's Forum Archives - Racing

Archive Home >> Racing(1 2 3 )

suggested workouts to boost climbing quickly?(15 posts)

suggested workouts to boost climbing quickly?DougSloan
Jun 16, 2003 12:25 PM
My climbing ability is way down from less riding and more weight. On Saturday, I time trialed a 2,000 foot steep climb in 47 minutes that took me 33 minutes when I was in shape. Power is way down.

What sort of workouts would best improve climbing most quickly? I'm looking for something specific, such as "3x 3 minute intervals @ LT" with rest period and frequency as well.

I can do these in the Computrainer, too, for more control of variables (heat, wind, traffic, etc.).

I'm desperate here. Thanks.

Depends on your climbing goalsBipedZed
Jun 16, 2003 12:42 PM
If you are looking to improve your time up the test course then I would do longer 2x20min type intervals (3-4 minute rest between) preferrably on the test course. Hold your effort at slightly above LT or (Z4/CP12). This is the same principle as training for 40K type TTs. 2x20min efforts both at a higher power level than you can sustain for longer effort to condition your body to hold the higher power.

Or if you are looking to increase your climbing by being able to go super-threshold to initiate or respond to attacks on climbs then you will want to focus on shorter hill repeats like 5x3min efforts (3 min recoveries) at Z5/CP6 to increase your anaerobic endurance.

Either way, it will probably take at least a few weeks to notice any improvement.

Last but not least, get the weight down. I'm now hanging with the lead climbers in the 3s and I weigh 142 this year (5'8"), down from 148 last year when I was getting routinely dropped. I attribute most of the improvement to a power-based structured training plan, but the weight loss can't hurt.

Good luck!
sustained powerDougSloan
Jun 16, 2003 2:07 PM
I'm looking for sustainable time trial-like power on hills ranging from 5 minutes to 45 minutes long, not so much surges and attacks.

I ran the numbers on Analytic Cycling, and being 20 pounds over weight cost me a full 6 minutes on the 2000 foot climb I described. Geez.


Easy Doug!CARBON110
Jun 16, 2003 12:47 PM
Ok as you know climbing is about power to weight ratio. So, if you can maintain your riding and eat a little less that will help. To increase your power is the only other option.On the bike these are what increase my climbing a ton.

On a 2 hour ride do this twice a week with at least 2 days seperating the workout. Its going to hurt the first time but its good pain. Be sure to pat yourself on back when you get home :)

Do two 15 minute workouts on flat course in your 53-12 with a cadence of 50-53. STAY SEATED entire time. Leave 10 minutes between each workout.

Next week do same thing but make 2nd interval in your 53-12 STANDING the entire time.

Do these on a Tues and Fri to give time for legs to adjust. After the second week you can do them like Tues and Thurs but rest well on a Friday. Your legs will hurt the first time you do them. If you feel any knee pain then ease off just a little. This on top of losing a couple lbs should make you much faster. Make sure to rest your legs and massage them and drink a good protein drink cause your breaking down lots of muscles to rebuild them. I do this workout all season. I am even doing them now after my accident to rebuild my strength and power faster.
HR and effort?DougSloan
Jun 16, 2003 2:08 PM
What sort of HR do you think for the intervals?

I found ab exercises off the bike helped me some.niteschaos
Jun 17, 2003 1:17 PM
Doing things like leg lifts and bike-crunches this spring really helped me in the hills. I feel like my back isn't as fatigued on long climbs as it used to be.
re: suggested workouts to boost climbing quickly?Veloflash
Jun 16, 2003 1:53 PM
Be specific - do hill repeats. Your cadence, load at earlier and later joint angles and position on the bike are different to the prairie country.
More Info Doug.........CARBON110
Jun 16, 2003 2:23 PM
The first time you do the Force intervals I suggested above you may see a somewhat high HR BUT! it will either be due to a rested HR or your body adjusting. The low cadence should make it fairly easy on your HR and aerobic. Doing things like Hill repeats or all out 3 minute efforts are good ONLY for the week before or maybe once the week of a peak race. If you find 15 minutes to be to long then cut it to like 10 and build up but dont go long then 15 first two sessions. This will build your hip strength as well and after about 2 weeks you will feel a big difference.
Nothing helps climb more than taking the weight offtriple shot espresso
Jun 16, 2003 3:36 PM
Drop as much extra weight as you can. No refined sugar, no treats, no crap and stay off the high glycemic stuff. If you're putting out about 300 watts and you drop about 5 pounds from 70kg to 68 kg you'll see a 5% increase in your power to weight ratio.
No way, I'll just buy a bike that weighs 12 pounds.........nmMR_GRUMPY
Jun 16, 2003 4:57 PM
Jun 17, 2003 5:53 PM
OK- 20lbs maybe, but dropping 5 lbs? 5lbs of what?

I'm struggling with grasping this weight issue (the "issue" not the weight). Past years I'd gradually lose muscle mass over the summer until there was nothing left of me in the fall, but this year I've largely maintained muscle mass (and the actual winter gains made in the gym). I'm burning an extra 1500-3000 calories on a typical day just cycling- and have been eating accordingly (for a change).

Bottom line is that I'm stronger, stronger longer, and have a higher top end speed... in addition I simply feel better (can stay awake after a fast century, for example). There are others who can climb like monkeys, but they can't pull as long or as fast on the flats... or maybe they are just saving themselves for the hills by wheelsucking.

I'm half convinced there are all sorts of other factors involved with hill climbing. I'd like to think the guys screaming up the hills on the hill rides have actually saved themselves all week for this ride. Also, there are some real clydesdales and even some guys who could really stand to lose some weight that fly uphill.

I really don't think weight comes in as an issue until 99.9% of the other variables have been dealt with-
No disrespect intended but you're wrong.triple shot espresso
Jun 18, 2003 7:11 AM
I say that carefully cause my upper body muscle mass has atrophied to near nothing and you can surely kick my butt.

The number one factor in climbing any real grade (>5%) for any real length (>1 mile) is power to weight ratio. Watts to kilograms! The guys that will go uphill the fastest for the longest amount of time, fitness being equal, will be the guys with the highest power to weight ratio. Other factors come in to play including fatigue but are not nearly as significant. Powerful riders can sprint quickly up shorter hills but they have to do it well over LT. On the flats it's clear that weight is not as much of a factor and the advantage shifts to the one with the more power but weight can not be ignored. Don't believe me, carry a 20lb weight up a long hill, gauge effort, carry it on a flat, gauge effort and then do the same rides without the weight, then tell me how much weights a factor.
effect of weight?DougSloan
Jun 18, 2003 8:31 AM
I ran the numbers at . Twenty pounds of fat, plus 4 pounds of bike (steel w/ triple instead of super-light EV2) cost me 6 minutes alone on a 2,000 foot approx. 13% average climb, with power being the same. Since power is down, too, it really sucks.

Strangely, the analytic cycling site says that large number changes in weight or power may be less meaningful than small numbers. Seems like it should be the opposite.

You said it yourself -terzo rene
Jun 16, 2003 3:38 PM
"climbing ability is way down from less riding and more weight". Therefore lose weight and ride more. Type of riding is not that important other than to be climbing specific which is no problem with the computrainer. Not even counting metabolic costs of maintaining the fat cells almost half of your time deficit is from extra weight, add back the general lack of fitness that goes with the weight gain behaviors and specific fitness accounts for almost none of your time loss.
thanks for good advice everyoneDougSloan
Jun 17, 2003 1:18 PM
I'll see how it goes. Thanks.