Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 41 total)
  • Training for hills when you don’t have any….
  • Premier Icon scud
    Full Member

    After Dirty Reiver this weekend, realised how much I struggle with the hills on long distance events, it is not so much fitness and strength, but more being in the climbing position for long periods i struggle with.

    I moved to Norfolk about 8 years ago, and despite where i live actually being quite rolling compared to Fens or Broads, the longest climb is about 3-5 minutes and even in an 80 mile ride, i’ll only do 600m climbing at the very most.

    Before riding Torino-Nice Rally and Badger Divide routes, i did a lot of weight training and rode a singlespeed with increasingly larger chainrings, but it still doesn’t seem to make up for spending hours in that climbing position and actually riding hills a lot…?

    Premier Icon ta11pau1
    Full Member

    Zwift? You won’t get the climbing position but you’ll be able to loads more climbing than you would normally.

    I’m in Kent and my biggest local hill is 600ft – doesn’t really prepare you for the 1200ft+ climbs in the Lakes/Scotland etc.

    Premier Icon scud
    Full Member

    Thanks Tall Paul, it isn’t really the fitness so much (in that no doubt i could be a lot fitter and a lighter), but more the fact that long events like Reiver i seem to suffer with back ache, and saturday with issues with achilles on left foot, just purely i don’t have to be in that different climbing position for long.

    I know i can up my power, lower my weight and use resistance training to try and bombproof and strengthen muscles and joints?

    Really fancy another crack at Torino-Nice again next year, but was to be able to go out there and really do it justice.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Full Member

    Apart from strength training (which you’re suggested you’re doing), I think you probably just need to go somewhere hilly for a big ride every couple of weeks.

    Is that do-able?

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Full Member

    Leave your saddle at home.

    Premier Icon scud
    Full Member

    Chakaping – trouble is from Norfolk, nearest place is Peaks really, which is 2 hours each way… used to keep cycle fit by either ride a singlespeed on bridleways and roads, or riding fat bike along the beaches here, so with effort i can get fitter, but even when i am feeling fit and FTP looking good, still struggle with aches and pains on events over 5-6 hours…

    But you’re right, i guess best way is to ride more hills!

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    Big gear and low, low cadence say 50-60 rpm.

    Premier Icon damascus
    Free Member

    I remember doing the c2c mtb route and chatting to a group from the Netherlands that had been training by doing 100 mile rides and they were spent after the first climb over walna scar as they weren’t used hills. Caught back up with them near whitby and they couldn’t belive how slow they had been, they were 2 days behind schedule. They did it in 4 days, amazingly they thought they would do it in 2 days with full gear. Not impossible but very optimistic for them.

    Where I live I average 1000ft per 10 miles. I’m always envious of friends who live in flatter parts who average such high speeds!

    Get some weekends away planned riding some big climbs

    Premier Icon mrhoppy
    Full Member

    just purely i don’t have to be in that different climbing position for long.

    Zwift with your front wheel raised.

    Premier Icon scud
    Full Member

    I can understand that Damascus, cycling in Norfolk isn’t always “easy”, in that we get some horrible headwinds and the hard part is that you don’t really ever stop pedalling and freewheel, because with few ascents, you get few freewheeling descents, so some are surprised how tired they can be cycling here as it is non-stop.

    Premier Icon steve_b77
    Free Member

    As a much cheaper alternative to @TiRed train like the Dutch do.

    But for less embarrassing methods do the Zwift thing with your front wheel raised or buy one of the intelligent wheel raisers from Wahoo or Elite for about a Zillion pounds (inc import duty & VAT).

    Premier Icon andrewh
    Free Member

    I had the same problem in Lincolnshire and also used a singlspeed and headwinds, then moved to the Tweed Valley.
    .
    More usefully, run that local hill. Similar muscles and it will take longer and be harder. Then run it with a pack on.

    Premier Icon mtbqwerty
    Free Member

    @mrhoppy has it

    I often put a section of 4×2 (or two) under the front wheel…it certainly does make a difference

    Premier Icon scud
    Full Member

    Great thanks all, time for a turbo trainer…

    Premier Icon lairdburkart
    Free Member

    I trained for the Alps on the UK flat.
    To stop me cheating I rode a fixed wheel road bike with the wind behind me for about 45 mins. Steady warm up just spinning along 16 – 18 mph.
    Then just turned around and tried to maintain a good pace in head wind. Using very not aerodynamic climbing positions.
    It was not nice. Once a week only.
    I think it worked.

    Premier Icon Klunk
    Free Member

    reps till you drop on the steepest climb you ride

    Premier Icon koogia
    Free Member

    When you find a hill, do it repeatedly. Can get a bit dull but you will spend more time per ride in a climbing position.

    If you can, cycle to North Essex and North Herts, they are quite lumpy, 1100-1200m of elevation per 100km.

    Premier Icon skellnonch
    Full Member

    Improve your ftp

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Free Member

    North Essex and North Herts, they are quite lumpy

    🤣🤣🤣 according to who, someone from the fens?

    Seriously, if you have access to a gym get on a stairclimber, play around with the resistance and you can do 60-80 stairs per minute or as others have said, find a stiff headwind and cycle into it at a suitable cadence out the saddle.

    Premier Icon koogia
    Free Member

    🤣🤣🤣 according to who, someone from the fens?

    Remember, it’s all relative 🤣

    It served me fine for a trip to the Pyrenees

    Premier Icon savoyad
    Full Member

    Are you sure it’s the “climbing position”? And not the physical effects of the sustained output that climbing involves? There’s probably more going on here than just position.
    If it is the position, your local 5 minute climb should be OK for working on that. Especially if you do it repeatedly. For your aims, ride it at lower intensity, obviously.
    Otherwise go where you can ride hills, stay home and ride zwift (front wheel up), choose local routes with minimal recovery opportunity (weirdly, flat can be better than rolling for that)..

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    I would have thought the biggest difference between an FTP test and a real hill was mostly cadence?

    Getting fit for an FTP test on a turbo trainer under ideal conditions is different to slogging up a hill out of the saddle, at a lower and constantly varying cadence.

    I’m living in Cambridgeshire at the moment and even though it’s flat riding a fixie is still hard work as all those little hills and headwinds add up to more than the sum of doing the same loop with gears and the same average effort.

    And, mock it at your perril, find a “Legs Bums and Tums” class (YouTube if you don’t fancy a room full of yummie mummies). I’ve never been so close to pukeing in a gym class, and I used to enjoy back to back spinning sessions. A few months of those will be kill or cure for any core strength issues.

    Premier Icon Straightliner
    Full Member

    Get a trainer, get on Zwift and join up with the STW races. They may not replicate long hills, but it’s fun and will help with getting more motivation for plugging away on the trainer during winter.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Full Member

    being in the climbing position for long periods i struggle with.

    Depends what you mean by this – back strength or Psoas-related hip to lower back tensions can cause problems on hilly rides, it can get to me these days. If it’s a core related issue I’m not sure it’s good to do more of that thing that aggravates it and hope it strengthens and goes away. There’s other solutions but it could be anything from or combos of weights, stretching or bike and/or shoe/cleat set up.
    FWIW both my bunnyhops and seated climbing stability were better when I could do more pull-ups from fairly regular climbing and I wonder if my core is compensating for a lack of shoulder and arm strength compared to where it was some years ago.

    Premier Icon Duggan
    Free Member

    If its position related would it would be helpful to do “intervals” of out-the-saddle time? E.g. 2mins spent cycling standing up out the saddle every 30mins or whatever?

    I found that during the various lockdowns I spent a lot of time on Zwift and the turbo trainer (all seated time) and whilst I was relatively fit at the end it was really noticeable when I actually did a proper climb outdoors for the first time how much my lower back ached.

    It did mostly go away after a few weeks back to normal riding though I do also now do some back extension exercises a few times a week.

    Premier Icon ballsofcottonwool
    Free Member

    Fitting a 24″ rear wheel on the back of a 29er, would roughly tip back the geometry equivalent to riding up a 5% gradient.

    Premier Icon zerocool
    Full Member

    Can you get a turbo and just raise the front wheel up a foot?

    Premier Icon butcher
    Full Member

    Is it the hills causing the issue? I’ve never even considered such as thing as having to condition yourself for a climbing position, but then I live in a very hilly area, so I don’t know. The type of terrain on the Reiver can be quite demanding though. Some of the more demanding descents had my back in bits the first year. They were removed in later additions, but riding a rigid gravel bike continuously on rough terrain does require some good core strength.

    Premier Icon scud
    Full Member

    Thanks all for the replies, i think part of the problem is riding singlespeed too much and having a habit of getting out of the saddle to climb, so when i then get out of the lowlands to proper climbs, and sustained climbing in the saddle, i then struggle and get aches and pains i don’t normally get especially in hamstrings and at Reiver in my achilles.

    Going to work more on core, lower cadence work on turbo with wheel raised and riding the same few hills we do have here continuously

    Premier Icon crosshair
    Free Member

    Interesting thread Scud. Biggest thing I noticed at Reiver was how badly everyone paces. It’s exaggerated because I’m so heavy but I would keep backing off and changing down gears until I was in my lowest and people, even bigger guys, would just roar off up and leave me for dead. Then at the top, I’d carry on chugging and they’d be coasting and sipping water. Then a few minutes later we’d all be back together again but I hadn’t had to go over ftp. All those efforts add up.
    It took my a while to calibrate to the depth of the valleys too if that makes sense. Around here, regardless of steepness, I kind of know how high the hills are going to be so I can gauge my efforts.

    I definitely didn’t ride enough hills either- if I get in for April I’ll definitely make more of an effort on that.
    One thing I did do was a Zwift century at 64rpm to try and help with the inevitable lower cadence 💪🏻

    Premier Icon scud
    Full Member

    With you there Crosshair, i’m fairly heavy, but found that i maybe slower on climbs, but then i would descend quickly and really try to push on on the flats an undulating terrain, so i constantly yo-yo’ed with a great deal of riders that were better climbers than me.

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Full Member

    Interesting that most people accept that climbing means low cadence. Is there a benefit for climbing with low cadence. The pro peloton seems to be using it less

    My solution is lower gearing as low cadence always seems to provoke injuries for me. With modern gearing we can have pretty much any gear range we want despite

    Premier Icon scud
    Full Member

    Ampthill – for me i have always been a grinder (different to always on Grinder…) there was a phase of “experts” promoting higher cadence as the right way, but i thought it had been agreed that people should use what seems to work for them? I find heart rate is a lot lower when i use lower cadence and push hard instead of spinning in lower gear personally

    Premier Icon Haze
    Free Member

    Lower cadence is more muscular so you’d experience fatigue sooner?

    Higher cadence and work on your building your cardio.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    Whilst I am slow especially on hills high cadence works for me and what am I missing with “climbing position” – I sit the same climbing or flat.

    Premier Icon crosshair
    Free Member

    For me, lower cadence in training is more about practicing higher than usual torque.
    I could have probably done with an extra low ratio or two but I personally don’t have an issue with ‘grinding’.
    And like Scud says- lower cadence gives you a lower heart rate.

    My average cadence for Reiver was 72 which mainly reflects the endurance pace. I think I tend to keep the torque similar regardless of power. So at low power I’ll have a low cadence closer to 70 and above FTP I’ll be up around 100.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Interesting that most people accept that climbing means low cadence. Is there a benefit for climbing with low cadence. The pro peloton seems to be using it less

    The difference is whether you’re optimising for efficiency or for power.

    Riding allong below FTP it’s efficient to spin a high cadence. But you get more power from a slightly lower cadence at the expense of burning more calories/building more fatigue.

    Not a low cadence, just lower.

    I can get an error from my cadence sensor at about 160rpm on the turbo, but even with a silly gear I couldn’t do a hillclimb at that!

    Premier Icon scud
    Full Member

    It is why i like riding singlespeed, on the few hills i am working harder to get up them, on the flats i am forced to spin at a higher cadence than i normally would, so usually working harder than i normally would.

    Premier Icon crosshair
    Free Member

    You don’t burn more kcals at a higher or lower cadence (assuming watts are the same). Or build more fatigue if that’s what suits your muscle type.

    When I did my Zwift century at 64rpm, I saved 9000 pedal revolutions V doing it at 90 😉
    There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

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