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Climbing Mountain advice please

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Climbing Mountain advice please

Old 10-27-18, 06:32 PM
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Climbing Mountain advice please

Hi. I am looking for some experience heads to give me some pointers regarding climbing. My local climb is Mount Seymour in Vancouver and it is 7 miles (12.5Km) of climbing averaging 7.5 % grade, totally about 3200 feet (almost 1000M). There are lots of parts that my garmin puts at 8-11 % and a brief patch of 4%. I have done it 5 times and now I want to get faster at it. I realize that will naturally happen with improved fitness, I can also buy better gear, I can certainly prepare for it better than Friday night beers before a saturday ride, etc; however, I am looking at advice specific to the actual climbing.

About me:
145ish lbs distributed at around 8-9% body fat
Giant Defy

Okay, so my question is.....in breaking the sections of the mountain up into the 9-10% areas, the 7% areas and the 4%, is there an advantage to going a little slower on any of them and using the extra energy on another part of the climb? Ie. maybe not riding at 93% of HR during the 10% and saving that to really give er for the 4% portion? Or, is it more a matter of just riding everything faster. What is the strategy people use?

I currently ride it in around 56:30, riding pretty much the whole portion aiming to be around 91-93% HR which averages at 169 bpm, Strava says that is 222 watts average. I stand up for stretches about every 5 minutes and average about 82 for cadence. I dumped several minutes not taking the 4% as a recover time and trying to maintain what I feel is the same wattage. While I know I can improve my fitness, I don't think I can sustain more HR wise for the near hour effort. This is why I am looking at strategy.

Any advice from you all would be very much appreciated.

Last edited by jguit; 10-27-18 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 10-27-18, 07:35 PM
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Seymour isn't the steadiest climb so you can marginally gain by going a little harder (maybe 10%) on the steeper sections and easing off 10% on the flatter sections. Without a power meter it's also easy to go too hard and then you'll pay for it trying to recover.

At the end of the day you need to increase power and the best way to do that is with intervals. Maybe try 2-4 intervals riding to the first switchback. Ride these harder than you normally would ride the whole mountain but at a steady effort.

edit: You can have a look at best bike split for a recommended power profile. I put in Seymour and it looked pretty steady so 10% was probably unrealistic for the main part of the climb.

Last edited by gregf83; 10-28-18 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 10-28-18, 05:27 AM
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Interesting. Wouldn't of thought of riding interval style going up...make it more like a race chasing breakaways. Will give it a go. Thanks.
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Old 10-28-18, 08:10 PM
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GCN has a mountain (ha!) of climbing tips for ya.
A race bike in any era is a highly personal choice that at its "best" balances the requirements of fit, weight, handling, durability and cost tempered by the willingness to toss it and oneself down the pavement at considerable speed. ~Bandera
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