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Hills :-(

NWLondonerNWLondoner Posts: 2,047
Hills, I hate them. Struggle to get up the damn things and my descending isn't much better.

Now I know the only way to get over them is to keep doing them. Only problem is that the ones I want/need to conquer are around 40/50 km into my ride and by that time my legs (above my knees) are starting to wane. Is it best to keep hitting them after this distance or would I be better off going up them with "fresh legs" then once I get better with them i can hit them into a longer ride?

It's just embarrassing as the others literally shoot up the hill out of sight and I am left spinning/grinding away for minutes (lifetime) trying to get up it :oops:

Posts

  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    If you can .. and its probably easier for you to get to the gym than your nearest decent set of hills.. start to do some leg strength building exercises.. squats or using machines --- leg extensions AND leg curls and calf raises..
    It's all dependent on your body type BUT you will want to increase those muscle fibres that use both anaerobic and aerobic energy pathways to sustain more speed and power uphill.. good evidence to prove that you can make a difference to these fibres.. and you are just not at the mercy of your genetic makeup


    either that or MOVE north 8)
  • Strength isn't a limiter to hill climbing so I'm afraid that all strength training in the gym will do is add mass, reduce the aerobic capabilities of the major muscle groups thorugh reducing mitochondral density, and increase in the cell diffusion distance for gas and key metabolite exchange and have a negative impact on hill climbing performance.

    want to climb better?

    Focus on improving aerobic power and/or reducing weight.
  • NWLondonerNWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    Loosing weight is not an option. I am already underweight at 63kg
  • EdwinEdwin Posts: 785
    That's pretty light, so in that case you just need more fitness, as Alex says it's aerobic capacity that counts, not strength.
    To answer your question more directly, there's no point just doing hills with fresh legs, if you're struggling on longer hilly rides.....then do more long hilly rides to train. Also, if you think you're underweight, maybe look at your nutrition. I know a lot of cyclists who would love to be 63kg, but just being light doesn't necessarly mean you'll fly up hills - it's power to weight ratio that counts.
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    Here is a simple program to make you better at hills

    1) find a hill near you that takes several minutes to climb
    2) ride to the hill taking 25 minutes to do so for a warmup
    3) ride up the hill as fast as possible
    4) whiz down the hill and then have 5 minutes riding briskly but not fast to catch your breath
    5) repeat the hill and keep repeating until your time is 10% less than the first go
    6) ride home to warm down
    7) stretch and have some kind of recovery nutrition ie chocolate milk or All Sports Amino Load

    Do this twice a week for 5 weeks, week off, another 5 weeks.
    Your hill times will improve
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    Building muscle mass...? oh I wish it was just that simple................................. :lol:
    I wasnt prescibing bodybuilding weightloads however.. just sufficient to increase muscular endurance..
    and a few good meals as well.. meat and 2 veg...
  • jgsi wrote:
    Building muscle mass...? oh I wish it was just that simple................................. :lol:
    I wasnt prescibing bodybuilding weightloads however.. just sufficient to increase muscular endurance..
    and a few good meals as well.. meat and 2 veg...
    Doesn't matter. Doing weights doesn't improve endurance.

    "It's an aerobic sport, dammit!"
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    I get the picture :wink:
    so Sir Chris is an idiot for wasting his time then...?

    Not being completely obtuse, but there are several other good reasons for doing some resistance training.. but then again I am not involved with elite athletes, so this is just my opinion.. but this is a genuine extract.....

    "SH
    With your training, how much is done in the weight room?

    CH
    Not as much as you may think . After 15 tears of pushing weights I have got the base line strength, which is easy to maintain. This allows more time to be spent on the speed and technique side of racing. I only do two sessions a week in the gym of about two hours each. Squats, dead lifts and lots of core work make up most of the session."
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    jgsi wrote:
    I get the picture :wink:
    so Sir Chris is an idiot for wasting his time then...?

    Not being completely obtuse, but there are several other good reasons for doing some resistance training.. but then again I am not involved with elite athletes, so this is just my opinion.. but this is a genuine extract.....

    "SH
    With your training, how much is done in the weight room?

    CH
    Not as much as you may think . After 15 tears of pushing weights I have got the base line strength, which is easy to maintain. This allows more time to be spent on the speed and technique side of racing. I only do two sessions a week in the gym of about two hours each. Squats, dead lifts and lots of core work make up most of the session."

    Chris Hoy isn't really an endurance athlete. Track Sprinting is more than a bit different from Hill Climbing.
    I like bikes...

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  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    jgsi wrote:
    I get the picture :wink:
    so Sir Chris is an idiot for wasting his time then...?

    this is a genuine extract.....

    "SH
    With your training, how much is done in the weight room?

    CH
    Not as much as you may think . After 15 tears of pushing weights I have got the base line strength, which is easy to maintain. This allows more time to be spent on the speed and technique side of racing. I only do two sessions a week in the gym of about two hours each. Squats, dead lifts and lots of core work make up most of the session."

    4 hours in the gym would represent a large amount of time for me and problably for the OP. I am not a pro athlete like Sir Chris. In the past I have spent a couple of hours a week on "core work" a week, tops.

    You have to remember that Sir Chris is a sprinter and he does need enormous muscles for this. He has to accellerate so heavily it does require a lot of muscular strength.

    The OP wanted to get better at hills. More muscle mass is counter productive with hills. If the OP spent 4 hours a week improving their aerobic capacity or endurance this would have a much more positive effect than if they piled on pounds of muscle at the gym
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    I know I am taking an example from the top end and so it wasnt a routine to follow verbatim just because 'he' does it..
    I bet he is handy going up a hill tho'
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    jgsi wrote:
    I bet he is handy going up a hill tho'

    I bet he is censored compared with Wiggins and most of the pro peleton.

    I don't do any weight training, yet have got faster and stronger by doing hill repeats, lactate threshold training and the like. Hill repeats will be the best for the OP to do IMO
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    For trivia - check out Andy (in the middle) after winning this years LBL :D

    http://www.letour.fr/PHOTOS/LBL/2009/100/fr/Pod_3.jpg

    He's arguably in the top 5-10 best climbers on the planet - and could be Contador's main rival in a couple of weeks time.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    SBezza wrote:
    I don't do any weight training, yet have got faster and stronger by doing hill repeats, lactate threshold training and the like. Hill repeats will be the best for the OP to do IMO

    take a gander at http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/articl ... bone-21929

    I know that gym work is anathema to quite a few tho but I bet MTBing is looked upon in same light by some roadies... :wink:

    back to the OP... methinks the issue is more logistical in getting out to some decent hills from where he lives
    anyways thats my tuppence worth well and truly done on this one
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Sounds to me like you just need to train at a higher intensity, you can cope with the ride out at a steady speed but seem to pay as soon as you go into the red. So find some hills closer to home if you can and use them for training, ride up them as fast as you can and then repeat several times. Or you don't even need hills, just practice intense efforts on the flat.

    Also get the gearing right, you don't want to grind or spin. Grind and you will labour up, spin like a whirlwind too and you risk going to slow, you want to feel in control of the effort.
  • As a newbie also who is struggling on hills ( bur getting up them). Is it harder to stay in the saddle whilst going uphill or should i bet getting up and over my front like when MTB'ing? Or is it a very individual thing - some find either or better?

    I was out on my censored today but I did have a bloody head wind on every uphill. It was that windy I even had to pedal on the decent :roll:
    Bianchi. There are no alternatives only compromises!
    I RIDE A KONA CADABRA -would you like to come and have a play with my magic link?
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    As a newbie also who is struggling on hills ( bur getting up them). Is it harder to stay in the saddle whilst going uphill or should i bet getting up and over my front like when MTB'ing? Or is it a very individual thing - some find either or better?

    I was out on my ars* today but I did have a bloody head wind on every uphill. It was that windy I even had to pedal on the decent :roll:

    Stay in the saddle mostly up to ~ 10-15 % - you'll need to be out of the saddle mostly/almost entirely above 15-17 % - just rough guide and imho. Don't see the point in wasting too much energy standing for too long - everyone's different though - obviously, mix it up a bit to use different muscles at times. Just all imho. In general, it saves energy being seated.
  • NWLondonerNWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    Thanks for all your replies.

    I was thinking along the same lines (honestly) but just needed some reassurance.

    As to my weight, sadly I suffer from IBS so my diet is very strict and I can only eat a minimal amount. Hence why I weight so little.

    I have tried to eat more food with a high protein count and also now have protein shakes to boost my intake to try and build some leg muscle. I don't have much power in my legs but I have noticed a slight improvement since taking moire protein and my legs do feel firmer so I hope that should help.
  • jgsi wrote:
    I get the picture :wink:
    so Sir Chris is an idiot for wasting his time then...?
    We are talking about hill climbing, which is an aerobic endurance activity and not the explosive nature of track sprinting, which is Chris Hoy's domain. They are completely different in so many ways, especially the physiological demands.

    If you don't understand the basic differences then this is not an area you really should be providing advice on.

    Let me know the next time Sir Chris wins a pro hillclimb TT or a road race with a hilltop finish.

    I won't be holding my breath.
  • dealdeal Posts: 857
    I find it easier to spin a low gear at about 90rpm than to push the same gear at a low cadence of 70ish. Despite the power output of the first effort being a nice chunk higher the perceived effort is much lower.
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    jgsi wrote:
    take a gander at http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/articl ... bone-21929

    I know that gym work is anathema to quite a few tho but I bet MTBing is looked upon in same light by some roadies... :wink:

    And before I did cycling I did nothing, so I doubt my bones will crumble away. General things like walking will do the same thing. Not everyone wants to weight train, I find it boring to be honest, and as it has little benefit to the type of cycling I do, there is no need to do it.

    There is nothing wrong with MTBing, I have one which is used, I just enjoy road riding more.

    There is a few ways to get better at hills, get lighter (not an option for the OP), or get more powerful, which means work on the bike, not in the gym. Most of the best climbers in the pro peleton are lightweight thin stick whippets, just they have the power and can hold it for a long time.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    If you don't understand the basic differences then this is not an area you really should be providing advice on.

    oi mucker .. this is a bleedin' open internet webby forum .. I can post what I like.. nobody needs to give a crp whether I am telling the truth or not.
    it's not scientific academia matey..
  • jgsi wrote:
    If you don't understand the basic differences then this is not an area you really should be providing advice on.

    oi mucker .. this is a bleedin' open internet webby forum .. I can post what I like.. nobody needs to give a crp whether I am telling the truth or not.
    it's not scientific academia matey..
    I disagree - if you want to sprout rubbish, then you should expect someone to "give a crp", pull you up on it and provide some sensible information.

    If you are unable to constructively contribute to the information, learning, motivation and knowledge sharing opportunities these forums present, then why are you here?

    I mean what exactly is the point in providing misinformation or ill informed "advice" or comment?

    It has nothing to do with "scientific academia matey". And my name is Alex, not "mucker".
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