The Bike Shop

1

Attacking Hills...when and how? (Read 14 times)

    On the road bike.

     

    How do you do hills?

     

    On your regular rides to you take hills or avoid them?

     

    Does anyone do any specific type of hill training?

    snapa55


      I pretty much follow all of these tips:

       

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zam74qlzGtQ

       

      I don't have any specific hill training, I just go out and do them!

      5K: 18:43 (12/13) 10K: 42:50 (12/12) HM: 1:30:10 (3/14) M: 3:34:46 (5/14)

        Agree...solid advice in the video.

         

        Not quite practical to my riding conditions here in Eastern Iowa and Southern Wisconsin.

         

        What I face is hill after hill. 200 - 900 ft climbs over distances ranging from 200ft to maybe a mile. These are hills you can hammer.

         

        My cycling strength are hills and races of attrition...100 plus mile races. In the last few years I have been doing these races on my single speed. Some races have a SS class but most do not.

         

        In a typical race I will leap frog with several people. I get passed, pass them on the hill, get passed and then pass them on the next hill. With each hill I am usually able to more and more distance between us.

         

        Typically, what I wittness is several people attacking from the end of one descent, thru the flat and into the early part of the next hill. I have no choice but to let these people go and not give chase because I usually reach beyond my top pedalling speed on the descents (for my ss). By the time they reach the 2/3rd point of the hill I am easily walking right by them effortlessly.

         

        I'm interested in who thinks it's best to attack the hill by building up as much speed going into it. Again, talking short hills where you can see the top. If you were racing your buddy, what would be your stategy?

         

        Racing a single speed I think I may have changed my view on the best spot to attack a hill.

        snapa55


          It all depends on the hill I suppose.  If it's a short hill like you're saying, you can "sprint" up it by gaining as much speed as possible and attacking it throughout.  I think that's the better strategy.

           

          For a longer hill, an even effort throughout would be best.

          5K: 18:43 (12/13) 10K: 42:50 (12/12) HM: 1:30:10 (3/14) M: 3:34:46 (5/14)

            In races of attrition, I choose not to burn my limited supply of matches and get my heart rate too high attacking the hill.

            I methodically climb the hill, and allow others to attack the hill.

            I'll push through, without breathing heavy of causing muscle fatigue.

             

            As such, I'll press a solid HR on the flats (150+/-) and use the momentum to get up the base of the hill.  I'll maintain my cadence, my heart rate, and my body position as I shift my gears and glide up the hill.  I'll occasionally finish a hill riding 7 - 9 mph to summit, but I'm ok with it since I maintain my HR below 155 (or thereabouts) at all times.

             

            For me, a race of attrition is geared toward heart rate management and consistency.  I look for minimal peaks and valleys in my heart rate chart.  (I don't use a power meter, so HR is my monitor).

            2014 Goals:

            #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

            #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

             

              The landscape of the area I generally ride / race in is like riding the teeth of a saw. Anything from gentle inclines and declines to sharp accents. Usually nothing more that 200 - 300 feet of climb over 1/2 mile. (That's a steep climb)

               

              Here's a snap shot of a course I recently competed on:

               

              This is day one (120 miles first day) of a two day 236 mile "stage" race. Maintianing a steady HR is not practical or even possible.

               

              In days of old I would get into my biggest gears shortly after mile 5 and try to build as much speed as I possibly could going into that hill thinking my extra speed would carry me a good distance into the next hill. I had success with this method and was able to put many bikes behind me.

               

              I can't do this on a single speed. The gearing keeps you honest. I can only pedal so fast. What happens is I coast into the next hill waiting for my speed to drop to a point where I might have a 100 cadence. I walk right up the hills...usually needing to stand at about 1/2 to 2/3rds because of my gearing but I find my self at the top with strong legs and not completely winded.

               

              I have a theory that I'd like to prove that given the rate of deceleration due to gravity  you just can not gain enough momentum in the flats to overcome gravity by a factor large enough to gain any advantage over the approaching hill.

               

              In other words, you spent your gas at the bottom for nothing. Coast and conserve...Spin easy early, attack at the point of where you can no longer spin easy but maintaining that same gear.

                ...

                This is day one (120 miles first day) of a two day 236 mile "stage" race. Maintianing a steady HR is not practical or even possible. 

                ....

                I have a theory that I'd like to prove that given the rate of deceleration due to gravity  you just can not gain enough momentum in the flats to overcome gravity by a factor large enough to gain any advantage over the approaching hill.

                In other words, you spent your gas at the bottom for nothing. Coast and conserve...Spin easy early, attack at the point of where you can no longer spin easy but maintaining that same gear.

                 

                Regarding the steady HR.  I believe it is possible to maintain an acceptable limit, but the longer the downhill portion will certainly reduce the HR and create a variation that minimizes the consistency goal I mentioned.

                With my recent race (112 miles), I was passed by 4 people the entire ride using my approach.  The race had rolling hills (maybe similar to Iowa type, but at a lower altitude.  (see the chart from my race.  The bike portion is where the HR data starts--  link)

                 

                Regarding your theory, I think I fully agree with the concept of your theory.  There's no reason to try to "gain momentum".  I do believe that "maintaining momentum" may differ from "coast and conserve".  Although I don't know for certain whether you mean "maintain" or "slow down and coast", I'd agree that there's no positive value in gaining momentum prior to a hill.

                2014 Goals:

                #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

                #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

                 

                  Nope, I mean coast and conserve. I might be hitting speeds 25 mph or greater on the down slope and not reach a speed of 19 mph until I'm into the hill. 20 mph is the top end of my candence with my current gearing.

                   

                  I see..and this includes the the Cat 2's that I know, hammer the lower part of the down hill, and the early flat picking up momentum going into the next hill. Something I used to do myself. Something I can not do on the SS.