Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

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racingcondor
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby racingcondor » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:55 pm

styxd wrote:I try and do the FW every year. Never bother doing any big miles for "training" though, 50 is about as far as I go. Its more about the intensity. But I live in the area, so riding up wrynose and hardknott every weekend is possible for me.

I think climbing out of the saddle is key. Hills you normally ride sat down in the granny gear, ride them stood up in the big ring, all the way to the top (if you can).


I suspect our different outlooks are because of where we live, down here South of London there isn't anything that can mirror these climbs which is why I accept that I will always be rubbish over them and instead focus on pacing myself to do as little as possible while still making it over the top (doesn't help that I'm a rubbish climber).

Sounds like the OP has good base fitness, trains in a pretty focussed way and should be fine though.

Harkmeadow
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby Harkmeadow » Fri Mar 01, 2013 13:33 pm

I rode the Whitton couple of years ago when it rained pretty much non stop. The final climb out of Wastwater valley was simply an absolute killer, especially the first half. I rode it on a 34/27 and dont feel embarrassed to say i had to walk about 50m of the climb. Plenty of people were at that point. Most of the people i saw ride it either had triples/ or mtb cassettes on, or maybe were just superfit. Anyway, point is, if you end up getting off going up the hardknott after 100 odd miles, you've still done brilliant!

I'd echo the other comments re getting in long rides, certainly a few 100miles, and concentrate on donig long intervals around LT to build your endurance for the 'normal' climbs you've have to do on the ride

As an aside its probably the best UK sportive i've done and one of the few where the locals get out to clap and watch. Enjoy it. :D

Tom Butcher
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby Tom Butcher » Fri Mar 01, 2013 13:37 pm

Imposter wrote:
bengboy wrote: Imposter, my thought re cycling with weights in a backpack was it would increase the amount of work done and take me longer to climb the local training hill, giving me a longer continuous climb before turning round and starting again.


I think you're barking up the wrong tree with the weights/backpack/concrete water bottle, etc, I really do. Just concentrate on improving your fitness/endurace in general, rather than slogging up some local climb carring a bag full of rocks. 3-4hr steady rides and 1-2hr tempo rides will probably provide bigger fitness gains, especially if done regularly. If you already have the fitness to stay with a 3/4 race, then you shouldn't be having any real trouble climbing, really.


A lot of people who race 3/4s will have a lot of trouble with the climbs in the Fred Whitton - speaking from personal experience I was off the bike and walking last time I did it and I was a typical 3rd cat back then - certainly wasn't getting shelled out, the odd minor placing, might struggle a bit against the 2nd cats kind of thing.

I agree that general fitness is a lot of it - but I really do think that climbing a 1 in 3 on typical gearing (compact or something) can be trained for and wouldn't say doing weighted climbs is a bad idea - carrying weights is going to make it harder to overcome gravity and surely that's what these climbs are about. Spinning along at 20mph plus for a few hours is different enough to out of the saddle climbing at 5mph that you would gain from practice.
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styxd
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby styxd » Fri Mar 01, 2013 14:00 pm

Harkmeadow wrote:Anyway, point is, if you end up getting off going up the hardknott after 100 odd miles, you've still done brilliant!


Nah, the idea is to ride up the hills! :D

If you end up getting off, then you've probably been going far to hard for the rest of the ride. Its not a race, just pace yourself. Fair enough, there a plenty of hills, but take it easy on the flat.

You don't want to be one of the ones walking up Hardknott and Wrynose, surely?!

If you can't do it on a 34/27, then I'd suggest you arent particularly fit, or you're mentally weak! :D

nammynake
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby nammynake » Fri Mar 01, 2013 22:39 pm

I've done Hardknott twice, once on the Lakeland Loop with 34-25 and the second time on The Fred with 34-27.

The first time I had some lower back pain so was unable to climb out of the saddle. I had to climb the whole thing seated which was very tough but I managed to do it without stopping. The second time was comparatively easy as I had fitted a 27 cassette and could also climb out of the saddle!

My training was mainly a long and hilly weekend ride for a few months prior. I weighed about 65kg so I think that helped too. I was quite shocked at how many people were walking it - it seemed most people were just giving up without really trying.

Overlord2
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby Overlord2 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 16:25 pm

This will be my first Fred this year.

I live in the Yorkshire Dales so there are plenty of good climbs to tackle. What really helps is knowing the climb you are tackling a lot of the time it's just a matter of concentrating on the next pedal stroke..then the next.

For me climbing a climb I don't know is really tough.

And the big advice people give me about the Fred is ride it easy otherwise you will be in trouble in the last quarter.

Iron_Duke
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby Iron_Duke » Tue Mar 05, 2013 22:03 pm

I know the op is being modest as he tortures me on training rides when I can manage to keep up :D

eh
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby eh » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:55 pm

I'd recommend doing a bit of mtbing, helps you get used to steep hills and good weight distribution between the wheels.

There is nothing clever about steep hills, just general cycling fitness, and a will to suffer and keep grinding on up, no matter how slow.

Oh and make sure your cleats aren't worn, nothing worse than pulling a foot off a pedal on a steep, slow climb.

styxd
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby styxd » Wed Mar 06, 2013 15:32 pm

eh wrote:I'd recommend doing a bit of mtbing, helps you get used to steep hills and good weight distribution between the wheels.


I'd recommend ignoring this advice.

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ShutUpLegs
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby ShutUpLegs » Wed Mar 06, 2013 19:23 pm

eh wrote:and a will to suffer and keep grinding on up, no matter how slow.



I'd recommend ignoring this advice.
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Toks
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby Toks » Thu Mar 07, 2013 03:10 am

Er... first off try and make you're training specific to the event. Why would you carry an extra 3Kg or suitcase of cement as part of your training when its not required for the event- that's madness. Are you going to ride with that weight on the day? Er...NO!!..In fact, I reckon thats got to be an invite for back , knee, hip and a maladaptive climbing form :roll: So...
1. Get yourself low gears
2. Get yourself as aerobically fit as possible, Including threshold efforts ( 2 x 20's), sweetspot/ tempo, VO2max training all put together in a nice package will serve you well. IOW;s simply riding fairly hard for anything from 40mins to 120mins would really help (A mate got gold in FW and all his training was done in two hours stints at either Regents or Richmond Park)
3. Practice climbing of course - and if possible after you've already ridden for 3-4 hours
4, Try to Relax when climbing - lots of people still like to wrestle their way up climbs wasting valuable energy
5. Stay fuelled up through out- your glycogen stores will be severely tested
6. Get as light as you can for the event
7. Make sure your descending skills are top notch.
Enjoy

styxd
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby styxd » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:22 am

Toks wrote:A mate got gold in FW and all his training was done in two hours stints at either Regents or Richmond Park


Is it possible to win a sportive?

Imposter
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby Imposter » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:43 am

styxd wrote:
Toks wrote:A mate got gold in FW and all his training was done in two hours stints at either Regents or Richmond Park


Is it possible to win a sportive?


The term refers to a 'gold' standard time - not a '1st place' gold.

Slowbike
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby Slowbike » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:25 am

Toks wrote: ...... Why would you carry an extra 3Kg or suitcase of cement as part of your training when its not required for the event- that's madness.
.......
6. Get as light as you can for the event

Eh?

So training with extra weight won't help, but getting lighter for the event will ?!

nice when ppl contradict themselves in the same post!

My view - FWIW - is (other than the technical bike handling requirements) that to get up hills you need to apply a certain amount of power - the power required will be directly related to your speed and overall weight - so you need to train in putting more power down for the longer duration. That requires practice in both your legs and your heart/lungs.
Dragging extra weight up shallower hills is one way - not unreasonable, but is 3Kg going to make a big difference if your hill is nowhere near the gradient you intend to tackle....
I dragged a buggy/trailer up a trail (on the back of my CX) the other weekend - complete with child onboard - I took it because I was the fittest of those there - boy did it narrow the field ! A few more of those and I'm sure I'd be better at tarmac hills without the trailer ...

styxd
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby styxd » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:31 am

Slowbike wrote:
Toks wrote: ...... Why would you carry an extra 3Kg or suitcase of cement as part of your training when its not required for the event- that's madness.
.......
6. Get as light as you can for the event

Eh?

I dragged a buggy/trailer up a trail (on the back of my CX) the other weekend - complete with child onboard - I took it because I was the fittest of those there - boy did it narrow the field ! A few more of those and I'm sure I'd be better at tarmac hills without the trailer ...


No doubt good training if you're a Middle Aged Dad In Lycra.

But I haven't seen anyone who's serious about cycling training using this technique.

Slowbike
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby Slowbike » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:46 am

styxd wrote:
Slowbike wrote:
Toks wrote: ...... Why would you carry an extra 3Kg or suitcase of cement as part of your training when its not required for the event- that's madness.
.......
6. Get as light as you can for the event

Eh?

I dragged a buggy/trailer up a trail (on the back of my CX) the other weekend - complete with child onboard - I took it because I was the fittest of those there - boy did it narrow the field ! A few more of those and I'm sure I'd be better at tarmac hills without the trailer ...


No doubt good training if you're a Middle Aged Dad In Lycra.

But I haven't seen anyone who's serious about cycling training using this technique.


Everybody rides a turbo on the same resistance setting? No? Do you make it harder for periods? Hmm ... what does that equate too?
If you have no hills that you can train up then you need a different method up the power required - you can do this by adding weight or increasing speed or even getting on a knackered bike - anything that makes you pedal harder - simple...

Those guys that drag sledges to the poles have to train somewhere - nothing comparable in this country so what do they do? Drag tyres around behind them ... it provides a resistance that they can train with so when they get to do it IRL their bodies are not shocked into that as well ...

I wouldn't recommend the trailer with child as a regular activity cos the child does get thrown around a fair bit ... so can't be that comfortable for them. But I believe the principle is similar.

Imposter
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby Imposter » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:04 pm

Slowbike wrote: Those guys that drag sledges to the poles have to train somewhere - nothing comparable in this country so what do they do? Drag tyres around behind them ... it provides a resistance that they can train with so when they get to do it IRL their bodies are not shocked into that as well ...


yep - that's exactly why the likes of Contador, Froome, etc all train with concrete water bottles, trailers and rock-filled backpacks. Oh hang on....they dont. :lol:

Toks
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby Toks » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:12 pm

styxd wrote:
Toks wrote:A mate got gold in FW and all his training was done in two hours stints at either Regents or Richmond Park


Is it possible to win a sportive?
I think it is if you arrive first. Anyone who thinks a Sportive isn't a competitive event clearly has never set off with the front groups... Ooops my Bad. He just sent me a text to say he finished in the top 20 positions and it was back in 2004. I gather FW don't issue Gold, Silver and Bronze ratings. He got Gold in L' Etape and a few other sportives that same year

slowbike wrote:Eh?

So training with extra weight won't help, but getting lighter for the event will ?!
nice when ppl contradict themselves in the same post!
Hmm... let see if we can clarify things for you then. Make your training specific for the event. An extra 3kg may mean you're honking out of the saddle much more. With that 3kg missing you may be able to learn to spin up the climbs in low gears. An extra 3g may mean climbing in a different gear than with 3g etc...of course being lighter always helps. Losing weight is one thing but carry extra weight intentionally is not needed.

Slowbike
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby Slowbike » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:13 pm

Imposter wrote:
Slowbike wrote: Those guys that drag sledges to the poles have to train somewhere - nothing comparable in this country so what do they do? Drag tyres around behind them ... it provides a resistance that they can train with so when they get to do it IRL their bodies are not shocked into that as well ...


yep - that's exactly why the likes of Contador, Froome, etc all train with concrete water bottles, trailers and rock-filled backpacks. Oh hang on....they dont. :lol:

No - they go to where there are suitable hills to train on ... duh!

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Lucan
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Re: Training for ultra-steep climbs (eg Hardknott)

Postby Lucan » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:16 pm

Imposter wrote:
yep - that's exactly why the likes of Contador, Froome, etc all train with concrete water bottles, trailers and rock-filled backpacks. Oh hang on....they dont. :lol:


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