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Will riding a 6% hill using 34/23 relate to riding 8% 34/28

hypergingerhyperginger Posts: 13
So, there's no real big hilly stuff near me and I'm planning a trip to the Alps in September. Never ridden in the high mountains before so struggling for training ideas.

There's a hill about 500m long averaging 6% not far from my house, and i'm currently running an 11/23 with a compact on the front, so I'm using this for hill repeats for a bit of training as well as putting in some endurance rides too, but what I'm wanting to know is how training on that 6% hill using the 23 would correspond to riding mountains averaging 8-9% using a 28 on the back instead. Is the training I'm doing realistically going to help me get up the mountains in France, or would the change in gradient over there, even with a bigger ring on the back be a total body shock when i get there.

Mountains I'm currently looking at riding:
Glandon
Croix de Fer
Telegraphe
Galibier
d'Huez
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Posts

  • Dodger747Dodger747 Posts: 305
    Hill repeats are worth doing but you really can't compare the demands of a 500m hill with a 10km+ Alp. 500m can be powered through, an Alp can't.

    It's a world apart and the only way [imo] to get good at riding mountains, is to ride mountains. You can train using long blocks of high sustained power to replicate the effort, as you'll be climbing most of them for an hour plus.
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  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,016
    Why not just read the Marmotte training thread below?
  • So even if i'm doing say 1-2hrs of hill repeats on the aforementioned hill, will that still not really help?

    I'm also using it as a gauge to see how much of an elevation gain I can achieve, to see whether I can ride similar vertical ascents to those in the Alps, even though I realise the gradients will be different and there won't be 30secs of downhill every 500m :)
  • Imposter - it's the gear ratio bit I'm most interested in, didn't seem to find much about it in that thread.
  • Dodger747Dodger747 Posts: 305
    I'm a fan of climbing so will always advocate as much climbing as you can. However, you would also benefit from doing an hour as close to your FTP as possible, if you can sustain a high power output on the flat/small lumps, you can replicate that in the Alps...

    You could also do TrainerRoad's sustained power build plan. 'Saturday' rides are perfect - 4 or 5, 20 -30 minute blocks with 5 mins rest in between.
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  • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    If you look at the gear ratios, then work out the speed for a given cadence then work out the power for that given speed (using this http://bikecalculator.com/)

    The power outputted by the model is almost identical for the 28 on the 8% and the 23 on the 6% holding cadence fixed.

    At least according to my brief calculations.
  • FatTedFatTed Posts: 1,205
    Bahzob has posted frequently on this issue

    viewtopic.php?f=40011&t=12975652&start=60
  • bernithebikerbernithebiker Posts: 4,148
    So even if i'm doing say 1-2hrs of hill repeats on the aforementioned hill, will that still not really help?

    I'm also using it as a gauge to see how much of an elevation gain I can achieve, to see whether I can ride similar vertical ascents to those in the Alps, even though I realise the gradients will be different and there won't be 30secs of downhill every 500m :)

    The key difference is the rest you get when you turn round and come down your hill.

    That doesn't happen in the Alps, and that's what's so hard to replicate in the UK.
  • OwenBOwenB Posts: 606
    I read this the other day and it may be of use or it may just be stating the obvious. http://thecolcollective.com/learn/advice/how-to-train-for-the-mountains-if-you-live-on-the-flat
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    ^I'd go with a lot of that flat training advice. Training on the flat is in many ways more appropriate than fannying about with little hills to prepare for multiple alpine cols.

    No hills in the UK really prepare you particularly well for alpine climbing. It's the solid effort for an hour, downhill for 20 minutes, solid effort for an hour, repeat until broken, that is so different and so hard compared to the UK.

    Flat constant efforts are a great way to prepare for the hills. A friend described a day in the mountains as being like riding 4 or 5 25 mile time trials, with a short break in between, in terms of effort (that hour of pushing out a constant reasonably high output).

    Don't bother messing about with gear ratios and gradients. Hill repeats etc. will be beneficial, but training to be able to out out a consistent power output for an hour will be more appropriate.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,016
    OwenB wrote:
    I read this the other day and it may be of use or it may just be stating the obvious. http://thecolcollective.com/learn/advice/how-to-train-for-the-mountains-if-you-live-on-the-flat

    ^^ This. That guy knows what he's talking about - and as far as mountains are concerned, I'm prepared to accept that Bahzob does too. As far as I'm aware, (I'm sure Bahzob will correct me if not) this is pretty much what he suggests, and it is entirely logical.

    Changing gearing is not the issue (within certain parameters) - holding power is.
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,183
    I'm not offering any advice here, just my personal experiences which are at odds with "received wisdom".

    I have cycled several times in the Alps and completed the Marmotte twice, most recently last year. Up until last year's entry I had always trained for the alpine climbs using long, steady weekend rides and multiple hill repeat workouts on shortish 10-12% climbs in the Essex area where I live. I wasn't looking for performance in the Alps but always managed to get round quite comfortably. I also tend to be a bit of a grinder up the hills, preferring a slightly lower cadence than is fashionable these days.

    When we entered the Marmotte last year, I did a lot of reading around and decided to train as many are advising on here and so started doing a lot more tempo type rides of an hour or more and increased my cadence as well. All I can say is that my performance in the Alps was abysmal and I just about made it round the Marmotte. I felt like I had no strength in my legs even up the Glandon, the first climb of the day. It wasn't just the Marmotte that was the problem either. We did an easy warm-up ride a few days before the event and I felt like I just didn't have it then either but put it down to the travelling.

    As I say, not really offering advice here, just a counterpoint to what other people are saying. I am convinced that everyone is different and you can't necessarily go by what training techniques work for other people (including me). It may well be that resistance training on the flat does work for the majority of people including the OP for preparing for the Alps. Riding for an hour against the wind or on a turbo trainer is nothing like an Alpine climb in my experience though.

    For me, it's about having strong legs rather than high CV capacity. Your experience may/probably will be different.
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    Ginger,

    Get out and do some long hilly rides, that will build up your climbing strength and stamina. your location says Brighton so you can easily have a route that goes up over Ditchling beacon both ways and other hills in the south downs around there. That will build up your ability to climb on tired legs, which is what you need in the alps.

    I did Ventoux last summer, my prep was based on hilly rides around the edge of the chilterns. Seemed to set me in reasonable stead.
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  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    t4tomo wrote:
    Ginger,

    Get out and do some long hilly rides, that will build up your climbing strength and stamina. your location says Brighton so you can easily have a route that goes up over Ditchling beacon both ways and other hills in the south downs around there. That will build up your ability to climb on tired legs, which is what you need in the alps.

    I did Ventoux last summer, my prep was based on hilly rides around the edge of the chilterns. Seemed to set me in reasonable stead.

    Pretty much this. I've been to Gran Carnaria twice where a ride to the summit (2,000m ascent) is about 4 hours climbing and in the heat, the 34x32 came in very handy at times. The thing I remember is my heart rate. In the UK riding on the flat is somewhere between mid 130s and mid 150s, up hill its pushing 160-170. In Gran Canaria my heart rate was around a constant 160 so you need to practice for long periods of time with an elevated heart rate.
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  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,016
    hypster wrote:

    For me, it's about having strong legs rather than high CV capacity. Your experience may/probably will be different.

    You're going to have to clarify that - because 'physically' stronger legs are not required (unless there was something wrong/deficient with your legs to start with).
  • djhermerdjhermer Posts: 328
    Imposter wrote:
    hypster wrote:

    For me, it's about having strong legs rather than high CV capacity. Your experience may/probably will be different.

    You're going to have to clarify that - because 'physically' stronger legs are not required (unless there was something wrong/deficient with your legs to start with).

    Ut oh...
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,016
    djhermer wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    hypster wrote:

    For me, it's about having strong legs rather than high CV capacity. Your experience may/probably will be different.

    You're going to have to clarify that - because 'physically' stronger legs are not required (unless there was something wrong/deficient with your legs to start with).

    Ut oh...

    I know...
  • Dodger747Dodger747 Posts: 305
    Let's not get into that! :lol:
    hypster wrote:
    I did a lot of reading around and decided to train as many are advising on here and so started doing a lot more tempo type rides of an hour or more

    Alpine riding requires a much higher intensity than tempo so I wouldn't recommend that as suitable training.
    VO2 Max - 79 ml/kg/min
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  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    At threshold for 20mins or more & repeat many times is what I reckon you'll need.
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  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,183
    Imposter wrote:
    hypster wrote:

    For me, it's about having strong legs rather than high CV capacity. Your experience may/probably will be different.

    You're going to have to clarify that - because 'physically' stronger legs are not required (unless there was something wrong/deficient with your legs to start with).

    I've read that assertion on numerous occasions here too and I'm not sure I agree with that either although you (and others) are obviously convinced of it. I've seen it stated that if you can climb a flight of stairs then your legs are strong enough for cycling but there is a difference between climbing one or two flights of stairs and tackling say the ascent of the Empire State Building on foot. I've also read in several cycle coaching books that strong legs are useful for endurance where they advocate weight training to achieve that end.

    All I can say is that I climb better when my legs "feel" like they are more muscular than when not. That may be true or not or just my perception. This may also just be the way I cycle as well as I am not some twenty-something whippet interested in Strava laurels but just a recreational cyclist who likes century sportives.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    Its not about strength per se i.e. the ability to move a large force once. Its about sustainability i.e. being able to move a reasonably high force for a longer period of time. Both might be considered a "strength", although a "strong rider" would fall more into the latter.
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  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,016
    hypster wrote:
    I've seen it stated that if you can climb a flight of stairs then your legs are strong enough for cycling but there is a difference between climbing one or two flights of stairs and tackling say the ascent of the Empire State Building on foot.

    If you can go up stairs, then your legs are strong enough. If you struggle to get to the top of the Empire State Building (other tall buildings are available), then it just means you don't have the aerobic endurance to maintain your strength. What you are referring to as 'strength' is not actually strength - it is sustainable power.
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,183
    Imposter wrote:
    hypster wrote:
    I've seen it stated that if you can climb a flight of stairs then your legs are strong enough for cycling but there is a difference between climbing one or two flights of stairs and tackling say the ascent of the Empire State Building on foot.

    If you can go up stairs, then your legs are strong enough. If you struggle to get to the top of the Empire State Building (other tall buildings are available), then it just means you don't have the aerobic endurance to maintain your strength. What you are referring to as 'strength' is not actually strength - it is sustainable power.

    I've just done a search on here and the web in general and it seems it really depends on who you are and what your goals are. If you're an older cyclist and endurance is important then strength seems to be a factor. If you are a young racer then aerobic capacity is the key. I definitely fall into the former camp. This Cycling Weekly article just about summed it up for me:-

    http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/fitness/ ... ary-125222

    All I can say is I've seriously tried training my aerobic endurance as you put it to little benefit whereas stronger legs definitely means I can go further and faster for longer. Obviously I am also getting aerobically fitter with training but at my age (59) there definitely seems to be a plateau.

    I'm perfectly willing to accept that you are right for the majority of younger cyclists which is why I only posted offering my own personal experience not really advice. I would still maintain however that your assertion doesn't necessarily suit every cyclist in every situation.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,016
    The definition of strength does not change with age. What you are referring to as 'strength' - isn't.
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    Anyone got a hair to split :D
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  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,183
    Imposter wrote:
    The definition of strength does not change with age. What you are referring to as 'strength' - isn't.

    I'm not really sure I understand what you are getting at. Why is strength training (with weights) advocated for older cyclists then? I don't do that by the way, just ride the bike. What am I actually training when I ride further at this time of year and seem to increase my endurance?

    I do more hill climbing sessions and my legs feel like they are getting stronger and my average speeds increase also. Is that what you are calling aerobic endurance?
  • rrsodlrrsodl Posts: 486
    hypster wrote:
    Imposter wrote:
    The definition of strength does not change with age. What you are referring to as 'strength' - isn't.

    I'm not really sure I understand what you are getting at. Why is strength training (with weights) advocated for older cyclists then? I don't do that by the way, just ride the bike. What am I actually training when I ride further at this time of year and seem to increase my endurance?

    I do more hill climbing sessions and my legs feel like they are getting stronger and my average speeds increase also. Is that what you are calling aerobic endurance?

    Hypster, I sent you a PM...
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    edited April 2015
    i m with Hypster on this.

    As i get older, to maintain or even increase my climbing ability, i have to train differently to say that of a much younger let alone a rider who wieghs 65kg.

    Muscle fatigue is what destroys my hill climbing, over time and strength training (or whatever you might want to call it ) has transformed my ability to push a gear on long climbs for long, repeatable periods.
    if all that was required was aerobic endurance, then a runner could get on a bike and climb like a mountain goat.
    It is the only thing i ve changed in the last few seasons and it has reaped big gains, so, just posted a pb on a sporting TT course achived 6 years ago.

    On my 3 rd visit to Majorca, i am climbing faster, pushing a bigger gear and packed in 34 hours of riding, all in the mountains, endurance up, rides up to 6 hours, all in 8 days, with one rest day, i was also riding with a guy who is on BC ODA program and could just about keep with him.

    i think for a recreational cyclist to try an train like a 60kg Contador or Froome is not realistic especially with a 1/3rd of the hours, a lot more weight and 25 years older, an asertion backed up by a long chat with a former pro who has won PR.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,318
    I don't think the hills in the UK are necessarily so short to make them worthless as training for the Alps and I'd agree that long hilly rides are useful.

    That's not to say extended efforts on the flat aren't useful too but the advice given to me by a club mate who did well in the Marmotte (better than Bahzob;) ) was to do long hilly rides so there is obviously more than one way to skin the same cat. if you live in Norfolk that is difficult but some of the advice here implies you'd be better off training in Norfolk than Yorkshire because the descents in Yorkshire will break up the effort.
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  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    mamba80 wrote:
    ...strength (or whatever you might want to call it )...
    Whatever you might want to call what?
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