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Hill climb training - any tips?

skinnypunterskinnypunter Posts: 142
A group of Sunday riders are off to Ventoux in May. We're all OK over longish rides, but not great on the hills.

Anyone got any pointers to training regimes for extended climbs ? With the foul weather, we're going to spinning classes to keep the fitness up!

Posts

  • 2x20 *5minute rest between

    OR

    3x20 *5minutes rest between...if your truly hardcore
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    2x20 *5minute rest between

    OR

    3x20 *5minutes rest between...if your truly hardcore

    10 minutes between is more appropriate I think.
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    Why 10?

    Too much rest when training for a climb> one hour?

    Some expert clarify this because it came up on another thread.

    I suppose it doesn't really matter.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    A group of Sunday riders are off to Ventoux in May. We're all OK over longish rides, but not great on the hills.

    Anyone got any pointers to training regimes for extended climbs ? With the foul weather, we're going to spinning classes to keep the fitness up!


    Don't mean to sound pithy, but if you want to get better at riding hills, ride more hills!

    If on the flats, I think pushing a bigger gear will get you used to the expended efforts of long alpine climbs. Not 100% on this though.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    chrisw12 wrote:
    Why 10?

    Too much rest when training for a climb> one hour?

    Some expert clarify this because it came up on another thread.

    I suppose it doesn't really matter.

    Chris - from what I've read - there is no science on this. I think it;s based on many things, from the fitness of the rider, to the intensity of the 20 minute interval, the ability to recover, amount of time available to train, etc.

    10 minute rest in between will certainly make the second 20 easier to complete at a higher level.

    I think this type is more suited to TT than hill climbing, but have no real proof. I'm not sure that the effort/intensity, etc of a long alpine climb matches the intensity of a 10-mile TT. But improved fitness is a good thing no matter what!
  • chrisw12chrisw12 Posts: 1,246
    Tell you what, call it 7 and a half. :)

    Anyway I bet Nap uses 12 mins rest.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    chrisw12 wrote:
    Tell you what, call it 7 and a half. :)

    Anyway I bet Nap uses 12 mins rest.

    Nope he uses 22 - 12 more than me. :lol:
  • nmcgannnmcgann Posts: 1,780
    Pokerface wrote:
    Don't mean to sound pithy, but if you want to get better at riding hills, ride more hills!

    If on the flats, I think pushing a bigger gear will get you used to the expended efforts of long alpine climbs. Not 100% on this though.

    UK hills won't help with riding the alps/pyrenees/ventoux, too short & (often) too steep.

    Learning to push a big gear for extended periods will do the trick. I had my first ever trip to the big climbs last September (Pyrenees) and I was surprised how well a couple of years of TT training and competing on flat courses had prepared me for extended hard efforts in the high mountains.

    Climbing the Tourmalet was like a long sub-threshold big gear turbo session with MUCH nicer scenery :wink:
    --
    "Because the cycling is pain. The cycling is soul crushing pain."
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    2 x 20s is a good start as well as 1-2 hours of sustained hard (but not over the edge) riding keeping heart rate up over long periods - Ventoux and other Alp like climbs are just long grinds. Get gears lower than you think you'll need and be prepared to suffer of a while - you'll love it! (and May could well be cold or boiling hot - on the same day!)
  • Slow1972Slow1972 Posts: 362
    2 x 20s is a good start as well as 1-2 hours of sustained hard (but not over the edge) riding keeping heart rate up over long periods - Ventoux and other Alp like climbs are just long grinds. Get gears lower than you think you'll need and be prepared to suffer of a while - you'll love it! (and May could well be cold or boiling hot - on the same day!)

    +1, a lower gear will help if you are tiring near the top.

    I would recommend you get used to doing those longer (but slightly lower intensity) constant efforts. I did Ventoux from Bedoin last year, very little let up in the gradient for even the slightest rest once you're past 3km. So you need to get used to riding just under threshold for the time it'll take you to do a 21km climb, the middle 8 km of which is an unstinting 9-10%. I rode to hard before I got there and my legs were a bit fooked, it also meant I was bit overgeared. So I just hunkered down and ground my way up. It took nigh on 2 hours with my HR staying pretty constant at around 160 bpm the whole way up. For this reason a flat ride in a biggish gear (to simulate the slightly lower cadence you'll have when you run out of gears climbing) with a sustained effort over a couple of hours may be more realistic than a 20-30 minute climb in the UK or turbo intervals if it means you then have 10 mins of recovery to get back to the bottom to do it again. Ideally (and there's better people on here to advise you of this) I would have thought you do both, the longer climbs will help the endurance element of the climb and shorter higher intensity stuff to improve your threshold and power?

    Its a great mountain, and because it's on its own, it looks very high when you approach it.

    All that said, I did do reps of the Snake pass last year a couple of weeks before I went to simulate the right sort of distance and elevation gain, long ride before I got there and then just rode the climbs slightly harder than I would have done if it had been a constant climb instead a series of reps until I'd got a couple of thousand metres of elevation gain completed, it seemed to be a reasonable enough simulation as I was well and truly shattered when i'd finished

    Otherwise, if its mixed terrain, try making sure you don't back off on the flat and descents and don't go too hard on the shorter hills
  • Just fit one of those compact girly chainsets on the week before you go, you will find it easy, unless its really hot its not to hard. Do a circ round Ventoux, its bloody loverly, will be there in Sep for hillclimb training camp, cant wait. The climb from Malacene is nice, a bit less soul destroying than Bedion.Take a good jacket, it can be a bit cold coming back down.Loose some weight, do some long hill reps, snake pass, cragg vale, cat n fiddle, those type long big ring stuff. Should be alright.
  • JamesBJamesB Posts: 1,184
    Ride lots of hills in UK :) , focussing on the long gradual ones rather than short and steep (eg try some mid Wales hills, sportives, northern England ones) (eg for Wales to add to above Milltir Gerrig, Eppynt from Builth Wells, Gospel Pass from Hay, A road across Brecon Beacons, mtn road Machynlleth > Staylittle).
    Fit a lower gear for your trip than you think you`ll need (I go for 34 x 29, hardly use it but it`s a good emergency gear) and make sure you pace yourself on the big one itself! Go to S Spain for a week if you can and ride hills south Sierra Nevada, those will train or break you!
  • It may have already been said, but simply riding extended hill is the best way to get good at them....

    Find a 2 mile hill (or so, wheatever distance is comfortable) and have a few runs upa nd down it. I try to hit it as hard as i can the first time, and try to keep the same cadence and sometimes even gear all the way up. Repeat that and yu should notcie improvements in how quickly you can do them and the number of reps you can do.
  • Thanks all.

    I'm not able to lose any weight! 6'3" and 11 stone doesn't leave a lot of spare... in fact in a high wind I probably whistle.
  • jocksyboyjocksyboy Posts: 135
    Being both Tall 6'9" and large (17st) i was resigned to being first out the back on hills. However it is all about power to weight. i made huge improvements last season (first season racing) and have found 2 things that help. Riding hills faster (chain gangs) and time trialling. losing more weight will help me although i would worry if the OP lost anymore.....

    Age old addage ride more hills faster!! Also ride with people faster than you! It hurts though :twisted: :twisted:
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells
  • GavHGavH Posts: 998
    I read somewhere about hill training on a turbo. Basically ramping up the resistance on the turbo (if you have variable resistance) and lifting the front wheel off the floor more in order to get the bike at an angle similar to that when climbing. You then sweat it out in a gear that appropriate for the resistance, just as you would on a hill.

    I haven't tried it, has anyone else?
  • I read somewhere about hill training on a turbo. Basically ramping up the resistance on the turbo (if you have variable resistance) and lifting the front wheel off the floor more in order to get the bike at an angle similar to that when climbing. You then sweat it out in a gear that appropriate for the resistance, just as you would on a hill.

    That's would the CTS climbing video recommends you to do so your in the correct position and using the right muscles.

    Found something searching the web last week that when some of the Olympic track team did the Etape (I think in 2006) they put their bikes on a running treadmill and upped the incline to 9-10% and rode on that.
  • Brian BBrian B Posts: 2,071
    Pokerface wrote:
    A group of Sunday riders are off to Ventoux in May. We're all OK over longish rides, but not great on the hills.

    Anyone got any pointers to training regimes for extended climbs ? With the foul weather, we're going to spinning classes to keep the fitness up!


    Don't mean to sound pithy, but if you want to get better at riding hills, ride more hills!

    If on the flats, I think pushing a bigger gear will get you used to the expended efforts of long alpine climbs. Not 100% on this though.

    I agree with Pokerface about riding hills to get good at them. To get good at hills its not just the fitness its being able to know how long you sustain an effort for and how to pace yourself based on how you feel. I have done the Ventoux many times now and its unlike any other climb I have done abroad. From the forest section onwards there is only a small bit of repsite at chalet reynard but pretty consistantly bad elsewhere and it wears you down with the constant gradient and the long kms involved.

    Enjoy yourself when your there though!
    Brian B.
  • GavH exactly the right approach. you simply can not replicate a 2hr 9-10% gradient climb in the UK on the roads.

    the best possible session to replicate climbing Ventoux over here is to get the bike out and ride for as many hours as you are aiming to be out before Ventoux starts timing the end of your ride to get to the gym....then get on a spinning bike, crank up the resistance and grind out 2 hours of pain!!! it'll hurt a lot but its the closest you'll get over here to replicating the day in Provence.
  • A group of Sunday riders are off to Ventoux in May. We're all OK over longish rides, but not great on the hills.

    Anyone got any pointers to training regimes for extended climbs ? With the foul weather, we're going to spinning classes to keep the fitness up!

    You haven't mentioned what hill climbs you currently have at your disposal, but think that a good time up the Ventoux would be 2 hours, so whatever climbs you have, its worth doing them in chunks to get you to 2 hours, of course,there's the benefit of recovering on the downhill iin betweens, but I employed this as training prior to the 2008 Etape, and I was bloody glad I did it. I also read an article of one of the current professional trainers, and he gets his riders to climb for 5 -10 minutes in a gear much much higher than you'd normally climb, yes you'll run out of energy before the top, but soon you'll be able to last for longer up the climb. Well, that's what i've found out by employing this method. You might also consider practising clipping back in on a steep gradient - I was caught short up the Ventoux after putting on a gilet, since then I ocassionaly practice starting up in a hard gear with one foot unclipped!

    If you can't get out because of the weather, then are you able to modify the spinning class - as in utilising a session in a higher gear/resistance (never done spinning meself)
    The ultimate cruelty of love's pinions
  • We cycle in the Surrey Hills - nothing very long, but plenty of decently steep stuff to do reps on. The ride up from Dorking to Ranmore Common is alledged by the one person in our group who has done Ventoux to be the right grade, so I guess we could hammer that.

    I used to row, so am used to basic training concepts we need to apply, but rivers are (generally) flat!
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