Climbing - I'm terrible at it.

PB Forum :: Fitness, Training and Health
Climbing - I'm terrible at it.
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Posted: Jul 23, 2018 at 22:34 Quote
I'm in the same boat. I've been riding DH for more than 2 decades and just recently bought new bike that I can pedal the trails with. I've only been a few rides so far, but I'm incredibly disappointed in my complete lack of fitness and inability to do any kind of climbing. Long climbs, short, technical, steep... I suck at them all and am embarrassed about how bad I am...so I just ride alone. Confused

Hopefully I can figure it out.

Posted: Jul 24, 2018 at 7:57 Quote
srh2, don't sweat the fitness. Just ride. The more you ride, the more fit you get, the more you ride. Smile Best advice is to ride your ride. Find a group that doesn't care how fast you climb and hang with them. You'll get stronger and build endurance. I think I'm fit, then I ride with people who are WAAAAY more fit than I am and I feel weak. But I'm stronger than others.

And welcome back to riding.

Posted: Jul 24, 2018 at 14:09 Quote
Poulsbojohnny wrote:
srh2, don't sweat the fitness. Just ride. The more you ride, the more fit you get, the more you ride. Smile Best advice is to ride your ride. Find a group that doesn't care how fast you climb and hang with them. You'll get stronger and build endurance. I think I'm fit, then I ride with people who are WAAAAY more fit than I am and I feel weak. But I'm stronger than others.

And welcome back to riding.

You're right! Thanks for the kind words and encouragement Smile

Posted: Oct 12, 2018 at 12:49 Quote
As others have said, keep at it. I got back into mtb (2-5 rides a week) about a year ago, after about 15 years away from it with only the occasional very casual 'trail ride" (1-2 x per year) in the meantime. I'm 42 now. I found Strava really early upon getting back into it and at first was pretty disappointed at how slow my times were compared to others i followed who had been serious mtbers for a long time. Well, I kept at it, and here a year later I have cut most of my times in half or better, both uphill and down... especially the more technical stuff. The better shape you get into with more riding, the more fun you will have on the trails. It's also really gratifying to see the incremental improvement, so maybe using an app like strave or a fitbit or something similar will help motivate you to improve and help you to recognize your progress.

Posted: Oct 13, 2018 at 14:16 Quote
Seadouble wrote:
As others have said, keep at it. I got back into mtb (2-5 rides a week) about a year ago, after about 15 years away from it with only the occasional very casual 'trail ride" (1-2 x per year) in the meantime. I'm 42 now. I found Strava really early upon getting back into it and at first was pretty disappointed at how slow my times were compared to others i followed who had been serious mtbers for a long time. Well, I kept at it, and here a year later I have cut most of my times in half or better, both uphill and down... especially the more technical stuff. The better shape you get into with more riding, the more fun you will have on the trails. It's also really gratifying to see the incremental improvement, so maybe using an app like strave or a fitbit or something similar will help motivate you to improve and help you to recognize your progress.

Thank you Seadouble! Those are some excellent tips and great motivation!

I didn't get out nearly as much as I wanted this summer (injuries + work related nonsense) But every time I did manage to hit the trails, it was great! Can't complain about that...

Posted: Feb 27, 2019 at 4:26 Quote
The main thing I'll say is that on the road, the biggest issue for me was that I had to lose weight. Not technique. I was simply too fat. I lost 5Kg and it has made a massive difference.

Posted: Feb 27, 2019 at 4:53 Quote
Most of the tips you hear about heart rate zones, intervals, etc. apply to advanced to elite athletes. For those who aren't at that level:

1. Ride efficiently. High saddle for full leg extension and get your hips forward. Try sliding your saddle all the way forward on the rails and see how that feels; it's quick to test and doesn't cost anything.

2. Ride hard. Really hard. Intensity is more important than duration, but everything helps. The only way to improve is to push beyond what your body was already prepared to do - i.e. gains are proportional to overreach.

3. Ride often. Once per week won't produce much improvement. If you don't have time to ride, put on your running shoes and do some hill sprints (or flat ground sprints or stair sprints if you don't have hills). Do something, anything - and push yourself hard.

4. Get pumped. About one hour before riding, take as much caffeine as you dare - it makes a huge difference.

5. Stay cool and hydrated. Start your ride under-dressed and chilly, if your climate allows it. Overheating is a major limiting factor to performance.

Posted: Mar 1, 2019 at 4:35 Quote
R-M-R wrote:
Most of the tips you hear about heart rate zones, intervals, etc. apply to advanced to elite athletes. For those who aren't at that level: etc.
.

Yes, but what about for those who are just looking for a quick fix with no pain or unpleasantness?

Posted: Mar 1, 2019 at 6:19 Quote
DarrellW wrote:
Yes, but what about for those who are just looking for a quick fix with no pain or unpleasantness?

e-bike

Posted: Apr 23, 2019 at 12:28 Quote
DarrellW wrote:
R-M-R wrote:
Most of the tips you hear about heart rate zones, intervals, etc. apply to advanced to elite athletes. For those who aren't at that level: etc.
.

Yes, but what about for those who are just looking for a quick fix with no pain or unpleasantness?

no such thing

Posted: Apr 24, 2019 at 7:05 Quote
R-M-R wrote:
Most of the tips you hear about heart rate zones, intervals, etc. apply to advanced to elite athletes. For those who aren't at that level:

1. Ride efficiently. High saddle for full leg extension and get your hips forward. Try sliding your saddle all the way forward on the rails and see how that feels; it's quick to test and doesn't cost anything.

2. Ride hard. Really hard. Intensity is more important than duration, but everything helps. The only way to improve is to push beyond what your body was already prepared to do - i.e. gains are proportional to overreach.

3. Ride often. Once per week won't produce much improvement. If you don't have time to ride, put on your running shoes and do some hill sprints (or flat ground sprints or stair sprints if you don't have hills). Do something, anything - and push yourself hard.

4. Get pumped. About one hour before riding, take as much caffeine as you dare - it makes a huge difference.

5. Stay cool and hydrated. Start your ride under-dressed and chilly, if your climate allows it. Overheating is a major limiting factor to performance.
that is exactly what I think a person needs to hear if they actually want to improve . Once a eek keeps the rust off but consistent pushing is the only thing that will produce improvement , I might add that any improvement you make will quickly diminish if you revert back to the once a week thing

Posted: Apr 24, 2019 at 8:17 Quote
Yep, gains are so quickly lost. I cycled from the northern point of Ireland to the most southern point last year over 5 days after no training at all, and I couldn't believe my power and speed on my regular loop when I got back. Three weeks later, it was as it it hadn't happened, apart from the weight loss. It was heart-wrenching.

Posted: Apr 24, 2019 at 8:27 Quote
sphynx88 wrote:
I have no endurance while climbing. I'm sick of it. Even in the granny gear.

Recently just got back into riding, used to focus on downhill, now more XC riding.

I moved from the PNW to Dallas, TX where you'd think I'd have no hills to climb, but I'm finding even on short creek crossings or semi technical climbs I just can't do it.

Here's the odd thing, I've done several century rides on my road bike and never really fell behind on climbs then.

I've thought about done more fitness training specific to this (leg extensions, squats and leg curls), as well as some more intensive stationary bike rounds. Or, do I just need to go riding more? (probably both).

Anyone have any good experience with this? Thanks!

I'm trash at climbing as well. But 4 things that can help as far as equipment goes are:
Oval Chainring. They are awesome and I have one on my bike. it helps with the dead zone of when your legs are transitioning from one to another, makes the gear effectively larger or smaller.
Longer Cranks, These will give you more leverage on the chainring making it easier but may get pedal scrapes more often.
Big Ass Casset. This will help alot also, duh.
A dropper. will never ride without one again.

Posted: Apr 24, 2019 at 9:53 Quote
Building fitness and strength is a process. You just have to keep at it and push hard. There have been many fine suggestions about building strength and endurance here, as well as bike setup suggestions.

Not sure what sort of pedals you use, but get clipped in and learn to spin if you're riding the DFW area. Don't try to brute force your way through everything with maximum strength. As you get older, you can end up with hip impingement problems unless you learn to smoothly power through with RPM, which I personally find to be harder, but I had to learn about the painful way.

Make sure your riding position is good. A position that's good for PNW downhilling is probably not the greatest for DFW CC style riding. You mentioned that you also road bike, so you probably know this stuff.

Keep at it. You'll see improvement.

Posted: Apr 24, 2019 at 10:28 Quote
Also may want to check what food (fuel) you are taking in. This can make a huge difference in performance.
Check what athletes recommend during high intensity training. Quality of your food is very important. Also quantity of what you eat and when you eat before you ride. I made this mistake on long rides before. Keep training. Good luck.


 
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