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why is my alps training going backwards?

inaperfectworldinaperfectworld Posts: 362
i'm 54 and i do a bit of commuting but my main objective is touring and being sufficiently fit that i can enjoy 50 mile days with some luggage. this september i've decided to have a go at the alps so have been going up some hills near to me, getting out about once every 5 days over the last 5 weeks on two routes. the first is 30 miles the objective being to ride twice up a one kilometre hill of average gradient 11/12%. the other, when short of time, is 0.5 kilometres av. gradient 12% and a round trip of about 17 miles with 2 or 3 runs up the hill. i haven't been doing any longer, flatter runs. normally out early after oats breakfast. i would expect to be finding things a lot easier by now but the last 2 times out have been harder, this afternoon's particularly as for the first time i really wanted to stop on the hill, and on the ride home just didn't seem to have anything left in my legs each rise was a struggle i would have happily had a lift if one was available.
any ideas why i'm going backwards? i'm getting worried that the alps might be a bit too much for me. maybe i need a good break?

Posts

  • st68st68 Posts: 219
    im off too alpe d huez friday week i have been doing hill repeats 2 times a week for 2 months same as i was doing before my last trip which consists of tuesday 8 short but steep hills over 21 miles which amounts to about 6 miles of climbing and thursday of 8 longer but not quite as steep rides over 37miles and about 10 miles of climbing this year the same as last year i have days like u when its hard i did last night ! but when riding in this country i use a 11/25 rear but i use 13/29 rear in france but i do rest 1 day a week an this week b4 i go i will ride gently i do ride long flat and run a bit as well keep it up mate u will love riding the alps oh and one more thing there roads generally have better tarmac and less traffic and the scenery really lifts your spirits :wink:
    cheesy quaver
  • .... getting out about once every 5 days over the last 5 weeks on two routes....
    I suspect the answer lies therein.
  • does that mean too often or not often enough?
  • does that mean too often or not often enough?
    Training once every 5 days ain't gunna cut it I'm afraid. You'll need to do more frequent training. 4 days/week would be a lot better.
  • FogliettazFogliettaz Posts: 180
    After 6 months training in the flat lands of Essex, I rode the Col d'Iseran yesterday, 17 km, 960 mts vertical, from Val d'Isere. It took me 2 hours the last 3 km were the hardest 7-8%. It was extremely cold at the top and it was trying to snow and there were no newspapers to be had any where!! By the way I am 52 so you can do it>
  • BlondeBlonde Posts: 3,188
    i think you'd be better off just riding the bike and getting some long rides in rather than just doing hill repeats. The further you ride the more stamina you will have (and will also have to ride up some hills) and that's what's required for the Alps unless you are racing up them. If you are riding with luggage you will be using small gears and concentrating on enduracnce rather than strength/speed. If you are touring you need to get used to doing back to back rides. You'll need to be able to do a days ride, (with or without added tiring activity of putting tent up etc) go to bed and then get up again and do it all again - this is where I would agree that you need to be out on the bike more than twice a week in preparation - Your ability to recover quicly between rides and ride consecutive days will be essential. By all measns do some hill repeats but dont forget the base endurance as that is what everything else is built upon. Without the base endurance and the strong cardiovascular fitness that goes with it you will feel tired more quickly and less able to do the hill specific training.
  • DaSyDaSy Posts: 599
    I find that the most effective training for the long alpine climbs is a hard tempo ride of 2 or 3 hours. This really doesn't need to be a hilly ride, the main thing you need to train your body to do is to put out a relatively high power for a long time.

    Most hills and even mountains (if your lucky enough to have any near you) in this country just don't replicate the long constant output required for the Alps.

    I recently rode Ventoux, and the ride that closest compared in all my training was a flat 60 mile out and back course that I ride at tempo, all my hill training tends to be on short steep hills, which really isn't that helpful.
    Complicating matters since 1965
  • thanks for the advice. i assumed that keeping on at the same steep hills would, before too long, make them seem a bit of a breeze (does this ever happen then?). i've been out 3 out of last 4 days, done the usual hill twice this week and a 50 mile ride in between and will do a pushing ride tomorrow over 2/3 miles . booked as welll next week to do the carlisle/glasgow sustrans route over 5 days 30,50,40,50,50 miles.
  • DaSyDaSy Posts: 599
    Hills never get easier, you just go up them quicker.....can't remember who said that, but it is very true.
    Complicating matters since 1965
  • thanks for the advice. i assumed that keeping on at the same steep hills would, before too long, make them seem a bit of a breeze (does this ever happen then?). i've been out 3 out of last 4 days, done the usual hill twice this week and a 50 mile ride in between and will do a pushing ride tomorrow over 2/3 miles . booked as welll next week to do the carlisle/glasgow sustrans route over 5 days 30,50,40,50,50 miles.
    Now more regular training sounds the goods :) - but be careful not to increase the amount of training you do too rapidly. It needs to be a steady and sustainable increase in overall workload from week to week. Otherwise you'll feel trashed and won't want to ride much the following week.

    Keep it going! :D
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