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Old 06-24-12, 02:14 PM   #1
rdtompki
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Making best use of climbing as training

My only incentive is to get stronger and faster as I get older. Never going to race, but I believe if you're going to do something physical you ought to try to improve. At my age (66) some tread remains!

I'm riding with a 50-34, 11-32 cassette. On today's solo ride there was one significant climb, 3 miles with a 2 mile stretch that varied from 9.5% to 12+%. I could get up this climb ok, but in my lowest gear I was strength limited at about 60 rpm and couldn't get my HR above 130 bpm or so. I'd be at 150 bpm on the tandem and I don't think we could make it up this hill

My question is this - I can climb with the 34-32 combination, but would the training effect be better in a lower gear to better balance cardio and strength? I could easily put on an 11-36 for serious climbs or change to a triple.

I also recognize that intervals would be the best training regimen, but I just find I get more satisfaction out of climbing something.

BTW, took me 28 minutes to do the 3.1 mile climb so I've got lots of room for improvement. Still, i'm pleased in having gotten up given we did 35 miles on the tandem the day prior.
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Old 06-24-12, 04:05 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
I could get up this climb ok, but in my lowest gear I was strength limited at about 60 rpm and couldn't get my HR above 130 bpm or so. I'd be at 150 bpm on the tandem and I don't think we could make it up this hill
I am unfamiliar with this problem

Whenever I am climbing, if I push it at all my HR gets up into the 170's. I am 5'9 and 230 though...

As far as the heart rate zones go - I am using my max ave HR that I derive from an 8 minute time trial effort. For details, see Chris Carmichael's Time Crunched Cyclist Training Program.
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Old 06-24-12, 04:16 PM   #3
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1) compromise... get a bailout gear of 34T.

2) if you want to get better at climbing, and you can't climb every couple of days, perhaps
you should consider a training program.

http://www.gravleefitness.com/Gym_Ha...e_cycling.html
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Old 06-24-12, 04:48 PM   #4
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1) compromise... get a bailout gear of 34T.

2) if you want to get better at climbing, and you can't climb every couple of days, perhaps
you should consider a training program.
I'm already considering getting both a 12-27 and 11-36, but I'm going to compare the steps in my current 11-32 and both the 11-34 and 11-36. 11-34 is probably the way to go and should enable me to nudge my HR up a bit. I can climb twice a week or so. I've got a 25 mile R/T up a dead end ranch road; I think the toal climbing is 2600' so it's a good workout to say the least. Just need 3 days or so for recovery.

I definitely need to get stronger for climbing double-digit grades on the tandem;
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Old 06-24-12, 05:05 PM   #5
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One of the things I do is deadlifts with bands.

cycling works the front, deadlifts work the back, hamstrings, butt..

I do a lot of other exercises with them, but that's an option if you get one (I have 3).

http://www.performbetter.com/webapp/...splayErrorView

Get the 1 3/4 inch size, I have two of those. When you start using multiple bands, the biggest one is very awkward.

When I get them, I find the seam, and cut it.

You just stand on the band, and do a deadlift. You start with your hands at the end, and as you warm
up, slide them down until they get at, or close, to your ankles.

Keep your head up.

This is another good one (works with bands)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7DBE...feature=relmfu
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Old 06-24-12, 07:23 PM   #6
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IME low cadence = low HR. You just can't put out the watts at a low cadence. You'd be slightly faster with lower gearing and get better training. I'm sure it's possible to train so as to put at more watts at low cadences, but few of us have any reason to do so.

Also IME the way to get stronger on the tandem is distance. Something like 80 miles with 5000' of climbing every summer weekend will stimulate the system. The lowest hanging fruit is usually stoker strength. Most of us who have been riding for many years are doing well if we can get 5% stronger in any one season. There's usually more room for improvement in our stokers unless they are equally experienced. Also, at our age, we are fighting the drop-off. Every year we are potentially slower. So the faster an older team can ramp up, the more likely is success at any particular biking endeavor. It's now pass-riding season in the PNW. Next weekend we're doing Rainy Pass. The weekend after, Sunrise. Then the Paradise-Skate Creek loop. Weather permitting of course! Come on up!

Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 06-24-12 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 06-24-12, 09:32 PM   #7
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I am unfamiliar with this problem

Whenever I am climbing, if I push it at all my HR gets up into the 170's. I am 5'9 and 230 though...
I'm also unfamiliar with this problem. The highest heart rate I've seen in the last month was achieved when pedaling at 4.8 mph up a 16% incline.
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Old 06-25-12, 12:35 AM   #8
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Were you still fatigued from the previous day? when my HR gets "stuck" it is almost invariably because I have not recovered properly from hard efforts n the preceding days.
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Old 06-25-12, 07:15 AM   #9
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Were you still fatigued from the previous day? when my HR gets "stuck" it is almost invariably because I have not recovered properly from hard efforts n the preceding days.
Perhaps a bit. I certainly would have been faster if my legs had been fresher and that would have raised my HR. I'm still going to put on an 11-36 and do a comparison.

As climbs go this is tough, but not very long at 3 miles. Our toughest climbs around here are more like 8-10 miles with about 2x the climb. What makes this climb (Quien Sabe) a bit tough is there is not an inch of leveling off unless you consider dropping fr0m 10% to 9.5% leveling off. (Actually, it does feel a bit like that!)
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