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pushing myself on flats vs. hills

kevin69kevin69 Posts: 87
Going on a gradient of 4%+, i can easily push my heart rate up and feel like i'm reaching my limits.
Pushing myself on the flat, my heart rate tends to be about 20bpm slower so i think i should be capable
of going faster, but can't actually do it.

Is this normal?
Am i simply reaching a limit of my muscles, rather than cv system, hence the lower heart rate?
Or am i under-stressing my cv system, and so should i be using lower gears?

Sadly, i don't have a power meter: i suspect the correct answer is to compare power output
in the two situations.

kevin

Posts

  • kevin69 wrote:
    Going on a gradient of 4%+, i can easily push my heart rate up and feel like i'm reaching my limits.
    Pushing myself on the flat, my heart rate tends to be about 20bpm slower so i think i should be capable
    of going faster, but can't actually do it.

    Is this normal?
    Am i simply reaching a limit of my muscles, rather than cv system, hence the lower heart rate?
    Or am i under-stressing my cv system, and so should i be using lower gears?

    Sadly, i don't have a power meter: i suspect the correct answer is to compare power output
    in the two situations.

    kevin

    What gearing and rpm are you using on the flat compared to hills?
  • On hills, usually in the lowest three gears on a compact: 34/25 to 34/21.
    Usually i plan drop down a gear to two so that i'm starting a climb at 34/[email protected] or slightly higher cadence
    and then drop down a gear if my cadence drops to 80.

    On the flat, i'm less sure and don't think about it as consciously but i'd be somewhere
    in the middle of the cassette, so around 50/17 at about 90rpm.

    Hmm... i've just looked up that 34/[email protected] is 18.4kph which sounds right,
    but 50/[email protected] is 33.3kph which is a bit higher than the 30kph i was expecting.

    [goes off to check some past garmin data, comes back]

    Ok, so i'm *really* spending a lot of time at 80rpm and about 31kph so i'm probably in 50/16,
    but then i do short burst of 100rpm which convince me that i actually have a higher average than the reality.

    So i think i am in too high a gear.

    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
  • Power is force x rpm.

    There was a time when I was convinced I got puffed out climbing because the rpm was lower and the force greater. This was true but also I was poking out over 400 watts climbing and nearer 300 watts on the flat.

    Is your position the same climbing as on the flat?
  • ShutUpLegsShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522

    Is your position the same climbing as on the flat?

    What :!: :?:
  • ShutUpLegs wrote:

    Is your position the same climbing as on the flat?

    What :!: :?:

    My point being he may be able to produce more power when climbing because he is in a different position.
  • mix of drops and hoods on the flat,
    mostly on the tops on hills
  • Trev The RevTrev The Rev Posts: 1,040
    kevin69 wrote:
    mix of drops and hoods on the flat,
    mostly on the tops on hills

    How is your breathing when on the hoods or drops? Are your sure you have not set your position so low it compromises your ability to breath and pedal efficiently?
  • kevin69kevin69 Posts: 87
    i don't feel that breathing is problem.
    there are 1cm or so of spacers under the stem
  • Trev The RevTrev The Rev Posts: 1,040
    If you have no breathing problems and are comfortable then I can only assume it is the gear / cadence you are using although there are many very experienced riders who can produce far more power when climbing than in a TT position or on the drops.
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