How do I climb faster?

leicaman

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Sep 20, 2012
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Asakadai, Saitama
#1
Hi all

This year I have decided to try and get faster on the climbs in the mountains. I live in Saitama with no mountains nearby so weekday training involving climbs is pretty much out of the question. How do you train for climbing when there are no hills nearby ?
At the moment I'm trying to hit at least one climb harder than usual only Saturday ride in the mountain which is a good workout but I think I should be doing something during the week too.

Cheers
 
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theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#2
Whenever there is a strong headwind you can practice your out of saddle riding, by hitting a heavy gear and just standing into it. Good to get the rest of your body in better shape.
Or find a hilly section and ride that. For instance my friend used to do laps over the big bridge near the spaceship and through a few of the rollers towards my place. Unfortunately there are a few lights and traffic but each lap is 8km and about 50m vert. A few short sharp climbs not everyones cup of tea but it can be a good workout.

https://www.strava.com/segments/1577176?filter=overall

Even laps of that first hill. Which is about 8/9% is good, because you basically can roll around the lights at the top and bottom without stopping. Do that 20 times and you have a good workout.

Other than finding actual hills, it's interval time! 20, 10, 5, 2min intervals Different sets on different days. Keep your rest period low. (You should get a power meter if you are going this route seriously though)
 
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leicaman

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Sep 20, 2012
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Asakadai, Saitama
#3
@theBlob a power meter??? Stop treating me like I'm some kind of microwave oven you muppet ;)

A 20minute interval huh? Wow. Didn't realise they could be that long. So an interval is more like a tempo run rather than a Fartlek I'm guessing , yeah?
 

theBlob

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Sep 28, 2011
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#5
Well they can be as long as you like but they should be a full out effort over that time. Thus the need for a measuring device that is removed from "feel"
 
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Musashi13

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Aug 27, 2012
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#8
You personally, don't have to be convinced about the power meter. People make gains without them and have been doing so for aeons.

The cold hard fact remains that a power meter will tell you the effort you're putting out despite the plethora of external factors that can skew your perception of how hard you are actually riding.

If you want to make quantifiable improvements in your ability, not just your time on a climb, a power meter is certainly the direction most people move in.

Slogging out those 10,15, or even 20 minute intervals WILL give you performance enhancements but you'll never know how much or by what increments if you don't have some impartial way of measuring them.
 
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koya_hijiri

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#9
For real, @leicaman? I was hoping you would answer this question for me.

For what it's worth I second the 20 minute intervals suggestion, if only as an exercise in pacing over that duration. You and I are lucky to have the Arakawa, which is pretty much made for these. Personally I feel like core strength is pretty important for sustained riding out of the saddle, too, but since my running days ended I've been pretty averse to doing any core-specific stuff.
 
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leicaman

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Sep 20, 2012
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Asakadai, Saitama
#10
@Musashi13 I agree with all you say. There is no doubt a power meter is a good training tool and like you say, if you train hard, you will improve, but you won't be able to quantify those improvements quite so well without a power meter.

@koya_hijiri the Arakawa is pretty amazing really. I love that place. Running in the winter, cycling at all other times of the year , it's a great place to train. They even have water taps every few kms to fill up the bottles.
 

theBlob

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Sep 28, 2011
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#11
Yeah, straight from the river... :eek:

the Arakawa is pretty amazing really. I love that place. Running in the winter, cycling at all other times of the year , it's a great place to train. They even have water taps every few kms to fill up the bottles.
 

Musashi13

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Aug 27, 2012
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#12
I very much doubt that you could lose any weight from yourself or your bike so the alternative to going faster up hill is to increase the maximum power you can sustain for the maximum length of time. Intervals are the way to do this.
When you don't have hills nearby to work out on you have to simulate some of the same conditions and hope this transfers onto the slopes.
Your position on the bike
Your cadence
Your power
On an indoor trainer people suggest raising the front wheel

In order to increase your power output you have to train above what you can hold for progressively longer periods of time which pulls up the level at which you can comfortably ride. It is basically the same for a sprinter and a climber but the workouts differ greatly. Short sharp high power bursts compared to long sustained moderately high power blocks.
Recovery time is also an issue you need to consider. Time between intervals and time between workouts. To maximise efficiency and effectiveness you have to get this right. A lifetime of sports should mean you are in tune with your body and I'm sure you can understand the signals you get from your training as far as how much to do and when to back off or push it further.
Nutrition is another factor but again your history of endurance activities leads me too believe you've got this one sorted already.
Doing your concerted one climb a ride efforts will make you faster in itself but the improvements will be more pronounced if you do some specific training between those climbs, too (as is what you're asking about).
I wish I had the time to put this into practice myself. There are always improvements to be made if you are commited and have the time and energy to do it.
 

saibot

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May 29, 2012
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#13
I'm sure you can understand the signals you get from your training as far as how much to do and when to back off or push it further.
Hahaha! He wouldn't know when to back of even if he lost one leg and his front wheel at the same time ;-)

Oh and no more suggestion that he should treat our social rides as training "between climbs" (I kid of course, well, no, but yeah... stop it! ;) )
 
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Musashi13

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Aug 27, 2012
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#14
Maybe you're right @saibot I do remember him telling me he has run into a state of dilerium and that he rather liked it. That didn't strike me as a limit one should be testing regularly.

I meant the rides he does in the days between the social rides not on those rides between each climb. He would need to find some other riding partners for those types of excursion. That's a lesson in how to ensure your ride is a solo ride.
 

theBlob

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Sep 28, 2011
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#15
Or another option would be to try, just once, as a test, leaving the camera in your pocket and see if that makes you any faster! ;)
 

leicaman

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Sep 20, 2012
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Asakadai, Saitama
#16
Or another option would be to try, just once, as a test, leaving the camera in your pocket and see if that makes you any faster! ;)
That is actually good training I have found. I go ahead of the bunch, stop, take the camera out, take photos, put the camera back in the pocket then catch up to the group again. Great sprint training ;)

@Musashi13 Thanks for the tips. Greatly appreciated. Agreed about the rides during the week. Definitely don't want to be doing intervals on the Saturday rides after hitting a climb hard. My legs were rather jellified after hitting Shiraishi last weekend (and that was only the first climb).
 

theBlob

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Sep 28, 2011
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#19
You could be onto something here Andy. The other riders start 10 minutes ahead, Mark waits ten minutes, then starts with his camera already out. We all meet at the top of the hill where Mark gets the KOM and the selfies.

So there's your solution: take more selfies.