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Tricks for keeping cadence?



 
 
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  #21  
Old October 20th 04, 03:17 PM
Roger Zoul
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Peter Cole wrote:
:: "Badger_South" wrote in message
:: ...
:::
::: I'm wondering if there are any good tips out there for keeping
::: cadence high going up moderate hills. I find I really have to hum a
::: tune, or count reps when the going gets tough and I start to sink
::: below 65 or 70 (or lower).
:::
::: I count to 50 and then try and take a deep sigh (more or less
::: forceful breathe out), and think 'sink/get centered', then do it
::: again.
:::
::: Have the experts pretty much decided that higher cadence is the way
::: to go? I realize we just discussed this here, in relation to energy
::: conservation, but we still see low cadence riding a lot in the pros
::: during climbs. I'm thinking maybe it's something that's just very
::: hard to change once you've developed your riding, and climbing
::: style.
:::
::: I haven't learned the 'quiet upper body' phase yet, but it seems
::: like that's next.
::
:: A few points:
::
:: Any advantages in cadence are very small, if not, they would be
:: obvious, and no one would be debating them.

Interesting.

::
:: Techniques for small performance improvements may be useful for
:: racing, but they don't automatically translate into techniques for
:: raising fitness levels.
::
:: Pro riders have trained to perfection (at least compared to us
:: slobs) and look to very small effects to get any kind of edge, some
:: of which (many?) are psychological.
::

So basically, you either have it or you don't. All those magical training
techniques are just fine tuning.

:: There is a variation in individual physiology, even if you're just
:: interested in that slight competitive edge, you're better finding it
:: for your own body and/or level of fitness.
::
:: Higher cadence, as a rule, trades off aerobic demand against
:: long-term muscle fatigue, there's no single optimum cadence, it
:: depends on the duration of the ride and terrain. It's better to get
:: good at listening to your body. Cycling is a highly
:: "self-optimizing" activity -- your body will figure things out on
:: its own.
::
:: Slavish cadence counting or adherence to rigid styles makes riding
:: tedious. Tedium makes riding less fun. Less fun means less riding.
:: Less riding makes for slower development.
::
:: Hill climbing is only one skill to be learned, it's not the be all,
:: end all, part of cycling, competitive or otherwise.
::
:: Pace is much more important than cadence in hill climbing. The trick
:: is to know just how hard to push before "blowing up". This is
:: surprisingly difficult to learn and is not a function of cadence.

That's so very true! And not blowing up is tricky too, because you might not
blow up on this hill, but on one that comes along many miles later. The
affects of climbing a lot of hills on a long ride can be cumulative. I
would offer that highing in a high gear (low cadence) on a lot of hills
will hasten the point of "blowing up". Also, riding hills at *very* high
cadence would probably do the same thing.


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  #22  
Old October 20th 04, 04:19 PM
Tom Keats
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In article ,
"Roger Zoul" writes:

So basically, you either have it or you don't. All those magical training
techniques are just fine tuning.


Not necessarily.

Robert Johnson stunk as a guitar player until
he sold his soul to the devil ;-)


cheers,
Tom

--
-- Nothing is safe from me.
Above address is just a spam midden.
I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn [point] bc [point] ca
  #23  
Old October 20th 04, 04:48 PM
Badger_South
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On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 12:18:53 GMT, "Peter Cole"
wrote:

A few points:

Any advantages in cadence are very small, if not, they would be obvious,
and no one would be debating them.

Techniques for small performance improvements may be useful for racing, but
they don't automatically translate into techniques for raising fitness
levels.

Pro riders have trained to perfection (at least compared to us slobs) and
look to very small effects to get any kind of edge, some of which (many?)
are psychological.

There is a variation in individual physiology, even if you're just
interested in that slight competitive edge, you're better finding it for
your own body and/or level of fitness.

Higher cadence, as a rule, trades off aerobic demand against long-term
muscle fatigue, there's no single optimum cadence, it depends on the
duration of the ride and terrain. It's better to get good at listening to
your body. Cycling is a highly "self-optimizing" activity -- your body will
figure things out on its own.

Slavish cadence counting or adherence to rigid styles makes riding tedious.
Tedium makes riding less fun. Less fun means less riding. Less riding makes
for slower development.

Hill climbing is only one skill to be learned, it's not the be all, end
all, part of cycling, competitive or otherwise.

Pace is much more important than cadence in hill climbing. The trick is to
know just how hard to push before "blowing up". This is surprisingly
difficult to learn and is not a function of cadence.


A few points? Those are very good points, all!

The only thing I'd quibble with is the 'counting' thing. I do that b/c I
tell myself if I can get to fifty right foot pedal strokes I can make it to
the top of one of my toughest hills where it gets steeper in the last 100
yards, and thus my feeble mind won't start thinking about slaloming. Heh,
in fact on yesterday's ride I picked the steepest line to the top as an
exercise in self-flagellation! Being a former bodybuilder I love this kind
of stuff - mentally going through that seems to helps me. But on advice
here, I'm going to try the stomp every 6 strokes method and see if that
works better. I only do the tedious counting thing about once or twice on
my route, when I have to fall back to 38x25 at 50rpm. (Most climbs I'm
doing in 38x17 at 60rpm.)

I'm only focussing on this stuff as part of a phase I'm going through,
though. I keep seeking out and testing myself on harder and harder
sections, which are not hard to find where I ride (lots of 100-200 yd
steeps). So far I'm doing pretty well for a my condition with the hip
injury and everything, I believe.

If you don't mind my asking, what is the best way to learn the 'blowing up'
part? By that do you mean a completel loss of ability such that you have to
take the bus home? (I've had one sitch where I suddenly dropped off my
17-18mph pace and dropped off to 12mph for the last 20 minutes - puzzling
since this was in the flats. I didn't feel bad - just lost the 'oomph'.)
Should I attempt to push to the point of such 'blow up' to know what it
feels like?

-B


  #24  
Old October 20th 04, 04:50 PM
Badger_South
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On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 10:17:10 -0400, "Roger Zoul"
wrote:

That's so very true! And not blowing up is tricky too, because you might not
blow up on this hill, but on one that comes along many miles later. The
affects of climbing a lot of hills on a long ride can be cumulative. I
would offer that highing in a high gear (low cadence) on a lot of hills
will hasten the point of "blowing up". Also, riding hills at *very* high
cadence would probably do the same thing.


My 'goal' is to be able to attack a hill by shifting gears within the body,
which I can do on false flats, but not on hills at this time.

What are the characteristics of blowing up? Guess I'll know it when it
happens, lol.

-B


  #25  
Old October 20th 04, 05:29 PM
Roger Zoul
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Tom Keats wrote:
:: In article ,
:: "Roger Zoul" writes:
::
::: So basically, you either have it or you don't. All those magical
::: training techniques are just fine tuning.
::
:: Not necessarily.
::
:: Robert Johnson stunk as a guitar player until
:: he sold his soul to the devil ;-)



I wonder if I sold my soul to the devil if I could win the TdF 7 times?
Hmm....


  #26  
Old October 20th 04, 05:34 PM
Roger Zoul
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Badger_South wrote:
:: On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 10:17:10 -0400, "Roger Zoul"
:: wrote:
::
::: That's so very true! And not blowing up is tricky too, because you
::: might not blow up on this hill, but on one that comes along many
::: miles later. The affects of climbing a lot of hills on a long ride
::: can be cumulative. I would offer that highing in a high gear (low
::: cadence) on a lot of hills will hasten the point of "blowing up".
::: Also, riding hills at *very* high cadence would probably do the
::: same thing.
::
:: My 'goal' is to be able to attack a hill by shifting gears within
:: the body, which I can do on false flats, but not on hills at this
:: time.
::
:: What are the characteristics of blowing up? Guess I'll know it when
:: it happens, lol.

Well, I've blow up twice by my counting. Once when I was doing a metric
century and was foolish enough to try to race some little guy up a longish
hill. I was in granny gear, but pedaling my heart out. My HR maxed on that
climb and stay there for a good while. I was huffing and puffing the entire
time. I made that hill. But the problem was the hill kept coming and even
though I didn't race up the other ones, but legs eventually started cramping
up on me. I had to quit at mile 50 with about 3400 feet of elevation gain.
The second time was just a couple of weeks ago on my first century. I got
to mile 80 with about 4400 ft of elevation gain. I was smarter this time as
I didn't try to beat it up any hills, but they just got the better of me in
the end. And I was drinking gatoraid and eating carbs the entire time. I
hope to do these rides again next year without "blowing up."



  #27  
Old October 20th 04, 05:49 PM
Badger_South
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On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 12:34:56 -0400, "Roger Zoul"
wrote:

Badger_South wrote:
:: On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 10:17:10 -0400, "Roger Zoul"
:: wrote:
::
::: That's so very true! And not blowing up is tricky too, because you
::: might not blow up on this hill, but on one that comes along many
::: miles later. The affects of climbing a lot of hills on a long ride
::: can be cumulative. I would offer that highing in a high gear (low
::: cadence) on a lot of hills will hasten the point of "blowing up".
::: Also, riding hills at *very* high cadence would probably do the
::: same thing.
::
:: My 'goal' is to be able to attack a hill by shifting gears within
:: the body, which I can do on false flats, but not on hills at this
:: time.
::
:: What are the characteristics of blowing up? Guess I'll know it when
:: it happens, lol.

Well, I've blow up twice by my counting. Once when I was doing a metric
century and was foolish enough to try to race some little guy up a longish
hill. I was in granny gear, but pedaling my heart out. My HR maxed on that
climb and stay there for a good while. I was huffing and puffing the entire
time. I made that hill. But the problem was the hill kept coming and even
though I didn't race up the other ones, but legs eventually started cramping
up on me. I had to quit at mile 50 with about 3400 feet of elevation gain.
The second time was just a couple of weeks ago on my first century. I got
to mile 80 with about 4400 ft of elevation gain. I was smarter this time as
I didn't try to beat it up any hills, but they just got the better of me in
the end. And I was drinking gatoraid and eating carbs the entire time. I
hope to do these rides again next year without "blowing up."


Right, I recall these. But your blowing up with the cramps sitch was
probably due to dehydration and/or loss of sodium and potassium wouldn't
you think?

I might end up putting this to the test today, b/c I have scheduled a 2
mile climb on a 3-4% grade, which is longer than any hill I've tried so
far.

-B


  #28  
Old October 20th 04, 06:01 PM
Peter Cole
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"Badger_South" wrote

I'm only focussing on this stuff as part of a phase I'm going through,
though. I keep seeking out and testing myself on harder and harder
sections, which are not hard to find where I ride (lots of 100-200 yd
steeps). So far I'm doing pretty well for a my condition with the hip
injury and everything, I believe.


We all go through phases, one of mine was beginning fixed gear riding where
I learned that cadence didn't have as much of an effect as I had presumed
it would.


If you don't mind my asking, what is the best way to learn the 'blowing

up'
part? By that do you mean a completel loss of ability such that you have

to
take the bus home? (I've had one sitch where I suddenly dropped off my
17-18mph pace and dropped off to 12mph for the last 20 minutes - puzzling
since this was in the flats. I didn't feel bad - just lost the 'oomph'.)
Should I attempt to push to the point of such 'blow up' to know what it
feels like?


The classic "blowing up" is more of a short-term phenomenon, where you
briefly exceed your cardio-vascular capacity and go into debt. We all have
a steady-state pace that we can sustain for several minutes, when you push
beyond that, your output drops precipitously until you recover. This is
more of an aerobic/anaerobic thing than a fatigue thing. If you're climbing
hills, or doing fast, relatively short rides (like time trials), it's
important to go to your limit, without exceeding it, for your best time.
Learning exactly where that is takes time and knowledge of your body. Heart
rate monitors can help learning to pace, but given day-to-day variations, I
find listening to your body works better.

The long-term fatigue limit is different. Fatigue accumulates in your
muscles, and eventually you get to the point where your output drops off
severely. Unlike blowing up, which is recoverable after a few minutes,
muscle fatigue doesn't go away with brief rest. If you keep pushing, the
muscles often go into spasms (cramping). Muscle fatigue can be accelerated
by periods of high level exertion, so if you want to go long, you have to
watch the pace, too.


  #29  
Old October 20th 04, 06:43 PM
Badger_South
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On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 17:01:37 GMT, "Peter Cole"
wrote:

"Badger_South" wrote

I'm only focussing on this stuff as part of a phase I'm going through,
though. I keep seeking out and testing myself on harder and harder
sections, which are not hard to find where I ride (lots of 100-200 yd
steeps). So far I'm doing pretty well for a my condition with the hip
injury and everything, I believe.


We all go through phases, one of mine was beginning fixed gear riding where
I learned that cadence didn't have as much of an effect as I had presumed
it would.


Yet ime, cadence, at least right now, is the focal point of my riding. (can
you tell I just installed a cadence computer? ;-) But in actuality I
rarely look at it. I just know that when I can 'spin up' I go faster with
seeming less effort. YMMV.

If you don't mind my asking, what is the best way to learn the 'blowing up'
part?


The classic "blowing up" is more of a short-term phenomenon, where you
briefly exceed your cardio-vascular capacity and go into debt. We all have
a steady-state pace that we can sustain for several minutes, when you push
beyond that, your output drops precipitously until you recover. This is
more of an aerobic/anaerobic thing than a fatigue thing. If you're climbing
hills, or doing fast, relatively short rides (like time trials), it's
important to go to your limit, without exceeding it, for your best time.
Learning exactly where that is takes time and knowledge of your body. Heart
rate monitors can help learning to pace, but given day-to-day variations, I
find listening to your body works better.


OK, makes sense. Watching the TdF 2003, Millar talks about blowing up, so
I've been looking at that pheonm.

The long-term fatigue limit is different. Fatigue accumulates in your
muscles, and eventually you get to the point where your output drops off
severely. Unlike blowing up, which is recoverable after a few minutes,
muscle fatigue doesn't go away with brief rest. If you keep pushing, the
muscles often go into spasms (cramping). Muscle fatigue can be accelerated
by periods of high level exertion, so if you want to go long, you have to
watch the pace, too.


OK, all common sense stuff, but it helped to hear it. Very much thanks for
taking the time to type all this out! ;-)

I'm off to scout that 2 mile hill and ride.

-B


  #30  
Old October 20th 04, 07:11 PM
Roger Zoul
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Badger_South wrote:
:: On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 12:34:56 -0400, "Roger Zoul"
:: wrote:
::
::: Badger_South wrote:
::::: On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 10:17:10 -0400, "Roger Zoul"
::::: wrote:
:::::
:::::: That's so very true! And not blowing up is tricky too, because
:::::: you might not blow up on this hill, but on one that comes along
:::::: many miles later. The affects of climbing a lot of hills on a
:::::: long ride can be cumulative. I would offer that highing in a
:::::: high gear (low cadence) on a lot of hills will hasten the point
:::::: of "blowing up". Also, riding hills at *very* high cadence would
:::::: probably do the same thing.
:::::
::::: My 'goal' is to be able to attack a hill by shifting gears within
::::: the body, which I can do on false flats, but not on hills at this
::::: time.
:::::
::::: What are the characteristics of blowing up? Guess I'll know it
::::: when it happens, lol.
:::
::: Well, I've blow up twice by my counting. Once when I was doing
::: a metric century and was foolish enough to try to race some little
::: guy up a longish hill. I was in granny gear, but pedaling my heart
::: out. My HR maxed on that climb and stay there for a good while. I
::: was huffing and puffing the entire time. I made that hill. But
::: the problem was the hill kept coming and even though I didn't race
::: up the other ones, but legs eventually started cramping up on me.
::: I had to quit at mile 50 with about 3400 feet of elevation gain.
::: The second time was just a couple of weeks ago on my first century.
::: I got to mile 80 with about 4400 ft of elevation gain. I was
::: smarter this time as I didn't try to beat it up any hills, but they
::: just got the better of me in the end. And I was drinking gatoraid
::: and eating carbs the entire time. I hope to do these rides again
::: next year without "blowing up."
::
:: Right, I recall these. But your blowing up with the cramps sitch was
:: probably due to dehydration and/or loss of sodium and potassium
:: wouldn't you think?
::

Maybe the first time, but I find it hard to imagine that being the case the
second time. I was drinkig gator juice like crazy.

:: I might end up putting this to the test today, b/c I have scheduled
:: a 2 mile climb on a 3-4% grade, which is longer than any hill I've
:: tried so far.

Do it 5 or 6 times in a row...maybe that will get you there (NOT).




 




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