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Seeming Lack Of Power

BossangelBossangel Posts: 164
I've been riding XC for nearly 2 years and I would say my fitness is quite good. On the flat i can AVG 13mph and I can seem to climb any hill. The trouble I have is climbing the hill at speed. I dont seem to be able to get up with any speed at all. Though I amke it to the top I can seem to keep up with my friends going up all the time. How can I increase my leg power power to keep up with them :)
Why use brakes? Falling off is a much quicker way to stop

Posts

  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,354
    Lose weight. Your climbing speed is dictated by the amount of power you can put out per kilogram of weight. It's easier to drop weight than to increase power.
  • whyamihere wrote:
    Lose weight. Your climbing speed is dictated by the amount of power you can put out per kilogram of weight. It's easier to drop weight than to increase power.

    debatable.

    You can increase power and drop fat weight. but someone that has good fitness via XC riding for 2 years shouldn't have much fat to lose.

    Hit the gym, get some leg and core strength training done.
  • DazzzaDazzza Posts: 2,364
    Weight does have a profound impact though when i was 80kg i could fly up any hill with ease, now im 99kg i struggle at times despite being stronger.
    The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.
    Giant Anthem X
  • 77ric77ric Posts: 601
    Dazzza wrote:
    Weight does have a profound impact though when i was 80kg i could fly up any hill with ease, now im 99kg i struggle at times despite being stronger.

    Look at our road racing brethren, they are all built like tooth picks but climb hills with no problems. It's all about balancing the weight and strength. if you get to strong you gain too much weight to climb effectively, and vice versa.

    your bike could be involved to. my average speed on the flat is a touch over 16mph but climbing sucks, i weigh in at 77Kg, but my bike weighs in at 16Kg, and it's a c**t on short steep technical climbs.
    Fancy a brew?
  • BossangelBossangel Posts: 164
    not much weight to lose, I've gone from 16st to 13st, I can ride and ride hard i just seem to crawl up hills
    Why use brakes? Falling off is a much quicker way to stop
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    What gear are you in, and what cadence? Sat or standing?

    Power, and efficiency, are two different things. Standing cranks out the power, but is much less efficienet thanm spinning and sitting.
  • BossangelBossangel Posts: 164
    I'm usually sat. the hills are quite long so i like to at least reach the top without stopping, everyone else does the same though and i get to the top last
    Why use brakes? Falling off is a much quicker way to stop
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    You would have probably burnt the least energy ;-) Try a slightly harder gear next time but keep your cadence the same.
  • BossangelBossangel Posts: 164
    ok I'll give it a go, I never use the granny ring, any one caught using granny has to buy the beers at the pub, I normally use middle ring but quite a low gear. Maybe I could knock it up a couple of gears would that help?
    Why use brakes? Falling off is a much quicker way to stop
  • punctureboypunctureboy Posts: 217
    get on an exercise bike in a gym. its easy to simulate whatever level of climbing you want and for as long as you want. when i started using them about 3 months ago my riding fitness went through the roof. (and i've been riding xc for 18 months)
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Just one gear at a time - adjust gears so you are spinning the pedals at 80-90 rpm. If you change gear, keep the rpm the same.

    There will be times where you need extra bursts of power out of the sadlle, but sitting and spinning at steady cadence is the most energy efficient.
  • DazzzaDazzza Posts: 2,364
    You can also try tabata training, i find it great for a kick up the backside just only do it every so often as it is quite strenuous.
    The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.
    Giant Anthem X
  • BossangelBossangel Posts: 164
    whats tabata training? This is something I really want to crack, If i can crack this bit i'll knock 10 mins off my loops easy
    Why use brakes? Falling off is a much quicker way to stop
  • Klein XCKlein XC Posts: 35
    Tabata training is a type of interval training. For example, you would do 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles).

    More about it here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-inten ... l_training
    "Money can't buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery." Spike Milligan.
  • n3ver3ndern3ver3nder Posts: 16
    Check out this article for info on the Tabata method;

    http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_arti ... ata_method

    I've not tried it but it's apparently great for weight loss too, but it looks like it'd kill me!
  • gettrickygettricky Posts: 103
    Doing weights at gym is never as good as actually doing cycling IMO, its a very specific group of muscles and ligaments being used during cycling which is best stimulated by cycling.

    I've been training for mega last month, I have basically been avoiding using the granny ring and just pounding up the hills, and also praciting getting out the saddle to build up core strength my calves look like Arnies at the moment. Well mini-me arnie anyway ;-)

    Having said that and now to totally contradict myself :lol: I also do Kung Fu and a slow form of kung fu much like tai chi which is bloody brilliant for general body conditioning, particulalry core strength which you need in MTBing.

    Could it be bike set up? Light tyres and wheels will give much less rolling resistance for example and have you experimented with saddle position/height and stems etc?
    ---

    Pitch Pro 2009
  • BossangelBossangel Posts: 164
    I knocked 3.5 minutes off my personal best last night avg 11.9mph and reaching 44.9mph on the down hill. I did play with the bike set up and its running like a dream at the moment.(Part of that is i have a new front mech fitted) I rode differently getting out of the saddle more but man do I ache this morning.
    My tyres are quite heavy I have Panaracer 2.1's fitted on a pair of zac 2000 standard wheels. I spoke to a friend who is a personal trainer and she reccomends squats and lunges and says if i do loads every day i'll be flying up the hills soon.
    Why use brakes? Falling off is a much quicker way to stop
  • You could try hill repeats. Same principal as interval training.
    No-one wanted to eat Patagonia Toothfish so they renamed it Chilean Sea Bass and now it's in danger of over fishing!
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    44.9mph on an MTB :shock: Don't think I've ever been near that speed!

    I think hills are about mentality as much as anything else. When I see a climb coming up, I mentally do a wicked grin then get stuck in and blast up as quickly as I can.

    Spin the cranks, don't "push push push", keep the cadence high, make sure your saddle is high up, lean into the hill and don't "pedal up it" - ATTACK it!
  • cgarossicgarossi Posts: 729
    I know how you feel.

    I have been mountain biking since I was 14, im now 32 and weight around 15stone. My friends are basically whippets and get to the top much quicker than myself. I always do the climb though, im just not that fast.

    I put it down to weight, but I have lost nearly a stone since xmas.
  • Ditch WitchDitch Witch Posts: 837
    Nice work ;)
    I ride like a girl
    Start: 16.5.x Now: 14.10.8 Goal: 11.7.x
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  • StephencpStephencp Posts: 60
    Squats and lunges will not get you up the hill any faster, in fact as they are likely to make you heavier you`ll probably be slower.

    To get up hills you need to increase sustainable power. Best way to do that is by riding at 85-95% of max between 20 minutes and an hour.
  • cgarossicgarossi Posts: 729
    Nice work ;)

    Thanks :)
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