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Climbing Training (in rolling terrain)

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Climbing Training (in rolling terrain)

Old 05-14-14, 06:45 PM
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DaveLeeNC
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Climbing Training (in rolling terrain)

I live/train in an area of rolling 'hills'. Not much is flat but 200 feet of 'net altitude gain' before things head back downhill is about it.

If you are training for a relatively hilly century what is the best training approach here? Can you really train for long climbs with what are basically 'climbing intervals' up shorter hills? Or maybe just shift into your 53/12 into the wind?

Thanks.

dave
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Old 05-14-14, 07:05 PM
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Mentally you can't, but physically you can. Hill repeats are a mainstay diet when training for long, hilly rides. So, two things: hill repeats and weekly total miles. Total weekly miles somewhere between 100 and 200 depending on your training jones. It does really help to do one or two big climbing rides to get a feel for pace, though.
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Old 05-14-14, 07:39 PM
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I just got back from a few days riding in the mountains. The biggest hills here in SW Ohio are only 350 feet, and most are closer to 300 feet. Along with the usual riding, I did two types of training rides to get ready:

Some "hill repeat" type of rides, routing between some of the local steeper climbs. ( I never do pure hill repeats, too boring.)

And a 30 mile each way ride along the Ohio River, trying to keep a steady maintainable effort as much as possible. I use a heart rate monitor, and I know the rate that I can maintain for more than an hour at a time.

I did get in about 1,000 miles this year before the mountain trip.

~~~~~

The hills build up climbing ability, and the long, hard, steady efforts are kind of similar to the big climbs in the mountains.

The ride I just returned from had quite a bit of climbing at 10-12%. That's pretty difficult for me when it's mixed into a long day with lots of elevation gain. But If the climbs are mostly under 7 to 8%, then it's just a matter of pacing to do a really long climb.

How steep is your route going to be?

Last edited by rm -rf; 05-14-14 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 05-15-14, 01:48 PM
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Hey Dave,

If you are training for a relatively hilly century, I would recommend simply working on your base and long distance endurance (unless relatively hilly means >10,000ft of climbing).

Generally speaking, best bet for century training is get your body situated for spending 4+hrs on the bike. This means strong base, but also longer training rides to let your other (non-leg) muscles accustom to being on the bike for hours on end.

Also, hydration
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Old 05-15-14, 02:26 PM
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rm - I am undecided on the route but 5K to 8K is 'high on the list'. Or maybe back off a bit and take something like that on later. Thanks for the comments.

dave
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Old 05-15-14, 09:27 PM
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I have both flat to rolling terrain and long climbs. When I do a longer climb, the cadence is lower and there is more torque on the legs with no respite from the torque. Also, I tend to grip the tops of the handlebar and sit back on the saddle. However, if you only have flat to rolling terrain, put on the 11/23 cassette and stay in a big gear in a more upright or whatever your climbing position is. A 53/11 should be big enough to allow you to maintain tempo or threshold power on the descents of the rolling terrain unless the hills are very short and steep. Good luck.
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Old 05-16-14, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
rm - I am undecided on the route but 5K to 8K is 'high on the list'. Or maybe back off a bit and take something like that on later. Thanks for the comments.

dave
I rode this 55 mile/6000 feet Blue Ridge Parkway route in Aug 2012. It was hard for me, but I enjoyed all of it. It's a beautiful place to ride. The climbing is mixed in with downhills, which helps, and the 1000 foot climb at mile 36 was mostly 7% or less, so it wasn't extreme. ( ridewithgps has recently been fixing their elevation calculations, and this is reporting strange steep grades that don't exist)

It's steep grades, over 10%, that are more than just short segments, that make me worry about finishing a ride.
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