Hill training

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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Alexbn921
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by Alexbn921

Weight and resistance are not the same thing. Watts are watts. There is no advantage to training with a heavy bike.

RyanH
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by RyanH

Bikes have gears... Any analogy you guys try to make to justify adding weights is with non geared equipment...

by Weenie


DCcyclist
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by DCcyclist

demoCRIT wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:40 pm
This is pretty basic stuff and there is A TON of free material on web, even some really knowledgable videos on YT
yet after reading some posts here i think that most of cyclists doesn't really understand what "training" actually is and how it can/should be done.

I mean, even on flats your gearing/cadence combination will allow you to put 500W easily and thats more than enough for your intervall training.
Sure hills are nice but trust me - you can do it without them. (flat lander here).

What's your goal? Explosive power? aerobic endurance? "recovery"?


all the best!
+1

Yes, use your gears. You need to ride your bike in the proper training zones to get faster on the hills.

I can type a bunch of Subtreshold-SS-VO2max intervals here that can make you even faster but really my point is stick to proper training zones & shifters.
2019 Giant TCR Advanced Pro 0 Disc

demoCRIT
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by demoCRIT

exactly this. ^

peted76
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by peted76

Big gear low cadence = strength training.
Pick points/markers on the way up the hill to get out and stay in the saddle also.

You don't need a hill to do this on, but it helps.

Alexandrumarian
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by Alexandrumarian

RyanH wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:42 pm
Bikes have gears...
A while ago it occured to me that if I'd grind the flat, for example 50x11 60rpm 34kph 235W it would be precisely the same cadence and power I need to do a 9% hill in 34x32 8kph (I'm a pork ). So I could replace some of the usual 90-100rpm flat spinning with such grinding intervals and better prepare for my hill rides. I've talked about this with a couple mates and they all dismissed my theory as utter bollocks, sayingh hills are different and flat grinding will never replicate them. I still can't see why it couldn't work...

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LouisN
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by LouisN

RocketRacing wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:36 am
So i like hills. I was wondering about strapping on a backpack with some weights and doing a few climbs. Then i thought... why not just pedal harder (bigger gear). “Cycling doesn’t get any easier, you just go faster”.

Thoughts?
You like hills.
What's your goal ? Going faster uphill ? How long are those hills ? Any climb in particular ?

Then simple physiology principles will be your friends.

LOuis :)

joejack951
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by joejack951

Alexandrumarian wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:12 pm
A while ago it occured to me that if I'd grind the flat, for example 50x11 60rpm 34kph 235W it would be precisely the same cadence and power I need to do a 9% hill in 34x32 8kph (I'm a pork ). So I could replace some of the usual 90-100rpm flat spinning with such grinding intervals and better prepare for my hill rides. I've talked about this with a couple mates and they all dismissed my theory as utter bollocks, sayingh hills are different and flat grinding will never replicate them. I still can't see why it couldn't work...
Of course it can work. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't understand physics. The only significant difference between hills and flats, and it's a biggie, is that weight matters on hills and it matters more and more as the gradient goes up. On the flat, you can power along for a bit then let up for a second or two without slowing down all that much. You'll grind to a halt doing that on a steep hill. Really what training on actual hills does is force you to keep the power high so that you keep moving. There's no reason you can't put out the same power on the flat, but you need more discipline to do it because nothing is forcing you.

As long as you are realistic and recognize that just because you can keep up, or even crush, someone lighter than you on the flats that the same won't happen in the hills then you'll be fine. Of course, if you can shed some weight in the process you'll make your life in the hills far easier.

Alexandrumarian
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by Alexandrumarian

joejack951 wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:40 pm
Alexandrumarian wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:12 pm
On the flat, you can power along for a bit then let up for a second or two without slowing down all that much. You'll grind to a halt doing that on a steep hill. Really what training on actual hills does is force you to keep the power high so that you keep moving. There's no reason you can't put out the same power on the flat, but you need more discipline to do it because nothing is forcing you.
Precisely this. I tried to do it a few times and fail after a few minutes. I step off the gas or shift. Pretty similar to forcing yourself not to quickly end up in the largest cog at the slightest sign of steepness. Me and my buddies gradually moved from 28 then 30 to 32 even 34 cassettes (even the light ones) and we now joke that the only way to attempt a pr now is to put back the small cassette...

Shrike
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by Shrike

Wouldn't your body position be different on the flats than on 9% even if you're on the same gear.

I used to get what I would describe as 'trainer-legs' after doing 2-3 month or longer training plans on something like TrainerRoad then going outside for a ride to test the legs. Completely useless. Legs would feel weak even though I've had notable FTP gains. I'd get tired quickly on the road, but on the trainer I would be a machine, spinning like a boss for hours non-stop.

This is something of a phenomenon, and I know other guys doing indoor training plans have noted similar - but you don't hear it from coaches designed indoor plans - they'll give you examples of some guy who trained indoors only for 6 months then went and won some local race :P

SilentDrone
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by SilentDrone

RyanH wrote:Bikes have gears... Any analogy you guys try to make to justify adding weights is with non geared equipment...
Precisely. There is a mechanical leverage that one can employ. Adding weight ignores the existence of your gearing.

At my gym there are some machines where you can get more or less resistance by adjusting a lever. You could also get more resistance by going over to the free weights rack, grabbing some of those, and then stacking them up on the machine, but why not just use the lever


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demoCRIT
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by demoCRIT

peted76 wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:53 pm
Big gear low cadence = strength training.
Pick points/markers on the way up the hill to get out and stay in the saddle also.

You don't need a hill to do this on, but it helps.
There is a study saying that this is only half true and that there is no real adaptations/benefits of low cadence grind.
Cant find it atm but guy called "dylan jonson" on YT was hhighlighting this. (if you have some spare time to dig deeper after this).
Not saying you shouldn't do that, just that it wont substitute a good series of squats or deal lift.

atb

joejack951
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by joejack951

Shrike wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:07 pm
Wouldn't your body position be different on the flats than on 9% even if you're on the same gear.

I used to get what I would describe as 'trainer-legs' after doing 2-3 month or longer training plans on something like TrainerRoad then going outside for a ride to test the legs. Completely useless. Legs would feel weak even though I've had notable FTP gains. I'd get tired quickly on the road, but on the trainer I would be a machine, spinning like a boss for hours non-stop.

This is something of a phenomenon, and I know other guys doing indoor training plans have noted similar - but you don't hear it from coaches designed indoor plans - they'll give you examples of some guy who trained indoors only for 6 months then went and won some local race :P
Yeah, on a 9% grade I'm generally holding the tops and shifted back on my saddle a bit vs. being on the hoods and further forward on the saddle when on the flats. But the latter is the more difficult position to apply power (for me at least). So if I'm able to hit my numbers on the flats then it should be even easier on the hills where I'm not getting to low to stay out of the wind.

Perhaps 'trainer legs' are due to the fact there is much less demand on the body as a whole riding a trainer then riding on roads. The effort to simply balance on a bike, especially on a windy day, is real and can add up. On real hills you also don't get any 'flywheel' effect like you might get on a trainer, again where backing off a bit on the trainer doesn't hurt nearly as much as it will on a steep hill on the road.

I've never had that experience so tough for me to say anything with certainty. Perhaps someone else can chime in who has been there done that. My only way to relate is through having recently taken a significant time period off my bikes but running quite a bit (60-80km/week). Getting back on the bike at first my legs felt horrible as the muscles in use are quite different between the two activities. But now that I've been cycling again for 5 weeks those muscles have caught up and I'm able to take advantage of all the fitness gained through running. Really, it only took a few rides before I felt WAY better on the bike, able to match or beat my abilities back when I was cycling a decent amount consistently for years.

So the question is how long after being back on the road do you start feeling as strong as you did on the trainer? If it's days to weeks, then I'd attribute it to just using slightly different/less muscles on the trainer. If it's months, there's probably something else at play.

spartacus
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by spartacus

I can put out more power in climbs than flat ground for sure, I’ve heard it’s fairly common. That said to get better at climbing just keep doing it and try to lose weight, that’s about it. Climbing is one instance that for me a power meter really helps because I will easily go too hard and blow up without one, or go too easy, but ymmv.

by Weenie


Gary71
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by Gary71

Interesting topic.
A lot of the positions posted here IMHO I think are true, but do not paint the full picture.
Watts are Watts - so if your FTP won't change by just by adding extra weight……., and your FTP on a WT doesn’t always translate into the hills. There are several things that are different.
The angle is different (obviously), which causes a shift in the position on the bike…., although I don’t think this is a big factor until you get to climbs >9 degrees. I think it’s more about your pedal stroke. Your cadence is usually slowly. i roll around the flats anywhere from 80-95 RPMs. In the hills, my sweet spot is 60-70 RPMs. Of course Chris Froome likes to spins like a banshee - but we all can’t be Chris Froome’s.
The lower cadence and angle causes a couple of things:
1. Your power stroke throughout your pedal rotation is greater (i.e applied earlier in the down stroke and trails off later in the stroke); and
2. You use more of your muscular skeletal system and less of your aerobic respiratory system generally to go up hill, especially if your cadence is in the mid 60’s.
I foolishly set a goal for myself last year to ride a local training climb (Mt Coot-Tha) 365 times in the year thinking it would turn from a fat (for a cyclist) slow sprinter into a mountain goat…..
Well, doing something a lot of times doesn’t necessarily make you a fast cyclist - either in the hills or the flats. I realised when I was getting behind in my goal that doing multiple (slow) repeats won’t necessarily increase your FTP of aerobic capacity (but they helped me bring my ascent tally inline with the days of the year). You can do junk miles on the flats and in the hills!
I knew i was doing junk miles going up hills just to hit an arbitrary, pointless goal - at the sacrifice of training or improvement.
I think BikeBoy and DCcyclist said it - if you want to get fast at going up hills. Do hill repeats !
But do so within a power zone targeted to cause a certain stressor to elicit a particular muscle adaptation (as long as there are intervals or periods of rest for recovery and adaptation to take place).
Low cadence - big gear; big gear - short bursts; high cadence - high RPMs - all will stress the body a different way, but all can cause adaptation if applied to the body in the applicable planned schedule.
If you want to be a stronger and faster or powerful cyclist - follow a training plan and rest in between sessions.

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