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Training for Winnats, without Winnats

I'm doing a ride in c12 weeks which has Winnats Pass right in the middle of it. It is unlikely that i will be able to get out to Winnats to go up it beforehand, and live in the Cheshire flatlands so don't even have anything similar in the surrounding area (that i can get to easily).

Is the answer to just accept that i won't be prepared for 15-20% climbs and concentrate on improving base endurance (it's a 275km ride), or should i dedicate some time to low cadence strength work up the local 6-7% climbs?

I am censored at climbing but there are only 3 proper climbs in the ride so figure base endurance for the ride is more important. I have 34-32 fitted FYI.

Thoughts appreciated.
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  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,342
    You'll honestly be fine on 34-32. 275km is a proper ride, nice one, so just make sure you eat and drink properly before and during (and obviously after).

    Train as usual.
    Ben

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  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,275
    Gearing looks fine for the climb, is there really nothing else local steeper than 6-7% you can practice on?

    if that's the case then maybe some intense interval work on the turbo would help.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,943
    If you're training for a 275km ride then surely you'll be doing some long enough training rides that you can get to some decent hills?
  • commuterlegscommuterlegs Posts: 45
    mrb123 said:

    If you're training for a 275km ride then surely you'll be doing some long enough training rides that you can get to some decent hills?

    You'd think that wouldn't you! Other than maybe one 150km ride at some point, it'll mostly be volume due to family commitments, so one 4 hour ride at the weekend and 2-3 early morning/evening rides of 1-2 hours per week.

    I may be able to get out to the Brickworks or similar but it's not particularly steep.
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,342
    You're almost at 1:1 with 34-32. I honestly wouldn't focus on it.
    Ben

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  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,943

    mrb123 said:

    If you're training for a 275km ride then surely you'll be doing some long enough training rides that you can get to some decent hills?

    You'd think that wouldn't you! Other than maybe one 150km ride at some point, it'll mostly be volume due to family commitments, so one 4 hour ride at the weekend and 2-3 early morning/evening rides of 1-2 hours per week.

    I may be able to get out to the Brickworks or similar but it's not particularly steep.
    Fair enough.

    Best you can do is a few reps of the steepest hill you can get to then.

    Wouldn't get too hung up about Winnats TBH. The steep bit is pretty short. If you have to walk it you're only talking about a few minutes. Small beer over a ride of that duration.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,270
    I would have thought Mow Cop would within 2 hours of anywhere in Cheshire. Do a few repeats on that and you will be fine.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,025
    You'll be ok on the winnats, unlessyour racing up it. Just get to the cattle grid by the show caves and sit back and pedal steady and you'll be ok. It's not the steepest it's just long.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • OP - yes, base endurance fitness is the most important thing for a 275km ride as you suggest. As for WP, go on your local climbs and ride them as hard as you can in as big a gear as you can manage, whilst still being able to complete the full climb. Try and do 3 or 4 reps of this in a ride once or twice a week in the weeks leading up to your event and you should be fine.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 6,510
    Winnats is a pretty hard climb - ok it's not Hardknott pass but it's a pretty consistently steep gradient for about a km maybe?

    That said if you can ride that distance you can't climb that badly and you've got a very easy gear on so I can't see you not getting up it unless you try and go hard and blow up.

    One bit of advice is the end is just around a corner so you might think you can't do it and stop only to find you nearly had done it.

    Being nosey what are the other two climbs.
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  • Where are you actually based in Cheshire?

    If you can get to Brickworks then you can easily get to other harder hills like Blaze Hill next to Lamaload, Pym chair, inclines out of the Goyt, Standing Stones, Dumbers, back road to Flash - there are literally dozens of great training hills in the same area as Brickworks which have far tougher gradients which will be similar to Winnats.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,807
    It seems to me that if you live in Cheshire and plan to do a 275 km ride, you can probably do a recce ride down and up Winnats and back... that would be considerably shorter than 275 km... maybe?

    That said, I don't think over that distance it will matter much whether you are brilliant going up the pass or whether you will have to dismount and walk for a couple of minutes...
  • ibr17xviiibr17xvii Posts: 566
    I've never done it but the Strava segment is 1.71km at 11.2% so although it doesn't look like a walk in the park if you can do a 275km ride you'll be able to get up this.
  • commuterlegscommuterlegs Posts: 45



    Being nosey what are the other two climbs.

    The first one is Brincliffe to Hathersage (not sure if the climb itself has a name or if it's a collection of them) and the last one is Kettleshulme which also looks pretty steep but shorter.
  • commuterlegscommuterlegs Posts: 45
    Thanks all, will try to focus my longer rides on heading to Blaze etc which i should just about be able to do in 4 hours.

    Then I'll just spend the rest of my time in the gym doing squats for power >:)
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,195
    I would be focusing on the overall 275km distance - not a single climb halfway round. As said above, if you are comfortable riding that sort of distance, then getting up Winnats will not be an issue - providing you don't try to ride it like a Pro Tour KoM contender...
  • commuterlegscommuterlegs Posts: 45
    Ha, would certainly not say I'm comfortable riding 275km, but you're right, I'll focus on that and walk up Winnats if i have to (or grab hold of a car as it goes past)!
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,807



    Being nosey what are the other two climbs.

    The first one is Brincliffe to Hathersage (not sure if the climb itself has a name or if it's a collection of them) and the last one is Kettleshulme which also looks pretty steep but shorter.
    Kettleshulme to the Pym Chair via the Windgather rocks? It's steady, probably averages 5-6%
  • commuterlegscommuterlegs Posts: 45



    Kettleshulme to the Pym Chair via the Windgather rocks? It's steady, probably averages 5-6%

    The segment is called Kettleshulme Climb on Strava, not sure if that involves those two other places. This one: https://veloviewer.com/segments/16166484 Looks steep in places when you ignore the downhill section into it.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,807
    Ah, just the main B road climb to Rainow, nothing to worry about
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 9,306
    edited 8 April
    I ride these climbs all the time - the Windgather climb is one of my favourites as it is very steady (and Long Hill but it's had a temporary traffic light on it for ages). Blaze Hill and up to Pym's Chair by the other route is much steeper and more irregular, which doesn't suit me at all. I marked the main climbs in the area on the below:



    Kettleshulme to the Pym Chair via the Windgather rocks? It's steady, probably averages 5-6%

    The segment is called Kettleshulme Climb on Strava, not sure if that involves those two other places. This one: https://veloviewer.com/segments/16166484 Looks steep in places when you ignore the downhill section into it.
    This is just from Kettleshulme (bottom of Windgather - marked W) up to the top of Brickworks on the main road. The gradient cannot possibly be right on that Veloviewer link, it definitely isn't 22% at the top!! It's more like 10%, I just made a route for it on Strava:

    https://www.strava.com/routes/2815242989362922406

    I actually rode the main road up from Rainow and back down the Brickworks (B'Works on my map) last night - a while since I had done it, but it's not very challenging as Ugo says.
    ibr17xvii said:

    I've never done it but the Strava segment is 1.71km at 11.2% so although it doesn't look like a walk in the park if you can do a 275km ride you'll be able to get up this.

    Yeah, although it has long stretches steeper than that. The first part is fairly shallow then it really kicks up for a long pitch at 14%ish. It should be manageable on 34:32 though, even if you really have to grind up it.

    As Imposter says it will be the 275km that's going to be the bigger issue
  • commuterlegscommuterlegs Posts: 45
    Thanks for the map, very useful, didn't have a clue where those climbs were.

    I've got a route which takes me up Main Rd, down Brickworks and back up Blaze for a training ride so will try to edit for another one to take in Pyms, down Windgather and then up Kettleshulme so I'll know what to expect for that one. Could maybe get that done in 5 hours.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 9,306
    edited 8 April
    Brickworks is one of the most popular climbs in the county, a really common club ride combo is Brickies and Windgather. There's a coffee shop halfway up Brickworks which is good to stop at if you're descending or don't care about your time on the way up :wink:

    That climb up from the bottom of the Street (where the Errwood reservoir is) up to the top of Long Hill is pretty hard too - I don't know what it's called but one of the Strava segments is called the Straight of Pain or similar. It's a long, dead straight, very steep pitch which would be good training for Winnat's.

    Edit: there you go - Goyt's Lane - Straight of Pain https://www.strava.com/segments/12083962

    Watch the descent on Pym's as it is steep in places with gravel and poor surface in both directions - if you come up Blaze and onto Pyms there is a short descent on Erwin Lane into a valley before you then climb up to Pym's
  • commuterlegscommuterlegs Posts: 45
    Pym's must be similar to Blaze then, that descent has scared the censored out of me everytime I've been.

    I think i'll just set all of my weekend 4 hour rides in that direction and try to tick off as many as I can.
  • tonysjtonysj Posts: 359
    I've done Wynatts Pass twice with 34 - 28 and its doable and your 34-32 should be fine.
    Why not do some hills on the turbo? I'm on RGT Cycling platform and there are plenty of serious hills for a monthly £6.99 and you can cancel anytime.
    List includes, Mont Ventoux, Stelvio, Jabel Hafeet, La Cancha, Christ the Redemer, Pssopordoi, Alpe dhuez, Psso Giau, Mortirolo to name a few.
    Your endurance legs sound fine.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,509
    I've got up Winnats on 39x28 before and I'm fat and climb with all the finesse of a shopping trolley falling down a flight of stairs. It wasn't pleasant on that gearing, but that was in the middle of a 140km ride with a few other Peak climbs as well. You'll be fine on 34x32
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  • smethleysmethley Posts: 35
    I used to ride up Winnats regularly when I was local on 42x28. I can't imagine you'll have a problem.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 25,807
    Winnats is going to be the National Hill climb championship venue... will have to be 36 x 25 or 36 x 23 is I feel lucky... not going to buy a bigger and heavier cassette just for one race.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,943

    Winnats is going to be the National Hill climb championship venue... will have to be 36 x 25 or 36 x 23 is I feel lucky... not going to buy a bigger and heavier cassette just for one race.

    I suppose for a hill climb event you'll be smashing the steep bit out of the saddle rather than trying to sit and spin up it!
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,275

    Winnats is going to be the National Hill climb championship venue... will have to be 36 x 25 or 36 x 23 is I feel lucky... not going to buy a bigger and heavier cassette just for one race.

    If you want a decent time on the hill I wouldn't think you'd want a smaller gear anyway. Plenty of time to collapse and recover once you cross the line anyway.
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