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I suck at climbing ? why why why ?(3 posts)

I suck at climbing ? why why why ?Steve A
Jul 22, 2002 6:09 AM
Can someone please help me on this. Short power climbs no problem (less than 1/4 mile) The same guys that fly by up the hills I can fly by them on the flats or sprints? I can stay in on 30mph pace line all day ? I have been working on hills, there is a 5 mile climb i do with a 4 % to 14 % grade, i have taken over 57 sec. off the hill climb time this year it's better but not good enough.I weigh 178 lbs and am 5'9 1/2" tall and I am not fat just solid. I dont have a climber body ? I do very well in crits but get blown away in road races, any thoughts. Training rides are about 60 to 70 miles with 4,850 to 5,500 feet of climbing so you can see why climbing is important. Oh yea I'm a master racer 55 + class and do about 200 miles per week + or - and try and do 10 to 15 hours per week on the bike.
re: I suck at climbing ? why why why ?brider
Jul 22, 2002 8:31 AM
Well, you're on the high end as far as mass goes (for your height). At 145-150, and 5'11", I was a pretty strong climber. It may be that you're trying to force an unnatural style on yourself. I tended to stand a lot climbing, and it didn't take a lot out of me (I could actually recover standing). Experiment some. It may also be strategic. You may just not be built for climbing, so you'll need to make accomodations by placing yourself near the front as the climb starts so you can drift back and still be in the pack over the top.
re: I suck at climbing ? why why why ?Mr Good
Jul 22, 2002 11:53 AM
Climbing is all about power-to-weight ratio. Your weight is "normal" for a man of your height, but heavy for a bike racer, and VERY heavy for a road racer. I'm 5'11'' 157 lbs. and pretty good on the hills, but there are guys who leave me behind and--guess what?--They're a lot skinnier than I am.

Even though your legs may be powerful (leading to good performance everywhere else), they have to carry the rest of your mass up the hills. Another guy with less power in his legs will last longer/go faster up the hill if he carries proportionally less weight, especially on his upper body. Upper body muscle does you no good for climbing hills.

The bad news: you say you are "not fat just solid." If that's true, then it may be hard, even unhealthy for you to try to lose a lot of bodyweight. Many competitors focus on events that suit their physiology. You may want to work on sprinting and go for the crits and race the track. If you are being honest with yourself when you say you are "solid" (no excess bodyfat) then that may be your best bet.

Lowering your body weight when you're not fat could mean eating away at your muscle and your energy reserves, which can lead to decreased performance as body weight decreases. Translation: crash diets don't work, and harm race performance.

Summary: If you have extra bodyfat, lose it. If not, do hill intervals, get a coach, and go kick ass in the crits and on the track!