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Training for Alps Trip

WobbleheadWobblehead Posts: 264
Hi

Off to the alps for 4 days riding in late Sept (four weeks today).

Issue is I have had limited time on the bike over the last 6 weeks, only been out three x forty milers due to time constraints. prior to this have done a lot of miles, gold time on Etape du dales, way of roses(170miles) in a day so have put in effort early season.

Since not riding bike for past 6 weeks I have been running 7 miles a day virtually every day at a reasonable pace and have seen benefits with regards to weight loss.

questions are

will the benefit of lighter weight, circa 5 kg offset the fact I have been off the bike
Will the constant effort when running pay benefits on climbing say Alpe dhuez
should I try and cram miles in for the last three weeks (away on holiday for another week with no bike, will have to keep running). I live in a hilly area so getting uphill on the bike when i return is not an issue

Thanks

Posts

  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    Do hardish long intervals (on hills if poss?) e.g. 2 x 20 - good for long Alp climbs. Make sure you have low enough gears too!
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    Questions are

    will the benefit of lighter weight, circa 5 kg offset the fact I have been off the bike
    > To an extent yes. Climbing is all about power/weight and knocking off 5kg makes a huge difference

    Will the constant effort when running pay benefits on climbing say Alpe dhuez
    > Yes, assuming your runs are taking around an hour or so. Doing long climbs like Alpe D'Huez requires steady non-stop pacing for a good hour or more. It's the steady unrelenting pressure that kills you . For this reason some of the best training is to ride 20-25mile time trials on a flat course. So non-stop running for this time will be similar in terms of perceived effort and cardio load, even if way from ideal in terms of pure cycling

    Should I try and cram miles in for the last three weeks (away on holiday for another week with no bike, will have to keep running). I live in a hilly area so getting uphill on the bike when i return is not an issue
    > Yes if you can but the cramming needs to be focussed. For the runs try to make an hour or more with negative split. On the bike mix up hill climbs repeat intervals (which will be done seated at a considerably higher intensity) with long hour+ steady state rides at your "climbing tempo" that should feel similar to your running efforts.. Finally on the hill climbs after you have done repeats until knackered try a few more at your "climbing tempo". Make sure you have the gears to maintain steady 70rpm+ seated. If not fit more. Assuming your travel to the Alps will force you to have a couple of days rest you can pretty much do this up to the point you leave. (While ofc all the time keeping the weight off.)
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,446
    Make sure you have low enough gears too!

    Wot he says. A 34x27 or 28 is not unreasonable.

    I'm not convinced about running. I have a mate who cycles and runs. He's pretty quick on a half or full marathon. I could take 10 minutes or more out of him on the Alpe and I can barely run for a bus.
  • WobbleheadWobblehead Posts: 264
    Thanks chaps, bahzob has made me feel a whole lot better, running at circa 7.5 mph.

    As for gears, got plenty as on 34 27 due to where I live so no issues there.
  • BarbarossaBarbarossa Posts: 248
    Training - alpine passes are going to be 45min to 1hr constant effort. Try rides (45min tempo, 15 min recovery) x 3. If you are not sure about your fitness, you might find 34-27 too high, better 34-30 or 34-32.
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    Barbarossa wrote:
    Training - alpine passes are going to be 45min to 1hr constant effort. Try rides (45min tempo, 15 min recovery) x 3. If you are not sure about your fitness, you might find 34-27 too high, better 34-30 or 34-32.

    Good advice though some climbs may even be longer than an hour.

    If you find you never ever need the lowest gear then great. But in this case try using it and upping cadence. Most pros ride at 10-50rpm higher than most amateurs (not an exaggeration, I often see riders struggling to turn 50rpm while some pros will be doing 100+).

    Doing climbs at a higher than "normal" cadence, focussing on technique* and adjusting to changes in pitch by altering revs rather than changing gear is great training. It is also quite possible that it will prove easier and faster than most amateurs' usual approach of struggling up on gears way too high.

    Not just me saying this btw, see here http://roadcyclinguk.com/how-to/technique/geraint-thomas-top-six-climbing-tips.html

    * Single biggest thing on technique is focus on heels. Biggest fail for most amateurs is letting the heels drop at the bottom of the stroke which is a double whammy of being tiring and losing a huge amount of power. Greg LeMond's tip to ""Act like you're scraping mud off the bottom of your shoe." is always handy but especially so on long climbs.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • markwb79markwb79 Posts: 932
    Barbarossa wrote:
    Training - alpine passes are going to be 45min to 1hr constant effort. Try rides (45min tempo, 15 min recovery) x 3. If you are not sure about your fitness, you might find 34-27 too high, better 34-30 or 34-32.

    Gearing is completely based on fitness. Sounds like you are already reasonably fit, so I wouldnt worry too much. Sounds more like a confidence thing rather than a fitness thing.

    Running....everyone has an opinion on this. Personal, I dont think it improves cycling fitness. But...it improves all round fitness. And if you cant get on a bike, running is better than nothing. It is also good for controlling your weight I think. It would be a lot more than 5kg if you hadnt been running.
    Scott Addict 2011
    Giant TCR 2012
  • WobbleheadWobblehead Posts: 264
    Thanks everyone for your advice

    Overall very happy with general fitness and don't think gearing will be an issue, not sure whether Campag do 32 rear cassettes with 32 cogs...., if they did there's no way I would put one on my Oltre, I'd rather my eyeballs pop out.....

    Question was more around lack of saddle time versus the massive increase in running miles over the past six weeks or so, all the lads I am going with have managed to put the miles in.

    Suppose I'll find out soon enough when I get to go out with them before we go, I'll get a good measure then as to whether my running has helped or not, convinced it should have done due to 5kg weight loss and ability to put in an hours hard effort. Whatever, I'll look better in lycra...

    As for the running / cycling debate, I appreciate everyone has their views on this, for every one that has stories that says there is no cross over benefit, google Rob Jebb....
  • bernithebikerbernithebiker Posts: 4,148
    bahzob wrote:
    * Single biggest thing on technique is focus on heels. Biggest fail for most amateurs is letting the heels drop at the bottom of the stroke which is a double whammy of being tiring and losing a huge amount of power. Greg LeMond's tip to ""Act like you're scraping mud off the bottom of your shoe." is always handy but especially so on long climbs.

    Phew, I think we got away with it.

    Noone noticed that bit.
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    :lol: well, the Geraint Thomas article COMPLETELY BACKS UP everything bahzob said...
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    Tom Dean wrote:
    :lol: well, the Geraint Thomas article COMPLETELY BACKS UP everything bahzob said...

    My apologies, I just thought folks looking at climbing topic might be interested in the advice from a top rider.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    bahzob wrote:
    Tom Dean wrote:
    :lol: well, the Geraint Thomas article COMPLETELY BACKS UP everything bahzob said...

    My apologies, I just thought folks looking at climbing topic might be interested in the advice from a top rider.
    They might, but the article doesn't really relate to what you were saying other than 'ride at a good cadence'. Fascinating insight from GT there...
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