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More Hill Stuff...(16 posts)

More Hill Stuff...bent_spoke
Jul 2, 2003 10:58 AM
After reviewing the post on "hills & blowing up" I thought it would be good to get some input on pacing to keep things under wraps & avoid blowing up.

Last weekend I'm going up this really steep hill & I'm feel maxed out, reaching new highs on my hrm. On the plus side, this is the first time that I've taken on both segments of this hill at once (about 3/4 mi) and finishing with out a break. A new cassette 12X27 & being more consistent in training helped (I also did weights last Winter). It was touch & go at one point as I didn't know how much higher the HR would go before blowing (not a good time to determine MaxHR...probably would be able to get the number anyway, if I passed out) Any thoughts? I'll be keeping my helmet on at all times for this hill!!
try other methodsandy02
Jul 2, 2003 11:06 AM
I like to spin as much as possible but I have an odd system. I never climb with a cadence of less then 90 unless I am standing. Most of the time I am around 105-115 unless it is a really short hill then I can fly at 120 until I am almost at the crest and them I get in my drops and go two cogs down while standing. I have found that I spin out my rear tire if I stand in the hoods under a hard effort. I also like change cadence gearing up and down on long climbs. Sometime a bigger gear feels easier even when you think you are maxed.
re: More Hill Stuff...Len J
Jul 2, 2003 11:41 AM
I determine my LT,(Using a 10 mile TT to determine it)which for me is 180. I then watch my heart rate as I'm climbing and try not to exceed around 175 (A heart rate I can maintain for an extended period and still have enough in the tank to finish the ride.) If I see my rate starting to climb I gear down. If I gear down, & run out of gears then I slow my cadence. If this isn't enough then I am not strong enough for the hill, and/or don't have appropriate gearing for me on that hill.

Ya can't hide on a hill climb.

re: More Hill Stuff...Mariowannabe
Jul 2, 2003 12:12 PM
I agree with Len's approach. My LT is 167, and I find I can climb for hours if I keep it at or under this rate. At the beginning of the season I couldn't, but lots of hill training has paid off.

Like Len, I try to keep the cadence up (around 90 when I climb). But, when my HR approaches 167 I slow my cadence as needed. Only on the steepest hills (15%+) do I exceed by LT.

I rarely stand on exteneded climbs - only to stretch.
Jul 2, 2003 12:34 PM
I'm really interested in this HR issue. It seems there is this point of HR no return where it takes me much longer to recover once I cross it. I might make it to the top with the lead group, but I'm out of gas and hanging on for dear life, trying not to be caught in the wind (while those nutjobs are seemingly daisy-fresh!). I wish there were a magical way to get the heart rate back down to a practical level much more quickly.

The question then is, do the others have a huge HR spike that quickly settles down, or does it never approach the kind of peak that approaches a blow up?
I'm no HR expert but......Len J
Jul 2, 2003 1:30 PM
I found that once I identified my Lactate Threshold (LT) heartrate, I was able to monitor my eeffort on the climb so that I didn't blow up or Spike.

One thing about hill climbing I've learned--------You have to climb hills (especially long ones) at your pace, not at someone else's. If I climb at my pace I learn how to "save some" for the final push and still be able to recover to attack on the downhill.

How do you calculate LT? ..nmt0adman
Jul 2, 2003 1:40 PM
Couple of different ways.Len J
Jul 3, 2003 5:56 AM
1.) Warm up well. Do a 10 mile time trial at the highest effort that you can maintain for the entire 10 miles. Your LT is the average heartrate over the last 20 minutes.

2.) You cn have it tested in a sports lab. They have you do ever increasing effort & draw blood.

3.) You can get a book like Freil's, "The cyclist Training Bible". In it is a LT test using a powere meter and an assistant.

Remember that your LT is trainable. the better shape you are in, your LT will rise slightly. Also, rest & hydration and health can affect your hearts ability to rise. I find that I can't maintain a pace 3 or 4 beats above LT for more than a few minutes without blowing up. (Another indicator. Some on this board will say this test needs to be ultra precise, I disagree. It is about learning your body, being off a few beats won't matter (especially if you are low, for the purpose of managing your effort on hill climbs. As you spend more time on this, you will begin to relate, heart rate, effort, discomfort in a way that allows you to tell, without looking at your monitor, where you are relative to LT.

Hope this helps

It is still how you climb!andy02
Jul 3, 2003 5:20 AM
If you spin very fast (>100 for me) you can max you HR and still recover while climbing! Your heart going to rebound very fast your legs won't. I can peg my HR and then go to a big gear and stand for enough time for for my HR to drop and leaving me enogh strenght to get a high cadence back. I go back and forth like this on long climbs-- Don't get to do it often because I have to drive hours to get to any real mountains...but that is me being bitter
Jul 2, 2003 1:45 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen of the cycling community,
HR and its physiological effects is one of my forte's so allow me some space to expound. The heart rate and effort of work and aerobic capacity are all linear functions of one another to a certain point and in aobut 90% of the population as a whole. In other words if you have poor aerobic capacity (i.e. couch potato) and attempt to run a 4 minute mile your heart rate is gonna climb and stay very high. As the body and the muscles adjust to the precieved work load (in other words the legs develop more mitochondra to extract more oxygen) the amount of work the heart must do will go down. This drop will be seen in the heart rate eventually (it does take awhile and CONSISTENCY in effort). The reason why heart rate goes down is b/c the ability of the muscles of the legs to extract oxygen goes up tremendously. Hence VO2 is a measure of the bodies ability to extract oxygen. A VO2 in the teens and twenties is coach potato area. Higher means some some adaptation of the muscles is occuring. Now for the other 10 percent of the population. This part of the population has an ability to generate a higher heart rate and sustain it. The old formula of 220 - your age for max heart rate is ok, but it does not begin to describe this group in out population. For example a 40 year old person should have a max heart rate in of aobut 178-180 range, but yet I have seen folks like this have a max heart of 202 or 205. IT's jsut in the genes. This may explain why some folks do better on hill climbs even though they have higher heart rates and not blow up and look "daisy fresh". The heart itself does not really undergo much in the of increased output. It has a maxed ceiling because of the volume the ventricles can hold. RBC's can only hold so much oxygen, but if you increase the number of RBC's (i.e. senior Pantani with a red cell volume measured at about 65%, :: BTW normal range is 35-48 %) with EP or NESP it can and will give you a significant advantage. But it is also bad for the heart and kidney's. I DO NOT IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM RECOMMMEND THIS!!!!
My 2 cents
Brian Roberts MD
InterestingDrone 5200
Jul 2, 2003 2:01 PM

But how do you find your LT? And, for that matter, what exactly is it relative to the max hr and VO2max?
This should help you get started....coonass
Jul 2, 2003 6:50 PM
Jul 2, 2003 6:53 PM
Lactate Threshold and VO2spockie
Jul 2, 2003 7:41 PM
The following passage is from the book Serious Cycling by the Late Edmund R. Burke PhD.
"Although most top endurance cyclists have high VO2 max values, and it is a good predictor of performance, coaches and scientists have begun to look at physiological tests that don't push cyclists completely to the maximum to determine ftness and economy of effort.
One submaximal test determines a rider's lactate threshold. Lactic acid is the by-product of anaerobic energy production (energy produced without o2). Because is is an acid, it begins to shut down the muscles contractile mechanisms and may even cause a burning sensation. During exercise, a cyclist can perform up to a certain intensity without building up much lactic acid in the blood. When this intenisty is exceeded, lactic acid levels in the muscles rise, and the muscles fatigue rapidly. The cricital exercise intensity at which the contractile mechanism begin to shut down is referred to as the lactate threshold.
the best way to determine lactate threshold is for a cyclist to ride a stationary bike at a given intenisty for four or five minutes in a lab. Thena small sample of blood is taken form the cyclists fingertip to be analyzed for lactic acid. The workload (intensity) is increased slightly. The process is repeated for four or five workloads. When lactic acid values are plotted against oxygen consumption (VO2) and heart rate, an upswing in the graph occurs. The cyclist then has a range of heart rates or power outputs (watts)corresponding to their lactate threshold use to guide training intensity. Most elite cyclists reach their lactate threshold at 85 to 90 % of VO2 max, whereas untrained individuals reach theirs at 50-70 % VO2 max.....being able to compete slightly below or at your lactate threshold for long periods of time is essential for successful performance. This is the intensity you need to hold a 10-25 mile time trial or while going hard in a breakaway or on a long hill."
Dr. Burke said this better than anyone else I know

Brian Roberts MD
for those who can't find it.......coonass
Jul 3, 2003 3:54 AM
Enter: Lactic Threshold in the data-field, this will take you to Lactic Acid and information related to....
How to determine Lactate Threshold and other stuffspockie
Jul 2, 2003 7:50 PM
The Late Edmund R. Burke authored a book entitled "Serious Cycling." It can be purchased at Barnes and Noble or It is page 30 -32 that tells you how to determine your LT. I will also include in my next post a section from his book describing what LT is, and how it relates to heart rate and VO2 max.