Hill Climbing

shaun668
shaun668 Posts: 52
I've signed up fro the Prudential Ride London 100, and i'm not looking forward to box and Leith hills.
I'm 49 and weigh 14.1/2 stone, i've upped my training to about 150 miles a week which is mainly on flat roads with the odd few hills thrown in, the problem is where I live is very flat and there are no big hills to replicate the ones on the ride.
I have a hill near me that's 0.3miles long at 8% which I struggle with, looking at the hills on the ride there about 4 times as long and steeper and i'm wondering how i'll get up them without walking.
Do you have any tips on how to train for hills, I was thinking about cycling up and down my local hill about 6 times in one day once a week.
Any suggestions would be appreciated
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Comments

  • maryka
    maryka Posts: 748
    Get more gears, if you are struggling with 8% you probably need a lower gear -- what are you currently running (how many teeth on the smallest front rin and largest back cog?)

    Once you get gears that let you sit and spin faster rather than grind at 60rpm or force you to stand up and work at max, you should do better at the hills. Work on smooth pedalling, keeping your HR under control, not maxing out but just riding steadily to the top. Many people go out too hard on steep hills and die within a minute or less, so work on keeping your effort as easy as you can in the first half and then riding the second half a bit harder, as you improve you'll start to be able to ride the whole thing harder.

    Boxhill is only ~6% and very steady so that should be fine. Leith Hill is "stepped" where you have a steep bit then a shallow bit then a steep bit, etc. about 4-5 times. So you can recover between steep bits a bit.

    Losing weight will help a LOT too. Even half a stone you'll notice a difference. Try to lose some weight between now and then if you can -- alter your diet to do this, cut calories.

    Doing 10-15min efforts on the flat especially into a headwind is one way to replicate hills a bit if you don't have any near you. Personally I would start doing this before I started into hill reps, though the latter is also good to do, say starting about 6 weeks before the event and doing them once or twice a week. But build more aerobic threshold fitness first via the 10-15 min intervals. These should be done with steady pacing but at about 90% effort for the duration, rest a few min, do another. 2-3 in a session to start.
  • slowmart
    slowmart Posts: 4,488
    Loose weight. This is the most effective way to climb hills.

    Turn larger then normal gears as this will help your strength.

    Plan your routes so your riding into wind on the way home.

    Ride London is not a particularly hilly route so you shouldn't find it too bad.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

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  • jrich
    jrich Posts: 278
    The hill repeats you mentioned would be a great idea. Ride over to the hill nice and steady. Then just put it in the lowest gear and spin nice and smooth up the hill. Roll back down whilst soft peddling, maybe go a bit further past the hill if you need more recovery time. Then just repeat! Build up slowly, maybe 3 reps in the first couple of weeks, then slowly increase the number.

    You have to remember that this is a mental battle - your legs can do it, your body just doesn't want to do it, so you have to make it!
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,767
    There's nothing on RideLondon that averages 8% over any distance. So if you were worrying about the steepness then don't.
  • kajjal
    kajjal Posts: 3,380
    As above gearing is the most important factor. I am 16 stone and use a 11-32 cassette which makes hill climbing a lot easier if needed. Losing weight does help , I notice this when I am lighter in the summer.

    Another tip is to break hills into sections and work out how best to get up them. On one hill near us there is a very steep section which I go up faster if I stand up to pedal and choose one gear harder / faster.
  • drlodge
    drlodge Posts: 4,826
    The top part of Leith Hill is the only significant bit requiring bottom gear, a lot of people are walking this part (in the middle of the road Grrrr).

    Box Hill and Newlands aren't really hills, Box Hill is certainly not a bottom gear hill by any stretch of the imagination. Do some hills reps and give it your best shot.
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  • shaun668
    shaun668 Posts: 52
    Thanks for all the replies, there's some good ideas I can utilise. I currently use an 11-28 rear cassette as where I live is reasonably flat so i'll think i'll stick with that and hope I get up the steep parts of the ride.
    I've done just over 1000 miles in 10 weeks now so the training is going well, my average speed is increasing, last week was 17.4mph for 112 miles with 2800 ft of climbing and I've lost 11 llbs in weight too.
    I'm starting to do longer rides 50 miles last week and planning on 70-80 at the weekend so hopefully come Ride London i should be ok as I'm not too concerned about the hills as I was.
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    If you're averaging 17,ph for 112 miles then the 100 is a piece of p*ss. Can you ride wheels ? I'd practice that if you can. Staying in a group will bring your average up hugely. Even slow mates of mine have whizzed round at over 20mph. Loads of packs.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Riding into a headwind is similar to getting up a hill - so don't shy away from them ... riding on the flat it's very easy to drop your power for a bit of respite - you don't get that option on a hill - so make sure you keep pushing. If you've got a turbo you could do some defined efforts on that

    Yes - the obvious is drop weight - which you seem to be doing - so that's ok.
    11-28 is ok - iirc that's what I used last year and I did use that bottom gear - because I'm not a climber - a 30 or even a 32 will make going up a bit easier - you'll still grind though.

    There are 3 hills of note (Ignore anyone that says they're not hills - they are hills, they're just not mountains ...) and a couple of short climbs - you shouldn't need to walk unless it's conjested and catch up with the idiots walking in the middle of the road! ;)
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Fenix wrote:
    If you're averaging 17,ph for 112 miles then the 100 is a piece of p*ss. Can you ride wheels ? I'd practice that if you can. Staying in a group will bring your average up hugely. Even slow mates of mine have whizzed round at over 20mph. Loads of packs.

    I think that's over the week - so shorter rides at a reasonable pace.
  • shaun668
    shaun668 Posts: 52
    Slowbike wrote:
    Fenix wrote:
    If you're averaging 17,ph for 112 miles then the 100 is a piece of p*ss. Can you ride wheels ? I'd practice that if you can. Staying in a group will bring your average up hugely. Even slow mates of mine have whizzed round at over 20mph. Loads of packs.

    I think that's over the week - so shorter rides at a reasonable pace.

    I've done a few sportives so i'll try to tag along with some similar paced riders, thats a quick time at 20mph is that for the Ride London?, i was aiming for 6 hours but based on that I would hope to improve on that time.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Last year I averaged 19mph (5hr 22) - with no distance training and only following a wheel for a few miles. This year I'm aiming to break the 5hr mark - but that will depend on the group I'm with - one rider I've got no concerns about - he's fine - the other one is a bit like me - no real distance training, but quick enough and I think he's confident to follow wheels.

    Last year I seemed to be the one pushing the pace on the flats and not being able to tag onto the groups coming past because my ride partner didn't follow - although he was quicker up the hills than me - I don't think that'll be such an issue this year :)

    Main tip - don't stop at the feed stations unless you really need to - although I could've done with a top up of water in the last 15 miles I managed the rest on 2 x 750ml bottles.
  • shaun668
    shaun668 Posts: 52
    Thanks for all your advice, just a quick update I went up my local steep hill last night and smashed my pb by 15 seconds which i set in 2014, so all is looking good and have planned my longest ride to date which is 75 miles for Saturday.
  • sorry to thread hijack, but I tend to suffer on hills. some mention dropping down the gears and going for faster cadence.

    as a typical example, I commute home and go via a 3.5% 1/2 mile "bump" which I can only get down to 1 min 35 PB. I am running a 52t oval front and 12-28 cassette(usually do this on around the 16t rear). my max power on the wattbike is 1148W, so the legs have enough in them to get me there, but I find I will lock up after around 70 seconds. if I drop a gear or two at the back, i find I just go slower. also, I'm approx 14st (87-89kg) and usually have around 8-10kg of rucksack on, and some mentions are made to losing weight - this would be quite difficult.

    so, any tips for improving my ability to get up hills (e.g. what cadence should I be aiming for, any training methods I can apply, etc)?

    thanks,

    Pete
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 26,767
    If it's 3.5% and it's a half mile, then 1:35 is averaging over 30kmh which isn't too shabby.
  • Mr _Tibbs
    Mr _Tibbs Posts: 46
    edited June 2017
    shaun668 wrote:
    I've signed up fro the Prudential Ride London 100, and i'm not looking forward to box and Leith hills.
    I'm 49 and weigh 14.1/2 stone, i've upped my training to about 150 miles a week which is mainly on flat roads with the odd few hills thrown in, the problem is where I live is very flat and there are no big hills to replicate the ones on the ride.
    I have a hill near me that's 0.3miles long at 8% which I struggle with, looking at the hills on the ride there about 4 times as long and steeper and i'm wondering how i'll get up them without walking.
    Do you have any tips on how to train for hills, I was thinking about cycling up and down my local hill about 6 times in one day once a week.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated

    If it helps, I weigh more than you(like two stone more) have a 9 speed double and I find box to be about half as challenging as I expect it to be. It's really not that bad as the switchbacks take the bite out of the incline. It's also a good spot for supporters to watch so you will get a mental boost to help.
    Leith is a long hill and has some steeper parts, especially in the trees) but again, it's not as hard as you may think.

    I wonder if you are trying too fast a pace, just drop to the small ring and wind it in, take your time and don't worry about people passing you.

    If you fancy some aversion therapy, pop down to Brighton and climb the beacon, most hills feel easy after that.

    Good luck, hope it goes well

    Ps, we are about the same age too
  • Mr _Tibbs
    Mr _Tibbs Posts: 46
    sorry to thread hijack, but I tend to suffer on hills. some mention dropping down the gears and going for faster cadence.

    as a typical example, I commute home and go via a 3.5% 1/2 mile "bump" which I can only get down to 1 min 35 PB. I am running a 52t oval front and 12-28 cassette(usually do this on around the 16t rear). my max power on the wattbike is 1148W, so the legs have enough in them to get me there, but I find I will lock up after around 70 seconds. if I drop a gear or two at the back, i find I just go slower. also, I'm approx 14st (87-89kg) and usually have around 8-10kg of rucksack on, and some mentions are made to losing weight - this would be quite difficult.

    so, any tips for improving my ability to get up hills (e.g. what cadence should I be aiming for, any training methods I can apply, etc)?

    thanks,

    Pete

    I don't think you will like my answer but, considering its a commute, I reckon you are focusing too much on speed and PB. If it were me I would just take it slow , fet used to the hill and increase the speed as my body allows over time and repetition

    Attempting a PB when your body just isn't up to it is likely to end in disappointment.

    Take your time, it's not a race and one day you will fly over that bump
  • bristolpete
    bristolpete Posts: 2,255
    edited June 2017
    I have been through it all, weight loss, weight gain, weight loss, weight gain, different bikes etc. 5 years ago I was running 53/39 with a 12/25 and getting around the Mendips and so on. After moving to Devon I found everything very hilly and moved to compact with 11/28 and in the end a 32 cassette and long cage. I have come to realise irrespective of my weight, currently 14 stone, the 32 really is the difference and I should have done it years ago. No bike in the shop is better than an another, it is horses for courses, and naturally on price alone some bikes should put perform others.

    Coffee stop bravado perhaps would worry some, but it is all about making riding easier and getting up hills like Haytor and Dartmoor etc with a 32 is just great. I was stoked to see a 34 announced by Shimano last week. Ideal ! 50 miles here can attain 7000 feet up so it is all about the gearing I think.
  • milemuncher1
    milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    shaun668 wrote:
    I've signed up fro the Prudential Ride London 100, and i'm not looking forward to box and Leith hills.
    I'm 49 and weigh 14.1/2 stone, i've upped my training to about 150 miles a week which is mainly on flat roads with the odd few hills thrown in, the problem is where I live is very flat and there are no big hills to replicate the ones on the ride.
    I have a hill near me that's 0.3miles long at 8% which I struggle with, looking at the hills on the ride there about 4 times as long and steeper and i'm wondering how i'll get up them without walking.
    Do you have any tips on how to train for hills, I was thinking about cycling up and down my local hill about 6 times in one day once a week.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated

    Where are you based? I'm organising a series of rides from Woking Train station on a Saturday morning, which are a 54 mile loop up to Newlands Corner, Leith Hill, Ranmore Common and Box Hill, then back to Woking on quiet ( ish ) roads. These are the hills, and in the sequence, of the Ride London 100 ( except Ranmore Common, which only the pro route uses ). If you want to give them a go, you're more than welcome to come along. I've put them on the http://www.letsride.co.uk website, the next one is on Saturday 24th June at 09:00, starting at Woking Train station main entrance.

    https://www.letsride.co.uk/rides/surrey-hills-series-1

    Here's the details.
  • shaun668
    shaun668 Posts: 52
    Where are you based? I'm organising a series of rides from Woking Train station on a Saturday morning, which are a 54 mile loop up to Newlands Corner, Leith Hill, Ranmore Common and Box Hill, then back to Woking on quiet ( ish ) roads. These are the hills, and in the sequence, of the Ride London 100 ( except Ranmore Common, which only the pro route uses ). If you want to give them a go, you're more than welcome to come along. I've put them on the http://www.letsride.co.uk website, the next one is on Saturday 24th June at 09:00, starting at Woking Train station main entrance.

    https://www.letsride.co.uk/rides/surrey-hills-series-1

    Here's the details.[/quote]

    Thanks for the invite.. i'm based in Hertfordshire and would love to do this. Any other week would be good but I'm away on holiday on the 26th and have too much to sort out at home before I go.
  • milemuncher1
    milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    shaun668 wrote:
    Where are you based? I'm organising a series of rides from Woking Train station on a Saturday morning, which are a 54 mile loop up to Newlands Corner, Leith Hill, Ranmore Common and Box Hill, then back to Woking on quiet ( ish ) roads. These are the hills, and in the sequence, of the Ride London 100 ( except Ranmore Common, which only the pro route uses ). If you want to give them a go, you're more than welcome to come along. I've put them on the http://www.letsride.co.uk website, the next one is on Saturday 24th June at 09:00, starting at Woking Train station main entrance.

    https://www.letsride.co.uk/rides/surrey-hills-series-1

    Here's the details.

    Thanks for the invite.. i'm based in Hertfordshire and would love to do this. Any other week would be good but I'm away on holiday on the 26th and have too much to sort out at home before I go.[/quote]

    I'm doing a route reccy for this one, this coming Saturday. If you want to come along, again you're welcome, The start time( 09:00) location ( platform 1 side entrance of Woking Station) and route will be the same. The pace will be Social, and I plan on stopping for a coffee en route somewhere ( that's one of best bit of route reccys after all :)
  • shaun668
    shaun668 Posts: 52
    I'm doing a route reccy for this one, this coming Saturday. If you want to come along, again you're welcome, The start time( 09:00) location ( platform 1 side entrance of Woking Station) and route will be the same. The pace will be Social, and I plan on stopping for a coffee en route somewhere ( that's one of best bit of route reccys after all :)[/quote]

    Again many thanks for the invite sounds ideal but Saturday is not good as my bike is the LBS having a bit of maintenance work done.
  • Moonbiker
    Moonbiker Posts: 1,706
    Though this was going to be about hill climb TT's meh
  • john1967
    john1967 Posts: 366
    Moonbiker wrote:
    Though this was going to be about hill climb TT's meh

    i dont think its even about hill climbing. :D
  • milemuncher1
    milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    In answer to the original question, the key to it, is training miles. Either do a load of hilly rides, or don't. If you do enough training, you'll get up the hills on the bike, if you don't, you'll be a 'hill walker', or if you really don't do any training at all, you may even get a trip in a helicopter.
  • shaun668 wrote:
    Thanks for all the replies, there's some good ideas I can utilise. I currently use an 11-28 rear cassette as where I live is reasonably flat so i'll think i'll stick with that and hope I get up the steep parts of the ride.
    I've done just over 1000 miles in 10 weeks now so the training is going well, my average speed is increasing, last week was 17.4mph for 112 miles with 2800 ft of climbing and I've lost 11 llbs in weight too.
    I'm starting to do longer rides 50 miles last week and planning on 70-80 at the weekend so hopefully come Ride London i should be ok as I'm not too concerned about the hills as I was.

    One thing you could do if there aren't any hills is what I call overgear intervals. I'll shift into a long gear that I can pedal 50-60 rpm when pedaling my hardest. It's good for muscular endurance. Maybe you could do this 1-2 times per week and do 2x10-12 minute intervals to start. This is good simulation for hills is you live in a flat area like me.

    If you're 14.5 stone, losing some weight could make it easier by increasing your Power:Weight ratio.
  • shaun668
    shaun668 Posts: 52
    One thing you could do if there aren't any hills is what I call overgear intervals. I'll shift into a long gear that I can pedal 50-60 rpm when pedaling my hardest. It's good for muscular endurance. Maybe you could do this 1-2 times per week and do 2x10-12 minute intervals to start. This is good simulation for hills is you live in a flat area like me.

    If you're 14.5 stone, losing some weight could make it easier by increasing your Power:Weight ratio.[/quote]

    Not thought of that, i'll give that a go thanks... the weights dropping off now down to 14 stone, but i'm off on holiday in just over a week and bound to put some back on :cry:
  • simon_e
    simon_e Posts: 1,706
    shaun668 wrote:
    Not thought of that, i'll give that a go thanks... the weights dropping off now down to 14 stone, but i'm off on holiday in just over a week and bound to put some back on :cry:

    Sounds like a defeatist attitude. You've made progress, don't undo what you've achieved. Why not step back and think again at your intake while on holiday? Think of how much better you'll feel about yourself if the scales shows you've not put anything on when you get back. There are multiple benefits to losing some timber, it's not only about cycling uphill.
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  • RideOnTime
    RideOnTime Posts: 4,712
    :D We are bring a trailer of bikes down to Ilford for this event just up the line from Stratford. This had been to help some US friends struggling to find a hire bike. Now they're cancelled and we're committed, hotel etc. The mods might want to ban me yet again for posting. However a lot of people may find this service very helpful so please don't cut off your nose etc... :D

    http://d2ride.co.uk/Bike-Trials-and-Events-2017.php
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,652
    Simon E wrote:
    shaun668 wrote:
    Not thought of that, i'll give that a go thanks... the weights dropping off now down to 14 stone, but i'm off on holiday in just over a week and bound to put some back on :cry:

    Sounds like a defeatist attitude. You've made progress, don't undo what you've achieved. Why not step back and think again at your intake while on holiday? Think of how much better you'll feel about yourself if the scales shows you've not put anything on when you get back. There are multiple benefits to losing some timber, it's not only about cycling uphill.

    Good work with the weight loss so far - I've been training, and eating more healthily (Not dieting I hasten to add) since the New year, and have so far shed 8.6kg, or 1 stone 5lbs if you prefer.

    I've had a few weeks where my resolve has faltered, and I have put on a bit, but I've managed to maintain a steady downward curve - I'm about a kg behind my conservative target, but totally happy with that.
    I feel a lot better in myself, and about myself, and am quicker up hills as a result.

    I too am going on holiday nexxt week, but as I am staying with my parents, I have managed to stash a couple of bikes with them for me and my gf - also planning to take my daughters bike in a suitcase.
    I too was\am contemplating the possibility of putting on weight whilst there, but plan to counteract that by taking running kit as well - so although I might only get 1 or 2 bike rides in each week, plan to run every day. Temp will be much like it is here today, but probably 90% of the time, so it's going to be hot, and a 3-5 mile run each day is going to burn a lot of calories I reckon.

    Personally I always want to do some exercise, I really miss it if I go away somewhere with no options for interesting physical activity - I don't class walking as an interesting activity.
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