Thursday, June 19, 2008


So this week we got two races to chose from. Crit in conneticut or road race near placid. in my short time racing i have learned to race your strenght and train your weakness. The road race in wilmington is no doubt gonna be a hard one. hills, hills, and more hills. i am in no way shape or form looking forward to this race. but i feel it is important to still race it. climbing is an important part of our sport. it seems that most races i have been in the field is split on the climbs as darwinsim takes over at that point. i know its hard and some of us (me included) struggle on climbs. but there is one fact and one fact alone about climbing...youll never get better at climbing if you DONT climb. its a harsh reality that we all face. i had some time to myself today (i ate some bad chicken at lunch) and was reading through an old bicycling magazine and it provided some good tips. they go as follows for anyone interested:

how fast you climb is determined by the power you put into the pedals, factoring in the weight you are forcing uphill. losing just 5 lbs could save you about 30 secs. on a 5k climb of 8% grade. combine 5 lb weight loss with a boost in power of 20 watts and youll take off up to 2 minutes!!

on rollers use the downhill. continue to pedal on the descent. then as you start upward downshift to a gear easy enough so you can manintain your cadence, but not so easy that youre spinning out and losing momentum.

on long climbs ride within yourself

Over the top drill: on a steep hill that takes no more than 2 minutes (orchard hill) begin a steady, hard effort (8 out of 10 effort) and ratchet up to 10 by the top. then continue over the crest for one minute. allow time for recovery then do it again two or three more times. each time in a harder gear.

stand sparingly

be upright when you are standing so you can breathe easier

plunking your butt on the saddle is a sign of fatigue. it should be avoided and if you see others do it they are tired. ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK!!

these are just a few pointers i read about today. im sure everyone has thier own brand of training that works well for them. i wish everyone goodluck this weekend and ride safe and smart.


1 comment:

Danny Goodwin said...

I was actually rather looking forward to the Whitehill race (seeing as how climbing is the one thing at which I suck the least), but will have to skip it, as I'm not nearly over this nasty summer bronchitis.

Granted, my climbing form this season hasn't been quite what it was last year (yet), but one of the things that has helped me the most is learning to avoid blowing up 3/4 of the way up by going too hard, too early. Sitting as long as possible keeps you efficient and is made easier by smoothing out the pedal stroke: i.e. the Graham Street "poop scrape" technique, wherein you push your butt back on the saddle, push your bars forward slightly with your hands relaxed on top, and "scrape" your pedal across the road through the downstroke and part of the upstroke as if trying to remove the crap you just stepped in. Watch Justin Lindine or Chuck Quackenbush climb some time for a good visual aid. Smooth and efficient and fast.

So--good luck if you head to Wilmington. Wish I could be there. I trust my absence won't result in a shortage of pack-fodder.

Good luck as well to you guys doing the Nutmeg crit. I'm just not a bike racer this week. Living vicariously through the exploits of others (like Nathaniel and Justin in Ohio).