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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wondering if it matters if I do intervals on hills vs flats. Seems that if what you are stressing the body thru exertion that there shouldnt be much of a difference.

I guess where it would make a difference is if you are pushing a big gear?? Still not sure.

Thanks

Eric
 

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I like to ride my bike.
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I run out of gears if I do intervals on flats, at least 30 sec, super hard intervals.

But, doing both, logically would be a good idea, right? Mountain bike races have hills and they have flat parts too...so, you want to be good at both.
 

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IMO, at the end of the day regardless of the terrain, the results you get from intervals is about the effort you put in. Running out of gear in the flats, i am not sure that is the case for most cyclists out there. Headwinds make a great interval traing tool as well.
 

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Masher
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Physiologically it makes no difference. Psychologically, huge.

As for running out of gears on the flats. Go grab a road bike, 53x39 with an 11-25 cassette. If you run out of gears on the flats, time to go join the tour.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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I think I use my muscles a little differently on climbs vs. flats. Not a lot, but some. So I'd focus on the weakness I wanted to work on.

The point about psychological advantages is a big one, though.
 

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mnoutain bkie rdier
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hmm

Intervals on hills will most likely be out of saddle v. in saddle on flats..(more or less)

If you were training for a TT, it seems that it would be advantageous to do intervals on the flats.

It you had a race coming up with tons of climbing where you anticipate being out of the saddle more, it seems that you would benefit from hill intervals a tad more.

.02
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
been doing the hills more of a steady pace in the saddle. maybe getting out of saddle occasionally for short bursts but HR and exertion skyrockets doing that.
 

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Big ring = No chainsuck
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If your cadence is lower on a climb (which it tends to be be, particularly when compared to an all-out 30sec interval on the flat) then you are doing more to stress the muscles of the leg. A higher cadence on the flat stresses the cardiovascular system more. This effect is somewhat reduced because of how short the effort is, but it's still there.

Assuming that your cadence is staying the same, you activate different muscles on a climb as opposed to a flat. There is a slightly higher muscle activation when you are climbing in both the upper and lower body. Different areas of your leg musculature are also activated to a different extent depending on where you are doing your interval.

Like people have said though...tailor your intervals to your racing, and the psychological differences can also be huge.
 

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Agreed.

Last season I did 20 minute intervals on a rolling course with a PM. That was really interesting.

I really liked trying to hold power through the uphill-downhill transition. I found that I could generate pretty decent power downhill for some reason.
 
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