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Climbing Question
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smarauder68



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
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Location: Salt Lake City

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:37 pm    Post subject: Climbing Question  Reply with quote

I'm still in early days of my comeback so, when I climb, I am often outta breath and into the danger zone relatively quickly...In the first month here, I would fight up the steeper climbs, but in doing so, I would reach my breaking point and subsequently stop, turn around and head back down the hill.  

Over the last month, I've managed to make it further up the hills and canyons by taking occassional breaks roughly 30 secs to a minute where I peel off the road into a parking lot or onto a right turn and pedal in circles until I catch my breath. Then Suck down some water and continue the climb.  

Question, which method is more likely to see improvements in my ability to handle the climbs? Is peeling off and circling while I catch my breath too wimpy or a smarter way of improving? Am I the only person on this site who has resorted to this technique?
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Boogerd_Fan



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Location: Bratislava, Slovakia

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

suck it up Scott

it sounds like you're overgeared or going too hard at the bottom... find a rhythm to keep going up the climb at your pace. The more you climb the faster that pace will become.
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MrsSR



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rule 5!  Wink
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Biosphere
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Joined: 08 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like you're doing interval training at the moment (high effort, recovery, high effort, recovery, . . . ) which is maybe more focussed on building performance for competition.

I'd go with the lower gearing and less stressful approach for now and try to sustain it for longer and build a base level of fitness/condition over time. From your other posts (close to fainting, puking) you're maybe trying for too much too soon?
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smarauder68



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
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Location: Salt Lake City

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Biosphere wrote:
It sounds like you're doing interval training at the moment (high effort, recovery, high effort, recovery, . . . ) which is maybe more focussed on building performance for competition.

I'd go with the lower gearing and less stressful approach for now and try to sustain it for longer and build a base level of fitness/condition over time. From your other posts (close to fainting, puking) you're maybe trying for too much too soon?


I'm fighting a lot of things here...Allergies, heat, elevation and most of all, I'm carrying a ton of weight...tho I have lost 6kg or so in 2 months.  I will try starting off with a lower gear to keep myself from hitting the red zone too soon. My legs are in great form and never cause me to slow down. It's all about my cardio and breathing.  I never lived at 4500 feet before and most of my climbs take me up to 5500 or higher.  I think I know what it feels like to be strangled by a boa constrictor.  I think I need a TUE that would make Allesandro Pettachi envious.
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Biosphere
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It takes a bit of time. 6kg in two months is very good going. I think once you get into the mountains most are limited by cardiovascular like yourself. It's why it's blood that gets doped I guess.
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Boogerd_Fan



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Location: Bratislava, Slovakia

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you suggesting SM take some PEDs??! Very Happy

legs wise - eat well before the ride - i dont mean a three course meal 20 mins before the ride start... i mean a few hours before, wolf down some pasta
after a lunch time @ work with some pasta dish... i can really feel the difference in my post-work ride specifically withstanding excertion on a long drag or a sharp incline where i try to sprint the hill/power out of the saddle appears easier, more manageable etc.

breathing wise, apart from looking/sounding like your having a asthmatic attack... over time your body will adjust and get better at coping with the stress. It helps if you can keep some rhythm not only in pedal stroke but also in your breathing. breathe through your belly - you see that on the Tour, that the guys are tugging huge chunks of air by breathing not short sharp breathes just in the chest area, but also their belly is sucking in and out with deeeep breathing.
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smarauder68



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



The view from the summit of Big Cottonwood Canyon, looking down toward Park City.

I drove my car up to a spot 3 km before the summit of Big Cottonwood Canyon just to the east of Salt Lake and rode up the last bit. It's a climb that starts at about 4700 and lasts 18km, peaking out at 7500 ft.  The last 3kms were brutal in places and caused me to use the lowest gear on my bike for long, slow stretches. but also had some breaks where it leveled off. I had to spin in circles about 5 x to recover and finish the climb.

This view was my reward.
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MAILLOT JAUNE



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well worth the pain for a view like that. Keep up the good work!
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Biosphere
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks fantastic. Having had a nose on Google, I see there's a Scott Hill at 3000m near where that photo was taken. An earlier conquest? Wink
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CapeRoadie



Joined: 15 Oct 2006
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Location: The sandy windswept peninsula

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Losing the weight will do more for your climbing than anything.  I don't recommend you eat pasta, ever.  It's white flour with little to no nutritive value.  Throw a pint of blueberries, some strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, banana, mango slices, pineapple juice and a little coconut water into a blender with some protein powder and drink that every morning before your ride.

If you're going out of breath quickly, you're either over geared or trying to go too fast.  When you go out of breath, you're developing fast-twitch muscle fiber.  When you don't go out of breath, you're developing slow-twitch muscle fiber.  You need both to be a good climber.  So you have to decide what you want to get good at first, and what types (% grade, length) of hills you want to get good at.  I agree with Bio that if you go out of breath and then stop to rest, you're doing interval (anaerobic or fast-twitch muscle development) workouts.  That's not a bad way to go.  But, I'd mix it up.  

I wouldn't do interval workouts more than 1-2 times per week.  Other days I'd go easier or do tempo climbs where the cadence is steady and you don't go out of breath.  Think:  hard-easy-medium-easy-hard-easy-rest or something like that for a 7-day workout.  Read Joe Friel's book.  Read Hunter Allen's book(s) on training and racing with a power meter.  Periodize your training.  Remember that training = stress + rest.  Do at least a 15-30 minute warm-up on the flats and then start your climbs.  Mix in flat training also.  Every workout should not be a climb.

As to your question "which way is smarter?", I'd say that's not really a valid question;  interval training, steady-state training, easy, long rides and rest are all a part of training.  You need to do them all.  Mix it up!  Vary cadence, tempo, duration, intensity on different days.  Do one-legged pedaling for 5 minutes at the start of every ride on the flats to find your "dead spots" (or buy a set of Wiggo elliptical chainrings and never look back).

Keep riding!  Nice photo.  I'm headed to New Hampshire to climb, on foot and on the bike.  Getting ready for cyclocross.  Almost back to where I was in 2009 when I was fast.  

Good luck!
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Boogerd_Fan



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If pasta makes me fly, i need to try that fruit cocktail Cape.. to fly like eagle!
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CapeRoadie



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, one more thing:  the next time you climb, try pulling up on the pedals (lifting your knees) instead of mashing down for a stretch.  One secret to stronger climbing is to use the entire pedal stroke.  If you use hip flexors for a bit (by pulling up), you'll rest your pedal-masher muscles (quads, glutes, lower back [lumbar extensors] and calves).  You can push down, pull back (Lemond's scraping the mud idea), lift up and push forward.  If you focus on one of those 4 at a time, you'll rest the other 3.  You'll get better, more well-rounded muscle development.  You need pedal-mashers, but you also need tibialis anterior, hamstrings, hip flexors and abs.  Try that, and tell me what you think.
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CapeRoadie



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
If pasta makes me fly, i need to try that fruit cocktail Cape.. to fly like eagle!


Stop eating that pasta crap, Boogie!  It's a myth!  You need WHOLE GRAINS.  Skip the flour, especially wheat flour/white flour.  Tell me how you feel with the fruit smoothie, I would be interested.  But for heavy training days you WILL need the starchy carbs.  But instead try whole grain rice and quinoa or couscous with stir-fried vegetables (hint:  use a LOT of red peppers).  I like red and yellow peppers, zucchini (forget what bianchigirl calls it in the UK), yellow squash, onions and banana or plaintain in the mix.  

Also training secret:  fresh whole organic beets.  Put those in the fruit smoothie.

You'll see.  Smile

Also--I totally agree regarding relaxed, diaphragmatic breathing.  But the way he's going, that might not be too easy!
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Biosphere
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CapeRoadie wrote:
 I don't recommend you eat pasta, ever.  It's white flour with little to no nutritive value . . .


Cape, I presume you're trying to make the more subtle point that eating whole wheat pasta is better, but I think the statement above is quite misleading. There's plenty of nutritional value in all pasta types, and on a list of things that are bad for you, white pasta comes far down the list.

At least for the stuff we get here in Europe. Maybe you get something completely different in the States.
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Boogerd_Fan



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cape cheers - Zucchini is in Slovakia too, i think courgette in UK?
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sabcarrera



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find that any cereal starch gives me problems unless it's in a period when I'm burning the calories. Certainly weight reduction helps and you can do that in the off season eating meat and veg and pedaling light.

Another difference on a ride is to keep a few calories in the engine. Ham sandwiches work well for me. Don't forget to keep hydrated
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smarauder68



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
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Location: Salt Lake City

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the topic of weight, I'm definitely the heaviest guy I see taking on the hills I take on...I realize that's my main problem....I am working on portion control and consistency with my workouts and the weight is coming off...but the main thrust of this thread was to solicit opinions on what's the best way to improve my performance so I can do more climbing and speed my weight loss. Or should I try to take more time and just do longer flat workouts?
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Biosphere
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

smarauder68 wrote:
On the topic of weight, I'm definitely the heaviest guy I see taking on the hills I take on...I realize that's my main problem....I am working on portion control and consistency with my workouts and the weight is coming off...but the main thrust of this thread was to solicit opinions on what's the best way to improve my performance so I can do more climbing and speed my weight loss. Or should I try to take more time and just do longer flat workouts?


Try Googling stuff like "fat burning exercise" to learn about the different "exercise zones based on heart rate". It's a bit of a crude measure to use HR, but it will get you in the right ball park. If your breathing gets heavy and laboured, you've gone beyond the optimum zone and your body is raiding more instantly available supplies to do what you're asking of it. If needs be keep it on the flat without the hills to keep HR manageable.
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smarauder68



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
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Location: Salt Lake City

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Question for Cape...I had some bi-lateral PE's a few years back and it feels like my lungs have never really recovered in terms of ability to do cardio...then again, it's hard to know if its my extra lbs or the PE's...Do PE's do permanent damage one's breathing?

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