Hill Climbing: how do you gauge your max effort?

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RyanH
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by RyanH

kulivontot wrote:Find another climbing partner who's stronger than you. You'll find your max effort real quick


This.

My avg HR on a standard training ride climb is 180ish with a max of 183 or so, but come Thursday night group ride, I've been averaging high 180's with a max of up to 194.

HR monitors can also work against you sometimes since (I believe, to a degree) you're capable of outputting more than you think, but once you see something like 185 or 190bpm flash in front of you, you may psychologically tone it down/ease up. I had to move my HR to a different screen on my Garmin for this reason.
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by Weenie


Brandonnie
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by Brandonnie

i notice it by my hands. when i climb i am always thinking to keep my hand loose. when i go all out i find myself pulling back on the bars and clenching them tight.

mrfish
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by mrfish

I don't like HRMs on climbs as HR can shift by 10bpm and HR isn't a good measure for the first and last sections of the hill. Also on a steep hill (particularly if you are over-geared) keeping the gear turning to maintain momentum over steep sections can be more important than HR. So I would focus on timing, cadence and gearing for each section of the climb. For a longer hill that would mean breaking it into a few sections with a similar gradient. Or with today's GPS tech you could use the virtual training partner to pace yourself.

Regarding effort , I used to find that riding in a group, setting up a time trial competition or having someone shouting at me would enable much more pain tolerance, risky pacing and thus faster riding. Of course, if you really want to win things it's possible to get to a pain zone beyond normal. For example hillclimbing I could get to slight tunnel vision and sore legs, but I once remarked to someone who won a lot of hillclimbs that after finishing a 50 mile time trial I felt hot, had stomach pains, a racing heart, very sore legs and had to lie down for the rest of the day. He replied that he got the same place after a 3 minute hillclimb.

KWalker
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by KWalker

power and then later, by VAM. Only metrics that matter on a climb.
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artray
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by artray

If you are at your limit all your muscles will come into play and you will beg for mercy or shout out mummy and feel like throwing up . If you have none of these symptons you are not trying hard enough . :lol:

CerveloBert
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by CerveloBert

mrfish wrote:I don't like HRMs on climbs as HR can shift by 10bpm and HR isn't a good measure for the first and last sections of the hill. Also on a steep hill (particularly if you are over-geared) keeping the gear turning to maintain momentum over steep sections can be more important than HR. So I would focus on timing, cadence and gearing for each section of the climb. For a longer hill that would mean breaking it into a few sections with a similar gradient. Or with today's GPS tech you could use the virtual training partner to pace yourself.


This I do agree with. I think HR is good as a very good general tool for someone who is first getting into climbing. I consider the gear turning momentum over the steeper climbs to be of great benefit on climbs, and you just have to learn how to bend the rules a little bit if you set limits for yourself on your HR.

KWalker
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by KWalker

Climb at a smooth consistent pace and learn to climb by feel. A HR monitor, PM, etc won't help you gauge efforts much better, but knowing your terrain and where that limit is will. I love seeing dudes try to Strava KOM climbs they don't know by riding at their threshold and then getting popped because they can't hold that power or pace when you throw switchbacks, gradient changes, and crosswinds into account. You literally have to just get very very in tune with your own pacing and that takes some experience/experimenting. I often see riders in races, group rides, and grand fondos go apeshit at the base of a climb and distance me, but then finish the climb minutes behind because all they do is blow up and then ride at a tempo pace as they essentially recovery climb the rest of it.
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HillRPete
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by HillRPete

artray wrote:If you are at your limit all your muscles will come into play and you will beg for mercy or shout out mummy and feel like throwing up . If you have none of these symptons you are not trying hard enough . :lol:

A bit off topic, but I never have those symptoms. Not when I was doing 800m track running as a junior, not when I'm doing a hillclimb today. I think it very much varies from person to person, how exhaustion is perceived.

claus
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by claus

artray wrote:If you are at your limit ....you will... shout out mummy ...:


How can you shout if you are at your limit? I need all my breath for my (leg/heart/...) muscles... nothing left for shouting (until I'm over the top and recovered a bit.)

artray
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by artray

Your right claus . Tomorrow I will ride hard , harder than ever before. So hard that I will not be able to shout out "mummy" only try and grab what air my body can get and the pain of my legs and arms will lose so much strength that I have no choice only to fall off my bike. Shouting "Mummy" will now be a thing of the past.
I thanks you claus .I will try harder, no more mummy calling .

ticou
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by ticou

On me gym bike I'm averaging 260-312W for 30 mins; when I red line on a col, and it's only happened once, I gauge my max effort by getting off and, noticing a farming lady driving up in a 1960's 4X4, ask her in a pleading voice if I can jump in the back with my bike for a few hairpins.

artray
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by artray

The old noticing a farming lady driving up in a 1960's 4X4, ask her in a pleading voice if I can jump in the back with my bike for a few hairpins training routine. Yeah I did this for a while . Contador swears by it :lol:

ticou
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by ticou

Don't we all know it! How do you think he does his Bouncin' Bertie act? On a 20X47 that's how. The 'incident' happened in the 'nees, I took a right hand turn instead of the left at a junction of my local holiday col and came upon 5k's of 28% for me trouble.

artray
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by artray

5ks of 28% .How that must have hurt . There is a climb I do when I go to scotland . It states that the gradient is 12% but I can tell you its more like 20% for half a km . I always go up it 53t x 26 to test myself and its the toughest small climb I have done. There is one over the next mountain that gets steeper and is a bit longer but for some reason it is not as tough.

ticou
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by ticou

I'd imagine that your legs would be fairly warmed up by that stage!

by Weenie


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