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Old 06-27-11, 04:53 PM   #1
angel1058
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Training for hills - but without hills...

Hi

I'm fine on the flat and endurance rides ( just did a 77 mile sportive ) no problem. But I can't climb. That's not true, it's not that I can't climb, there's just nothing around here that I think would be classed as a climb. On the sportive, there were fairly long (1 - 2Km) 1 or 2 slopes, but if you don't look up, you don't know you're on them. Admittedly I passed more people on these hills than passed me, but I know, when I hit my October Sportive ( which has some real climbs ) I'm going to struggle.

But I can't really practice. The best I've got, within cycling distance, is a traffic free 1.5km hill that gains approx 44 meters and max slope of 6.3% ( according to google earth - I'm not mathematician) . Is that going to do me any good, intervals, ride up it, turn round, spin back down? I know the techniques - keep repeating until you're 20% slower than when you first attacked it, pick agear, stick with it, spin in a low gear etc.

Or is that not simple not really a hill and just a bump in the road?

I also have a turbo trainer - Tacx VR ( superb in the winter! ) - but that does not compare to being out on the road at all. Just wondering what I can do to help my hill climbing without, well, hills to climb.

Cheers

Angel.

52/34 on the front, 11-25 on the back.
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Old 06-27-11, 05:04 PM   #2
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That 1.5k hill is good for short interval training, which will help when you need to accelerate to hang on to a group or attack a roller, but it's not going to help much for longer grinds. You are better off using a headwind as a hill: turn into the wind, sit up with your hands on the tops or the hoods, and use a big gear to grind into the wind. That will improve your threshhold power, which is key for climbing.
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Old 06-27-11, 05:57 PM   #3
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What kind of hills are you training for? As caloso mentioned above, you need to do longer intervals to improve your threshold power. There isn't any particular magic to climbing, it's simply a matter of improving your power to weight ratio. Also drop some weight if you can.
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Old 06-27-11, 08:56 PM   #4
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I have gotten some noticeable improvement using my rollers and training DVDs. I have lots of hills around but work interferes with my ride time. So doing a 1 hour threshold climb workout or a workout with a mixture of climbs and flats simulations has helped me continue to knock time off real world climbs (according to my GPS data).

As mentioned above you could also start your interval a couple of miles before you get to your real hill using a bigger gear to match your climbing cadence and effort.
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Old 06-28-11, 12:26 PM   #5
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Thanks all for the replies - I will keep nailing that hill - and I like the idea of tackling it early in a lower gear. Formal training hasn't been high on my agenda, so this is all good stuff.

Quick question on threshold power on my turbo. I've just been googling around and bsically, suggests to find my max tp, I go hard at it for 20 minutes. Then do 8 minutes at this, 4 easy both 3 times. Sounds good. But...do I do this in a high gear / low cadence, or middle gear, my normal cadence etc.

I normally ride at 85-90 on the road. So for the 20 minutes do I up the gears and keep this cadence, or up the cadence? Or am I talking ******?
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Old 06-28-11, 01:59 PM   #6
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Find a set of stairs. Place a board on a set of stairs and ride up and down. Find the longest steepest thing you can find. Also on ramps for highways are also good choices.
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Old 06-28-11, 02:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angel1058 View Post
Thanks all for the replies - I will keep nailing that hill - and I like the idea of tackling it early in a lower gear. Formal training hasn't been high on my agenda, so this is all good stuff.

Quick question on threshold power on my turbo. I've just been googling around and bsically, suggests to find my max tp, I go hard at it for 20 minutes. Then do 8 minutes at this, 4 easy both 3 times. Sounds good. But...do I do this in a high gear / low cadence, or middle gear, my normal cadence etc.

I normally ride at 85-90 on the road. So for the 20 minutes do I up the gears and keep this cadence, or up the cadence? Or am I talking ******?
Whatever it takes to keep the highest consistent power output.
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Old 06-28-11, 02:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by I_like_cereal View Post
Find a set of stairs. Place a board on a set of stairs and ride up and down.

... that's a good way to get hurt.
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