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Help to find climbing rhythm and get out of the Red Zone.(5 posts)

Help to find climbing rhythm and get out of the Red Zone.shakyfish
Aug 7, 2003 5:41 AM
ANy tips on how to get in a rhythm for climbing? Sometimes I can get into a rhythm and be good to go. Other times I get into the red zone and then I am in all kinds of trouble trying to get out of that and complete the climb without stopping. Usually the trouble comes on climbs with varying pitch. Particularly slighter to steeper changes.

Part 2

How to fight back out of the Red Zone? I get into it and really have trouble getting calmed back down. I really am refering to maximum breathing pace and getting that under control.

Thanks for the help.
Get a heart rate monitor.firstrax
Aug 7, 2003 5:53 AM
On a long climb it will tell a better story than the cyclocomputer. After a while you get an idea of your limits and then stay within them. This is important on the early part of the climb when your legs still feel good but your heart rate is pegged. If you Let your heart rate dictate the pace and not your legs you should stay out of the red zone.
Good advice - a couple of other points...James OCLV
Aug 7, 2003 6:17 AM
What I've found to work well in addition to using my HRM is to try and control my breathing. I do this by trying to time my breathing with my cadence. It goes someting like this: IN, (IN)two, (IN)three, (IN)four, OUT, two, three, four...

Draw the air in slowly on the IN breath, taking all four counts to do it. Force the air out quickly on the OUT breath during the first count.

This happened to me recently in a race. I was with the lead group going into a climb. If I tried to stay with the leaders all of the way up, it would have put me into the RED zone and I would have blow by the end of the race. So, I got into my rythem (using my HRM and breathing technique) and climbed at my own pace. By the end of the race, I had not only caught some of the original leaders (the really strong guys were long gone), but I had enough gas left to pass them...
HTH, Jim
Varying pitchesEric_H
Aug 7, 2003 4:02 PM
On a long climb with varied pitches, it is often hard to find a rhythm, especially if you are in a race. When I am climbing well, I stand on the steeper pitches to give my seated climbing muscles and my back a rest. I try to maintain the same speed on the steeper pitches while standing, or if I'm really "ON" I can accelerate on the steeper parts and then sit back down on the shallower portions to recover.

A good trick on the bad days is to break the climb into segments. Focus on getting through each segment as quickly as possible and do not focus on the overall length of the climb. I often find this helps me survive on days when I might otherwise be shelled.

As for recovering from the "red zone", once you are there on a climb it is hard to do so. If your legs are not loaded with lactate and you can push a bigger gear, shift to it - this will drop your cadence and help recover your breathing rate. Focus on deep breaths and climb in the saddle, hands on the tops with a very upright body position to open up your diaphragm.
Thanks for the advice, I will give it a try..! nmshakyfish
Aug 8, 2003 5:39 AM