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Struggling on the flat and slight draggy inclines

SpookedSpooked Posts: 90
Hi guys,

After a bit of advice on my training.

I ride with a club and struggle to keep up on long straights or draggy inclines. Hills I am normally one of the first to the top.

I currently do a long ride on a Saturday and then turbo three to four nights a week from anything from half an hour to an hour and half and this is normally intervals.

Just wondering to help improve my strength in my legs would i be better to concentrate on long efforts at a cadence of about 80-90 rpm below threshold and maybe slower cadence at about 60rpm. Or just carry on with the intervals?

I wouldn't mind trying some evening 10's at some point but fear my lack of speed on the flat will result in poor times. When anything heads upwards I do not have any issues at all.

Appreciate any thoughts and help. Im looking to also increase my riding on Thursdays night with the club to supplement the turbo sessions.

Cheers :)

Posts

  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Don't worry about poor times on TT's, it's you against the clock and I'm sure doing them regularly will help your speed on the flat. Maybe you are just going too hard and then not recovering well, I sometimes fall into this trap on club rides, mainly because 99% of my rides are solo so you don't always feel the need to keep that constant speed, or realise as much when it drops from 19mph to 15mph etc.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,027
    Something is going wrong here then.
    If you are correct about your weekly schedule then that is more than adequate to be a consistent rider.

    Intervals are intervals in my book so if you are failing to apply yourself on false flats and if it a stamina issue then 10s or 25s will find you out... but at least doing them will start the process of giving yourself a kick up the backside.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,335
    Agree, nobody ever go better by being afraid they'd look bad. Use it as a motivation.

    Apart from that you say you do intervals but that covers a multitude of sins from 10 second sprints to long 20 minute efforts a various intensities. If these interval sessions are hard then 3-4 a week sounds like a lot - maybe you are training too much at one effort - the hard days not hard enough and other days not easy enough? I would suggest a couple of sessions of longish intervals - maybe a 2*20 and a 5*3 at hard intensities then make your other midweek stuff easy. Either that or do some chaingangs if you have any local to you.

    Apart from that getting dropped on the flat or drags may indicate you need to work on following a wheel. And if you find hills easy save a bit - I know good riders on the flat who struggle on hills - they feel the need to show how "strong" they are on their favoured terrain and that makes their performance on the next hill even worse.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • Spooked wrote:
    I currently do a long ride on a Saturday and then turbo three to four nights a week from anything from half an hour to an hour and half and this is normally intervals.

    As others have asked, what types of intervals are you doing.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • taon24taon24 Posts: 185
    The solution is to do the evening 10s. 30ish minutes, hard, on your own, on a flattish course may be a slow start, but I suspect you would find you quickly improve your times, to the mid 20s, through pacing, determination and more racing 'training'.
    Flats or false flats are usually about Power v Aero - to improve this means a constant (high) power over the appropriate period of time, usually fairly prolonged (8-10 minute+) efforts or to be more aerodynamic, which in a group means better wheel following. A 10 mile TT would be good for this sort of training I'd have thought.
    Corners are more about Power v Weight v Recovery - this is where short interval work helps (30 second efforts), the ability to accelerate quickly to follow a wheel and prevent a subsequent gap onto a straight depends on weight, but also recovering from the previous acceleration. I'd only really do multiple sessions per week of short intervals (sub 1 minute) for short (less than an hour and a half) road race training, as other types of cycling (sportives, touring, TTs) require the application of power for longer to be useful and you need longer intervals.
    Hills are Power v Weight - in the UK hills are often shorter but this varies where you live. If you lived at the foot of the Ventoux you might be looking at 1 hour intervals for 'hill climb training' but in the most populated part of the UK it is going to be 4-15 minute intervals to help with this, along with losing weight
  • SpookedSpooked Posts: 90
    Cheers for the info and advice. Much appreciated. I probably should've given more information.

    I tend to primarily ride on my own and am pretty bad at following a wheel having only really done it a few times.

    My intervals tend to be ride at max intensity for as long as I can and then drop down to 130bpm and then repeat until my time is up. The other session I do is where I sit at 60rpm for as long as I can in high gear and high resistance and then rest down to 130bom and then do it again. I just alternate these really with a ten minute warm up and also cool down. Once I finish I wouldn't say that I want to puke or anything but I'm a bit of a sweaty mess and knackered.

    I will give the 10's a whirl in that case and will have a look at perhaps more specific interval that I could perhaps do.

    Thanks for the help :)
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    Specificity. The way to get better on the flat at normal cadences is to train on the flat at normal cadences. I would try to put some more thought into your intervals - i.e. riding at specific intensities that relate to your targets.
  • JayKostaJayKosta Posts: 635
    Spooked wrote:
    ...
    I ride with a club and struggle to keep up on long straights or draggy inclines. Hills I am normally one of the first to the top.
    ...

    Perhaps you are not taking full advantage of drafting, or your position is too 'upright' and less aero.

    Do you feel nervous / uncomfortable riding near someone's rear wheel - what distance to you usually keep?

    When riding in a pack, where are your hands on the bars?

    Jay Kosta
    Endwell NY USA
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Spooked wrote:
    I tend to primarily ride on my own and am pretty bad at following a wheel having only really done it a few times.
    Riding close to other riders takes a fair bit of practice and trust.
    If you're doing your knackering intervals 3/4 times a week then it's probable that you're not recovered in time for the saturday ride - sounds like you need some recovery rides and a mix of interval training to build a higher base power
  • FransJacquesFransJacques Posts: 2,148
    You need more power. Try some threshold work - do 6 min intervals starting a 95% of your FTP then increasing to 110% with a 120% sprint for the last 30-45 seconds.

    Also, try some 50-60 rpm work in the 53x13 on the flats. If you want strong legs you need to work them hard.

    Have you tried squats or lunges - you don't need an Olympic bar, just 2 x 10kg dumbells. I use my 10kg daughter :-)
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    You need more power. Try some threshold work - do 6 min intervals starting a 95% of your FTP then increasing to 110% with a 120% sprint for the last 30-45 seconds.
    This is quite particular and not really a normal example of 'threshold work'. I would suggest spending lots of time riding at and around threshold.
    Also, try some 50-60 rpm work in the 53x13 on the flats. If you want strong legs you need to work them hard.

    Have you tried squats or lunges - you don't need an Olympic bar, just 2 x 10kg dumbells. I use my 10kg daughter :-)
    You don't want strong legs :)
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Strength works is useful. Best done in high gear below 60rpm below threshold.i do this every week on the road bike and on the mtb. In fact mtb xc riding is a good way to build leg strength.

    High gear sprints is the other thing i do.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • You need more power. Try some threshold work - do 6 min intervals starting a 95% of your FTP then increasing to 110% with a 120% sprint for the last 30-45 seconds.

    Also, try some 50-60 rpm work in the 53x13 on the flats. If you want strong legs you need to work them hard.

    Have you tried squats or lunges - you don't need an Olympic bar, just 2 x 10kg dumbells. I use my 10kg daughter :-)

    That's what I was thinking. For what it's worth, I'm very much in the same boat; being light with pretty feeble power, I'm good on short punchy climbs, but struggle on long draggy ones.

    I've tried training at lower cadences before, but it tends to aggravate my knees. Any suggestions for off-bike exercises would be appreciated.
  • taon24taon24 Posts: 185
    Off bike it will be almost any leg heavy exercises with a lower reps per minute than cycling.
    Examples would be: Rowing machine (typically 16-40 reps pm), step machine (though this may be hard on the knees.)
    Weights might also be useful, though probably more towards circuits (i.e. a minute of bodyweight squats, a minute of sit ups, a minute of pressups etc) as they have higher reps pm than heavy weights. Cycling is mostly leg and backs focussed, but some weights for the arms will help for out of the saddle.
    Clearly being careful with injuries is important, but along with adjusting bikes, knee strengthening exercises are likely to be useful rather than a hinderance.
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