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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:35 pm
Posts: 1375
Location: Geneva
Hi all, looking for a bit of help here...

Me- 180cm, 75 kg, 35 yo, been riding 3 years, get about 45-50 hours a month in from May-Sep and a bit outside of that but don't train tons during the off season (more skiing, ski touring, basketball etc). My background is more sprint/repeat sports (tennis, basketball) so am still building my 'engine' so to speak. I recover from hard efforts more quickly than most but don't have the top end of some.

I generally ride sportives, but the sharp end of the ones out here can be described much more as a race as the level is pretty high to say the least. The m.o. is that the first climb is ridden pretty aggressively to pop as many as possible and then the pace tends to slacken a bit. I almost always end up 'all by myself' as I like to say which is getting popped by the very quick guys but faster than the rest.

However, I'm starting to claw a bit closer to the top end and need a little help getting me over the top. The below strava is a perfect example of this....

http://app.strava.com/activities/11616775

Focus on the first climb here only about 20 guys survived. I held on for 20-25 minutes until I realized I was going to blow so backed off about a minute before that happened. I dug deep, descended quickly and managed to drag myself back to the lead group a bit after the climb. But also spent a lot of energy making back the 30-45 seconds that I lost. Then of course I managed to break my spoke and my day was done and had to do the short course, very annoying.

My question is- what can I do to extend this top end that little bit longer because I'm not too far from being able to hold on till the truce is called.


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Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:22 pm 


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 6:25 pm
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This is one for Cpt. Obvious.

You need to be lighter, more aero and/or put out more power.

To put out more power you need intervals that are no shorter than 10 minutes, preferably 15-30 minutes. Two or three of those in one ride.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:35 pm
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Location: Geneva
I can take that like a man (or size zero supermodel, I'll just go chunder up a few kilos ;) ). As for aero, we're climbing around 20 kph here in a group, not a lot there. I also descend faster than most of these guys already (maybe the weight helps somewhere).

I played other sport competitively at 78-80 kgs so have already lost muscle bulk down to 75kgs and during the winter I'm back around that weight generally as I do a lot of skiing which build bulk. I generally have been measured between 6-8% body fat depending on the time of year so it's really an issue of build and bulk than anything.

Also, I have athsma and am prone to lung infections so I tend only to try and get down to my target weight when I need to. During a stage race last August I did get down to 73-74 kgs and did notice a climbing speed gain. I'm doing that same stage race in a month (Tour de L'Ain, great event) and am looking to fine tune in the month ahead of this.

As for longer intervals, I do tend to actually train at 20-30 minute climbs at 165-170 bpm so I don't think it's a lack of that maybe? I feel like I just need to be able to hold out that bit longer and I'd be up there.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:52 am 
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Formerly known as wassertreter

Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:08 am
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Location: Pedal Square
Try not to lose your aerobic base in winter. How much ski touring and other endurance sports are you doing in the off season? Many strong cyclists here are also into competitive ski mountaineering, and doing lots of vertical. It's of course hard to diagnose from afar whether your deficit is in the base, or in the upper levels, but a stronger base makes everything easier ...

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:45 am 
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Location: Geneva
Agreed about the base. Coming from non-endurance sports, I do lack a bit of base work. I do a fair bit of ski touring/mountaineering in the winter (every wknd in Chamonix) and am considering even taking up the skinny sticks to try and do some XC. I'll probably try and do the PdG with some mates this winter which will keep the motivation up.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:13 pm 
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Formerly known as wassertreter

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Location: Pedal Square
Yeah, go for the PdG (or smaller events), and try to work on your endurance.
I'm in the Alps too, but "commuting" to XC skiing or ski mountaineering is a bit much to ask in the evenings after work, so I'm setting myself a Marathon running goal for April. Maybe also some (machine) rowing, but I'm having a hard time motivating myself for the gym ...

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:35 pm
Posts: 1375
Location: Geneva
Well it seems that this year I've crack a nut of sorts when it come to long and hard ride endurance events. I finished 21st on the long course of the Time Megeve this year and yesterday finished 54th at the etape (previous best for a mountain stage etape was in the 200's). It's probably a combination of experience of fueling and learning my body + some gains coming from this being my 4th year of riding. Still looking for more of that top end though....


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:30 pm
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Quote:
I generally ride sportives, but the sharp end of the ones out here can be described much more as a race as the level is pretty high to say the least. The m.o. is that the first climb is ridden pretty aggressively to pop as many as possible and then the pace tends to slacken a bit. I almost always end up 'all by myself' as I like to say which is getting popped by the very quick guys but faster than the rest.

This sounds like the story of my life.
I finally figured out that I'm the guy that the quick guys are using to judge when they have gone hard enough to slack off. As soon as I pop, they go hard for another 30 seconds, and then I chase for another 5 minutes, but they creep ever-so-gradually until they are gradually out of sight. Then I am alone.

I have no advice, except that every little thing seems to help a little tiny bit. I have had a couple of good races that were actually against some pretty top guys, so I keep hope alive; but it is really, really, faint. :welcome:


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Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:35 pm 


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