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  1. #1
    Soy Chingon
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    How can I build more climbing endurance

    I just started riding in San Diego county and the up hills here kicked my ass. I moved here form Austin, TX where I did mostly XC riding. And as you can probably guess the uphills in Texas are nothing compared to what I endured last Saturday.
    I ride between 60 to 100 miles a week around the bay and beach, which is pretty flat. I would like to know how I can improve my uphill climbing endurance. I started riding on the highest gears and I plan on riding more hills around my neighborhood when I cant get out to the mountains. Should I also do weight training?
    Soy Chingon

  2. #2
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    Proper weight training can't hurt, but getting out there and riding as many hills as you can is the best training.

  3. #3
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    Yeah for sure, unfortunately the only way to get better is to do more of them....

    I found that focusing on keeping a steady cadence helped a lot on longer climbs. It's much easier to work your way up that way then it is to attack, fall in a heap, attack...

    At first I spent a fair bit of time climbing on the road, and then headed into the bush later once I’d got the fitness side happening. At least that way you can concentrate on just riding, and not getting your bike up and over rocks, ruts etc.

    Also make it fun, think of climbing as a challenge rather then a necessary evil to get to the top.

    I always used to enjoy the DH aspect of riding a lot more then climbing, but over time I think I’ve converted. I really enjoy the feeling of clearing a super technical climb. Momentum is the key!!


    Dave.

  4. #4
    Young, Shawn Young
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    Quote Originally Posted by gallorody
    I just started riding in San Diego county and the up hills here kicked my ass. I moved here form Austin, TX where I did mostly XC riding. And as you can probably guess the uphills in Texas are nothing compared to what I endured last Saturday.
    I ride between 60 to 100 miles a week around the bay and beach, which is pretty flat. I would like to know how I can improve my uphill climbing endurance. I started riding on the highest gears and I plan on riding more hills around my neighborhood when I cant get out to the mountains. Should I also do weight training?
    Elliptical machines at the gym are awesome cross training machines. At least 30 minutes straight at a decent level. Try not to use Granny ring.

    Shawn
    "Im just going to explore a little bit..."

    Dont make me be the bad guy...

    Do I need a pass to ride this trail?

  5. #5
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    Stay seated on the climbs. Resist the temptation to stand and honk on it. Concentrate on maintaining a reasonable cadence where you still feel like you have some resistance, but don't try to ride so hard a gear that you are mashing all day. Rinse and repeat.

    I second the road thing if you are looking to train outside of just riding for fun as you get stronger. I agree that road climbs are a good way to isolate and strengthen the muscles in question without the added task of on trail technicality. Of course, some may say that's no fun......

  6. #6
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    This past summer I dedicated atleast one ride a week to focusing on climbing, and it helped tremendously. Many of these rides were done on the road, or atleast 50% road riding. I would plan a route that would include a nice 30 minutes of flat riding to warm up, then the climbing would begin. I would try to string together 4-6 nice climbs, and plan the route so that one climb was relatively close to the end of the ride so I could do a couple hill repeats. I also did hill intervals occasionally where I would warm up for 30 minutes, then do a bunch of repeats on the same long climb. I would not classify these rides as fun LOL, but they certainly got me to the point where I could climb just about anything thrown at me. Early in the season my climbing sucked, but by mid summer I actually looked forward to a nice long climb.

  7. #7
    a dad
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    just keep climbing...i have a theory that works for me....early in the season when i know i might be going on some long rides i devote 2 weekends prior to long rides...i try to go out for a few really long mtn bike rides, 4-6 hours...after that everything under that seems easy to me...i usually have to do it again in late summer to re boot my mind for the fall epics as well
    BBZ

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  8. #8
    smw
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    Just keep trying and it will come. Push yourself farther beyond where you intended to stop and rest. You'll be suprised you can climb higher then you may think, its only part physical and alot mental. The more you climb the easier it gets.
    Sean

  9. #9
    i worship Mr T
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    climb more hills

    Quote Originally Posted by gallorody
    I just started riding in San Diego county and the up hills here kicked my ass. I moved here form Austin, TX where I did mostly XC riding. And as you can probably guess the uphills in Texas are nothing compared to what I endured last Saturday.
    I ride between 60 to 100 miles a week around the bay and beach, which is pretty flat. I would like to know how I can improve my uphill climbing endurance. I started riding on the highest gears and I plan on riding more hills around my neighborhood when I cant get out to the mountains. Should I also do weight training?
    sounds stupid but it's true. the only way to build climbing endurance is to climb more. do some of your climbing in a gear that allows you to sit & spin. do some climbing standing. do some climbing in a bigger gear to build a bit of strength. but the unifying theme here is climb.

    weights will make you stronger but they won't improve your climbing endurance. only climbing will do that.

    rt
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  10. #10
    No Justice = No Peace
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    Running

    I kinda hit a plateau for a few years until I started running. It made a huge difference. The big surprise was how much my upper body, middle section benefitted from it, but my overall endurance and cardio fitness went through the roof.

    I am a heavy guy, at around 200 in marathon shape, and I started slow, with coaching and a podiatrist to back me up. Bikers, and MTBR especially, will flame out like the Shuttle Columbia against anyone suggesting running, but I know of what I speak, and I highly reccomend it.

    Check out programs like Team in Training or the AIDS marathon to get good coaching. It would also be a great way to meet a lot of athletic, interesting people in your new town, and do something good for someone else,

    ...which is nice...
    "Welcome to my underground lair...."

  11. #11
    desert dweller
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    Like everyone said, do more of it. I found training on a road bike helped a lot. I also found a 2 block long steady climb on my normal training loop that I ride in the summer. It's a good indicator because I can really see progression as my conditioning increases.

    ie. When I first started climbing a particular section of road I could hardly hold 13/14 mph -- after months of training and riding I was able to accelerate through the climb and go over the summit at 21. It's a great motivation to see and feel that kind of progression. Now if I could drop another 30 pounds I'll be as fast as the little guys.

    mbb

  12. #12
    They turned me loose
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    SS the hills then go back to gears, if you can.

  13. #13
    Over the Hill
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    Weclome to So-Cal, it seems like every ride I do requires steep climbs. I have a hard time finding places to take newbees without discouraging them.

    Singlespeeding has helped me more than anything in my climbing.

  14. #14
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    Ride Daley Ranch in Escondido. Lots of climbing. Some longer climbs than other, some steeper than others. I've improved on my climbing there a lot in the past 2 months. Unfortunately, went to Aliso last weekend and couldn't make it halfway up Mathis (I think it was)! Still need to practice. I did climb two hills at Daley yesterday that I hadn't climbed before.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    the only way to build climbing endurance is to climb more. do some of your climbing in a gear that allows you to sit & spin. do some climbing standing. do some climbing in a bigger gear to build a bit of strength. but the unifying theme here is climb.


    rt
    So *rt*, I'm a bit unclear here; is there something you're suggesting? I never was good at that subtlety stuff!



    Just kidding for those that are on a literal bent of late - but this is the unmystical secret. Climb more. Go hard. Go easy. Do long steady tempo climbs. Do all-out pukefest sprint climbs. Ideally you'd have a relatively interesting area to ride, one that you can hit repeatedly over time for comparison.

    For instance; here in Santa Fe we're blessed with a ski basin that sits about 3200 feet above town (the parking lot). The road up is 15 miles. The climb is broken up into a few distinct parts; an easier-ish first 6 miles, a gradually steepening section, making a brutal middle 4 miles, and then a moderate 5 miles (once you're cracked!) to the end. I use the first stretch to warm up, the middle stretch to stomp on it, then see how much I've got left in the tank to finish up. I've done it in 1:50 hours, and I've hammered it in 1:20. They do a race up it in the summer, and the (sick) winning times are around an hour. Next season I hope to crack 1:10 in my own personal TT. Anyhow - the point being it's a place I can test myself on regularly (until it's too snowy anyhow) and a clear indicator of improvement.

    Of course, northern NM isn't known for it's flat mountain bike trails either - which makes virtually every ride at least a moderate climbing adventure. My favorite mtbike climb-fest starts in town, and ends up above the same ski area - making for a 5200 foot climb over 18 +/- miles.

    How far are all those mountains around Palomar from you? Seems like SD has awesome climbing!
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  16. #16
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    Just kidding for those that are on a literal bent of late - but this is the unmystical secret. Climb more. Go hard. Go easy. Do long steady tempo climbs. Do all-out pukefest sprint climbs. Ideally you'd have a relatively interesting area to ride, one that you can hit repeatedly over time for comparison.

    I'm not sure (I'm no coach or expert) but I wouldn't of thought "all out pukefest" sprint climbs would be a great idea when trying to build a base endurance for climbing.

    Sure later on it would be O.K, and there's no reason why not for clearing short and steep climbs off road, but when you're trying to build up endurance I wouldn't of thought it would be a great idea. I’ve always thought maintaining cadence and keeping a steady HR to be pretty important.

    As for heading back down the hill... anything goes, pedal like buggery!!

    Dave

  17. #17
    taxi mechanic
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    weights will make you stronger but they won't improve your climbing endurance. only climbing will do that.
    i am thinking climb and become stronger if keep up climb. it make sense if think about.

  18. #18
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    'As for heading back down the hill... anything goes, pedal like buggery!!'

    but don't go harder than you can handle. kissing the pavement at high speed is anything but fun

  19. #19
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    Keep climbing ... the more the better. A road bike is a good way of cheating, allowing you to do more vertical with less pain. I love climbing and I am thankful that I have big hills to climb where I live. I'm not a serious racer, but conventional roadie wisdom is that every gram you can shed counts in climbing. When you ride flats you are fighting friction and air resistance. When you climb, you are, on top of that, fighting gravity. A weight training routine that builds muscle mass may be not the best for climbing (but don't let it stop you - ride but I still love lifting weights).

    Also, you may just not have (biologically) what it takes to be a climbing God. Your muscle composition and body type do matter, although there are exceptions. A "roadie rule" is that climbing specialists are small and light - 2 lbs per inch of height. Imagine being 6 ft and weighing 144 lbs! There are exceptions, like Miguel Indurian, who was a big man and relatively heavy but still excelled on the climbs. D.
    You be you. I'll be riding.

  20. #20
    RHRF!
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    In a word, intervals...

    Find a paved residential hill that is very steep and between 25 and 50 yards long to the summit. Do a 20 minute warm-up on the flats before your first interval attempt. Note that I prefer a geared hardtail for this type of training but I suppose you could do it on a SS if you’ve got the knees… Approach the hill in your middle ring and the largest cog in the rear. When you hit the base of the hill, bang the gears down two or three cogs and stand and crank as hard as you can for as long as you can. You should time it so that by the time you reach the summit, your legs are on fire and your heart rate is maxed out.

    Shift to the easiest gear on the bike and continue pedaling until your heart rate returns to normal and head down to the base of the hill for another attempt. Do at least 3-5 intervals with full recovery in between each one. Add this workout to your weekly schedule and only do two interval sessions per week - no more. You should be completely exhausted after one of these sessions. As you progress, find a longer/steeper hill or bang down another couple of cogs for the effort.

    I live in Fountain Hills, AZ and we have some hills that are over 30% grade. I have found that if I really want to get in shape, hill intervals are the fastest (and most painful) method to better climbing.

    Give it a try for 4 weeks and let me know your progress.
    "The secret of joy is the mastery of pain." (Anaïs Nin)

  21. #21
    a dad
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    when i used to care more about speed, i did a slighty different sort of interval training that (to me) was a lot more fun...i would pick a fun mtn bike ride that had a few sustained climbs...at each of the climbs i would do an interval (sometimes that was a 30 second one and as i got more fitness longer)...i would do how ever many i needed to do on that day....that way i got a fun ride and training...

    now i just crank it up a bit on climbs when i feel like it, but i could care less if i am first to the top, just wanna be able to pedal all day...
    BBZ

    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy - Benjamin Franklin

  22. #22
    Gone riding
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    'As for heading back down the hill... anything goes, pedal like buggery!!'

    but don't go harder than you can handle. kissing the pavement at high speed is anything but fun
    Yeah, was joking with that one. You wouldn't want to push your HR too hard either after spending all that effort trying to build endurance!


    Now I've never looked seriously at training, but I always thought intervals were best attempted after you had built up a base level of endurance fitness??

    I can see the advantages in interval training, and used sparingly it can see huge gains, but I would of thought it was best attempted once a level of fitness had been built up?

    Dave.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redmon
    Elliptical machines at the gym are awesome cross training machines. At least 30 minutes straight at a decent level. Try not to use Granny ring.

    Shawn
    Biking is just short of worthless for weight loss unless it's for an hour long. If you want to strength train, do sprints for half an hour. Up that number to an hour for weight loss though

    Sprints - always under 2 minutes, and rest for as long as you sprint for.
    30 sec sprint, 30 sec rest, continue
    60 sec sprint, 60 sec rest, continue
    90 sec sprint, 90 sec rest, continue
    120 sec spring, 120 sec rest, continue
    90sec spring, 90 sec rest, continue
    60 sec sprint, 60 sec rest, continue
    30 sec sprint, rest 2 minutes and start over

    BTW, sprinting doesnt mean "really fast;" it means as hard as you possibly can go without causing physical harm, and having it on a really hard setting. Squats work well, too.

    Good luck,
    James

  24. #24
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Resistance is key, and strength. You will always be bonked by a climb that exceeds your aerobic capability, so the key is to be strong enough to do the climb without digging into the anerobic reserves. To do this, weight train, do intervals, spin up hills in a harder gear, even if for a little while, just keep doing all of this and it will come.

    Spinning in an easy gear and not increasing the resistance on your body will not do much in this case. Improving (getting stronger and better) is not going to be comfortable while it is taking place, but the benefits will be there and measurable.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  25. #25
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    Ride with someone stronger..

    Nothing improves like trying to keep up with a superior rider.

  26. #26
    Don't be a sheep
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan!
    Keep climbing ... the more the better. A road bike is a good way of cheating, allowing you to do more vertical with less pain. I love climbing and I am thankful that I have big hills to climb where I live. I'm not a serious racer, but conventional roadie wisdom is that every gram you can shed counts in climbing. When you ride flats you are fighting friction and air resistance. When you climb, you are, on top of that, fighting gravity. A weight training routine that builds muscle mass may be not the best for climbing (but don't let it stop you - ride but I still love lifting weights).

    Also, you may just not have (biologically) what it takes to be a climbing God. Your muscle composition and body type do matter, although there are exceptions. A "roadie rule" is that climbing specialists are small and light - 2 lbs per inch of height. Imagine being 6 ft and weighing 144 lbs! There are exceptions, like Miguel Indurian, who was a big man and relatively heavy but still excelled on the climbs. D.
    Actually the 2lbs per inch of height loosely refers to "how" you should climb. Those at or under 2lbs per inch should or do generally spend more than half their time climbing out of the saddle. Heavier, stay in the saddle more. I lost 40 ponds to become a better racer and spent the last 4 years hovering around 145-147 at 5'11". I've found that being light only really helps on long sustained or really steep climbs. Anything under a mile or under 7% grade and the speed can be so fast in the higher road categories that being light doesn't help much. When I was light I'd stand up and climb for 5-10 minutes at a time.
    "Do not touch the trim"

  27. #27
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    leg and bike momentum for those long climbs is key, spin at 70+ RPM up hills, if you can't spin that high of a RPM, spin at the most effeicant pace you can. In most cases, the higher the RPM the more effeciant the stroke will be which means the easier it is to pace up that hill. Learn to spin at that type eof candence. You might need a cadence computer to know what your leg output is. After learning to get your legs in tempo, get your mind in tempo. Some hum, some think about that climb (not very good but works), some listen to music, some day dream. Any way you can, get your brain in tempo with your legs. Learn to mentally deal with the pain.

    Daily ranch is a great place to ride, it's almost all climbing, hardly any flat sections there.

  28. #28
    singletrack bound
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    ... and if we just ...

    I have never been a great climber but can hold my own on the techical singletrac and downhill XC. Riding with a fellow rider that climbs well will push you to your limits. Road riding definitly will help. The more saddle time you put in, the stronger you will get. Now, that said, I have been singlespeeding for the last three months and I can tell you that I have become MUCH stronger and noticed a HUGE improvment and attitude towards the climbs. I now attack the climbs much more agressively and spin em' over the top, where on a geared bike it is easy to gear down and crawl over the top. It's a great feeling now to approach a climb.In years past I thought I would never improve on my climbing . I now complete my rides faster on the singlespeed than I do on my FS!
    ten rides.....9 on the SS.......1 on the FS.
    It's a new life......

  29. #29
    Bike to the Bone...
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    Do shuttle runs... climb up the mountain and have a friend drive you back down so you can climb it all over again

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by gallorody
    I just started riding in San Diego county and the up hills here kicked my ass. I moved here form Austin, TX where I did mostly XC riding. And as you can probably guess the uphills in Texas are nothing compared to what I endured last Saturday.
    I ride between 60 to 100 miles a week around the bay and beach, which is pretty flat. I would like to know how I can improve my uphill climbing endurance. I started riding on the highest gears and I plan on riding more hills around my neighborhood when I cant get out to the mountains. Should I also do weight training?
    I made quite a bit of headway in climbing performance this season and I felt a few things contributed to it:

    1. Competition - I started riding this season with a friend who started out at about my level of endurance, probably a little better. It was never explicitly stated, but we were competitive with each other. For whatever reason we were not happy to let the other win. This motivated us to consistently ride at a level that was just below puking. Two months later, we were both much faster than we were previously. The competition benefitted us both, regardless of who won or by how much. Not that we were able to think that way, as that sort of thinking negates the pit-of-the-gut-driving-force that is about the only thing that can push you there to the edge consistently.

    2. A better diet - As the season progressed, I became a little faster than the forementioned friend. But one day I bonked bad and was beat. My excuse for the day was the lateness with which I had my lunch, but his girlfriend commented, "why are you still eating that fast-food crap?" That hit a chord. I adjusted my diet so that I ate less fast food and began watching the quality of nutrition of what I was ingesting. I also went consistent on multivitamins to ensure that my metabolism had the necessary cofactors to do a proper job. Very soon I noticed that I was consistently healthier and more energetic all-around. I got faster.

    3. Increased training load - A month or so ago I changed the setup on one of my bikes and added about 2 pounds of rolling mass and increased rolling resistance. This was in response to setup issues that cropped up during a riding trip at Mammoth Mountain resort. I did not plan on adding so much weight, but it was done and I had to live with it. Initially, I was slower than before on that bike. But I took it as a challenge to regain my speed with this heavier setup and trained with this bike to achieve this end. It was more-or-less successful. Unsurprisingly, I became faster on my other (unchanged) bikes.

  31. #31
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    I love to climb and

    always laugh when the hikers I meet on the way up, by way of I guess trying to cheer me up, say "well, it'll be worth it for the ride back down!" In reality the fun part for me is the climb! If my rides consisted of climbing and climbing and magically my car was at the top of the trail I wouldn't feel the least bit deprived by then not having the ride back down. Sick, yeah?

    Of course I do enjoy the ride back down but the climb is the thing. One thing I tell anyone I see draped all over their bars at the top of some steep section is NEVER stop at the top of a climb to catch your breath! Just keep going, in fact accelerate, over the top and beyond--recover while you're out of breath. You'll never get fit in that netherworld of anerobic/just plain out of breath region unless you train there.

    Pretty soon a normal climb will feel, well, normal--not a gut buster. You'll find that keeping yourself on the edge of blowing up isn't so bad after all. That said, half the guys I ride with are stronger climbers than me and if I seriously try to keep up with them I WILL blow up. It isn't worth it to kill myself on rides with them, I just ride my own pace and eventually we meet up down the trail, even if takes them stopping to let me catch up. Above all I myself never stop to catch my breath. Try it.

  32. #32
    i worship Mr T
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan!
    ... A "roadie rule" is that climbing specialists are small and light - 2 lbs per inch of height. Imagine being 6 ft and weighing 144 lbs! There are exceptions, like Miguel Indurian, who was a big man and relatively heavy but still excelled on the climbs. D.
    interesting. i never heard that before. by those standards i am severely underweight (like 20 lbs!!) and should therefore just fly up the hills.

    pass the ice cream please.

    rt
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  33. #33
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    subtlety is lost on so many.



    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

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  34. #34
    the cool nerd
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    excuse me...

    did you say something?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Low_Rider
    ...but when you're trying to build up endurance I wouldn't of thought it would be a great idea. I’ve always thought maintaining cadence and keeping a steady HR to be pretty important.



    Dave
    I was loosely refering to intervals - and subsequent posts have shown far more clarity. Intervals will increase you endurance, and ability to put out at higher wattage, far better than just steady tempo climbing. The idea, as I tried to illustrate in a distictly non-technical fasion, is to do different types of climbing workouts, including both easier/steady climbs, and hard intervals.

    Too much "easy base" and you'll not improve very quickly. That base is critical in the beginning of a training "regimen" to build a solid foundation from which to subject your body to more rigorous punishment. In my case, one (or infrequently two back-to-back) hard, hard days of my mentioned climb followed by a good tempo speed workout, then rest the next day made for explosive progress.

    It hurts, but it works! It's all a matter of focus and commitment...
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by sportsman
    excuse me...

    did you say something?
    huh?


    what?
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

    *rt*'s fabulous blog
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  37. #37
    Glutton for punishment
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    Amen brother. Nothing like doing a month's worth of long climbs on the SS to get your gearie legs in shape.

  38. #38
    the cool nerd
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    huh?


    what?
    oh yeah

    i remember

    climbing sucks

  39. #39
    i worship Mr T
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    Quote Originally Posted by sportsman
    oh yeah

    i remember

    climbing sucks
    yeah. right.

    and you do it so poorly.



    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

    *rt*'s fabulous blog
    mm blogging

  40. #40
    the cool nerd
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    thanks for noticing, and

    proclaiming it oh so publicly...



    I've improved on my technique since we last rode together...


  41. #41
    Ride Instigator
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    Wind Training...

    I live outside of Chicago (the Windy City). I get out on the farm roads on my roadie bike a lot in the spring when the trails are a sloppy mess. 20 miles with the wind and 20 miles back home into a stiff headwind can't hurt...gotta use what resistance you have available to you when you live in the flats! I like to think I do pretty well as a result of this type of training when we travel to the mountains.

  42. #42
    pewpewpew Moderator
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    I find spin classes have really helped my climbing. I prefer to ride outside, but my schedule doesn't always allow for it, so I spin on alternate weeks. I wear a HR monitor and I get a really great concise workout.

    I suppose the road would also suffice but days are too short now.

  43. #43
    Mmmm...Pivo!
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    Early in the season, hills on the road are great training. Find a cadence and keep it there for as long as you can. But as others have pointed out, this gets boring.

    I find that the really interesting, technical climbs often require that you go anaerobic for a while, so you have to get used to recovering from the effort. Everyone knows how much fun it is to blow up on a hill badly and then barely be able to finish the ride. You need to get used to recovering after going anaerobic, so from time to time I do repeated hill sprints on hills of various grades (fortunately I have the perfect place for this about 1km from home). The sprints range from about 150m long for the really steep pitches (25%), 500m for medium grades (12-15%) and up to 1km for the easier grades (8-10%).

    The idea is to go anaerobic on these hills, but given their length, you can't really hurt youself too badly. I go up, recover on the way down, and then repeat about 10-15 times or so, alternating between the various grades as I go. This pushes your anaerobic threshhold up, builds strength and mental fortitude, and also helps you for longer aerobic climbs that you might face.

    Don't do this too often though. Once per week is more than enough, and if you are getting in plenty of rides with a decent amount of climb, once every two weeks is enough.

  44. #44
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    Stamina

    Uhh...get on your bike and

    climb?

  45. #45
    i worship Mr T
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    Quote Originally Posted by sportsman
    thanks for noticing, and

    proclaiming it oh so publicly...



    I've improved on my technique since we last rode together...

    nice technique! very impressive. looks a lot like my technique.

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

    *rt*'s fabulous blog
    mm blogging

  46. #46
    the cool nerd
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    nice technique! very impressive. looks a lot like my technique.

    rt
    helluva day when you're so tired you carry your bike down an easy section...

  47. #47
    i worship Mr T
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    Quote Originally Posted by sportsman
    helluva day when you're so tired you carry your bike down an easy section...
    i call that 'quality time' getting to know my bike. you know, you can't really talk all that much and really get to know your bike when you're always struggling up or flying down hills.

    rt - no, i'm not going slow, i'm doing low intensity work.
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

    *rt*'s fabulous blog
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  48. #48
    the cool nerd
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    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    i call that 'quality time' getting to know my bike. you know, you can't really talk all that much and really get to know your bike when you're always struggling up or flying down hills.

    rt - no, i'm not going slow, i'm doing low intensity work.

    when I'm forced to go that slow, my bike doesn't want to hear what I have to say. It loves me when I'm flying low though...

  49. #49
    i worship Mr T
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    Quote Originally Posted by sportsman
    when I'm forced to go that slow, my bike doesn't want to hear what I have to say. It loves me when I'm flying low though...
    yes, well, i try to ignore the fact that my bike has no desire to listen to me when i'm going that slow. for the most part it works....until i'm back on the bike and it finds that pile of slippery leaves with the hidden root at just the right spot where i'll land squarely on the root with my elbow....
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

    *rt*'s fabulous blog
    mm blogging

  50. #50
    trekker
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    I have exactly 1 week at a place with moderate to really steep hills (UW-Madison campus for anyone that is familiar) coming up this spring. I want to be able to tear up these hills with no problem, or at least benefit greatly from them. I do not have steep hills in my area, so I want to use UW-Madison as a place to train.

    Should I build a base beforehand (somehow) and work extra-hard on my climbing while I actually have hills to train on, or should I build my base at madison?

    Can anyone recommend any program beforehand and/or while I am there? Should I just ride as usual and when I get there, just push myself until exhaustion twice a day, every day?

    Thanks for any advice,
    James

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonnitro
    I have exactly 1 week at a place with moderate to really steep hills (UW-Madison campus for anyone that is familiar) coming up this spring. I want to be able to tear up these hills with no problem, or at least benefit greatly from them. I do not have steep hills in my area, so I want to use UW-Madison as a place to train.

    Should I build a base beforehand (somehow) and work extra-hard on my climbing while I actually have hills to train on, or should I build my base at madison?

    Can anyone recommend any program beforehand and/or while I am there? Should I just ride as usual and when I get there, just push myself until exhaustion twice a day, every day?

    Thanks for any advice,
    James
    If you don't have steep hills force yourself to use higher gears. If you find yoursefl slipping into lower gears take off the grannie and middle ring. And climb out of the saddle.

  52. #52
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsigone
    leg and bike momentum for those long climbs is key, spin at 70+ RPM up hills, if you can't spin that high of a RPM, spin at the most effeicant pace you can. In most cases, the higher the RPM the more effeciant the stroke will be which means the easier it is to pace up that hill. Learn to spin at that type eof candence.
    That might be the most efficiant way to climb, concerning your body, but it won't make you faster. You need to increase the resistance to get faster, and that won't do it.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  53. #53
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    strengthen up those legs

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonnitro
    I have exactly 1 week at a place with moderate to really steep hills (UW-Madison campus for anyone that is familiar) coming up this spring. I want to be able to tear up these hills with no problem, or at least benefit greatly from them. I do not have steep hills in my area, so I want to use UW-Madison as a place to train.

    Should I build a base beforehand (somehow) and work extra-hard on my climbing while I actually have hills to train on, or should I build my base at madison?

    Can anyone recommend any program beforehand and/or while I am there? Should I just ride as usual and when I get there, just push myself until exhaustion twice a day, every day?

    Thanks for any advice,
    James
    You may laugh at what I'm about to recommend but here goes: find a real tall office building in your hometown and go up the stairs two at a time all the way to the top. Do it many times, regularly. Not only does climbing stairs (TWO AT A TIME) sort of emulate the biking leg motion but it can't help but get your legs stronger. It will also work on your cardio. I have business at my hometown's city offices occasionally and they have a belltower that's got 192 steps to the top. In the winter when I'm not riding much I'll go up and down those stairs, TWO AT A TIME, a minimum of three round trips, usually five rts, of course without stopping. Climbing on a bike takes legs lungs and heart (and a desire to do it) and having strong legs going into your spring trip would be a great start.

  54. #54
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    More ice cream (with syrup)

    Quote Originally Posted by *rt*
    interesting. i never heard that before. by those standards i am severely underweight (like 20 lbs!!) and should therefore just fly up the hills.

    pass the ice cream please.

    rt
    On really steep climbs you're going to be geared ridiculously low and slow or standing. When standing the heavier rider has the advantage (putting aside fitness) because a greater percentage of total weight (bike+rider) is on the pedals.

  55. #55
    pedalphile
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rivet
    Actually the 2lbs per inch of height loosely refers to "how" you should climb. Those at or under 2lbs per inch should or do generally spend more than half their time climbing out of the saddle. Heavier, stay in the saddle more. I lost 40 ponds to become a better racer and spent the last 4 years hovering around 145-147 at 5'11". I've found that being light only really helps on long sustained or really steep climbs. Anything under a mile or under 7% grade and the speed can be so fast in the higher road categories that being light doesn't help much. When I was light I'd stand up and climb for 5-10 minutes at a time.
    I like sports where smaller people can excel!
    (Yeah you don't want me on your football team...)

    Seriously, that's really interesting - I've never read that before. I'm pretty "compact" and I stand up a lot while climbing on my road bike as well as my singlespeed. If I'm climbing seated and start feeling slow and/or tired, I shift into a *higher* gear and stand up, and all of a sudden I'm going a lot faster. Typically on road rides I get shredded on the flats, but make up for it when it gets steep.

    I thought it was from singlespeeding.
    now the world is gone i'm just o n e

  56. #56
    Don't be a sheep
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacman
    On really steep climbs you're going to be geared ridiculously low and slow or standing. When standing the heavier rider has the advantage (putting aside fitness) because a greater percentage of total weight (bike+rider) is on the pedals.
    Not really. Your discounting the fact that you have to haul that extra weight up. it's going to end up being a power to weight ratio factor.
    "Do not touch the trim"

  57. #57
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    Simple example

    Quote Originally Posted by Rivet
    Not really. Your discounting the fact that you have to haul that extra weight up. it's going to end up being a power to weight ratio factor.
    Or percentage of dead weight carried up the hill. (dead weight = bike + body fat)
    Take 120 lb. rider with 5% bf and a 30 lb bike. 24% of the total is dead weight
    Take 180 lb. rider with 10% bf and a 30 lb bike. 23% of the total is dead weight.

    anything not dead weight contributes to power generation, simplified data but interesting.

  58. #58
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    I started to ride a fixie on the road this year and it really helped me with the climbs out on the trail because every time you go to slow down you build muscle plus no coasting for 40 miles doesn't hurt either.
    www.treefortbikes.com Just lauched V2.0 with free shipping and low prices!

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by gallorody
    I just started riding in San Diego county and the up hills here kicked my ass. I moved here form Austin, TX where I did mostly XC riding. And as you can probably guess the uphills in Texas are nothing compared to what I endured last Saturday.
    I ride between 60 to 100 miles a week around the bay and beach, which is pretty flat. I would like to know how I can improve my uphill climbing endurance. I started riding on the highest gears and I plan on riding more hills around my neighborhood when I cant get out to the mountains. Should I also do weight training?
    road biking is probably going to be alot more efficient in building a base for climbing stuff.
    1. obtain road bike somehow.
    2. pick a hilly route and ride the sh!t out of it at a pace that lets you do the most riding.
    A quick favorite:
    Warm up around Mission bay-go over soledad via Kate sessions park-down soledad-back up soledad via Soledad mountain road-down-back up another way-down-go to Torrey Pines do it a few times-back up soledad (do Hillside drive repeats for fun, so pretty there)-cool down on your way back to mission bay. Fair amount of climbing and you never went inconviently far from the bay.

    Running is great, but nothing beats climbing for getting better at climbing.

    Out of the saddle climbing rules.

  60. #60
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    HIjack in progress

    Hey Roddy
    I live a couple blocks from you. Check your Private Messages.

  61. #61
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    Rpm

    Spinning classes rule!

    It's funny to see where the hardcore cyclists are when the weather is crappy.
    I just started recently and already noticed a huge difference. In my overall endurance and my climbing. Of course, all our instructors are some sort of a strange alien species with their body consisting only of lungs and legs. Oh, and really loud voices.

    It's a really, really fun way to improve your aerobics. And the classes are designed that way. We're always finshing with a big-ass mountain climb...

    To quote my instructor today: "well right now you should feel like puking..." All I could say was: "where?"

    Happy riding people!
    Quote Originally Posted by Khemical
    wizzler is a must. although then it consumes all your waking and sleeping thoughts until you can return.

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