblest invention!

  12. #12
    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    I thought you might have been tlaking about Newport Coast... it's a tough hill.. but not nearly as bad as a lot of people make it out to be.. PID, and Spyglass are much worse... so is Bake to Glenn Ranch up near Santiago Canyon... it just wears me out

    jeff
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  13. #13
    Dancing on the Pedals Corsaire's Avatar
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    I guess hills are not so bad as long as they not too long. I get into trouble (quad muscle not quite conditioned) when the hill prolongs to more than 1/2 mile. It's so frustrating to feel aerobically capable but your legs become cinder blocks, arghhh! ...and just because of that starts affecting your breathing too....what I think I need is looong hills.....over a mile, training that is.

    Corsaire

    Sparrow...thanks for the advice, I've been doing just that, stretching like a maniac, hopefully the soreness will go away and start climbing much better, can't train yet the way I'd like to because I'd make it even more sore.....oh well
    Last edited by Corsaire; 08-16-04 at 01:25 PM.

  14. #14
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    As far as squats: try front squats, holding the bar on your shoulders in front of your neck with your elbows out front (I use olympic bar and 25's), hands crossed grasping the bar. Keep your knees together, squat (use a block behind heels if needed) to parallel only...and come up slowly to almost lockout, repeat for 15 to 20 reps, and then do 3 sets to start and work up to 4 sets. You will be out of breath by rep 10 but force the last 5, even 10 if you can, but always maintain good form, strict form (use a mirror if possible). Keep looking up and forward, and don't drop the bar down and don't bounce at bottom. You can then do leg extensions after and leg curls also for a complete leg workout.

  15. #15
    Dancing on the Pedals Corsaire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VintageSteve
    As far as squats: try front squats....
    Unfortunately for me free weight squads are out of the question because of my lower back problem, I've found machines (even though it's not the same I know) are easier on my spine. some kind of weight training definitely helps as long as it doesn't compress my spine, for me anyway.

    Corsaire

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Also you need to keep your stomach strong, especially if you have a weaker back. Do stomach crunches, maybe bent-leg raises from the floor, and do this for 10 min.+ Maybe you can do seated twists holding a stick, for 5 min. also.
    When you strengthen your stomach, you will provide support for your upper body, and your legs, and it will help when you ride.
    My back will start hurting when I don't ride for a couple of days, and a few years ago I started doing the abdominal exercises and I think it helps overall.

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