Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Training & Nutrition
Reload this Page >

Tips on maintaining speed during hill climbs

Notices
Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

Tips on maintaining speed during hill climbs

Old 10-31-22, 08:49 AM
  #26  
GhostRider62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 3,080
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1807 Post(s)
Liked 1,490 Times in 950 Posts
Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
1.4% for the whole up and over and down. (The segment link here.) Strava simply averages the starting and ending elevation. And they don't do any smoothing of the climb, so dragging along the elevation chart shows ... 0.6%, 4.3%, 7.2%, 2.1%, 13.3%, 6.1% ... where it should calc a more gradual change in the grade from point to point. Raw GPS recordings are very noisy and need smoothing.

The first 2.5 miles have a net gain of 625 feet, not even including any small roller hills within the climb. This 250 feet per mile (4.7% average: "moderate") is a real climb.

Pacing

I'm not a fast climber. My best efforts have been solo efforts within the climb, setting my own pace. I really like my Stages left side power meter for pacing. It keeps me from going too far over my limit at the beginning, and is an instant encouragement to go a bit harder toward the end. My "perceived effort" tells me I'm maxed, but I find I can actually go a bit faster.

Would I have an even better result if I tried to hang with a "too fast" group of climbers? Would motivation improve over optimal pacing strategy? Maybe!
I guess we just have to disagree.

The first part is not moderate.

There clearly is a steeper section but then there is a descent. I would not characterize this segment overall as a climb. It is relatively flat for 3 km rising only 100m or around 3%, the short steep section is 70m rise in 1 km (7% ave) and then a twisty descent.

I would not use this type of segment to monitor or measure my climbing ability because it is not a climb

I use climbs that are at least 8% with no flats; otherwise, wind resistance becomes to much of a variable.

So on a group ride, OP should be sucking wheel until about 3 km where it turns up and then empty the tank on the 1 km still trying to hang onto a wheel, which would probably only take 2-3 minutes at MAP for most riders. He might get dropped but can regain on the descent with good skills and using his weight to his advantage

Last edited by GhostRider62; 10-31-22 at 08:54 AM.
GhostRider62 is offline  
Old 10-31-22, 10:00 AM
  #27  
Hermes
Version 3.0
 
Hermes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 12,802

Bikes: Too Many

Mentioned: 296 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1121 Post(s)
Liked 1,775 Times in 1,063 Posts
Good thread.

First, in NorCal and SoCal, some of the fastest TT times and hardest road races and criteriums come from the 40-45 age group. Of course, there are very fast juniors and 20/30s who populate the elite 1/2 group that are equally fast or faster. It depends. So let’s take age out of the equation for a moment.

Where on this particular climb are you actually being dropped. Is it at the first acceleration or some section that is always the same? You may think you are strong but actually need more 1 or 2 minute power. It does not take a very large power increase or distance to get dropped. It happens fast and once a gap is open even a couple of bike lengths can be impossible to close.

Here are some ideas. Review everything on the bike and on your body. Tires, helmet, head position, clothes and etc and select only fast equipment. You cannot afford to give away any watts.

Pick a wheel of a rider of similar size and who will NOT let gaps open. Now you have someone to follow and if you stay on that wheel, you may survive.

Do not do any, and I repeat, any work leading up to the climb. Stay sheltered and conserve energy because you know that all hell will break loose on the climb.

Do not look at the metrics on the climb. Turn your Garmin or whatever meter you have over. You are capable of a lot more at your max HR. You do not want to look at the HR and wish you had more beats or think about running out of O2.

Since you are a power lifter, use your strength and slow the spin down. The slower cadence may fatigue the muscles but so what. If you are off the back fresh muscles do you no good.

When you hit the climb, pick a bigger gear / lower climbing cadence and breathe deep through your nose. Do not think about anything other than holding the wheel in front and do not let a gap open. That is your mantra. Do not let your breathing go crazy.

Look, the age group you are in and the younger guys who ride with you are going to go at 5 -6 watts/kg for some period of time on that climb. It is going to be really hard whether on the flatter or steeper sections. Good luck

Last edited by Hermes; 10-31-22 at 10:04 AM.
Hermes is offline  
Likes For Hermes:
Old 10-31-22, 10:08 AM
  #28  
Hermes
Version 3.0
 
Hermes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 12,802

Bikes: Too Many

Mentioned: 296 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1121 Post(s)
Liked 1,775 Times in 1,063 Posts
On the depicted climb, I would be in the drops with my head down and relatively flat back on a someones wheel about 6 inches away. If I stood, it would be from the drops. I would still get dropped early and often but that is another matter.
Hermes is offline  
Likes For Hermes:
Old 10-31-22, 10:29 AM
  #29  
jonathanf2
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 303 Post(s)
Liked 561 Times in 267 Posts
Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Peter makes a good and really salient point.

I can easily exceed the power of all the Strava leaderboard up Hollywood Gate to Gate (except the KoM). However, I would probably be at the 15-20th percentile due to mass. Hills over 6-8% are all about W/Kg although the energy systems used depend on the length. A sprinter might have an easy time on a short climb, a Puncheur could excel on a 2-4 minute climb but eventually it is the really light specialists who excel at the long climbs (say 10 minutes plus)

As a former bodybuilder, I suspect you have too much mass to do well on really long climbs but your explosive power probably gives you a realy advantage on shorter climbs. All just a guess

Edit: I just noticed the average gradient is only 1.4%. That is not a climb, more like pretty gradual up and then a descent down. Aero matters a whole lot on that sort of segment. I could probably challenge the leaderboard.......on my recumbent.
I'm 150 lbs. (68kg) at 5'7" (174cm). I'm carrying more weight at my height and I could probably drop another 10-15 lbs., but part of me already feels much weaker having dropped body weight when I was more invested in powerlifting. My powerlifting buddies see me and think I look famished nowadays! Also those same guys who beat me on the climbs, I find quite slow on the descents. I have no issues with the downhill and I can get my back completely flat to the top tube. Even if they try something like a super aero tuck, my normal aero profile is still lower. Usually on flats drafting is a breeze for me, I just hang on the biggest guy in front of me and cruise.

Anyways, I'm not looking to be beat pro racers. I'm just looking at ways to improve as a cycling enthusiast and work within my limitations.
jonathanf2 is offline  
Old 10-31-22, 10:50 AM
  #30  
PeteHski
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 4,350
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2102 Post(s)
Liked 2,246 Times in 1,435 Posts
Originally Posted by jonathanf2 View Post
I'm 150 lbs. (68kg) at 5'7" (174cm). I'm carrying more weight at my height and I could probably drop another 10-15 lbs., but part of me already feels much weaker having dropped body weight when I was more invested in powerlifting. My powerlifting buddies see me and think I look famished nowadays! Also those same guys who beat me on the climbs, I find quite slow on the descents. I have no issues with the downhill and I can get my back completely flat to the top tube. Even if they try something like a super aero tuck, my normal aero profile is still lower. Usually on flats drafting is a breeze for me, I just hang on the biggest guy in front of me and cruise.

Anyways, I'm not looking to be beat pro racers. I'm just looking at ways to improve as a cycling enthusiast and work within my limitations.
Okay at 68kg there's no reason why you shouldn't be at the sharp end of a climb - given the right conditioning and tactics. You've already got a good 10 kg on me right there! If you can drop another 15 lbs, that's going to help massively on the longer climbs. While short climbs (circa 5 mins) are all about VO2 max power, longer climbs 10+ mins are all about threshold power and weight i.e. W/kg. So those are the 2 things to work on. Appropriate interval training to push your FTP up and drop a few pounds in weight. It's all a compromise, as you may well lose some of that punchy power you currently have. Basically the longer the climb, the more your FTP and weight comes into play vs outright strength/power.

Gearing is also important on steeper climbs, but that's another story. I presume you are not running out of gears on these climbs.
PeteHski is online now  
Likes For PeteHski:
Old 10-31-22, 11:03 AM
  #31  
GhostRider62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 3,080
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1807 Post(s)
Liked 1,490 Times in 950 Posts
Originally Posted by jonathanf2 View Post
I'm 150 lbs. (68kg) at 5'7" (174cm). I'm carrying more weight at my height and I could probably drop another 10-15 lbs., but part of me already feels much weaker having dropped body weight when I was more invested in powerlifting. My powerlifting buddies see me and think I look famished nowadays! Also those same guys who beat me on the climbs, I find quite slow on the descents. I have no issues with the downhill and I can get my back completely flat to the top tube. Even if they try something like a super aero tuck, my normal aero profile is still lower. Usually on flats drafting is a breeze for me, I just hang on the biggest guy in front of me and cruise.

Anyways, I'm not looking to be beat pro racers. I'm just looking at ways to improve as a cycling enthusiast and work within my limitations.
Not getting dropped is a good motivator.

If you go on a group ride and do not know the route, some advance reconnaisance looking at the profile and gradient can be very helpful. If there is a big climb, you want to be rested coming into it as best you can AND never eat right before the climb. If the climb is long like the one up Baldy, it is simply a very difficult aerobic W/Kg situation whereas short climbs (under 5 minutes) use a lot of one's anaerobic power, too. They both hurt but somewhat differently. The lighter natural climbers usually do not have as big of an advantage on shorter hills. On long climbs, you simply might not hang.

That segment that you showed, you might be able to glue onto wheels for the that first 3km getting a draft. Lighter and strong riders might be doing 30 k/hr there and sitting on a wheel helps and might be all you need. Once you get to where it steepens out to average 7%, that is where you want to go over threshold and do everything you can to maintain contact. Since you descend well, you have a chance to get back. This is just life as a cyclist or has been for me. There are riders who climb better and maximizing your abilities to not get dropped is part of the game.
GhostRider62 is offline  
Likes For GhostRider62:
Old 10-31-22, 11:11 AM
  #32  
jonathanf2
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 303 Post(s)
Liked 561 Times in 267 Posts
Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
Good thread.

First, in NorCal and SoCal, some of the fastest TT times and hardest road races and criteriums come from the 40-45 age group. Of course, there are very fast juniors and 20/30s who populate the elite 1/2 group that are equally fast or faster. It depends. So lets take age out of the equation for a moment.

Where on this particular climb are you actually being dropped. Is it at the first acceleration or some section that is always the same? You may think you are strong but actually need more 1 or 2 minute power. It does not take a very large power increase or distance to get dropped. It happens fast and once a gap is open even a couple of bike lengths can be impossible to close.

Here are some ideas. Review everything on the bike and on your body. Tires, helmet, head position, clothes and etc and select only fast equipment. You cannot afford to give away any watts.

Pick a wheel of a rider of similar size and who will NOT let gaps open. Now you have someone to follow and if you stay on that wheel, you may survive.

Do not do any, and I repeat, any work leading up to the climb. Stay sheltered and conserve energy because you know that all hell will break loose on the climb.

Do not look at the metrics on the climb. Turn your Garmin or whatever meter you have over. You are capable of a lot more at your max HR. You do not want to look at the HR and wish you had more beats or think about running out of O2.

Since you are a power lifter, use your strength and slow the spin down. The slower cadence may fatigue the muscles but so what. If you are off the back fresh muscles do you no good.

When you hit the climb, pick a bigger gear / lower climbing cadence and breathe deep through your nose. Do not think about anything other than holding the wheel in front and do not let a gap open. That is your mantra. Do not let your breathing go crazy.

Look, the age group you are in and the younger guys who ride with you are going to go at 5 -6 watts/kg for some period of time on that climb. It is going to be really hard whether on the flatter or steeper sections. Good luck
I appreciate the tips! I think one my big problems is that I like to hit it hard right away. I definitely could try and conserve my energy better. Also I definitely prefer slow grinding over high cadence, I feel it keeps my breathing a bit lower. Plus when I go out of saddle, I can really put the power down on the pedals. I think equipment-wise I'm okay. Nothing fancy, but everything is fairly lightweight and I keep my kit to a minimum.
jonathanf2 is offline  
Likes For jonathanf2:
Old 10-31-22, 11:19 AM
  #33  
GhostRider62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 3,080
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1807 Post(s)
Liked 1,490 Times in 950 Posts
Originally Posted by jonathanf2 View Post
I appreciate the tips! I think one my big problems is that I like to hit it hard right away. I definitely could try and conserve my energy better. Also I definitely prefer slow grinding over high cadence, I feel it keeps my breathing a bit lower. Plus when I go out of saddle, I can really put the power down on the pedals. I think equipment-wise I'm okay. Nothing fancy, but everything is fairly lightweight and I keep my kit to a minimum.
Two points Hermes made, don't lose them. Get shelter going in and do zero work. The point about lower cadence is probably a good one for a muscular guy like you. At higher cadence and lower torque, slowtwitch fibers are mostly the ones engaged. When all Hell breaks lose, it is all hands on deck. The fast twitch fibers and glycolis in general uses less oxygen than when burning fat. When the gradient turns up and it is not a really long one like the one in that segment, I am in the big ring Marco Pantani style out of the saddle. Not fashionable but that works for me on 3-5 minute all out climbs.
GhostRider62 is offline  
Likes For GhostRider62:
Old 10-31-22, 11:55 AM
  #34  
jonathanf2
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 303 Post(s)
Liked 561 Times in 267 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Okay at 68kg there's no reason why you shouldn't be at the sharp end of a climb - given the right conditioning and tactics. You've already got a good 10 kg on me right there! If you can drop another 15 lbs, that's going to help massively on the longer climbs. While short climbs (circa 5 mins) are all about VO2 max power, longer climbs 10+ mins are all about threshold power and weight i.e. W/kg. So those are the 2 things to work on. Appropriate interval training to push your FTP up and drop a few pounds in weight. It's all a compromise, as you may well lose some of that punchy power you currently have. Basically the longer the climb, the more your FTP and weight comes into play vs outright strength/power.

Gearing is also important on steeper climbs, but that's another story. I presume you are not running out of gears on these climbs.
If I plan to weight cut it probably won't be until January. I don't think my wife would be happy if I didn't eat her holiday meals! I'll probably step up my interval training as well, I did quite a bit of HIIT cardio training when lifting and I've always preferred having a good power-to-weight ratio. I follow quite a few lightweight powerlifters (sub 140lbs./63kg) so it's still possible to keep the strength at lower weight. I feel pretty good on my gearing.

I'm running a 50:34t 11-32t road setup and I was still able to climb this street in Los Angeles with a 27.7% elevation, though I felt like I was about to fall backwards!

https://pjammcycling.com/climb/5018.Baxter-St

Anyways, I definitely see progressive improvement with my cycling within the last 2 years and I'm already thinking how to improve for the next year. For me the whole fitness journey has been great and a positive experience.
jonathanf2 is offline  
Likes For jonathanf2:
Old 10-31-22, 07:02 PM
  #35  
PeteHski
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 4,350
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2102 Post(s)
Liked 2,246 Times in 1,435 Posts
Originally Posted by jonathanf2 View Post
If I plan to weight cut it probably won't be until January. I don't think my wife would be happy if I didn't eat her holiday meals! I'll probably step up my interval training as well, I did quite a bit of HIIT cardio training when lifting and I've always preferred having a good power-to-weight ratio. I follow quite a few lightweight powerlifters (sub 140lbs./63kg) so it's still possible to keep the strength at lower weight. I feel pretty good on my gearing.

I'm running a 50:34t 11-32t road setup and I was still able to climb this street in Los Angeles with a 27.7% elevation, though I felt like I was about to fall backwards!

https://pjammcycling.com/climb/5018.Baxter-St

Anyways, I definitely see progressive improvement with my cycling within the last 2 years and I'm already thinking how to improve for the next year. For me the whole fitness journey has been great and a positive experience.
At 68 kg you may not even need to lose weight in order to nail those longer climbs. Focusing on sustained power with 10-20 min intervals is probably your best bet. That and doing a lot of actual climbing! Even weighing in at 78 kg I do okay on long climbs with the right conditioning. Losing those last few kg is just the icing on the cake. The lowest I can realistically get to is around 75 kg and that's where I've set all my climbing PBs in recent years. When I'm up at around 80 kg I lose a good few minutes per hour on a long alpine climb. With a 68 kg baseline you are already in a good place for climbing.
PeteHski is online now  
Likes For PeteHski:
Old 10-31-22, 08:10 PM
  #36  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 18,773

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3525 Post(s)
Liked 1,521 Times in 1,107 Posts
When newbies to the group would complain about getting dropped on the shorter climbs, I'd tell them, "Hold your wheel until the blood spurts from your eyeballs." I was a bit like the OP - I had a good hill sprint and could beat everyone up the short steep climbs, but had trouble on the longer climbs. My limit for the Pantani style was about 300', then I was cooked. This is only the OP's second year of serious hard cycling. It should take at least another couple of years of hard work for him to reach peak aerobic ability. Competitive climbing every Sunday was our rule.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Likes For Carbonfiberboy:
Old 11-11-22, 10:56 PM
  #37  
venturi95
Firm but gentle
 
venturi95's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 527

Bikes: 2005 Litespeed Tuscany, Soma Pescadero, Pure Cycles disc road, Jamis hybrid

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Liked 80 Times in 43 Posts

Do you really want to master long climbs?
All of the aforementioned excellent advice, plus:
Ditch the gym for at least 8 months of the year. Start doing casual 100 mile training rides, and gradually increase the intensity. Consider 140 mile training rides, finish at the same pace you started at, and that will be a big enough effort. You are not interested in arm wrestling here.
venturi95 is offline  
Likes For venturi95:
Old 11-13-22, 03:47 PM
  #38  
jonathanf2
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 303 Post(s)
Liked 561 Times in 267 Posts
I did some more hill climbing this weekend. I've been riding with some very strong and young riders lately. Some who race and compete as well, so it's been good training. In fact I don't really like riding with cyclists in my age bracket, too many dad bods! Lol

Also I feel like the endurance is picking up and I'm trying to get ample rest prior to big rides. One area I feel quite confident in are on power sprint climbs around 1-2 minutes, especially over the more sketchier (bad) road conditions. Yesterday I was able to drop the pack reaching the top on a few shorter segments with time to spare before the next rider caught up. My downhill is also quite good. I think it's one area where I can maximize my size/power/weight and my regular aero tuck is quite low, and I can keep my back parallel to the top tube.

Where I still need improvement on are longer climbs that require I stay in saddle to maintain speed and conserve energy. I also rode with a Swiss pro who rode with our group (while on vacation with their bike) who's form was incredibly consistent. In fact I didn't see much variation in the way they ride regardless if it was flats or hills. I'm a bit more chaotic with an aggressive out-of-saddle and I like to attack on the flats and downhill. Also the women in our ride group are amazing, they're the ones who seem to handle the long climbs the best. Unlike the guys who burn themselves out trying to KOM everything, they conserve their energy not trying to over power everything.

Also I do like observing the strong riders with their form, cadence, pedal stroke, etc. I definitely feel like there are things to learn just by watching others.

Last edited by jonathanf2; 11-13-22 at 04:59 PM.
jonathanf2 is offline  
Likes For jonathanf2:
Old 11-13-22, 04:50 PM
  #39  
MoAlpha
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 10,682

Bikes: Shmikes

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8826 Post(s)
Liked 4,764 Times in 2,540 Posts
Originally Posted by jonathanf2 View Post
I did some more hill climbing this weekend. I've been riding with some very strong and young riders lately. Some who race and compete as well, so it's been good training. In fact I don't really like riding with cyclists in my age bracket, too many dad bods! Lol

Also I feel like the endurance is picking up and I'm trying to get ample rest prior to big rides. One area I feel quite confident in are on power sprint climbs around 1-2 minutes, especially over the more sketchier (bad) road conditions. Yesterday I was able to drop the pack reaching the top on a few shorter segments with time to spare before the next rider caught up. My downhill is also quite good. I think it's one area where I can maximize my size/power/weight and my regular aero tuck is quite low, and I can keep my back parallel to the top tube.

Where I still need improvement on are longer climbs that require I stay in saddle to maintain speed and conserve energy. I also rode with a Swiss pro who rode with our group (while on vacation with their bike) who's form was incredibly consistent. In fact I didn't see much variation in the way they ride regardless if it was flats or hills. I'm a bit more chaotic with an aggressive out-of-saddle and I like to attack on the flats and downhill. Also the women in our ride group are amazing, they're the ones who seem to handle the long climbs the best. Unlike the guys who burn themselves out trying to KOM everything, they conserve their energy not trying to over power everything.

Also I do like observing the strong riders with their form, cadence, pedal stroke, etc. I definitely like there are things to learn just by watching others.
Woman have more efficient muscle lipolysis, and less efficient glycolysis, than men, so theyre adapted for long, steady, more aerobic, efforts. I get my old clock cleaned by them on the regular.
MoAlpha is offline  
Likes For MoAlpha:
Old 11-13-22, 05:05 PM
  #40  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 18,773

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3525 Post(s)
Liked 1,521 Times in 1,107 Posts
Originally Posted by venturi95 View Post

Do you really want to master long climbs?
All of the aforementioned excellent advice, plus:
Ditch the gym for at least 8 months of the year. Start doing casual 100 mile training rides, and gradually increase the intensity. Consider 140 mile training rides, finish at the same pace you started at, and that will be a big enough effort. You are not interested in arm wrestling here.
I'm more like "I ride to live" rather than "I live to ride." Doesn't look healthy to me. I much prefer the Peter Sagan look. He climbs OK I guess and he's still at it. I was always more a green jersey kind of rider. It helped that I never told anyone where the prime points were. This season I'm going to try to do strength work right up to the taper for my big event. If I make it that far. There are a few studies which support that.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Likes For Carbonfiberboy:
Old 11-13-22, 05:21 PM
  #41  
jonathanf2
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 303 Post(s)
Liked 561 Times in 267 Posts
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I'm more like "I ride to live" rather than "I live to ride." Doesn't look healthy to me. I much prefer the Peter Sagan look. He climbs OK I guess and he's still at it. I was always more a green jersey kind of rider. It helped that I never told anyone where the prime points were. This season I'm going to try to do strength work right up to the taper for my big event. If I make it that far. There are a few studies which support that.
To be honest, part of the reason I like to add in strength training is to look good in my kit! I'd rather have a nice shape with some muscle definition and vascularity, as opposed to looking malnourished! We are walking around in skin tight cycling gear, everything shows! Lol
jonathanf2 is offline  
Old 11-14-22, 06:53 AM
  #42  
PeteHski
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 4,350
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2102 Post(s)
Liked 2,246 Times in 1,435 Posts
Originally Posted by jonathanf2 View Post

Where I still need improvement on are longer climbs that require I stay in saddle to maintain speed and conserve energy. I also rode with a Swiss pro who rode with our group (while on vacation with their bike) who's form was incredibly consistent. In fact I didn't see much variation in the way they ride regardless if it was flats or hills. I'm a bit more chaotic with an aggressive out-of-saddle and I like to attack on the flats and downhill.
I think it's just a question of focusing on your sustained power i.e. plenty of threshold intervals e.g. 2x20, 4x10 mins etc. ideally on climbs with a realistic climbing cadence. I would think the pro rider appeared so consistent simply because they were riding so far below their limit.
PeteHski is online now  
Likes For PeteHski:
Old 11-14-22, 10:39 PM
  #43  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 18,773

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 113 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3525 Post(s)
Liked 1,521 Times in 1,107 Posts
^Yeah, you do some 2000' or so climbs and you develop a very steady pace. You also have a steady pace on the flat, or you can't do the big climbs. I'd say maybe only 8 beats lower on the flats than the climbs over a very long day. For me. You'll figure it out.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 11-14-22, 11:55 PM
  #44  
79pmooney
Senior Member
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 11,257

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 115 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3841 Post(s)
Liked 2,701 Times in 1,765 Posts
A couple of thoughts. 1) Upper body muscle mass doesn't get you up big hills fast. But the right muscles in good tone is a real asset. One way to address that is - stop lifting weights. Get a fix gear. Keep riding; the fix gear to learn that skill and your regular bike to keep your legs in good shape. Now, after you have lost real muscle tone, ride a hard hill on the fix gear. (Steep enough that sitting isn't even an option.) Now observe what muscles in your arms hurt. Those are the muscles that help you uphill. All the rest is just putting extra weight on your bike.

And 2) As others said above, we are all different. At my best I am mediocre on small and medium hills. Small engine, small lungs. Very long hills? Well everyone else slows down. When I am in form, I can sustain a pace that puts me into much more elite company (well, 40 years ago). I wasn't small enough or with a good enough engine to be a Category 1 in the mountains (no US pros in my day) but could ride as a competitive 2 in those races whereas I had no shot better than top 25 Cat 3 on the flat at my best.

Edit: Something I learned a long time - get to know your breathing. Learn to keep it comfortable enough to stay away from redline. I can sense when things are starting to get ragged and back off before I've gone too far into "debt" My breathing doesn't lie. If I ignore it I pay. Now, there are times I intentionally go past that limit to achieve a goal but that may well be the end of my "competitive" ride and after I'm just finishing the distance. Now, quality miles and hard hills up your speed for that level of breathing. There's no easy way to get there. (Though riding a 3 day per week winter commute of 25 miles or more round trip, preferably with 500-1000' of climbing all winter will go a very long ways! Perfect place for a heavy winter fix gear.)

Last edited by 79pmooney; 11-15-22 at 12:07 AM.
79pmooney is offline  
Likes For 79pmooney:
Old 11-23-22, 04:46 AM
  #45  
PeteHski
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 4,350
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2102 Post(s)
Liked 2,246 Times in 1,435 Posts
Originally Posted by bigblackcrank View Post

My best climbing performance is around 5 w/kg for 30 minutes doing 50/50 seated and standing intervals.
Impressive. I struggle to maintain 4 W/kg for that length of effort. I think you are right about the cardio vs strength training too as far as pure climbing goes. But then strength training is useful for overall health and fitness. So it all comes down to priorities. The photo a few posts above says it all really!
PeteHski is online now  
Old 11-23-22, 10:36 AM
  #46  
PeteHski
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 4,350
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2102 Post(s)
Liked 2,246 Times in 1,435 Posts
Originally Posted by bigblackcrank View Post
I think it's common at my weight of 120 lbs. I spend a bit more time standing doing it. Intervals of roughly 2 minutes standing and 1 minute seated.

Yeah strength training is good to maintain muscles. Fortunately, I'm good gainer on my upper body. Just frequently standing to pedal is enough to workout my upper body and get some healthy looking muscles, not like the photo above!
Certainly helps being super-light! I'm a more average 175 lbs so not really a climber, although I do okay in the mountains. 5 W/kg for 30 mins is definitely not happening for me at this point in life! Even 4 W/kg is very ambitious for me on a long climb. That's around 320W for me right now. In the summer I can get down to around 165 lb and then 4 W/kg (300W) is just about achievable on a good day for half an hour.
PeteHski is online now  
Old 11-23-22, 10:37 AM
  #47  
jonathanf2
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 303 Post(s)
Liked 561 Times in 267 Posts
Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
A couple of thoughts. 1) Upper body muscle mass doesn't get you up big hills fast. But the right muscles in good tone is a real asset. One way to address that is - stop lifting weights. Get a fix gear. Keep riding; the fix gear to learn that skill and your regular bike to keep your legs in good shape. Now, after you have lost real muscle tone, ride a hard hill on the fix gear. (Steep enough that sitting isn't even an option.) Now observe what muscles in your arms hurt. Those are the muscles that help you uphill. All the rest is just putting extra weight on your bike.

And 2) As others said above, we are all different. At my best I am mediocre on small and medium hills. Small engine, small lungs. Very long hills? Well everyone else slows down. When I am in form, I can sustain a pace that puts me into much more elite company (well, 40 years ago). I wasn't small enough or with a good enough engine to be a Category 1 in the mountains (no US pros in my day) but could ride as a competitive 2 in those races whereas I had no shot better than top 25 Cat 3 on the flat at my best.

Edit: Something I learned a long time - get to know your breathing. Learn to keep it comfortable enough to stay away from redline. I can sense when things are starting to get ragged and back off before I've gone too far into "debt" My breathing doesn't lie. If I ignore it I pay. Now, there are times I intentionally go past that limit to achieve a goal but that may well be the end of my "competitive" ride and after I'm just finishing the distance. Now, quality miles and hard hills up your speed for that level of breathing. There's no easy way to get there. (Though riding a 3 day per week winter commute of 25 miles or more round trip, preferably with 500-1000' of climbing all winter will go a very long ways! Perfect place for a heavy winter fix gear.)
Funny you mentioned the fixed gear! I ride with strong fixed gear riders on one my group rides and it actually got me thinking how I would perform on one. Though I already have too many N+1 bikes in my stable, so it's something I might consider later on. Also you're right about breathing, a few days ago I rode with some friends who aren't strong climbers, so I eased off on my effort to a comfortable pace. When we reached the final hill segment where I really like to go all out, I PR'ed my time by about 6 seconds on the climb. I had more gas in the tank to do it as well. I need to start thinking about energy conservation to really go all out for the sections that matter.
jonathanf2 is offline  
Old 11-23-22, 11:12 AM
  #48  
jonathanf2
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 303 Post(s)
Liked 561 Times in 267 Posts
Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Impressive. I struggle to maintain 4 W/kg for that length of effort. I think you are right about the cardio vs strength training too as far as pure climbing goes. But then strength training is useful for overall health and fitness. So it all comes down to priorities. The photo a few posts above says it all really!
I think one aspect of strength training that isn't discussed often is the effects on bone density. I've been on group rides with crashes that result in broken bones and it's usually the riders who don't do any strength training. I've crashed a few times and at worst I have a few scratches. As age creeps up, recovery time is slower and (probably worst if I have broken bones) so I'd rather try to balance my strength and weight as best I can.

Also from the group rides I've been doing, I find myself able to catch up to the pure climbers in other areas, especially on the downhill and flats. As opposed to trying to go against them toe-to-toe, I might as well try to leverage my advantages before we hit the climbs. I've been thinking I definitely need to plan my energy conservation better as opposed to going all out on every segment. Maintain my training, but also ride smart.

Anyways, I think the training is paying off...the other night on a group ride, a cyclists I hadn't seen in awhile commented I must be putting in the work because I've gotten faster in all areas!
jonathanf2 is offline  
Old 11-25-22, 04:34 PM
  #49  
cyclezen
OM boy
 
cyclezen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Goleta CA
Posts: 4,164

Bikes: a bunch

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 434 Post(s)
Liked 508 Times in 352 Posts
as one gets closer to the sharp end of anything - conditioning, equipment, speed - the cost and what it takes becomes greater.
True of activity specific stuff like cycling, and from there 'sprinting, climbing, other specifics. It's very rare to get a sprinter who can climb - Mike Matthews.
same is true for climbers who can sprint.
then there's life. Unless you're makin a living from riding, there are other considerations.
If you're a pro, and want to climb, then getting the body to the optimum for climbing is a focus. But its not a long term plan for a healthy, longterm life.
As you noted, without the musculature, the body breaks easier. Muscle not only provides strength but also a key in shock absorption and support.
A well muscled weight of 150 at your size is ideal. And climbing should be good also.
Some noted 'time'. The body can adapt quickly in some ways and takes much longer in others. At 40+, you're double the age of someone 20ish. There is a difference... not a huge difference, but some significant diff.
'Time' - only so much any one can do in our daily schedules. And not everything is compatible in close time frames. You can't do HIIT and then go out and do long climbs the next day. Well, you can, but it'll be destructive, not constructive.
If you're a strong 'power' climber - which is usually effective for shorter climbs, then keep that going.
Add in what can help on the longer climbs, aerobic capacity and efficiency (using cadence).
HIIT is great for adding some short term power and burst anaerobic capacity, it's hard to get the efficiency needed for long, aerobic climbs.
The more 'efficient' you become the lower the aerobic load at any effort - the higher you can 'spin' comfortably, the lower the aerobic load at any given rpm.
If you're bouncing in the saddle at 105-110, then the aerobic cost is a certain amount when climbing at 80 rpm. If you can easily spin 115 to 120 for a goodly period of time, the aerobic cost, for climbing at 80 rpm is lower (given the same gearing...).
Increasing efficiency is a long term thing, and is part and parcel, directly tied to aerobic fitness - one in the same when they are both used in 'efforts'.
Developing this into a workable training plan (which needs to be flexible and fitted to 'life') is beyond our scope. You need to work and develop that with whatever resources you want to use.
If you can ride strongly, for an hour+ at 90 to 100+ rpm, then pick the next step larger gear and work on doing that...
... an 11-32 is not as compatible to this type of riding training as a closer spread cassette, like 12-25 or 11-25. A couple wheelsets helps...
Spin to Win, is not a formula, it's just one basic cornerstone to getting the most out of your riding capabilities.
Ride On
Yuri
One can't do every/all training methods to improve, you have to focus in on what will fit and points to increases you want to happen - then commit to itfor a long term.
cyclezen is offline  
Old 11-25-22, 05:57 PM
  #50  
Calsun
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 579
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 235 Post(s)
Liked 127 Times in 99 Posts
The BMI of the rider makes a great deal of difference. I rode with a friend who was my height but weighed an extra 20 lbs. As a result I was faster going up the grades and he was faster on the downhill sections.

For me it is best to pick a gear that I know works for me for a particular inclines grade and length. Where there are moderate hills I will power down the downhill sections and use a higher gear with my momentum to power up the next hill.

There is the ancient formula for maximum heart rate but it is a rule of thumb and not going to be 100% accurate for older riders. So much depends on the individuals level of conditioning which also increases with age as we see wtih older marathon runners.

I remember reading about how the Finnish olympic cross country ski team was doing a training run through the woods and saw an old man in the distance. Mile after mile they tried to overtake the gentleman and finally when they did they learned it was Heikki Vihtori Hasu, a former olympian who is now 96 years old.
Calsun is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.