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Training for sustained climbs?

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Training for sustained climbs?

Old 08-23-20, 09:48 AM
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wolfpack95
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Training for sustained climbs?

Get plenty of miles in relatively flat areas but did some riding in the mountains recently and my glutes seemed to be fatiguing quicker than the legs. My theory is that I get out of the saddle more in the flats for shorter climbs but mountains require a sustained sit and burn. Is there anything I can do besides the obvious of more mountain miles?
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Old 08-23-20, 12:38 PM
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Intervals. Ride as hard as you can for a while and then ease off for a while and then repeat. Since I've got plenty of rolling hills on my local rides, I don't do interval training and can't quite recommend a specific regimen for it. But I'd think that'd help with what you want.

As for sustained climbs? Sustained for climbing a 50 to 100 feet of hill and sustained for climbing a 1000 feet of hill are two different things with differing needs.
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Old 08-23-20, 01:51 PM
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More specifically, seated intervals.
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Old 08-23-20, 02:07 PM
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Zero need to train in the mountains to ride in the mountains. Do more workouts. Don't stand up on the rollers.

If the climbs are 20 minutes long, do 20 minute repeats. Don't stop pedaling, don't ease up. Constant pressure on the pedals.

This is where a powermeter simply can't be beat for training.
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Old 08-23-20, 04:31 PM
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Iím suprised this is still available on line. everest challenge x2: July 2008

Itís my take on training for the mountains as a flat lander. While I wouldnít go as far as rubiksoval,a nd say thereís zero need to train in the mountain, I completely agree that the key is training at the requisite power for the length of the climbs.
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Old 08-23-20, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfpack95 View Post
and my glutes seemed to be fatiguing quicker than the legs.
How are you posturing yourself on the climbs? People often scoot a bit farther forward on their saddle while climbing versus while on the flats, to compensate for the change in angle: otherwise it can feel like you're having to fight to keep yourself in place.

Is your gearing adequate? By this, I don't mean that you didn't have to get off and walk: I mean that you're able to maintain a pedaling force and cadence in the neighborhood of what your legs want, what you'd self-select if you had infinite gearing range on the bike.
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Old 08-23-20, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
I While I wouldnít go as far as rubiksoval,a nd say thereís zero need to train in the mountain, I completely agree that the key is training at the requisite power for the length of the climbs.
Why? There's absolutely zero need, because it still takes power to go up a climb. And you can put out that power on the flats as well.

All you're doing is changing the resistance: wind versus gravity.
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Old 08-23-20, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
All you're doing is changing the resistance: wind versus gravity.
And the inertial load. It will vary depending on the grade. Specificity still matters.
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Old 08-24-20, 03:00 AM
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Old 08-24-20, 06:49 AM
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Appreciate the replies. Gearing is 36 x 27. I noticed my seat position changes as I shift to find a sweet spot. Iíll try to work some hill repeats and intervals in but was curious if anyone does weights or exercises to target that area? Doesnít sound like it. Itís not easy to get to the mountains regularly and doing a challenging mtn ride in about a month so significant dropping weight isnít an option although long term, itís the best answer.
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Old 08-24-20, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
And the inertial load. It will vary depending on the grade. Specificity still matters.
Change gears?

I genuinely think in this instance, it doesn't.

If you're doing a climb steep enough to necessitate extended standing and extreme posturing over the front of the bike, then I could see that argument. But it's an aerobic issue (and maybe neuromuscular if not used to constant pedaling), and that can be replicated very easily on the flats or the trainer by simply changing your gears and maintaining pressure on the pedals (which seems to be the biggest struggle for those not using powermeters, as climbs typically mandate such on their own).
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Old 08-24-20, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Change gears?

I genuinely think in this instance, it doesn't.

If you're doing a climb steep enough to necessitate extended standing and extreme posturing over the front of the bike, then I could see that argument. But it's an aerobic issue, and that can be replicated very easily on the flats or the trainer by simply changing your gears and maintaining pressure on the pedals (which seems to be the biggest struggle for those not using powermeters, as climbs typically mandate such on their own).
I genuinely think it does (and most physiologists and coaches agree with me). Anyone who's tried to maintain the same power downhill and uphill knows there's a different feeling on the pedals and it's more difficult to maintain force throughout the pedal stroke doing downhill.

By the way, it won't help introducing straw man arguments. Inertial load has nothing to do with standing or changing position on the bike. And lest I be mischaracterized, I'm not saying aerobic power doesn't matter, just that the effect of inertial load when climbing isn't zero.
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Old 08-24-20, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
I genuinely think it does (and most physiologists and coaches agree with me). Anyone who's tried to maintain the same power downhill and uphill knows there's a different feeling on the pedals and it's more difficult to maintain force throughout the pedal stroke doing downhill.

By the way, it won't help introducing straw man arguments. Inertial load has nothing to do with standing or changing position on the bike. And lest I be mischaracterized, I'm not saying aerobic power doesn't matter, just that the effect of inertial load when climbing isn't zero.
Well...

And I didn't say it did. I said I could understand that as an argument for specificity (since that followed my sentence stating "it doesn't", referring to said assertion about specificity).
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Old 08-24-20, 07:56 AM
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I live in Fargo ND, which is much flatter than Roswell Georgia, so before my wife and I go touring I ride the parking structure at a local mall daily for about a month. It works out to about a 6% incline for about 1500 feet of run, and I can sprint up it, then roll down. You can find a time when the mall is closed or there is very little customer traffic (almost all day thanks to COVID-19) and ride until you are beat.

I find that I am able to get my heart rate up to 90% of theoretical maximum going up, then cool down to 70 on the ride down. Riding that for an hour is a very good workout, and not quite as boring as riding on a trainer.
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Old 08-24-20, 09:11 AM
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I will throw in my 2 cents here. Know that I'm not an expert nor a honcho but I have been dealing with the OP question and have made some limited progress.


OK not to sound like a jerk but with anything, and climbing hills on a bike is no exception, but to get better at climbing the best way to improve is to practice climbing.


I have a book on the subject titled "Climb!" by Selane Yeager (aka "The Fit Chick") she recommends that you find a fairly challenging hill locally and climb it every day for 14 days. There is more to it than that but that is the major component.


What really helped me was riding my wheel-on fluid trainer last winter. You can do intervals or if you have a VR program and a supported trainer do actual hill climbs or do both. It is, for the sake of clarity, the work I did not the trainer, but having a convenient all weather and ready when I'm ready riding solution is, in my opinion, very valuable.


Last fall I couldn't climb to the end of my street which is steep 8%+ grade but for only 0.3 miles, I spent 6 days a week for 6 months last winter doing a lot of climbs using Zwift and today I can today go out a do a 20 mile ride with 2000 feet or more ascent no problems. I'm the guy that was pathetic last year on the hills now guys tell me I'm a strong rider. Me a strong rider that must be mistake but around here where I live you ride either flat rail trails or you pull the hills, there is no middle ground. My bike has a triple chainring 52-42-30 free hub 11-26. The only one time this summer that I have gone to the 30 inner CR was on 3rd and 4th time up a local hill that is a mile long and 9% grade. That ride was 26 miles with 3100 feet of ascent. So 98% of my climbing is using a 42 chainring and my largest cog of 26.


I give most of the credit to this from riding Zwift last winter. From mid-December to mid-May I rode up the Alpe du Zwift a total of 37 times, roughly twice a week. That is 8 miles with 3400 feet of ascent which is sustained climbing by any definition. I don't know how I made it the first time or even the first 10 times but persistence pays off.

Last edited by Thomas15; 08-24-20 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 08-24-20, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomas15 View Post
I have a book on the subject titled "Climb!" by Selane Yeager (aka "The Fit Chick") she recommends that you find a fairly challenging hill locally and climb it every day for 14 days. There is more to it than that but that is the major component.
This must be a gross oversimplification. No responsible, knowledgable person would recommend doing the same workout everyday for two weeks straight.
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Old 08-24-20, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
This must be a gross oversimplification. No responsible, knowledgable person would recommend doing the same workout everyday for two weeks straight.
You are right I made this, and my entire post up. In fact my entire life is made up.
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Old 08-24-20, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomas15 View Post
You are right I made this, and my entire post up. In fact my entire life is made up.
If you want to insist that Selane Yeager really recommends doing the same workout every day for two weeks, then clearly she is someone whose advice should not be taken seriously.
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Old 08-24-20, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomas15 View Post
You are right I made this, and my entire post up. In fact my entire life is made up.


That's an awesome retort for providing such a bizarre and horrendous training recommendation.
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Old 08-24-20, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomas15 View Post
OK not to sound like a jerk but with anything, and climbing hills on a bike is no exception, but to get better at climbing the best way to improve is to practice climbing.


I give most of the credit to this from riding Zwift last winter.
Or just pretend you're climbing hills when you're not actually going anywhere!

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Old 08-24-20, 10:08 AM
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While all (or most) of the training advice given here is probably useful, one thing that should not be overlooked is the mental part of climbing. People who ride on the flats are used to being able to ease off and coast when they get a little fatigued, but on a 7% grade that has a pretty noticeable effect. The result is they will stand and hammer for a bit in order to keep up the pace, and eventually burn out.

I find its helpful to tell myself at the start of the climb: It's a mountain, not a hill. This is going to take a while

I still stand on the hairpins though.
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Old 08-24-20, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post


That's an awesome retort for providing such a bizarre and horrendous training recommendation.
And who publishes your books? Rodale Press?
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Old 08-24-20, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomas15 View Post
And who publishes your books? Rodale Press?
Are you of the opinion that anything in print is 100% factual and/or correct?
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Old 08-24-20, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Are you of the opinion that anything in print is 100% factual and/or correct?
No and I don't believe most of what I read on the interwebs either.

From personal experience in the actual real world and I acknowledge that I have seen in print that we are supposed to have down days but I rode up the same hill for 14 days in a row and I'm still alive and kicking. I did stop after 14 days but it was 14 days and it had the desired effect.
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Old 08-24-20, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Thomas15 View Post
I did stop after 14 days but it was 14 days and it had the desired effect.
Anything can work if you lower your expectations enough.

Me, I'm looking for the most effective training.
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