Training for extended climbing--no big climbs locally- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    jdg
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    Training for extended climbing--no big climbs locally

    I've been riding a 29'er SS for about a year and do well on the rolling stuff we have locally (Central Va/Richmond) but make frequent trips to the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests where I do more walking than I'd like. The climbs aren't extremely long but are quite steep---climb ridge, ride up and down the ridge, descend, repeat. I don't expect to ride everything of course but want to get stronger.

    I gear down to 32:20 out there and stay in the saddle as much as possible but I find when I stand for any period of time in steep stuff my HR just blows up. I'm thinking of trying a 22 cog on the back but what can I do in terms of training locally?

  2. #2
    Single Speed Nation
    Reputation: great_big_abyss's Avatar
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    You know, I'm in almost the same boat. Here in Winnipeg we have zero hills to speak of.

    Natural hills anyway. I want to train to increase my leg strength and my lungs. So, this evening I'm heading to the local garbage-dump-turned-park to do intervals. Basically up-down-up-down-up-down.

    If you lack even a small sized hill on which you can do this, I suppose you could always take spin classes. that might help!

  3. #3
    is buachail foighneach me
    Reputation: sean salach's Avatar
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    As Abyss said above, repeats are the answer. Personally, I would dedicate one day a week to doing an hour of steady pace repeats where you can breath fairly easily all the way up.

    Then dedicate another to a @ 1 hour loop with some shorter hills that you stand and sprint up as hard as you can, maintaining the effort a little bit past the top of the hill, and then pedaling lightly away.

  4. #4
    I'm attracted to Gravity!
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    Maybe try pulling an old car tire behind your bike in a safe setting. I've done this running and it is a great workout. In CO, there isn't much need to try it biking though.

  5. #5
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    I find grass sprints/repeats to be helpful as well, so long as it's not your neighbors lawn.
    It's only funny until someone gets hurt, and then it's hilarious.
    --Bill Hicks

  6. #6
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    I have been doing -

    Deep squats -- set of 10
    forward lunges -- set of 10
    back lunges -- set of 10

    I do all these back to back with no rest and then wait a few minutes and do it again for a total of 4 sets of 10 on each exercise. This has made a huge improvement on my overall leg strength and I can now climb much better. Now I do the same with weighted bar and will continue to add weight as I progress.

    However there is no substitute for a riding a standing climb and if all you have is moderate hills, then ride em 2-3 times (up and down and again) also learn to relax during a standing climb. It makes a big difference not being tense...
    26FS & 29Rigid... best of both worlds

  7. #7
    jdg
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    Thanks for the replies. I'm going to scout out some good hills for repeats most of which are on the road.

  8. #8
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    Repeats are the answer but I would also consider gearing the other way. I ride some gnarly steep extended climbs in a 32:18. At the begining of the season it's a biatch but as you keep doing it, it gets better. Notice I didn't say "easier" because you end up going faster but it still hurts as much!

  9. #9
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    If you gear it to 32 x 22 you will be spinning out on rolling hills. 2 teeth is a huge difference

  10. #10
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    I don't think 22T in the back is a good idea, either, but I don't know what kind of climbs you're faced with. I picked up a 22T myself (33T up front), but I have it reserved for some gnarly climbs here in the Rockies. Actually, come out West and train for a week at 5,000+ ft. You'll fly on the trails back home.

  11. #11
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    Reputation: jjmtb1's Avatar
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    Ride into the wind.

  12. #12
    jdg
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    I would only consider the 32x22 or 21 for certain places in the mountains i.e. something like the Dragon's Tale course or maybe the Middle Mountain Momma. Locally I'm usually in 34x20 or 32x18 on the 29'er. Typically you'll have a very steep climb for a few miles and ridgeline riding which is sort of rolling but much steeper up and down that what I usually consider "rolling" terrain:-0 In time I will get stronger but I was thinking the lower gear may help for these courses and rides that are 40 miles and up until I get more fit.

    Thanks for the help thus far.

  13. #13
    veinte nueve pulgadas
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdg
    what can I do in terms of training locally?
    Move to Charlottesville

    I lived in Southern MD for years, so I feel (felt) your pain. "Mountain envy" got us to C'ville.

    -nzumbi (aka huevosdeltoro, aka k29er)

  14. #14
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    Maybe put on a larger (technically smaller) cog (16t/15t) and just ride around a few days a week where you have to stand the majority of the ride. It would replicate the trail the whole way.

  15. #15
    jdg
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    "Move to Charlottesville" Hah, well yes.

    I am thinking of trying a much steeper gear locally though like 34x18.

    I can always put gears on but I can't seem to get away from the single speed. My main goal for this year is just to ride more of the big climbs. After that I figure anything else, i.e. races, will begin to fall into place.

  16. #16
    Chronic 1st-timer
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjmtb1
    Ride into the wind.
    just don't pee into it.
    Trailwrecker at large

  17. #17
    Monkey Junkie
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    Higher gearing+repeats.

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