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my weekly training... ok or not ok?

crewebikercrewebiker Posts: 11
edited September 2007 in Training, fitness and health
I'm 17 yrs old, been road cycling properly at just over a year now and am quite happy with how strong i've gotten recently. I've got the annual club hillclimb in just under two weeks so i've been trying to do a lot of strength training for that as well as just generally trying to 'beef' myself up.

I'm convinced i can become a pretty good cyclist if i hold onto a good training plan etc as i managed to gain a whole 2 minutes off a weekly 10 mile TT PB in only a few weeks. That was gained just by getting back out on the sunday club runs as i wasn't doing any training at all before that apart from slowly riding to work 5 miles each way 5 days a week on my big heavy mtb (which i've stopped doing now as i'm working from home). I went from a PB of 26.25 down to 24.20 which i was more than pleased with.

At that point my sunday club runs invlolved 50-80 miles paced at around 18mph for the whole of the ride, although the last few weeks me and one of my club mates have done the last 10 miles back home as fast as we can hoping to get the best of the mileage, and the speed at the end. We also try to do any hills we come across as fast and hard as we can, and also have a few sprints here and there.

Basically my routine at the moment is my sunday club runs with the sprints, hills, and the fast last 10 miles, and usually about 2 or 3 days with a short 20-30 ride on my own where i push myself pretty hard.

Am i also right in thinking that weight training the upper body can help with hillclimbing? I've been doing weights and the occasional chin-ups on my upper body for a few months now, and i have noticed quite an improvement in my overall strength for sprints and hills etc. I usuallly hit the weights about 3 times a week for no more than an hour each time.

I'm 9st 12 at the moment (65kg) and 5ft 8 and i wouldn't mind putting a bit more weight on (upper body and calfs), although i've been told i'm a good weight for hillclimbing, my club mate is about 12st of pure muscle and can climb hills like theres no tomorrow and always beats me in the sprints although he is a good 4 yrs older than me!

So what do you reckon to the training i'm doing at the moment, do you think there's anything i could do different for better results etc?
Road: Hinde aluminium frame (black) with black Shimano 105 groupset and Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels

Mountain: Diamondback S10 four point linkage full sus modified with Kona rear triangle and custom componentry

Posts

  • crewebiker

    IMHO - your weekly training is fine- but adding upper body weight is unlikely to make you climb more quickly.Climbing is about power to weight ratio and you sound pretty light for your height.I have been down to 62kilos at 170cm and i climbed well.

    if i were you i would try and get out with faster/better riders than yourself on the chaingang?
    it will make you faster as you will work harder to stay with them.

    at 17 your body is still growing and its important to get sufficent rest - weights do not IMHO help recovery.

    enjoy your cycling :D
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Putting bulk on your upper body will DEFINITELY NOT help you climb faster! Lance Armstrong is a prime example - he came from a triathlon background and consequently had a fairly bulky upper body - following his cancer treatment, he lost a lot of upper body mass and became a much better climber. Weight training for your leg and back muscles will improve your power output though.

    Probably a bit late for this season now (concentrate over the winter on long slow rides to build endurance), but you need to fit in some specific interval training sessions in preparation for next years races - depends on when you plan to start racing next season, but you probably want 6-8 weeks build up of intervals interspersed with very low effort 'recovery rides'. The sprints and climbs that you do at present are a good start, but you may benefit more from doing intervals only sessions where you concentrate on just those (after a warm-up of course and warm-down after).

    For intervals, you can do flat sprints or hill climbs, but you want to be pushing your heart-rate up to it's maximum for 1 or 2 minutes before easing off, allowing your pulse to drop and then repeat another 9 times. Riding with your clubs chain-gang doing "through and off" (ie doing short turns on the front before dropping to the back of the line at a fast pace) is another good interval session and replicates racing a road race very well.

    Recovery rides are very low intensity just to turn your legs over after a hard interval session the day before - a 5 or 10 mile pootle round the lanes is ideal. Remember that rest and recovery is equally important as hard training rides - your body will only adapt after hard efforts if you then get the food and rest/sleep you need to recover fully.
  • I think upper body strength is actually very important for climbing. Particularly the steeper out of the saddle efforts. I did our club hill climb last week which consists of a 3k climb at 5% ave, 12% max then a 1k climb at 13% ave, 20% max. Much to my supprise I found my limiting factor was upper body strength as my arms and shoulders were totally stuffed on the second climb, otherwise I wasnt feeling too bad. Overall i gained about a minute on the second placed rider on the first climb but lost about 40 seconds of that on the second climb.
  • I think upper body strength is actually very important for climbing. Particularly the steeper out of the saddle efforts. I did our club hill climb last week which consists of a 3k climb at 5% ave, 12% max then a 1k climb at 13% ave, 20% max. Much to my supprise I found my limiting factor was upper body strength as my arms and shoulders were totally stuffed on the second climb, otherwise I wasnt feeling too bad. Overall i gained about a minute on the second placed rider on the first climb but lost about 40 seconds of that on the second climb.

    It's not strength. You need to practise riding out of the saddle on those steep climbs. A 1k climb at and av 13% is going to take several minutes and that means it's about endurance and technique not strength.

    If you can ride out of the saddle on a steep climb for 20 seconds then you have the necessary strength to do it for several minutes. But you need to train your arms to do this for several minutes and that can only be done by training on those hills out of the saddle again, and again.

    Most of the time we ride sitting in the saddle so our arms are not used to riding out of the saddle.

    Bin
  • nolfnolf Posts: 2,016
    I've got small weedy arms and I never have a problem going up hills- even 20% with a standard double :)
    I find it's much more a case of core muscles that slow me down going up hills- If i really push myself at a high paced rhythm then I find my stomach cramps up before my legs :)

    Extra upper body weight is pointless!

    Also on the days where you don't do any riding consider doing a gentle 10 miler at a low intensity as a recovery ride.

    Have a look at Serious Cycling by Edmund Burke- It will give you good advice on training for Juniors and starters who want to take things more seriously.

    Also pick some goals- then base your years training around those goals- for example if you aim topeak for some races post AS or A2 levels- then aim to be doing endurance long rides until Febish then add in speed work.

    If you want to race in between X-mas exams and summer exams then add in speed work in early December so that you peak in the Spring.
    "I hold it true, what'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost;
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Alfred Tennyson
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