Login required to started new threads

Login required to post replies

LP Bike Preps
Quote | Reply
I'll be going up for my first IMLP in 03. From the anecdotal reports managing the bike is high on the list of goals to do well. Specifically:
  1. Go too hard on the first loop and you will pay on the second
  2. Last 10 miles into LP is the key section stair stepping climb.


Just how long are the pulls?

Local topography: I've got a 10 mile section on one bike route that has (2) one-mile 39/23-25 gear climbs. I've got another 7 mile stretch that stair-steps, has some rollers, but is essentially a 7 mile long uphill pull with two shorter (1/3--1/2 mile) 39/25 hills.

Any recommendations on how much to torture myself on these two routes? I'd be interested in the LP vets thoughts along the lines of: 4x10 mile + 2x7 = 1 loop of LP.

No training aides such as PC's, CT's, dogs, or coyotes. Although turkey-vulchers do have a tendency to show-up when I'm suffering.
Quote Reply
Re: LP Bike Preps [Chappy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Sounds like you've got enough hills around you to do the trick. I think the best bike training is similar for any rolling course. Lots and lots and lots...and LOTS of miles. 90% done at a nice, steady pace. Not too hard; done in rolling terrain like you've described.

Those miles supplemented with some focused strength/endurance building hill work. Maybe one day a week do 5-6 times up your one mile hills, in as big a gear as you can turn over at 60-65 rpm. Keep your heartrate from spiking into the no-breath-left zone. As you get fitter, maybe tackle that 7-mile uphill roller three or four times in a nice big gear; again, don't do it at some screaming high heartrate.

Speed is NOT a limiter for all but the best athletes at Lake Placid. Bike endurance is the limiter. Nearly everybody there can handle those hills on shorter rides. And nearly everybody there (me included) can't hold pace on them on the second lap.

Final bit of advice -- find your local 4% grades. If you can't keep at least 75 rpm on those climbs in a PURELY AEROBIC heartrate zone, get lower gears. If you're strong, a 39x25 might do it. I think anybody riding over 6 hours at LP ought to have at least 39x25, and maybe go with a triple chainring. You won't be alone out there with a triple.

Good Luck! (and did I mention doing a lot of miles?)
Quote Reply
Re: LP Bike Preps [Chappy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
The longest consistent pull is about a mile, which is just after a left hand turn in Jay (I think) or maybe Upper Something-or-other. The last 10 miles is a bear (pun intended) but it's stair stepping, as you note. As Julian indicates, your best bet is to find a good, spinnable aerobic gearing and use it. Myself, I spun the first go round and rode the big ring the seciond time, save for two very short portions where I dropped down. Somewhere out there on the net there is a very, very good write-up on the IMUSA bike course by one Gordo Byrn, or maybe by one of Gordo's athletes (sorry..holidys, brain a little slow). In any case, if you can find it, it is a killer strategy guide to that course.

Of course, if you can get out there and ride the course at least once. It can be very tricky - knowing it cold is the secret.





"To give less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." - Pre

MattMizenko.com
Quote Reply
Re: LP Bike Preps [Chappy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
You are right to give this bike course some thought. That seven mile section sounds just like the last 10 miles of the LP course.

The problem is not really the course though. As a biking workout, it is not really all that bad. The problem is what it does to you when you want to get off the bike and run. Too many find they have no legs left.

I don't know what your best answer for this is. My answer is course management and a triple chain ring. I cut 1/2 hour off my run time the second year on this course mostly by having lower gears and being able to spin up the hills. I am betting I can cut another half hour or so by giving up a few more minutes on the first lap so I have better legs for the second lap and the run.

My other suggestion would be to do a few brick workouts involving a few trips up your seven mile hill followed by a one hour plus run. I wish I could do that, but I live in Florida.

Don't let yourself redline on those hills either from pushing too big a gear or going too hard.
Quote Reply
Re: LP Bike Preps [Chappy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
The tough thing about LP is not the size or length of the hills, but the number & placement. I think the best thing you can do is train yourself to let people pass you when you feel like you are fresh.

The toughest hills on the course are in the first 6 miles of each lap. For these hills you are pretty fresh and will feel like motoring up them. This is especially true on the first lap where everyone is quite close together and there are lots of people to pass. The problem is that instinct will make you want to work these hills. If you do, than you will pay severely in that last 12 mile stretch.

When done on its own, the stretch back into LP is not really bad. It's not hard to avg 17-18 MPH there when fresh. By the end of the 2nd lap you are not fresh, especially if you pushed hard early. When you are fatigued, those hills can feel like serious climbs.

Learn to pedal easy up hills.
Quote Reply
Re: LP Bike Preps [Goatboy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I found Gordo's comments on LP course management on his "Tip's" page. Quite helpful. He provides suggestions when/where to eat, where to stay conservative, where to push it. Thanks for the tip. After reading your posts I went over and took a look at the LP bike splits for 02. I viewed maybe 300-350 athletes and nobody negative split the second loop. If your second loop time was within 10 minutes of the first you were in an elite group, 10-15 minutes was exceptional, 15-20 and you did really well. Negative splitting the run, as one would expect was a rareity, but a few did. I come away from this thinking the bike course favors strength-endurance, and even those off the front will have to dose their effort. Thanks for the training suggestions.
Quote Reply
Re: LP Bike Preps [Chappy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I raced IMUSA in 2000. I think Gordo's tips are spot-on.

Your 7-mile stair-stepped workouts will be quite adequate.

Just a slight point of disagreement about workouts...I don't think you should train with your RPM below 70...Even when working on muscular strength...The lone exception would be Muscle Tension Intervals where you could drop a bit, but that's a different discussion. Keep your RPMs high and work on spinning up the hills so you have fresh legs for the run...That's what I did and I managed to negative split the run;-)...Which simply means I left too much out on the course...

Honestly, here are a few personalized thoughts:

1. More people blow themselves up on the Ski Jump Hill at mile 60-ish than do the final hill (where they are already suffering from going to hard at mile 60...Keep your head about you early in each lap).

2. Don't forget to focus on proper nutrition in the final 11 miles of each lap...Many people get caught up in the climbing and forget their eating pattern...much to their demise later in the day.

3. Don't forget a few running hills. The 12 and 24 mile hill can be rough...There is the "Bottom of the Hill" Grill which has burgers/brats cooking while you have to trudge up a pretty steep hill into town...With all the pretty people (don't want to be sexist here), you'd prefer not to walk this portion.

http://wattieink.com/elite-team/
Raising funds to help wounded veterans and racing RAAM 2013 with http://team4mil.org/
"If you are gonna charge... CHARGE HARD!"
Quote Reply
Hill training vs racing [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Hope you guys are still with me, have a question. After (2) 1/2's and (2) IM's I'm closer to manageing correctly bike pace. It wasn't pretty, but I've learned the hard way how to conserve energy on the bike. I don't, however, train like I race. This past year I learned to train a lot harder. I tend to do one of two things re the hills, either I'm pushing a "big" gear in seated climbs or I'm spinning. More often than not its the former. I do the latter just to remind myself what I'll be doing race day. My simplistic view is if I can take a hill in a 39/21 in training, race day's 39/23-25 ought to be easy. Too simplistic? Thoughts?
Quote Reply
Re: Hill training vs racing [Chappy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Lots of people train hills at low cadence. I can see how it would build strength, but for me it just inflames my IT bands. I learned the hard way that if I don't spin, I die.

Both times I did LP it seemed that hundreds of riders were passing me, but that I was passing relatively few. I look at the stats the next day though, and I hadn't really lost much ground to the field at all.

If you can really make yourself spin up the hills at a low heartrate on race day, I would say go for the low cadence work. It is really easy to lose that discipline though when 250 riders pass by you on the first climb out of town and another 100 go by on that climb on the second lap.
Quote Reply
Re: Hill training vs racing [Chappy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Chappy, pushing the big gears is a nice way to build strength, but for the LP course, I would also do a lot of work spinning up hills with a high cadence & low HR. This is a skill that is invaluable on that course. It will allow you to take save yourself for that second lap & the run.
Quote Reply
Re: Hill training vs racing [Chappy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Regarding Art's (and puska's) post: Yes, you absolutely want to spin easily on race day. Low pedal force is critical to maintaining endurance.

As to how to train, I would respectfully point out that big-gear hill work is what Chris Charmichael (Lance's coach) and the Europeans call "high tension" work. Same thing. It's done at low rpm in a nice big gear. If your legs can handle it, it is great work to get ready for a very long hilly day. Natascha B. does lots of high tension work--3-4 hours at a time. But, if your knees or anything else flare up, then keep the pedal "tension" low and spin easier gears in training. That's the way it goes.

I got much stronger last year doing that work. What failed me at Lake Placid was not doing enough "regular" miles to go with it (and not enough swimming). I was flying up hills around here on training rides and in shorter races. For the first time ever, I was in the front group on the hilly roadie rides up every climb. Best climbing shape of my life. I crashed and burned on lap 2 at Lake Placid and barely made it back to town.

So, I would do this...start with hill repeats at 80 rpm; then try 75; then try 70; etc. down to where you would do them at 60-65 rpms (all at the same basic speed and power output). If you can do 60 rpm, you should be pushing a big enough gear that your legs are pretty burnt after 3-4 minutes. Drop down the cadence after, say, three workouts at each level; if your knees or ITBs hurt, go back up in cadence. This is straight out of Friel and Charmichael.

Remember, the point of this workout is to build your ability to apply good pedal force over the course of a long ride. It is NOT to train you to actually climb this way in a race. Charmichael would have you do "surges" in the final weeks before a race. These are fast, high-rpm accelerations up a hill for 30-60 seconds at a time.

"""My simplistic view is if I can take a hill in a 39/21 in training, race day's 39/23-25 ought to be easy. Too simplistic? Thoughts? """

Not simplistic, but it leaves out the length of the event. If you can do a hill in training in 39/21 after an hour of riding--that's one thing. What can you do after an hour plus of swimming, and after 4 hours of riding, and while holding enough back for a marathon? A 39/25 might be too big. My own two cents is that it isn't your hill climbing strength that is going to carry the day -- it is your endurance. Miles, baby. You need 12-13 hours of aerobic endurance to "race" an Ironman. Hill repeats and all that help a little, but it's mostly about time in the saddle.

There is simply no substitute for lots of long miles at a steady pace. There are no shortcuts to an Ironman.
Quote Reply
Re: Hill training vs racing [Julian] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Julian, Matt, Art, Goatboy, Puskas, thanks, very, very, informative and helpful! I think I've got a good handle on how to structure the training and how to mentally begin the race plans. The discussion has also given my training motivation a bump. The hope is to NOT make wieght as a clyde and find the blessed anonymity of a 13hr 45-49 AG'r.

Kind Regards!

Chappy
Last edited by: Chappy: Dec 27, 02 7:54
Quote Reply