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Old 03-30-10, 12:53 PM   #1
random12345
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Training For Hills/Climbing in South Florida?

I've been riding for some time in South Florida without a problem. I want to try and do the Livestrong Challenge this year (Philly, possibly). I'd love to do the full century, but coming from a completely flat terrain to 4000+ ft climbs, I'm afraid I'd be too exhausted to even do much more than the 40. Is there any workout regimens, or places to train in South Florida for climbing at all? All I know of is the Key Biscayne causeway over and over and over.
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Old 03-31-10, 05:38 AM   #2
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I tried to find a route for you, the "Hilly Hundred" is near Tampa. That might make a good weekend trip. There are also a lot of hills in/around Orlando in Clermont. Hills being a relative term. Good luck finding them.
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Old 03-31-10, 06:49 AM   #3
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Maybe you could get a bike trailer and fill it with sandbags.
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Old 03-31-10, 10:20 AM   #4
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You could go to the Florida Freewheelers site and download their map for the Horrible Hundred and do the 70 mile route which has all of the "good" hills. There is nothing really long but there are some short hills that are good enough to train you.

I have ridden in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Montana on mountain passes. My Florida cycling worked fine. Hill climbing for a recreational cyclist is a matter of conditioning, gearing and pacing yourself.
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Old 03-31-10, 11:22 AM   #5
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If I lived in Central Florida, I'd know tons of places as its relatively hilly (compared to the rest of Florida) up there. However, I'm in Miami... a solid 3-4 hour drive (200+ miles) from that area. Was hoping someone knew of any "secret" areas in the South Florida area
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Old 03-31-10, 12:44 PM   #6
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The biggest mounds in Miami are trash mountains.
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Old 03-31-10, 12:55 PM   #7
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adjust a brake so that it rubs non-stop?
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Old 03-31-10, 01:07 PM   #8
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The biggest mounds in Miami are trash mountains.
This is the truth, other than the causeway there is a pretty steep but short hill in Vista View park in Davie. Use to be a landfill, I've done repeats on this, it is steeper then the causeway but a lot shorter.
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Old 04-01-10, 11:20 AM   #9
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Yeah, it is a bit of a haul. I did the Horrible Hundred last year. I had not climbed any hills at all since April. I did fine on that ride. Now I do train on a spin bike during the week and I do time out of the saddle. That kind of training might help out of the saddle climbing.
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Old 04-07-10, 04:52 PM   #10
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There's a guy in the road forum (merlinextralight?) who knows a bit about training for hills in Florida. I'd guess your best bet would be using a trainer with your front wheel propped up on books or something.
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Old 04-10-10, 01:48 PM   #11
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I know in Ft. Lauderdale, people just go up and down the 17th street causeway bridge over and over and over.

Also, the Key Largo to Key West century has a variety of fun bridges. Not terribly steep, but certainly more 'hills' than I encounter day to day in SoFla. From Miami that would be an easy weekend century to do, especially if you had a friend go down in a vehicle so you wouldn't have to do the double to get back! Also: Key West is a fun place to recover.
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Old 04-18-10, 06:32 AM   #12
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I'd raise the front wheel with a couple of climbing blocks.....then do climbing repeat intervals. Overall, I think the ideal is to get in great shape and make sure you work out your climbing muscles. Raising the front wheel allows you to do this. I ride in Clermont quite a bit as well. Other than that there is not too much you can do except get on a plane.
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Old 04-26-10, 02:23 PM   #13
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I'd raise the front wheel with a couple of climbing blocks.....then do climbing repeat intervals. Overall, I think the ideal is to get in great shape and make sure you work out your climbing muscles. Raising the front wheel allows you to do this. I ride in Clermont quite a bit as well. Other than that there is not too much you can do except get on a plane.
While you are on the trainer with front wheel raised add a fan blowing at you so you can practice riding in a head wind.

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Old 05-03-10, 05:36 PM   #14
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+1 Head wind with a fan!
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Old 05-03-10, 05:59 PM   #15
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You can't get the same feel on a trainer. About the best you can do is to go out on the flats, sit up, grab the bar tops, put it in the 53X11, and grind away. You can probably hold 25 in that gear, maybe faster depending on how strong you are. Do 10 minute intervals with 10 minutes rest between, at about 85%-88% of MHR, sets of 3, twice/week. Concentrate on not moving your upper body. Use every leg muscle you have. It should hurt a little. If it doesn't, you've underestimated MHR. This is probably a slower cadence than your preferred climbing cadence, but that's the idea. If you can do this, you can do that.

I suppose you could do the same thing standing. Never tried that for long periods, so can't really advise. If you try it, never allow your chain to go slack.

You can also do stomps: in that same gear, or maybe a lower gear, slow to 10 mph or less, then hit it with everything you got, standing, pulling up as well as pushing down, until you spin that gear up to max. Do repeats with 5 minutes rest. That will improve your power on the short hills.
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Old 05-18-10, 10:03 PM   #16
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I live in North Georgia. Come up here and I will show you some hills.

Florida, what hills?
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Old 05-18-10, 10:21 PM   #17
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For those big mountains with long, steady grades, I use my heart rate monitor to keep my effort in a range I know I can maintain for a long time. That way, I don't blow up on the climbs, and I don't get intimidated by them, either.

Training for a big mountain ride is good motivation to do those intervals, or long rides, or fast group rides. It all helps.

Still, I think that around 200 feet of elevation gain is about the same as an extra mile on the flats. So 4000 feet will be like an extra 20 miles. (see this Bike Calculator and compare calories used for a mile on the flats to the same wattage with a 1 mile 4% grade--about 200 feet elevation gain)

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Old 05-19-10, 10:17 AM   #18
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I live in Pennsylvania, and when you get to Berks County, you are going to be begging for less no matter what you may do between now and then. I would ride every freeway bridge you can find as many itmes as you can, but our grades are quite alot steepr on the backroads than anything you are going to find in Florida.

Just ride alot and remember that climbing is only hard if you are trying to do it faster than someone else

find a gear you can spin, accept that you are on strange roads in a strange land, and don't try and stay with the locals on Hill Rd
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