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Hill Climbing on Smaller Hills with Bigger Gears

ianwilliamsianwilliams Posts: 257
I'm new to this whole thing, and I'm looking for a decent hill within 10 minutes of my house in Leeds.

I can't find a decent hill that close, but I can find some smaller inclines. Is there any reason why climbing a smaller incline in a bigger gear would not be good for hill repeats?

BTW, I live in Leeds city centre. If anyone knows a decent training hill within 10 mins of there then shout!

Thanks

Posts

  • 10 minutes? You don't ask for much!

    Try this instead http://goo.gl/maps/ExGIm
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    No, but it depends on what you are trying to achieve. The important variables are effort level and duration. What gear you use doesn't matter.
  • As what Tom said, what are you trying to achieve?

    Riding at 400w up hill in 53x11 will still be 400w at 39x25...
  • BTW, I live in Leeds city centre. If anyone knows a decent training hill within 10 mins of there then shout!

    Wesley Street or Crows Nest Lane. Not very long but should get you blowing.
  • Good Old Norwood Edge!

    I struggle to dedicate more than an hour on weeknights at the moment. I'm also not a confident descender in the wet, so that rules something like Norwood Edge out. I could dedicate more time but that would mean sacrificing other things that, in all honesty, I'm not able/prepared to do so.

    I'm looking for something high-intensity and local, so as little time spent getting to the hill/place for repeats. I want to get better at hill climbing too, its a big weakness of mine.

    These are probably the best local options for me. They're all about 5 miles from home:

    http://www.strava.com/segments/1487206
    http://www.strava.com/segments/1174154
    http://www.strava.com/segments/949827
    http://www.strava.com/segments/993048

    Any ideas or is the turbo going to be best for this type of stuff?
  • Tom Dean wrote:
    No, but it depends on what you are trying to achieve. The important variables are effort level and duration. What gear you use doesn't matter.

    It does if you are using too big a gear and you stall and fall off.

    Yes 400 watts is 400 watts in any gear but if you were training for a hill climb where you will be doing a very low cadence even using all the gears at your disposal, doing training at 90rpm up a smaller gradient might not be the best approach -even if power and duration is the same.

    So yes it does depend on what you are trying to achieve.
  • BenderRodriguezBenderRodriguez Posts: 907
    edited October 2013
    Tom Dean wrote:
    The important variables are effort level and duration.

    True enough but, as far as I understand it, the gear /cadence you use does have an effect, which is related to the way 'fast twitch' versus 'slow twitch' fibers are recruited with varying force levels.

    For a given power output a higher cadence will also reduce the torque needed. Hence, it is more likely that the more fatigue-resistant 'slow twitch' fibres will be able to generate the force required, so 'sparing' the more fatigue-prone 'fast twitch' fibres. There is, however, a metabolic cost to this as a higher cadence generally needs a higher supply of oxygen to sustain it, which is why most rider's self selected cadence drops when they are climbing. (It could also be argued that this is why those Tour riders who were best known for having a high cadence - such as Armstrong and Basso - were also using Epo and blood doping, as it was the enhanced oxygen delivery that blood doping provided which allowed allowed them to adopt a metabolically more costly higher cadence.)

    As the torque demand rises - and this could be due to a high-revving sprint as much as grinding up a steep climb in a high gear - more and more fast-twitch fibres will be recruited. This will give the highest power output for the available oxygen, but at a cost of more rapid muscular fatigue and possible after-event soreness due to micro tears in the muscle fibres.

    The above suggests that for prolonged climbing efforts, as in a long Alpine 'sportive', or even in a stage race, keeping the cadence up and the torque load down will delay the onset of fatigue and enhance recovery. Research shows that it will also cause more energy to be derived from fat, so preserving glycogen stores. On the other hand if there are only a couple of short, decisive climbs, you will probably maximise your performance by using a lower cadence and giving it some welly.

    Another issue is that those quick-to-fatigue 'fast twitch' muscle fibres are very amenable to training as long as you go really hard so as to force their recruitment. Some have gone so far as to claim that they can even be converted into 'slow twitch' fibres. That might well not be true but what is certain is that if they are given some hammer the number of mitochondria that they contain will rise and they will become much more 'slow twitch like' in their functioning.

    So, when training (at least some of the time) go hard enough to recruit those fast-twitch muscle fibres, either by gearing up so as to increase the torque demand, or by simply going faster. Conversely, if you need to spare your reserves, gear down. However, it is important to note that the old notion that 'you will get stronger by using a bigger gear' only holds if you are going hard enough to force the recruitment of additional muscle fibres. Roll along at 70 rpm and 15 Mph and the torque demand will be so low that you will never do this.

    The above draws, in part, on the finding of the research paper 'The effect of pedalling frequency on glycogen-depletion rates in Type I and Type II quadriceps muscles during submaximal cycling exercise'. European Journal of Applied Physiology Vol 65, pp 360-364.
    "an original thinker… the intellectual heir of Galileo and Einstein… suspicious of orthodoxy - any orthodoxy… He relishes all forms of ontological argument": jane90.
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Tom Dean wrote:
    No, but it depends on what you are trying to achieve. The important variables are effort level and duration. What gear you use doesn't matter.

    It does if you are using too big a gear and you stall and fall off.

    Yes 400 watts is 400 watts in any gear but if you were training for a hill climb where you will be doing a very low cadence even using all the gears at your disposal, doing training at 90rpm up a smaller gradient might not be the best approach -even if power and duration is the same.

    So yes it does depend on what you are trying to achieve.
    ok - I was going to add 'unless you have a specific reason to train outside your normal cadence range'.

    Maybe I should add that you might not want to do your sprint intervals on 34/25 downhill? Or would that be stating the obvious Trev? I was working on the assumption that people default to a comfortable cadence and use the gears to achieve this.
  • Tom, I was just teeing things up for censored .
  • Tom, I was just teeing things up for censored .

    Train by feel
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Tom, I was just teeing things up for censored .

    Hello Trev.
    More problems but still living....
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